1,450 square meters indoor
75 Hectares outdoor
Villa di Renai offers guests a chance to explore a Tuscany of their dreams. This home sits high in a commanding position over the lovely intimate countryside just outside a charming town. The access to Florence is easy on good roads; 30 - 40 minutes tops. There are stunning country lanes to explore, and you are centrally located for a holiday combining restful days and invigorating outings of discovery. The owners know well how to create an atmosphere of refined comfort and relaxation with the exceptional hospitality of the onsite caretakers.
The property first appears in documents drawn up in 1075 as a castle. By this time, the land had already been passed down through generations over 200 years. Only the square tower of the original castle remains today, with a fraction of its fresco of the Virgin still intact; testimony to the property's long and interesting past. What guests experience today is a home completely refurbished for luxurious living in the present day. The current owners are part of a Florentine dynasty who used the house only occasionally for hunting parties in the winter. Four years ago, changing lifestyles and preferences ultimately decided that one bathroom for eight bedrooms was no longer sufficient. Experienced in the way of luxury travel, and fortunate to be possessed with an eye for truly elegant decoration, the owners embarked on a modernization dedicated to preserving the authenticity of the architecture and layout while notably enhancing the atmosphere and quality of the home.
Villa di Renai is set in the Colli Fiorentini, part of the ancient lands that have been considered part of Florence for millennia. This is the Tuscany of picture books and postcards, one of Nature's true masterpieces. You are surrounded here with delightful vistas of rolling hills, patchwork farms and abundant nature. The tender, sensual greens of May are followed by the summer's dancing wheat and sunflowers. Eye-catching wild apples soon appear and the overwhelmingly sweet aroma of 'uva de fragole' scents the autumn air. The tangy taste of November's olive oil is followed by the crisp, frosty mornings of winter. This is a land for all seasons, easily enjoyed in a villa that has been designed for comfort year round.
Montespertoli is an undiscovered gem, as is Castelfiorentino. These are real Tuscan strongholds, where you can still taste an authentic way of life influenced and enhanced by the arrival of the 21st century. The area is full of charming villages to explore; San Casciano in Val di Pesa and San Gimignano are well-known and reachable in 15 - 25 minutes. Montaione and Palaia less known but offering an authentic experience of their own, and reachable within 45 minutes. The famous villages of Chianti - including Greve, Radda and Castellina - are numerous and enable you to combine the Via Chiantigiana with exploration of excellent vineyards famous only with the locals. Villa di Renai is particularly ideal for those who want easy access to Florence; 30 - 40 minutes depending on whether you choose the scenic or highway route.
A short drive on a dirt road brings you sharply up a hill and through a gate to the handsome paved courtyard on which Villa di Renai centers. Straight ahead is the 11th century Torre; on your left the early 13th century chapel and behind it the Limonaia; to your right the central part of the 16th century villa. These buildings form a cohesive complex at once luxuriously spacious and sufficiently intimate. Old cotta bricks extend from the courtyard to a front dining terrace set beside the Limonaia, with exceptional views from each seat. Here there are two glass-topped iron tables seating 12 comfortably for meals al fresco. A spreading white umbrella has been added for shade. Magenta bougainvillea adorns the adjacent wall. Central lawn with extraordinary magnolia tree bordered by boxwood and white roses, overlooks pool terrace below and countryside beyond. In May the landscape offers an expanding palette of green. In the summer, with fields plowed and the land baking in the sun, you see the colors of the earth more clearly - from beige through sienna.
The adjacent Limonaia has been converted into a casual sitting room, with six arched windows offering sweeping views of surrounding countryside. Great for a nap or quiet reading after lunch, a place to escape the sun. Iron day beds and couch for 10-plus people. CD player. Stairs lead upstairs to wide open terrace with sculptured modern outdoor furniture for six. The chapel is also restored, with fresh butter-colored walls lined with headstones recalling the history of the property as it passed through the generations.
The pool (10 x 5 meters) is set on its own terrace, reached from a flight of open stairs from the entrance courtyard, with an adjacent enclosed lawn centered on tall umbrella pines and brick wall edged in climbing roses. The space works well for tossing a ball or rolling in the grass. Very private pool area, one side shaded by a loggia set with cushioned teak chaise longue and sun beds. Fridge for cold drinks. Cold-water shower at one end under cypress trees.
Price information available upon request.
Homebase Abroad, Ltd.
Two Hooper Street
Marblehead, MA 01945
Phone: (781) 639-4040
Fax: (781) 639-3050
© May 2013 by Homebase Abroad, Ltd. All rights reserved.
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