January 28, 2014, 02:23 AM
Accommodation in Tuscany for 2 weeks
My husband and I would like to stay in a farmhouse or villa in Tuscany for a couple of weeks for our 10 year anniversary celebration. The location would be a base camp to stay and also do various trips around Tuscany, the coast and Florence or where ever a car will take us. We prefer a quiet location with a pool and basic amenities, etc. Would prefer to have accommodations with a kitchen as I am gluten intolerant so I'll need to have food that I can eat outside of breads, pastas, and many other delicious Italian foods that will kill me. Have no clue as to best locations so open to any and all suggestions. We love wine and food (whatever I can eat I will and I love cooking) outdoors, biking, horse riding, sitting and people watch, olive picking, wine making, city walking, you name it, we'll do it. Looking at the late August time frame. Small farmhouses or private villas welcome!
January 28, 2014, 06:26 PM
Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years together!!
I'd also suggest a central location and car rental so that you will be able to move around the entire region at your leisure.
August is high season so you definitely need to make reservations soon as that month gets booked up quickly!
A farmhouse or villa apartment would be ideal considering your gluten intolerance as I'm sure you'll also want to cook some meals over the course of two weeks. But also know that there are a lot of restaurants, trattorie and bar offering gluten-free options. You can check which ones here and here - once you've decided on a place to stay at, you can see which ones are near.
For the apartment, I'd recommend anywhere between Florence and Siena as being pretty central to then drive around the region. You can start browsing general properties in the Chianti cat here: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/chianti/
There are SO many options - some are wine estates, some are just beautiful houses surrounded by gorgeous countryside but some are more informal run directly by the families that own the estate directly - you really can't go wrong but choosing one over another will depend on what you want.
Some you can look at are:
Apartment La Roccaia
Borgo della Meliana
Romitorio di Serelle
La Rocca di Cispiano
Residence Santa Maria
Villa Le Torri
Over the course of two weeks, you might want to try a cooking class at your apartment! These two ladies bring the class to you AND offer a gluten-free menu as well: http://www.kitchencheznous.com/
OK, hope I've offered enough to get you started on the search - make sure to post any other questions!
January 28, 2014, 06:43 PM
Thank you so much for the information! I will begin my research immediately. A cooking class with these lovely ladies sounds ideal and I'm excited to try many Italian food options without the ever present gluten. I've heard wonderful things about Tuscany - food, wine, people! Please let me know if I can pick your brain with other questions when they come up. I'm so looking forward to this trip!
P.S. what do you think about this villa? http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...-poggiale.html
Last edited by Jill; January 28, 2014 at 07:35 PM.
January 28, 2014, 07:10 PM
You're very welcome! Ask away, I will try to help as much as I can :-).
I had wanted to add but then forgot that many, many Tuscan dishes are not your traditional pasta and pizza. While you will find those as well, there are also delicious risottos made with fresh, seasonal vegetables and many dishes based on meats and vegetables where there is no gluten present. Definitely try the "cinghiale" which is wild boar. While it is often prepared with pasta, it is also a stew served as a main dish. I never had it before coming to Tuscany and now really enjoy it.
I've found many restaurants understand the need for gluten-free food - which you'll need to know the term in is Italian "celiaci". Ask and waiters will be able to advice which dishes you can have without worries. I'd stay away from "pappa al pomodoro" and "ribollita" which are two delicious Tuscan dishes, but alas, have bread added to the dish! The beauty of coming in summer will be having lots of fresh produce that will often be offered as main or side dishes too.
January 30, 2014, 07:43 PM
Perfect! Its looking like my husband is more into a farmhouse or villa (even if we don't use all the bedrooms) instead of an apartment in an estate. Something with more space. He's big on privacy and feeling like the king of his own domain. Any suggestions?
January 31, 2014, 12:22 PM
Perfect! This is the type of feedback that then let's me offer much more specific suggestions as to places you should look at.
First, take a look at Borgo della Meliana that I had already suggested above - while they are an estate, they have a completely separate house with its own garden and pool away from all of the other lodgings so you would have complete privacy.
You should also consider Villa il Poggiale - the main villa has rooms and suites, but they have what they call a "depandance" 200 meters from the main willa which is a separate house which would offer complete privacy. Own kitchen and lots of space for you, but then you'd have the hotel's wellness center, restaurant and pool available as well.
Staying in the area between Florence and Siena, not as luxurious but definitely comfortable would be the house Le Sante Marie. While the house is divided into two smaller apartments perfect for couples, you could also just get both apartments to get complete privacy having the entire house to yourselves.
As far as entire villas and farmhouses, they tend to be large as in for groups of up to 20 people... that is why I've been recommending estates that have the main villa with another smaller house nearby. Cost will obviously be different when you consider a place is for 2 people as opposed to 15 or 20 people, but if you want to look into these options, you can check them out and see whether the extra cost is still within your budget.
So staying in the same area, the smallest villa that comes to mind is Villa Corsanello which is for 8 people and is to the south of Siena, in the magnificent setting of the Crete Senesi. Then there is the Villa La Medicea to the south of Florence in Chianti so also beautiful surroundings. This also has been divided into 2 apartments but you can rent the entire villa easily.
A bit bigger but definitely still within manageable size would be Villa Vianci near Monteriggioni.
Take a look at them all and contact them - those pages have direct websites and forms to the owners. Find out cost and availability, and that should give you the opportunity to better evaluate your choices. All of them are beautiful and in stupendous settings in Tuscany, so choice has to depend on factors that are up to you and your husband.
Need more suggestions? Do let me know which ones you like more or less so that can help me get more ideas of what you like. ;-)