On the quiet side of Celle sul Rigo, an already quiet hill village in Southern Tuscany, lies this cottage for 4, with a private pool in its lawn. A brief walk will take you in the village, which has a baker, a bar, a shop and a restaurant.
From the guests' private parking spot one walks between the stone cottage and the laurel hedge and around to the front of the stone cottage where the panorama is the best. Here a terracotta-tiled portico shelters the french doors that lead into the main room of the house, a quaint living / dining room that spans the width of the cottage. To one side sofas sit before a televison and bookcase and a short hallway leads past doors to the side garden and on to a downstairs shower room with a washing machine and a small well-organized kitchen that even manages to include a dishwasher. On the other side of the main room a dining table for 4 sits near an open fireplace that will be an appreciated feature for early spring or late fall visitors. A staircase on this side of the room leads up to two bedrooms, a double and a twin, and a second shower room. Both bedrooms are furnished with Tuscan country antiques and both have the lovely views that guests seated under the portico below will enjoy gazing out on.
Happily, and almost hard to believe, with the village behind you a stroll away, all you see in front of you is rolling countryside and a patchwork of green. A few steps lead down from the house to a lower level of the lawn in which the pool is set for best viewing and sun beds set poolside on the grass allow one to tan and listen to the sounds of Nature at its most summertime.
With the village centre a stroll away, it is easy to take part in the fabric of Tuscan life, whether fetching fresh bread, smiling at the locals or joining in the pasta festival at the end of May. Yet southern Tuscany offers many reasons to set out for the day. Neighbouring San Casciano dei Bagni, a Medieval maze of streets around a church and bell tower, is famous for its thermal waters and home to one of the best know spas in Italy, the Fonteverde Spa Centre. Nearby there are summer concerts in the beautiful La Foce gardens, created by Iris Origo and referred to her in her 'War in Val d'Orcia' and festivals on most hilltops. On one such hilltop, or rather a narrow limestone ridge, is the striking Montepulciano, known as the 'pearl of the 16th century' for its wealth of Renaissance palaces and churches and celebrated for its Vino Nobile wine; in late August in their 'Bravio delle Botti', teams roll 80 kg. barrels up a steep main street as fast as costumed legs can manage.
Other days out might include trips to Pienza, built by Pope Pius II in the 15th cent. as the Ideal City and now known for its dedication to pecorino cheese, to Perugia the Umbrian capital with a famed university and summer jazz or even to Orvieto, whose position on a large butte of volcanic tufa makes it one of the most dramatic in Europe and whose sites include masterpieces both above and below ground. When masterworks exhaust, however, there is outlet shopping for those inclined and a world of Nature ready to be explored by horseback, mountain bike or a long stride. No matter the destination, the pleasure of returning to the peace of one's own portico will sweeten the adventure
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Many local administrations now charge a “Tourist Tax” for people staying in rented accommodation and these vary from town to town. The charges are generally per person per night with a maximum number of nights, usually around 5 but sometimes 7, beyond which they will not charge. The charges range between 50 cents to 3 euro. Children are sometimes included, sometimes not and these charges should be collected by the property owners.
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