Drive through neat rows of poplars to reach this farmhouse and annexe, set in a small valley and surrounded by lawns, flowers and herbs. Although the property is one of three self-catering properties on the estate, they’re set a good distance from each other and any neighbours so you feel very private.
Both the house and the annexe – the former hayloft – have modern comforts such as air conditioning but still retain a traditional feel. Both have their own living areas and kitchens, where you’ll find supplies for a first breakfast and a bottle of estate rosé and olive oil. If it rains you can settle down in a comfy sofa next to the fireplace with a book or a DVD, or play billiards in the sunroom of the main house; if it’s sunny you can swim in the pool, spend time in the jacuzzi or have a barbecue.
The Valdera has largely conserved its farming origins and feels away from the tourist masses, but Pisa is only 45 minutes’ drive and Florence and Siena are 1.5 hours. Consult the thick binder filled with suggestions on the local area, from where to take children to how to enjoy a day at the seaside – you can go for a wine tour and tasting on the estate too.