Tuscany at Your Fingertips - Panoramic Two Bedroom Flat in Medieval Hamlet
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- Minimum stay:4 nights
- Pets considered:No
- Wheel chair accessible:No
Barberino Val d'Elsa condo description
This enchanting two-bedroom flat, located within the walls of a quaint fortress town dating back to the year 1202, was featured in an architectural design magazine. Situated on the second and top floor of an ancient palazzo in the heart of the Chianti wine region, halfway between Florence and Siena (30 minutes by car to either) sits this beautifully renovated flat. The owners (American and Florentine), were faithful in preserving this property's medieval charm when renovating. The apartment's eclectic mix of antiques and Asian art makes for an enchanting spot to hang one's hat while visiting the magical Tuscan countryside. The apartment centers around a spacious living room/dining room and well appointed kitchen alcove (the owner is a private chef/culinary instructor who has written a cookbook/memoir), thus you will find everything you need to create a savory Tuscan meal in this fingertip kitchen. The dining area, with its antique marble top table, comfortably seats six. The living area enjoys two sofas for an afternoon of quiet relaxing after a day of sightseeing. Off the main room, down two steps, is the Italian tiled bathroom with its large, built-in shower stall. There is a bedroom with two twin beds and an armchair/convertible single bed on this level as well. This bedroom's large window opens onto extensive views of the Tuscan countryside. A charming staircase off the main room leads up to the master bedroom with its queen size bed, comfortable couch and t.v. with satellite disk. A cozy and very private terrace, with bistro table, sun umbrella and barbeque completes upstairs. The extensive views from the terrace makes for the perfect spot to view the sun setting across Tuscan's patchwork vineyards and silvery olive groves as they are cloaked in rose. The bedroom's bi-fora (double arch window) opens onto yet another postcard view of hilltop hamlets, rolling hills and vineyards. Do make it a point to wake at sunrise at least one morning during your stay to view the beauty of sunrise over this enchanting countryside. It's truly a living picture one will never forget.
Guests choosing to vacation in a hamlet are generally those wanting to mingle with locals; thus experiencing everyday Tuscan life. The charming wine bar 'Canto di Baccio' in the hamlet's tiny square is the perfect spot to do just that. And for those who feel that the choice of village life means giving up an important summer creature comfort (i.e. lounging around a poolside) I am happy to say there are a few lovely country pools within a 10 minute drive of the property where one can have a dip or simply relax after a long day of sightseeing. Just toss swimsuits and towels in the car before setting out for the day. I will supply information on the whereabouts of two lovely pools I feel guests will enjoy.
- On floor 2
- 800 sq. ft.
- 2 story
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Pets Not Allowed
- Non Smoking Only
- Children Welcome
Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5, Beds for 5
Bathrooms: 1 Bathroom
- Large walk-in shower.
Kitchen & Dining
- Catering Available:
- Coffee Maker:
- Dining Area Seats:
- Cooking Utensils
- Dishes & Utensils
- Pantry Items
- Parking Off Street:
- Air Conditioning:
- Hair Dryer
- Iron & Board
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Linens Provided
- Satellite / Cable:
- CD Player
Pool & Spa
- Deck / Patio:
- Away From It All
Location & View
- Massage Therapist
- Medical Services
- Scenic Drives
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Freshwater Fishing
- Water Parks
- Winery Tours
- Sight Seeing
- Bird Watching
- Eco Tourism
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- all nearby
ReviewsWrite a review
Three friends and I stayed at Cindy's apartment in the country, & it was everything we had hoped for! Our goal was to find a place outside of the hustle of Florence, but also located within a small town to get the "real" Tuscan feel. If you're looking for a good base to visit this part of Tuscany, look no further. We rented a car in Florence and within 30 minutes, we were in Barberino. It was very easy to find. The small town has everything you'd need even if you don't want to go on day trips to the surrounding towns. There is a butcher, a wine bar/coffee shop, and several restaurants to choose from for lunch or dinner. We had an amazing time visiting with Danila in the enoteca - a very local feel and a welcome break from the larger cities of Italy. Walking around the quiet cobblestone streets of the town center was a great experience. You really do feel like you've gone back in time when you hear the church bells begin to ring. The apartment itself is great for a couple with kids, or two couples. The view from the master bedroom window which overlooks rolling hills is breathtaking. Most of all, Cindy is extremely helpful in suggesting other towns to see, places to eat, and various other things to do. She even set us up with a driver to visit some vineyards and taste different wines without worrying about driving. We've definitely made a new friend! We were only here four nights. If we had to do it over again, we'd stay twice as long. We were able to see Montepulciano, Certaldo, San Gimignano, Siena, & Greve from our base in Barberino. There is so much more within a very short drive. We'll definitely be back!
- Guest Christian P.
- Date of stay 10/09/13
- Review Submitted 11/18/13
Recommended for: Age 55+, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, families with young children, families with teenagers, sightseeing.
Owner response: I am truly happy you had such a wonderful experience exploring Tuscany even if it was all too short. Looking forward to having you in our home again sometime soon. Cindy
My wife and I stayed here during our second week of a three-week anniversary trip. What a charming apartment and such a beautiful hamlet. The size was perfect for the two of us although the second bedroom would allow another couple to join us (But...anniversary trip, remember). We spent lots of time exploring the area, but also lots of lazy afternoons enjoying the "downtime" in our "Home away from home". the three restaurants, a mere one-minute walk from the front door, allowed us lots of choices for dinner, and the local grocer, butcher, etc. made it easy to eat in. All in all a wonderful experience. Ttwo 55+ travelers from New Hampshire USA
- Guest david b. (Newton, NH USA)
- Date of stay 08/24/13
- Review Submitted 09/12/13
Recommended for: Girls getaway, age 55+, families with teenagers.
Owner response: It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife. I am thrilled you enjoyed your stay. Hope to see you again in the future. You can never get too much of our lovely region. Right? Cindy
The complete Tuscan experience
The complete Tuscan experience
Our Tuscan visit was the key factor to our European holiday, as a family member was getting married to a local Tuscan. Staying at Cindy and Sandro's Tuscan villa was without a doubt one of the greatest holiday experiences we have had. As per other comments, this medieval apartment is set within this 13th century hamlet, complete with stunning views from every window. They have kitted out the apartment with every possible amenity to satisfy the holidaymakers' needs. The various restaurants and cafes within the hamlet negate the need to drive, which is a bonus with such great local wines to be enjoyed with the fabulous Tuscan food on offer. Everybody within the hamlet knows Cindy and Sandro very well, which instantly gave us a connection with them too. We have three children, Cindy played a big part in arranging a child minder (babysitter) for us whilst my wife and I attended the wedding. The kids had a fantastic time as the lady is a professional potter and they spent the majority of the night making various pottery items. The village also had a fair on that night and the child minder was more than happy to chaperone our kids. We also took the opportunity of the 'Cindy Harding Tuscan Cooking Lessons'. It was an absolutely fun experience for us all. I can now confidently make tender calamari! Cindy's presentation of the accommodation on this website is very accurate both in written description and photographic presentation. The property is very clean and well maintained. It accommodated my family of 5 very comfortably and was a joy to come back to after a full days sightseeing. We highly recommend Cindy and Sandro's apartment as a Tuscan destination.
- Guest J & N (Brunei)
- Date of stay 07/28/13
- Review Submitted 08/11/13
Recommended for: Girls getaway, age 55+, romantic getaway, families with young children, families with teenagers, sightseeing.
Owner response: Enjoyed meeting your lovely family and spending time together... especially in the kitchen.
We have just returned from our dream Italia vacation. Staying at this beautiful Barberino apt. was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. The views of the countryside were spectacular. With assistance from Cindy, we rented a car and in addition to Barberino Val d'Elsa, drove to Greve in Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra. Also quaint and lovely hill towns. We ate at 3 of the local restaurants in the hamlet all of which were great experiences. Also fixed some morning and afternoon meals in the apt. and since we were traveling light, we made use of the washer and felt like locals hanging them out on the balcony to dry. We met back up with Cindy and her wonderful family in Firenze for a fabulous cooking lesson. This truly was an experience we will never forget. We feel honored to have been able to prepare a Tuscan meal, learn about the different herbs and oil and share great conversation with Cindy, Sandro, Matteo, Andrea and Marcella. After such a short visit, we consider them our friends and hope to visit sometime again. Grazie Grazie Grazie. Ken & Sally Coe Clarkston, Michigan
- Guest Coe (Clarkston, Michigan USA)
- Date of stay 04/26/13
- Review Submitted 05/07/13
Recommended for: Age 55+, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, families with teenagers, sightseeing.
Owner response: It was great having you in our home. And most of all, it was a pleasure sharing the secrets of Tuscan cuisine with both of you. Food, Friends and Fun times... that's Tuscany!
10 Perfect September Days in Barberino Val d'Elsa
10 Perfect September Days in Barberino Val d'Elsa
Upon return from our month-long retirement vacation to Italy, friends and family often asked my husband and I where our favorite place was to visit. Our immediate response was Barberino Val d'Elsa at this lovely condo in the hamlet's medieval wall. During our 10 days, we felt as though we were immersed in the traditions and culture of the area, not some tourists peering mournfully from a distance. We met a few other tourists, all from nearby European countries, and we began to know some of the local residents -- truly wonderful and welcoming people! The condo could not have been more perfect! We often began our morning or our afternoon enjoying our cup of coffee or our glass of wine at Canto di Baccio, just a few steps along the narrow street, then strolled along to the butcher's for eggs or meat or other delicacies, so we could cook a few of our own meals. As we walked the few remaining yards to our condo's door, we passed Cafe Bijou (internet cafe), knowing full well that we would probably stop by late at night for the camaraderie, food, and wine, before falling exhausted into bed. Yes, the surrounding area is crowded with interesting places, fascinating history, and gorgeous landscapes -- and yes! we drove our rental car over many miles of winding and hilly roads, but it was our accommodations in this lovely condo and our welcoming, friendly, and helpful hostess that made the 10 days absolutely perfect! -- from South Dakota, USA
- Guest Ann (Rapid City, South Dakota, United States)
- Date of stay 09/17/12
- Review Submitted 12/10/12
Recommended for: Girls getaway, age 55+, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, families with young children, families with teenagers, sightseeing.
Our family [My wife, myself and 2 children] stayed in Barberino Val d'Elsa in July 2011. We were met by Cindy, who was amazing and helpful. The apartment was incredible and we spent hours on the balcony reading, drinking wine, and eating. The neighborhood was very friendly and the location allowed us to travel by car to Florence, Siena, and even Venice. We have many pictures of the vineyards, orchards, farms and breathtaking skies in the Chianti region. A bonus was swimming at a nearby agriturismo, which was arranged by Cindy. Thanks again for everything!!
- Guest Mark (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
- Date of stay 07/25/11
- Review Submitted 10/26/11
Recommended for: Adventure seekers, romantic getaway.
Amazing Cultural Experience
Amazing Cultural Experience
We had the pleasure of spending a week in Barberino during the olive harvest season of 2009. We were four women traveling by car and the apartment was perfect for our home base. I was fortunate to find this location through a mutual friend of the owners' in California and then lucky to travel with my mother, aunt and adult daughter. What an incredible trip! The location of the apartment is so convenient to all areas of Tuscany-Florence, Siena, several of the other famed "walled villages" and we even drove to Cinque Terra for the day. The history of the hamlet and the gorgeous apartment is overwhelming-The opportunity to spend time there is something we'll never forget. The local people we met could not have been warmer and more helpful. As soon as they knew we were staying at the apartment they became our new friends! In the village itself you'll find everything you need-groceries, wine, meat, church, even a hair salon. The owner came and taught a cooking class-we learned all the ingredients and preparations for a traditional Italian dinner I have read Cindy's book, loved all that was familiar and can't wait to try what is new. I intend to return to Barberino some day-My vacation time will be based on the availability of this wonderful apartment.
- Guest Bonnie (Pleasanton CA USA)
- Date of stay 10/24/09
- Review Submitted 03/11/11
Recommended for: Girls getaway, age 55+, adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, sightseeing.
Perfect for family
Perfect for family
We travelled to Tuscany with our three kids (ages 7, 5 and 8 months (really)) and the apartment was perfect for us. It was centrally located and made taking day trips throughout Tuscany very easy. The town of Barberino was very quaint and we very much enjoyed the local restaurants. The apartment is spacious, well maintained, and has everything that you would need. Cindy and her husband are extremely friendly and gracious hosts. I would highly recommend this apartment.
- Guest Joe (New Orleans, USA)
- Date of stay 06/06/10
- Review Submitted 06/27/10
Recommended for: Age 55+, adventure seekers, romantic getaway, families with young children, sightseeing.
This is the most wonderful apartment. It is beautiful and wonderfully located, our group of 5 had plenty of space and really did not want to leave. We loved everything about it. thanks
- Guest Anonymous
- Date of stay 07/27/07
- Review Submitted 07/27/07
What a charming place. Our family of 4 fit very comfortably here. The views from our window and terrace were entrancing, the antique furnishings well maintained and interesting, and the kitchen was small but perfect--this is a vacation afterall! Cindy and her husband are thoughtful hosts, with plenty of guides (maps/books) on hand for the traveller. Cindy was very reliable, answered her phone (not all owners are so conscientious!)gave us great directions and pointers about where to go for dinner, Olive oil, daytrips.... She insisted that we call her if we had any questions, so we did! The nearby bakery was great, a very sweet lady runs that. A small park at the end of town is perfect for throwing the baseball, and the Church bells, being a few rooftops away, give the visitor a grand reveille in the morning! We loved it. Thanks to Cindy for sharing her home and providing us with a truely memorable venue from which we could explore Florence (20+ minutes away) and the wine country (all around us!)
- Guest Roberta Watts (-)
- Date of stay 04/02/07
- Review Submitted 04/02/07
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4 night min stay
Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
Additional information about rental rates
A supplemental heating fee of 8.00 euro per day will be applied to stays from November 1st to April 1st.
An additional final cleaning fee of 30.00 euro will be added to minimum stays of 4 nights.
30% deposit upon booking
- Refundable Damage Deposit: €150
- Taxes Included
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Year Purchased: 1988
About the owner: When my husband and I took on the immense job of restoring our property back in the eighties it quickly became my third child. So much so that upon its completion in 1992 I insisted we move in rather than use it as our second home. We did just that. But, after just four years of hamlet life work took us to Florence, now our permanent residence. Although we spent weekends in our country gem, jaunts to the country became less and less frequent with the boys playing soccer and involved in city activities. Thus, I decided to share our enchanting property with others and began opening up our home to those, like me, who enjoy experiencing true life in Tuscany. Being a cooking instructor and writer (I am the author of the book, Tuscan Life - Food Tales & Recipes which can be found on-line through www.lulu.com), I've made sure the fingertip kitchen has everything one needs to prepare savory Tuscan dishes. When asked, I also conduct hands-on culinary workshops up at the property as well as in Florence. Catered dinners are also a possibility. Simply email for particulars.
Why the Owner Chose Barberino Val d'Elsa:
Upon relocating to Tuscany from my native California in the late 70's, I happened upon this tiny hamlet on a Sunday afternoon drive through the countryside. I immediately knew I had to have a piece of this paradise. After nearly 10 years of waiting, the day my Florentine husband came home and told me there was a small property in the hamlet for sale, I didn't hesitate. Whatever it was, it would be ours. Patience is a virture I always so, as our property, although small, happens to dominate the entire countryside. I venture to say it is the best spot in all the hamlet. I mean, how many people can boast of having a bird's eye view of Tuscany in all directions? It took nearly 2 years of restoration (the hamlet is protected by the state's historical society making permits difficult and laborous) but slowly (as it is in Italy) our little gem immerged. I can't say how proud I was once it was finished and subsequently featured in a popular architectual design magazine - Case di Campagna. I suppose all the money I spent on buying that very magazine every month for two years to get decorating and restoration ideas paid off!
The Unique Benefits at this Condo:
Enchanting panoramic views, mingling with the locals and excellent country fare, all coupled with the tranquility of hamlet life is what our property in this tiny, medieval hilltop fortress town has to offer its guests.
- Primary: ++39 055 3840185 (Italy)
Medieval archway leading into the hamlet dating back to the year 1202
Kitchen alcove with terrace above
Master bedroom with door opening onto panoramic terrace
View from bifora window in the master bedroom
Another view of twin bedroom
The square during the rose festival in May
Badia di Passignano - seen in the distance from the flat's rooftop terrace
Dining area with staircase leading to masterbedroom
another view of living room area
front door and dining room/kitchen shot from stairway leading to master bedroom
Panoramic terrace overlooking the Tuscan countryside
View from bedroom
Wine bar in the hamlet's square. Lovely place to relax and mingle with locals
The hamlet's main street. Property is located on this street.
Culinary workshops or catered meals conducted in-house by hostess/author
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This listing was first published here in 2002.
Date last modified - Thursday, November 28, 2013
2 Bedroom / 1 Bathroom
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