The house is ideal for people who want a base from which to explore the beautiful region of Tuscany, especially the area south of Florence. It might best be described as a simple but comfortable dwelling, with many charming features, set in a spectacular position at the foot of the mountains.
The house is on the very edge of the 'Chianti' area, close to a village called Cascia and the country town of Reggello. Both the 'A1' motorway and the Rome-Florence railway line are about seven kilometres away, giving easy access to the rest of north/central Italy and beyond. Florence is about twenty kilometres up the motorway or twenty minutes by train. Other great cities such as Siena, Arezzo, and Perugia, numerous smaller towns and places of interest, and several famous beauty spots are all easily accessible.
THE SETTING AND THE LOCALITY
The house is situated in a tiny hamlet called 'I Tallini', a typical Italian small rural community, consisting of a few houses, a farm yard (disused) and a little chapel. Behind the house is a superb, view of the Pratomagno mountains, on which the light is constantly changing. They are tree-clad high up, descending into olive groves and tiny vineyards, which run up close to the back of the house. There are numerous footpaths through the mountains, and there is a wealth of local flora and fauna. All around are typical Tuscan views, with all the characteristics of the area: cypress trees, olive groves and old buildings scattered amongst vineyards. The area is renowned in this part of Italy for the freshness of the air.
Nearby Cascia is a typical Tuscan village, famous for the Massaccio painting in the superb Romanesque church. There are several other fascinating small villages and towns nearby, many offering excellent walks, beautiful old churches and other ancient buildings and places of interest. Westwards lies the river Arno and the Chianti hills, producing the splendid wines of the same name. Often considered one of the most beautiful regions in Europe, Chianti is a mixture of breathtaking views and charming, intimate villages. At Cascia itself there are far fewer tourists than in the Chianti heartland. Slightly further afield, the cities of Florence, Siena and Arezzo offer a great variety of things to do and see. Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture is everywhere, there are theatres (some in the open-air), Roman and Etruscan ruins, shops and markets of every kind, as well as swimming baths, sports events etc. Past visitors to the house have left numerous suggestions and personal recommendations of places to visit and things to do.
THE HOUSE AND ITS FACILITIES
The house is probably several hundred years old and is built of stone. It has two floors, each with a self contained apartment with its own cooking facilities and bathroom. The upstairs apartment sleeps four people very comfortably and there is room for a fifth. It contains two main rooms and a bathroom. Of the two main rooms one is set up as a living/dining room, and the other as a bedroom.
The furnishings are relatively simple, but include all the usual necessities. In the living/dining room there is a table, dining and other chairs, and a double sofa-bed; in the kitchen area a cooker and a refrigerator. The bathroom is fully equipped with hot water, shower, WC and bidet. There is central heating and air-conditioning. There is a washing machine in the garden shed, and clear instructions about gas, electricity, water and other essential information. Sheets and towels are available.
There is an extensive and beautiful garden, with lawns, two pergolas, flowers and shrubs. From the garden, which is not directly overlooked by any other houses, there is a superb view up into the mountains.
The village of Cascia has plenty of traditional shops for most basic necessities, as well as a modern supermarket, launderette and a bank. It has two bars and two good restaurants. Reggello has a chemist, a travel agent, good restaurants, and a market on Saturdays. Excellent wines can be bought either from shops or directly from local producers. There is a large open-air swimming pool in Cascia. Public transport is good, with both buses and trains (local and mainline) in easy reach.
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