A fallen column lying deep in the grass, a quiet lake…so peaceful it’s hard to believe what a history this settlement has had since it was first recorded in 1075. It is placed in a huge natural amphitheatre, ringed by hills and medieval fortresses, and has its own magic spring. Once you’ve driven through the big rusty gates and down the tree-lined drive, you’ll be greeted by your hosts (and a glass of their own wine) in an 11th-century church – part of their private quarters, and a museum where guests will be invited for a tour during their stay.
It’s the most lovely, airy space, with battered columns, soaring arches and elegant furniture – a subtle study in cream, gold and brown. The studios and apartments each have their own patio, terrace or balcony and are simply furnished with family antiques and fine old paintings. Enchanting windows look over the grounds, the massive walls are rough stone or plaster, the ceilings beamed or vaulted.
You’re in the wilder part of Tuscany which borders the sea.