The house is just over the “border” dividing the provinces of Arezzo and Siena, giving you the two prettiest valleys in Tuscany – the Val di Chiana and the Val d’Orcia (a UNESCO world heritage site). It is a great spot for perfecting an idyllic routine starting with breakfast in the garden, then a drive to explore a nearby town of interest, see the historic and artistic sights and do a bit of shopping, ending just in time to enjoy a leisurely lunch at a terrific trattoria or more elaborate restaurant. Come home for a late afternoon swim, doze by the pool or in the shade, read the book you have wanted to get to, or practice your bocce ball game. Then, over a glass of local wine and some handcrafted cheeses, think about whether to cook dinner with the produce from the garden and what you purchased at the market or to go out for another memorable meal. After dinner, relax some more, maybe with your book, a game of cards, or watching a dvd – or the fireflies – as you sip vin santo and plan your next day.

Charming towns, history, art, beautiful scenery, great restaurants, wine, and artisan foods are found in every direction. Siena is 30 km away, Arezzo 20 km, Cortona 15 km. Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, the Colli Aretini and Colli Senesi wine roads, the mineral spas south of Siena, Etruscan archaeological sites, and many other places of interest, including events, festivals, local markets, and the designer outlets are easily reached. The nearest town, Lucignano (a five minute drive), is considered one of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy and also provides all the daily necessities. That is Lucignano you see on the hill in the photo above. The somewhat larger hilltop town of Monte San Savino is 5 kilometers in the other direction. The Little Black Book of Florence and Tuscany says Monte San Savino and Lucignano “are among Tuscany’s most appealing villages.” Florence is an hour and a half drive away (or less, depending on how fast you drive). Take the train to Rome, Florence, or farther afield from the Chuisi or Arezzo train stations.

The Time Out guide, the Eyewitness guide, and various other guide books all have something about the area encompassing Arezzo and Siena. Unlike the Chianti, which is primarily vineyards with some olive trees – and flooded with tourists – this area is more classically “Tuscan postcard” country, with alternating fields of sunflowers and wheat, with some vineyards and olive groves in between. The fields around our house, for example, are sunflowers one year, wheat the next, and soy the next. Occasionally, fields are left fallow for a year (to rest). This is still farming country – unspoiled Tuscany.

We are on the Arezzo wine road and connect to the Siena wine road – so there is lots of very drinkable wine to taste and buy. This is an area that prides itself on the foods it grows, produces, and serves. You will find Tuscan food and Tuscan cooking at its best: prosciutto and salamis made in the traditional way, incredible steaks, handmade pasta, wonderful cheeses, wines, olive oils, lots of truffles, honeys and jams.

We have lots of guidebooks, and our detailed House Book offers many suggestions for places to visit, restaurants to try, cooking lessons, truffle hunting, horseback riding, bicycling, and much more.