About this listing
LA SELVA Giardino del Belvedere is a large stone farmhouse with private pool near Florence.
Nearest village: Montegonzi (1 Km - 0.6 miles)
Swimming pool: private 12 x 6 mt - 39 x 19 feet (salt water)
Property features/services: Welcome dinner, Wi-Fi, near town, sat TV, 2 washing machines, 2 dishwasher machines, 2 wood pizza ovens, outdoor BBQ, 2 fireplaces, 6 days cleaning a week (from 2016), parking, 13 hectares (32 acres) natural botanical garden with a stone amphitheatre, cook available on request.
Surrounded by centuries-old oaks, olive groves and meadows,the ancient stone farmhouse lies nestled in the Chianti hills within a 30-kms (20 miles) radius of Florence, Siena and Arezzo in a vast natural garden.
The villa was built more than 300 years ago; the restoration has kept the spirit of the house, respecting the original architecture with use of hand-made special materials following the green-architecture parameters.
The villa is in the middle of a 13-hectare (32 acres) natural botanical garden (Giardino del Belvedere) with olive trees, meadows, forest of ancient oaks trees, a stone amphitheatre with modern art sculptures and a private salt water swimming pool.
La Selva Giardino del Belvedere is the perfect place to discover Tuscany for a family reunion, a gathering of friends, a wedding or a meeting.
The rooms are spacious, furnished with antiques, yet offering every modern convenience. Giardino del Belvedere is a house for all seasons. The old stone walls keep it cool in the summer sun, while great open fireplaces offer warmth and comfort during cooler months.
Extensive natural garden stretch out towards the mountains on the horizon, with inviting pathways which meander through meadows of wild flowers. The house itself reflects the total peace and tranquility of its surroundings.
The salt water swimming pool, an oak solarium, and lounge chairs and umbrellas sit adjacent to the villa.
We love the fact that the villa and garden function in perfect harmony.
It is a pleasure to welcome guests who love nature as much as we do, and it gives us enormous satisfaction to share in their joy.
GROUND FLOOR: (2 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms)
- Lunch al fresco (2 outdoor dining areas)
- Spacious living and dining room with LCD TV, Satellite, DVD/DIVX player, Wireless High speed Internet, telephone and large open fireplace
- Music room with stereo, CD player, MP3, iPod docking station, piano. The room has a direct access to the Swimming Pool overlooking the Arno Valley
- 2nd living area with TV and fireplace
- 1 kitchen fully equipped with fridge-freezer, large stove\oven, dishwasher and wood fired-pizza oven
- 1 kitchen well furnished with fridge-freezer, large stove\oven and dishwasher
- 1 bedroom with queen bed
- 1 bedroom with queen bed and extra bed
- 1 bathroom with tub
- 1 bathroom
Separate laundry room with 2 washing machines (in the same building)
FIRST FLOOR: (5 large bedrooms, 4 bathrooms)
- Lounge room with 3 arched windows over looking the grounds
- 1 bedroom with queen bed and en-suite bathroom with tub
- 1 bedroom with queen bed and en-suite bathroom with tub
- 1 twin bedded room (beds can be joined upon request) and en-suite bathroom with shower
- 1 bedroom with queen bed and an extra single bed (on request) w/shared bathroom with shower
- 1 twin bedded room with shared bathroom with shower
Interaction with Guests
We love to welcome our guests with a traditional tuscan dinner prepared by our cook and share our love for the area and our wine.
My family includes my parents, Paolo and Anna, my brother Andrea, and me, Francesco.
We are from Montevarchi, Tuscany (5 miles away from La Selva Giardino del Belvedere). Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, rolling hills and cities of art, we enjoy living and working here.
My father Paolo is a horticulturalist and owns a nursery specialising in ornamental plants-- a family business for three generations. He has many passions, and is especially fond of nature and the arts. He dedicates his free time to La Selva Giardino del Belvedere, an ancient farmhouse immersed in a sprawling botanical park sprinkled with modern art sculptures. It is located just 10 minutes from Montevarchi’s historical center.
For the past four decades, my mother Anna has taught primary school. She is dedicated to her job, loves reading history books, and is passionate about culture.
Andrea studies political science at the University of Florence. In his free time, he helps my father out, is a Scout leader and plays rugby.
I (Francesco) manage La Selva Giardino del Belvedere and other properties (please check my profile). I enjoy snowboarding, sailing, traveling and exploring new cultures—and speak excellent English, too.
We can stock refrigerator upon your arrival so you can relax when you first get to the house and enjoy the setting!
La Selva Giardino del Belvedere is located in Tuscany on the Chianti hills within a 30 kms (20 miles) radius of Siena, Firenze and Arezzo.
-0.6 km (0.4 miles) from the main road
-1 Km (0.6 miles) or 5 min. by car there is Montegonzi, a nice small village dating back to 1191 A.D., here you will discover a lovely church, a good restaurant (Osteria di Montegonzi) with a magnificent terrace overlooking the Chianti area, a food shop with cafè and a post office.
-1 km (0.6 miles) from Borgo di Fontebussi, an historic Tuscan village turned resort with hotel, apartments and a top chef restaurant open for lunch and dinner.
-3 km (1.8 miles) from horseback riding center
-6 km (3.7 miles) from Montevarchi: the main town of the Arno Valley with a regular train service to Florence (52 direct trains a day), Rome (8 direct trains a day) and the main Italian cities. The area has a large shopping center COOP FI, fashion factory shops (Prada, MiuMiu, Church) restaurants, tennis courts, pharmacy, hospital, indoor-outdoor swimming pool. (A car is needed to explore the area or I can arrange a driver for you)
- 10 km (6.2 miles) from the major highway of Italy A1 (Valdarno EXIT)
- 40 km (25 miles) to Arezzo (30 min. by train)
- 40 Km (25 miles) to Siena
- 50 Km (30 miles) to Firenze (40 min. by train)
There are many activities to do in the area; including 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Florence (one or two full day)
- Siena (full day)
- Cortona with wine tasting (full day)
- Chianti area with wine tasting (full day)
- Pisa and Lucca (full day)
- San Gimignano and Monteriggioni (full day)
- Montalcino and Pienza with Brunello wine tasting (full day)
- Assisi and Perugia (full day)
- Fashion shopping outlets (Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Armani and all the main Italian fashion brands have factories in the area and shopping outlet with 50% discount)
- Rapolano Terme adventure park "Saltalbero”
- Water Park (small) "Crocodile"
- Paleontological museum in Montevarchi (just open)
- “Museo Leonardo da Vinci” in Florence
- “Museo Leonardiano” in Vinci
- "The Pinocchio Park" in Collodi
.... and of course enjoy the villa and the many nearest towns and castles.
I know the area very well and I will be happy to assist you in organizing the day trips (complimentary benefit for my guests).
From La Selva beautiful roads leads into Chianti area: Badia Coltibuono, Gaiole, Radda, Castellina, Greve and Siena.
More than any other place, this is a land where tradition and daily life exist side by side in perfect harmony.
The history of Montevarchi dates back to circa 986, when pilgrims and travelers stopped here on their way to and from Rome; Montevarchi: for centuries the “market town” for Valdarno, Chianti and Pratomagno – and one of the most important in Tuscany.
A meeting place for traders, townsfolk, the local livestock and grain “dealers” and above all for farmers and small local producers who, until the 1960s used all means possible to get to the town squares of Montevarchi, to make deals and sell their goods: free range chickens, vegetables, rabbits, artichokes, olive oils and chestnuts.
Today the area is famous for its contribution to the international fashion industry and boasts the location of prestigious fashion outlets like Prada and "The Mall".
The area has excellent restaurants, a farmer’s market and regular train service to Florence, Arezzo, Rome (with connections to every major Italian city)
Montevarchi, situated in the midst of what is known as unspoiled “wine country” - with its vineyards, olive trees, castles, medieval hilltop villages and churches - is one of the more lively towns south of Florence.
Closest airports (Airport code) :
- Florence airport (FLR) 70 km / 43 miles
- Perugia (PGA) 120 km / 74 miles (very small airport)
- Pisa Airport (PSA) 130 km / 80 miles (Delta operate a direct flight from JFK)
- Bologna (BLQ) 160 km / 100 miles
- Rome Fiumicino (FCO) 260 Km / 160 miles (many direct flight from USA)
- Venice (VCE) 310 Km / 192 miles (Delta operate a direct flight from JFK, Atlanta and Philadelphia)
- Milan (MXP) 410 Km / 254 miles (many direct flight from USA)
From the airports is easy to reach the villa by train or rental car.
The villa is only 6 km / 3.7 miles from Montevarchi train station and 10 km / 6 miles from A1 Valdarno exit (main highway of Italy)
PERSONAL DRIVER AND TOURS
Cars and minivans can be scheduled in advance if you need to be picked up at a train station or airport. We can organize private tours to any destination for a single day or for the entire week so you can explore in the most comfortable way wineries & vineyards, hamlets, castles and more. Ask us about details and charges!
Other Things to Note
# YOGA PAVILION “IL TONDO”
“Il Tondo” is a yoga pavilion with a pool, overlooking the Chianti hills located in the highest part of the property 5 min uphill walk from the villa. The pavilion is build with local chestnut and natural stones. “Il Tondo” is the private artistic studio of the villa owner and is not included in the villa rental; on request only the villa guests can rent it.
I only rent my villa as a private place to one group of guests (family or friends) at a time, being the only residents, the quality and privacy of their stay is guaranteed.
For 2015 rentals run from Saturday to Saturday
For 2016 rentals will run from Monday to Monday
The rates are variable and depending on the number of bedrooms occupied by guests, season and length of stay (rentals usually run by week).
In case the guests do not rent all the bedrooms the remain bedrooms stay empty and closed; the other area of the villa (swimming pool, garden, kitchen, living room, dining room etc.) remain private to the guests.
Please contact me for rates, in your request include the period and number of bedrooms you will need (response within a few hours).
• On arrival 3 courses welcome Tuscan dinner prepared by our cook Maria
• Wireless High speed Internet (free)
• Private salt-water swimming pool open from 04 May to 02 November (6x12 mt, 1.2 mt deep)
• Cleaning 6 day a week (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat 3 hrs per day) [starting from 2016]
• Linens for bed, bath and table
• Pool towels
• Weekly change of linens
• Final Cleaning
• 1 GPS car navigation system TOMTOM (with useful point of interest)
• 2 Washing machines
• 2 Dishwasher machines
• 2 Fully equipped kitchens
• American Coffee Machine, Toaster, 2 large ovens
• 2 refrigerators with freezer
• 2 wood pizza ovens (1 in the villa, 1 in the garden)
• Phone line
• Water (excellent from our well)
• LCD TV
• DVD/DIVX player (Blu-ray, multi regions)
• Sat Tv
• Full stereo, tape, CD player, speakers for iPod
• Gas for kitchen use
• Iron, Ironing board
• Hair dryers
• Screen on windows
• Floor fans in each bedroom (available on request at no charge)
• Baby beds and highchairs (available on request at no charge)
• Private car parking in the property
• Municipality tourist tax
AVAILABLE on REQUEST:
- First grocery shopping (shops are closed on Sunday)
- Tuscany dinner prepared by our cook Maria
- Cooking class with our cook Maria
- Daily full English breakfast
- Wine tasting dinner with sommelier at the villa
- Airport / train station transfer / personal driver
- Guided tours of Florence with skip the line museum tickets
- Wine cellars visit with tasting
- Cell phone rental
- PA system with mixer and microphone
- More extra services available on request
Terms and Conditions
1. RENTALS: The property is furnished and equipped as described in the detailed and technical description provided in the listing
2. ARRIVALS, DEPARTURES AND CONDUCT: Reservations are for a minimum of 7 nights (other than by arrangement). The villa is available for occupation from 4.30pm to 9pm (local time) on the day of arrival until 10am (local time) on the day of departure. We do their utmost to accommodate out of hours requests, however, the property owners cannot guarantee access to the properties after 10 pm.
3. SECURITY DEPOSIT: The client is solely responsible for any damages, stains or breakage(s) that may be caused to the property or its contents and also for any loss of items in the inventory during their stay. Therefore a refundable security deposit payable on check-in will be held against such an eventuality. The villa is inspected both before and at the end of each occupation and upon confirmation that all is in order this deposit will be refundable in full. Charges for damages/losses or any maintenance/repairs to the premises, equipment, amenities or fixtures necessitated by misuse or neglect will be at the discretion of the owner and will be deducted from the security deposit. In the event of any damage/loss, which is assessed to be in excess of the security deposit, the client will be held responsible for full reimbursement of the outstanding amount within 14 days. It is important that the property be left clean and tidy at the end of the rental period.
4. CLEANING and LINEN: Cleaning will be carried out prior to the client arrival and during the week (as shown in the "Included"). House linen is provided and changed weekly. If linen has to be changed more regularly we reserve the right to make additional charges.
5. ANIMALS and PETS: Small pets are permitted only upon request. (A cat "Silvestro" actually stay at La Selva in the garden)
6. SWIMMING POOL: The pool is for the exclusive use of the guests of the villa and is only available during the open season (as shown in the "Included"). Use of swimming pool or any other facility included in the hire of the property is entirely at the client own risk. The owner and their agents cannot be held responsible for any accident or damage to the tenant or any other person. The pool is 120 cm (4 feet) deep, not heated and not fenced; children must be supervised at all times. We remind clients that there is no lifeguards foreseen the pool and it is absolutely forbidden to dive. Is strictly prohibited to use the pool in case of rain and during the cleaning done by the robot.
7. ACCIDENT, LOSS or DAMAGE: The property owner can not be held responsible for any accident, loss or damage which may be sustained by the tenant, member of his party or visitor to the property howsoever caused.
It is impossible to describe in just 500 words how absolutely wonderful our stay was at La Selva. From the moment our family of 5 (my wife, me, and our 3 kids, ages 20, 17, and 9) arrived (and even before), Francesco made sure we had the time of our lives. He warmly greeted us at the door, walked us around the beautiful grounds and inside the villa, and immediately made us feel welcome and comfortable. That night, we had an amazing dinner with Francesco and his wonderful parents, Paolo and Anna, two of the nicest people you could ever meet. The conversation and food was outstanding and it really set the tone for a great stay. That night, we also met "Tina," the precious and very playful little kitten that roamed the grounds. Our kids adored Tina and the feeling was mutual (it was so neat to see her fall asleep in their laps). The next morning we met Maria, the amazing cook at La Selva. She made us a delicious (and huge)breakfast of homemade goodies. Over the next several days, we spent a lot of time with Maria -- a cooking class, another breakfast, and a wine dinner. Her food was some of the best we have ever had and we got to watch her make it and even help! Maria is such a delightful and warm person. It was so hard to say goodbye to her that last night, and so touching when she hugged our 9 year old, her "bambino." During our trip, we also got to meet Elisabetta (Francesco's girlfriend), who graciously agreed to be our tour guide on a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano. She spent the entire day showing us the sites and answering our hundreds of questions. We had such a great time with Elisabetta that we asked her to join us with Francesco for the wine dinner. It was an awesome dinner with some excellent wines served by a sommelier. At some point during the dinner, I mentioned to Francesco that we wanted to tour a couple of wineries in the area, and within minutes he began contacting his friends (Francesco seems to know everyone!). Like magic, he had arranged for us to spend the next day doing private winery tours and tastings. We had such a great time, talking with the winemakers and tasting some delicious wines. When we weren't travelling throughout the countryside or visiting wineries, we were just enjoying the amazing villa and spectacular grounds. The gardens and trees are so beautiful and the views of the countryside are breathtaking. But what really made our stay at La Selva so wonderful was Francesco. There are so many great places to visit in the world, but what really makes a trip special are the people you meet. And Francesco is one of the best. He (and his family and Elisabetta and Maria) made our trip one we will remember forever! See you soon our new friends!
La Selva i a marvelous place! Totally outstanding! The beautiful surroundings and the warm soul of the house just embrace you. You just want to stay there the rest of your life!
The greenery and the stillness (apart from the birdsong) made all of us feeling so good ☺
There are plenty of places both inside and outside the house where you can sit down. So it was very easy for us, ten persons, to socialize i the villa.
We also had a cooking class with Maria which we all enjoyed. We made our own pizza, and it was the best pizza we had had in our lifes.
The bedrooms were nice, some smaller than others, but still ok.
Foremuch as it is a stone house, it´s quite cold in the house even if it is hot outside. We used the amazing fire place every evening.
We can give our best recommendation. See Venice and the die ? Naa – See La Selva and than die …
We can't imagine a more picturesque location to share an American Thanksgiving celebration with friends. Francesco was attentive and kind from the time of booking until the very last minute of our stay. The house is very private, cozy, welcoming and comfortable....and the ground provide endless opportunities for trail running and exploring. We enjoyed finding artistic treasures around each corner. I am trying to think of people I know who could get married at this place...it's spectacular! The 9 adults and 5 kids were all very comfortable inside...the fireplace is divine and with two kitchens, we had no problems preparing a huge thanksgiving feast! Thank you to Francesco and his family for giving us an authentic Italian experience and going above and beyond to help us create the vacation we dreamt of! If you like antiques, I highly recommend booking La Selva for the first sunday of the month--there's a great antique market close by where we found lots of treasures! Book without hesitations!
Francesco welcomed us all to his beautiful villa even though there were lots of us and we were very early!
Francesco provided a delicious welcoming evening meal, which his wife, sons and their girlfriends all attended. Everyone was incredibly helpful and kind. None of us speak Italian but it didn't matter.
The house and garden are decorated with lots of interesting art and sculptures. There are lots of books and a lovely pool. The bedside lights are really nice. The bedrooms and living rooms are lovely - lots of interesting furniture - a bit like my house here in London - definately not run of the mill.
It was very hot while we were there so we didn't do many touristy things, and spent a lot of time sitting in the beautiful garden, however there are loads of interesting places to see, and plenty of good restaurants to eat in. We went to Corona and Sienna. Francesco recommended places to look at antiques and places to swim in natural water. He helped with everything.
It was a lovely stay. Thank you so much Francescoo.
Francesco and his family are by far the nicest, most helpful hosts I've ever met. They make sure to give you a true Tuscan culture experience.
We were there for a month and a full house. Francesco went above and beyond what any of us expected in helping us find places to eat, where to get groceries, setting up cooking classes at the house with their chef Maria, where to go wine tasting... It was just absolutely incredible. One of the best experiences of my life and La Selva is what made it.
The property is *beautiful* and massive with tons of trails to explore and an old country "road" you can hike ~1hr up to Montegonzi (super tiny town with an awesome restaurant).
I can't wait to go back, if for nothing else to meet up with Francesco and his family again to thank them, again. I cannot recommend this house enough. Your life will be better after staying here, trust me :)
Occasionally in life you find something that is not only exactly as advertised, but in fact much much more - La Selva is one such place. This is the third place I have stayed in via AirBnB and it was nothing short of a magical experience. So much more than the 500 words allowed here can describe. In short - GO! The pictures absolutely do not do it justice, this is an amazingly characteristic house, ancient and modern at the same time, with many pleasant hidden surprises. I spent a week there and it was nowhere near enough to explore the entire grounds. There are numerous swimming pools (really, I found another one on day 3!), olive groves, forest walks, amphitheatre, barbeque, random abstract art, spread over 16 hectares - huge place. The house is warm, comfortable, and very beautiful. Most importantly Francesco and his family are extremely welcoming, helpful, and made my stay an absolute pleasure. Looking forward to coming back again next year.
The stay in Francesco's Villa was an unbelievably beautiful and relaxing experience. When we arrived we were welcomed with a wonderful home cooked delicious italian meal with fresh produce from the family's garden. It was a truly warm and lovely welcome.
The villa itself is a place of peace and beautiful nature, you can find all kinds of herbs and fruits growing in the huge garden, take relaxing walks and explore the great sculptures made by France sco's father Paulo. The pool is huge and just wonderful to swim in or relax and watch the beautiful mountains in the distance.
The villa was very clean and comfortable, and the location could not be better, it is far away from traffic, but close enough to Montevarchi for grocery shopping. Thank you so much Francesco, we cannot wait to come back!!!
This host has 16 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Francescoo
Life is about experiences, and there is no greater experience than travel.
I born in Tuscany and after travelling all over the world I still live here surrounded by beautiful landscapes, art cities and great food. I enjoy living and working here !!
In my free time I like to snowboarding, sailing, cycling, cooking, traveling and exploring new cultures.