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Italy Vacation Rentals - Certified Homes, Villas, & Apartments
Tuscan Vacation Rental near Volterra
Parker Villas Exclusive - A private pocket listing available nowhere else
Built on the pre-Roman ruins of an Etruscan villa, this 12th-century farmhouse sits in a valley above 70 acres of prized olive groves with its own gurgling stream. Here and there, lawn chairs and even a hammock are set on the lawn to enjoy in the company of a good book. A painting of the idyllic valley of la Paiola, by Camille Corot, titled "A view from Volterra," resides in the National Gallery of Art.
From la Paiola, a 10 minute drive along a wooded lane leads to the very walls of Volterra. The hospitable American owner, an accomplished sculptor and Broadway set designer, has lovingly nurtured this historic property to a high degree of comfort while exalting its authenticity. As one of our most rented homes year after year, it's no wonder that returning guests book la Paiola a year or more in advance.
The outdoor terrace and patios are fully furnished and meant for dining al fresco or watching the sun set. Also on the grounds, a newly restored cottage for two may be opened with the villa when rented for eight guests. The smoke free villa's interiors feature antiques, excellent reproductions, a great kitchen, a PC with Wi-Fi Internet and use of a Skype account, screened windows and doors, heated mattress pads and a delightful touch of whimsy. Three of the four bedrooms are air conditioned while the fourth has walls against a hillside to keep it cool.
For most of the year, the friendly American owner lives in an apartment along one side of the home that is served by its own separate entrance, and he'll happily demonstrate the workings of the wood burning oven on the grounds. Guests renting during the olive harvest, typically from mid-October through mid-November, will certainly get to observe and maybe participate in the raccolta degli ulivi.
At 1770 feet above sea level and crowned by an impressive Medici fortress, Volterra is seen from miles around and is gaining popularity as one of Tuscany's most treasured hill towns. Its strategic position made it an important center of the Etruscan civilization, and today, it houses one of the best collections of Etruscan artifacts in the Guarnacci Museum.
The area is well suited for hiking. On the grounds of la Paiola, there is access to an ancient Roman path that passes by the ruins of a Roman Theatre (1 AD) in just over a mile, and beyond are the remains of Roman baths (3 AD).
Volterra offers several restaurants, cafes, alabaster shops and more in just ten minutes by car. Within a 30 minute drive are San Gimignano's imposing medieval towers and the crystal shops of Colle Val d'Elsa. The sandy beaches along the Tuscan coast are 45 minutes away; Siena or Castellina in Chianti: 60; Pisa: 75; Florence or Lucca: 90; Montalcino: 100; La Spezia: 2 hours. The lure of ancient hill towns, the mysterious Etruscans and the glory of the Renaissance may captivate you, as will the unrelenting beauty of la Paiola.
First floor: Two air conditioned bedrooms each with a queen size bed. One large bathroom with a tub, a separate sunken granite shower and portable hairdryer. One narrow bathroom with three steps down into shower.
For 7 to 8 Guests:
Ground floor: Living/dining room with wood stove. Kitchen with five burner stove top, oven and fridge.
First floor: Twelve external steps up to one air conditioned bedroom with a queen size bed. One bathroom with shower.