About this listing
Lovely room with own bathroom in family house; independent access, private terrace, opening out onto garden where deer roam and birds sing. A secluded and peaceful location, immersed in countryside, opposite a 10th century fortified village.
Our house is an oldish (about 150 years) farmhouse that we have spent the last sixteen years renovating. This has been a massive labour of love and I think (hope) we have pretty much finished. The result is a house that is Comfy and Rustic rather than House and Garden, but we are very happy with our work.
In the summer the house has sun all day from dawn until about 4pm. From then on you have to go up into our olive grove above the house to get the rays.
All around the house there is land with a somewhat haphazard flower garden, woodland and olive groves. There is also a stream at the bottom of the hill. I say stream - in winter, or when it rains a lot, it is a raging torrent, whereas in the summer it is a trickle, but it's very picturesque.
The best thing about our house, in my opinion, is the silence and the incredible bird song of an evening. Also the stars in the nighttime. The trees. The garden is pretty nice too, although somewhat unkempt. It is definitely a place to relax and unwind. And walk. There are some wonderful walks around here, some of which I have even recorded on a hiking trails app so you can download them and not get lost!!!
Oh, the room - cosy (estate agent speak for small) but lovely. Opens out onto its own little terrace in the garden. Clean, comfortable, fresh linen. There is a MOSQUITO NET too - this is an important feature, not to be sneezed at.
The bathroom is spacious and has a shower and bidet. Towels and soap are provided. And it's bright blue. (I just threw that in there to pad the description out a bit…)
As we are often out at work in the mornings We don't provide breakfast but when you arrive you will find orange juice, tea, coffee, sugar, milk and fruit. There is a fridge, and an electric kettle, french coffee press, plates, glasses, cutlery, bottle opener. Anything else you need please just ask!
There is a barbecue in the garden that you can use whenever they like.
The road - to reach our house by car there is a pretty disastrous road - about 1km of non asphalted road of which the last 400m are 'rugged'. This is a perfect deterrent for burglars (fast getaways would be impossible) and I do it every day countless times in my Renault Twingo with no problems, but if I had some kind of fancy BMW I would probably have to sell up and go elsewhere. Then again, if YOU had a fancy BMW you probably wouldn't want to stay in my cheap and cheerful room. Anyway, the crux of the matter is the road is bad - don't say I didn't warn you!
WIFI - yes, we are now wi-fied. I resisted for a while as I was afraid that my kids would turn into brain-dead zombies if we had a constant supply of WEB, but I realised that our guests' needs are greater so wifi is go. Be warned though that we are in a iffy network zone, so when a cloud passes by the connection grinds to a halt. This could be a problem if you need to do 24 hour online trading, but if you just need to check your messages, make online reservations and lurk on social media sites then you're laughing.
You have your own room and private bathroom. This is attached to our house but accessed independently from our part.
Outside the room there is a private terrace but we might be wandering around the garden, so please warn us in advance if you intend to do any sunbathing 'au natural'.
Interaction with Guests
Our household consists of four human elements - me, Giovanni and our two teenagers. There are also animals - we have Billy the dog and various cats, some official and some unofficial.
We're all very friendly, laid back and easy. (Unless you leave cigarette butts around - see house rules - then I turn into a screaming harpie).
If you've read this far you might have gathered that I'm English. Questionable sense of humour - Giovanni my companion is from Greve. He's the family cook, so we complement each other pretty well (in other words if I was the cook and we had to put up with his non sense of humour we'd be bloody miserable).
We live in the house and will be present during the your stay, although we will both be out at work most of the time.
I am happy to talk about anything and everything and am a mine of useful information about the area. I am more than happy to suggest itineraries and make reservations or anything else that helps you get the most out of their stay here.
If you want to be left alone then that's fine too!
This is a wonderful location as we are immersed in the countryside, but not isolated as we are a five minute walk from the village of Montefioralle (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy) and a twenty minute walk from the popular market town of Greve in Chianti.
Montefioralle has a bar and a couple of excellent restaurants. In Greve there are shops, a supermarket, banks, restaurants, bars. Everything you need. There is also a market on Saturdays which is very jolly and busy.
What else do people do around here - well wine making is pretty much the raison-d'être of the Chianti area so wine tasting is a must. There are even a couple of vineyards within walking/staggering distance…..
From Greve there are regular buses to and from Florence and the journey takes about an hour. Unfortunately there is not a good public transport network in Chianti, so if you are travelling without a car you would always need to take the bus up to Florence to then get a train or bus to wherever.
I am very happy to pick people up from the bus stop and take them back at the end of their stay. I do this at no extra charge and am very happy to do so!
If you do have a car we are very centrally placed in the Chianti area for taking day trips out to San Gimignano, Siena, Pisa, Lucca and even Arezzo.
Other Things to Note
Lastly, for a small consideration, the cook (i.e. Giovanni) can make a delicious tuscan meal that you can partake of at our rustic kitchen table, en famille, as it were. If this is of interest please contact me for more information.
Why would you want to come and stay in our rustic heaven? - Peace, quiet, wonderful walks. Friendly hosts.
No wild parties or carousing into the early hours.
Please remember to lock the door when you go out.
You can sit outside and smoke, but please don't throw cigarette butts into the garden. An ashtray is provided.
Don't squash insects.
Use water sparingly.
From Jun 1 - Aug 31, 2015 the minimum stay is 2 nights.
The Cosy Chianti retreat is lovely. If the weather had been 10 degrees cooler it would have been awesome. The weather had been over 30C for a number of days. As the building faces north the room was very hot. A fan didn't really provide much relief. Julia is a good host and gave some good hints on places to visit, including local swimming hole. We drove to the coast and back in a day (we are Australian) for a swim in the ocean.
Se stayed two night at Julias place, and enjoyed every bit of it.
The place is beautifully located outside of Greve. Be aware that you need a car to get there...
The room is so adorable, with private bathroom and terrasse. Julia even made sure there was breakfast, cold water and home-produced wine.
I can only recommend Julia.
Hmmm what to say that hasn't already been raved about? Julia's place (even on sweltering 100 degree days) is paradise. Her place stayed nice and cool during the hottest part of the day. We loved hanging out with her many furry friends and lounging in her hammock. The food around her place was divine!!! She also left us breakfast fruits and cereals in our room which was much appreciated. The room was super clean and tidy too. On the hottest day we were there we asked if she knew a place to go swimming and she gave us directions to a small little lake about 15 minutes away. Definitely go if you're around during summer! We watched the sunset and swam around in total bliss. Can't wait to come back. We were sad to leave.
Julia was a lovely host. She gave us helpful information about reaching the Retreat and picked us up from the bus stop. The region was absolutely stunning.
If you want to live in the real Tuscan country vibe this is the perfect place to stay. The room was very cozy and beautiful. The only bad point was the road to get to the house. A bumpy white country road that you're not going to be able to drive without a jeep. Not good for a city car.
It was such a wonderful expireince that it is hard to put it in words! Location and villa as in fairytale. Own entrance, full privacy even better than on pics. Surrounded by wineyards, magical view! Giovanni and Julia are absolutely fantastic! We got a cooking master-class that ended in best dinner ever! We will recomend this place to our friends for sure.
We had an absolutely lovely time at Casa BeninCasa. It was a chance to unwind, recharge the batteries and enjoy the surrounding beauty of Montefioralle. Julia and Giovanni are the perfect hosts and we enjoyed a beautifully home cooked meal with them on our last night. Such a welcome change from eating out! Julia was kind enough to meet us at the bus stop on our arrival and drop us off on our departure.
We had a lovely tour at the winery that Julia works at. It was fantastic to learn about the region and their wines. Really, really tasty wines!!
We would suggest that you hire a car or scooter to get around the area to visit wineries and surrounding towns. Much easier than walking the hills or waiting for local buses that seem to be working on their own timetables.
The family pets are so friendly and would pop around to our end of the accommodation to say hello and have a cuddle. We miss Billy already!! We were also completely stunned to see fire flies during the night, right out side our door. We've never seen anything like it - we could have watched them all night - absolute magic!
We also found the restaurant recommendations very helpful and accurate. Thank you for a great couple of days Julia and Giovanni!
About the Host, Julia
I'm Julia, transplanted from London many, many years ago and now firmly rooted here with my companion and our two children.
I'm definitely not a great traveller, but I love having travellers come to our place and tell me about where they're from and where they've been.
I love to garden and grow vegetables, I knit obsessively and I walk a lot, and slowly but surely I am studying astrosophy.