Michelangelo, Medici and Merlot: Holiday in Tuscany
Culture and relaxation go exceptionally well together in the Central Italian region of Tuscany, take a daytrip for instance to visit a city with such rich art offerings as Florence, then spend the evening relaxing in a holiday home in the rural region.
Maria Luisa worked for years as a teacher before hanging up her hat, and moving to the countryside. Now she rents out holiday homes in Tuscany through 9flats. Here, Maria Luisa explains why this country and it’s people are well worth a visit.
“For many visitors to Florence, it’s like a huge open air museum with it’s sightseeing spots and so many monuments. For example, the statue of David by Michaelangelo which is in the city center. Florence is also however a chaotic city, and each day it gets more hectic. During the summer months the city can become very hot, as the heat in the city builds, everyone is searching out the breezy spots. No matter: anyone who visits Tuscany should take a trip to Florence. So where will you find the right accommodation?
Wake up every morning to grapevines and olive trees
To enjoy a cultural but relaxing holiday in Tuscany, you should book accommodation in the countryside. Just a few kilometers outside of the city, a wonderfully hilly landscape with lots of grapevines and olive trees awaits you. There are many unique villas in this area, most of which are former colonial houses. Today, many of them are renovated and refurbished as private residences, or holiday homes for visitors.
Alongside the country houses where once upon a time farmers lived with their families, there are also often small neighbouring-houses. These smaller buildings would have had lots of different uses. The farmer would have used the barn to store the hay for the animals. Wine was stored in the cellar, and the oil mill was used to produce olive oil. Other buildings served as storage for food and tools.
Country houses renovated true to original style
Over the last few years we have renovated some of these country houses and tried to preserve the architectural features. So, the roofs have been covered with special tile from the region, the horizontal beams – also called the architrave – are replaced with new wood or decorated with clay tiles and new stone is laid out for the floor. Small structural changes have carefully been made, in order to offer more comfort to visitors, for example, bathrooms and kitchens have been installed
The results are rustic but authentic country houses for two, or four people, which we rent out for comfy and relaxing holidays in the green hills of Tuscany. Our country houses are situated in the so-called „green heart of Tuscany“ – the Mugello, on the border of Cosentino- a mountain valley in the province of Alezzo. Many famous names come from this area, in particular, the Medicis, an influential and wealthy family who had a huge impact on art and architecture in the 15th Century, not only in Florence but across the whole of Northern Italy.
You can find 9flats holiday homes surrounded by oak- and chestnut-forests. The small towns where our country houses are situated are only 35 kilometers away from Florence, but you get the feeling of being transported to another time, because the land and architecture has remained unchanged over the last centuries. Our guests feel in harmony with nature and appreciate the tranquility of the country – far away from urban life.
The rhythm of life suddenly slows down. You can enjoy the starry sky or a romantic sunset once again, in peace and quiet. The air temperature is always pleasant in the summer months. Also, our villas are situated 500 metres above sea level, and the surrounding hills offer wonderful colours all year round, whether in spring or winter, because of the oak- and chestnut- forests.
Lots of 9flats guests come here for the reasonable prices, compared to an apartment in the city, and only use the country house as a place to sleep for the night. Ultimately however, many of our visitors are delighted by the area and do not commute between the city and the countryside, but rather enjoy a mental and physically relaxing holiday at a villa here in the countryside.”