A couple of miles up the hill from the nearest village, Certaldo Basso, through vines and olives and a private road, is a pretty cluster of farm buildings on a gentle rise. You have neighbours but all is peaceful. Miriam and Carlo live nearby and will be there to meet you and can share tips and knowledge about the area.
In the haybarn are three apartments, all beautifully renovated. Each is independent but all interconnect with a big table for ten to dine al fresco – great for one big party. Choose between La Lucciola (Firefly) the largest, with a sitting-dining room and a Tuscan fireplace, and a glazed arched window that glides open to a loggia; La Libellula (Dragonfly) on the first floor or La Coccinella (Ladybird) a studio for two. Each has a well-equipped little kitchen and views sweeping over the valley. In the tall pale stone farmhouse is La Rondine (Swallow), a lovely big ground-floor apartment for two, full of light.
The village is a five-minute drive, great for restaurants and bars, and the funicular to lovely hilltop Certaldo Alto. Pull on your boots and hike to San Gimignano – as soon as you crest the hill the views stretch across the valley to the towers of San Gimignano, beautifully floodlit at night. Pisa, Florence and Siena are all close.