Our luxurious centuries old farmhouse villa, one time Customs post and our home for part of the year, sits secluded in its own gently sloping grounds astride the old border between Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the then independent state of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina in the heart of Renaissance Italy. The garden merges seamlessly into the surrounding countryside. While the house is by no means isolated, it is completely private and many guests have commented on its special aura of peace and tranquility - the perfect place to wind down. Or celebrate. Or to feast on culture.
Roses, lavender, honeysuckle and rosemary scent the air. Wild flowers abound - with many varieties of orchid in early summer. Birds galore - goldfinches, harriers, redstarts, buzzards, doves, long tailed tits and many more. Lizards, hares, black squirrels, hedgehogs, porcupines, deer and wild boar share the property. Also a multitude of butterflies, fireflies, bees, hummingbird moths and other insects.
Steps lead past rose clad pergolas, shade giving trees and flower beds to the 10x5m 'no goggles needed' swimming pool. There are exceptional views over the painting studio and up across a patchwork of fields and woods to the hilltop village of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina.
The weeks before and after summer school holidays are brilliant - weather and price wise.