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Farmhouse W. Pool at Montebenichi, High up in the Chianti, Spectacular Views

(10 Reviews)

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Last updated: 04/23/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:3-7 nights
  • Sleeps:9
  • Bedrooms:4
  • Bathrooms:5
  • Property type:Farmhouse
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:No
  • Wheel chair accessible:N/A

About the Property

Lux. Villa, 4 Bedrooms + 1 Convertible bed 4.5 Baths, (Sleeps 8-9), heated pool

Il Colombaio di Monte Benichi is a traditional Tuscan farmhouse whose origins date back to the year of 1232. Only steps away from the hilltop hamlet of Monte Benichi, Il Colombaio sits at about 500 meters above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the beautiful Ambra River Valley, a beautiful and unspoiled natural environment in the heart of Tuscany at the southeastern edge of the Chianti, the area producing one of Italy's finest red wines. The famous medieval town of Siena is only a 20-minute drive by car. See map under photos for exact location.

Il Colombaio and its solar-heated pool and central heating are surrounded by some 350 olive trees with their mystic silver-green leaves. Beyond the olive grove are unspoiled views that reach all the way to the mountains and the sea. The surrounding area is a peaceful and productive landscape with woods, vineyards, olive trees and active wildlife, scattered with villages and castles, and, at every turn, a splendid panoramic view.

Il Colombaio is available for rental year round, meaning guests can also enjoy the villa outside of the peak tourist season, in the spring, fall and winter months, when the Tuscan landscapes are still lush, locals fill the cafes, and the cuisine is at its best.

As part of a 2014-2015 renovation project undertaken by the current owner, a solar energy system was installed to heat the pool and to provide heating and hot water to the villa. The solar heating system inside of the villa is supported by two large open fireplaces. Although solar energy is uneven by nature, the solar system installed at Il Colombaio has basically extended the pool season to the full month of May to the end of October.

Il Colombaio sources its clean water from a natural spring located 100 metres underground. In early 2015, a 10,000-litre cistern was installed, to serve as a back-up to the spring water. Other reserves of water are always available via truck transport.

Positioned on the southeastern side of the Chianti hills, Il Colombaio generally enjoys a refreshing breeze from the east in the afternoon and evening. With the cross-ventilation available in each room, the breeze can effectively cool the villa's interior in the evening. In addition, all of the villa's bedrooms are equipped with electric overhead fans, while the master bedroom has air conditioning. All rooms have mosquito screens.

Internet access is available throughout the villa and on the terrace. Mobile phone reception is generally good outside of the house, but it may be poor in some parts of the villa interior, due to the barrier of natural stone walls that can be up to 60 centimetres thick.

The rental of Il Colombaio also includes the presence of the following service personnel: gardener (almost daily), cleaners (twice a week) and the pool maintenance crew (weekly). A small vegetable garden yields spices and seasonal tomatoes and figs. Bed sheets and towels are changed weekly, and on request, can be changed more frequently, at an extra charge.

The villa went through a major restoration in 2002, with subsequent renovation work done in 2005 and 2015. The interior is decorated in a typical Tuscan style, mixed with modern touches for comfort and design. All bathrooms have been renovated. The house is also decorated with a series of modern, large-scale photographs taken by the owner's daughter.

Ground Floor:

Main living room, dining and kitchen: 56 sqm with vaulted brick ceilings, stone walls, and yet full of light. Large open fireplace. Open passage to dining area, with seating for 10. Open passage to fully fitted kitchen (incl. dishwasher, large fridge-freezer, gas-stove).

WC and Pantry (incl. washing machine). Stairway to 1st floor.

Double bedroom: 18.75 sqm with separate, barrier-free entrance: 2 x 100 x 200 cm single beds; en-suite bathroom with large shower.

Terrace: large partially covered area with barrier-free natural stone ramps; covered dining area, with seating for 10; large BBQ (wood and charcoal); external lounge area.

First Floor:

Master bedroom: 15.2 sqm with adjacent bath, air conditioning and its own shady terrace, 160 cm wide bed;

Second bedroom: 21.7 sqm , 160 cm wide bed, sharing bathroom with master bedroom;

Third bedroom: 14.0 sqm with queen size bed and a full bath nearby.

Computer room & library;

Lounge with two sofas (one sleeping 100 x 200 cm), large open fireplace, 62-cm flat-screen TV, DVD player, and DVD library with classic Italian films.

The third bedroom and the first-floor lounge area have doors opening on to a small covered verandah offering beautiful views of the property and the Ambra Valley.

Pool House

A small house adjacent to the pool has a living area with large sofa, stereo, fridge, sink and a bathroom (w/shower).

Pool specifications:

11 metres x 4.5 metres; depth 160 cm plus, ; solar-heated from May to October; stairs with handrail; ample seating area with 8 sun-beds and chairs; beautiful views.

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Member since: 2010

Speaks: english, german, italian
Response time: Within a few days
Response Rate: 50%
Calendar last updated: 04/23/2017

Property Type

  • Farmhouse
  • 400 m²

House Rules

  • Max. occupancy 9
  • Children Welcome
  • Non Smoking Only
  • Pets Not Allowed

Accommodation Type

  • Vacation Rental


  • Guests Provide Their Own Meals


Bedrooms: 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 9, Beds for 8-9

  • Convertible bed(s): 1 baby crib


  • Bedroom 1: 2 twin/ single


  • Bedroom 2: 1 queen


  • Bedroom 3: 1 queen


  • Bedroom 4: 1 queen


  • Queen size Beds (3) Master bedroom with direct access onto private balcony, comfortable queen size bed, bathroom en-suite with 2 sinks and shower GROUND FLOOR Room with two single beds Independent room on ground floor with two single beds 100 x 200 cm and bath with shower en suite. FIRST FLOOR Three bedrooms with double (queen.-size) beds Familiyx room with single (100 x 200 cm) sofa-bed. Baby travel bed and children (up to 140 cm) bed available. ...moreless

Bathrooms: 5 Bathrooms

  • Bathroom 3


  • Bathroom 1: toilet, shower, bidet


  • Bathroom 2: toilet, tub, shower, bidet


  • Bathroom 3: toilet, shower, bidet


  • Bathroom 4 in pool house: toilet, shower


  • Ground Floor: En suite Bathroom with shower, Bidet, WC, sink. Toilet with WC, Bidet and sink. First Floor: Bathroom with tub/shower, bidet, WC and sink. 2nd Bathroom with shower, bidet, 2 sinks, toilet. Pool house: Bathroom with shower WC and sink. Washing Machine and dryer in the separate pantry....moreless

Other Amenities

  • Linnen and towels, mid-week and final cleaning included in price. There is a varied multilingual book, DVD and book library at the house. Guests are welcome to use them during the vacation....moreless


  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library:

    Extensive DVD library. Also extensive book library....moreless


  • Churches
  • Health/Beauty Spa
  • Live Theater
  • Museums
  • Restaurants
  • Winery Tours

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/Bank
  • Groceries
  • Hospital
  • Laundromat
  • Massage Therapist
  • Medical Services

Leisure Activities

  • Antiquing
  • Bird Watching
  • Eco Tourism
  • Horseback Riding
  • Outlet Shopping
  • Photography
  • Scenic Drives
  • Shopping
  • Sight Seeing
  • Walking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Location Type

  • Mountain View:

    Breathtaking view over the olive groves and farm houses to Monte Amiata (extinct Volano) and the Crete Sienese. ...moreless

  • Near The Ocean:

    75 minutes on 4 lane highway to Castiglione della Pescaia at the mediterreanean sea. 20 km white sandy beach....moreless

Sports & Adventure Activities

  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Events
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Golf Privileges Optional
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Climbing
  • Mountaineering
  • Swimming
  • Tennis


  • Dining:

    Inside the house dining table for up to 10 persons. On roofed terrace large table for up to 10 persons. ...moreless

  • Dining Area


  • Air Conditioning:

    The master bedroom has air conditioning. All others have overhead fans. ...moreless

  • Broadband Access:

    Wi-fi throughout the villa....moreless

  • Clothes Dryer:

    Big load Whirlpool dryer...moreless

  • Computer Available:

    Computer with ethernet connection and printer provided...moreless

  • Fireplace:

    Two englassed fire places...moreless

  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating:

    Heating available at extra costs....moreless

  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided:

    o Sheets & pillows o 1 large towel per person o 1 small towel per person o 1 bidet towels per person o 1 face towels per person o 1 bathroom mat per bathroom o 1 pool towel per person o 3 kitchen towels...moreless

  • Mobile Phone
  • Parking Off Street:

    Ample parking on the estate...moreless

  • Towels Provided:

    Bathroom and pool towels provided weekly. ...moreless

  • Washing Machine:

    New Bosch washing machine...moreless

  • Wireless Internet:

    There is Wi-Fi connection throughout house...moreless

  • Wood Fireplace


  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils:

    Kitchen is fully fitted with everything you need to cook for 10 people....moreless

  • Dishwasher:

    Saop included...moreless

  • Kitchen:

    5 burner gas stove and Neff electrical oven, microwave, drip coffee maker, toaster, moka coffee maker, soap for dishwasher, and hand dishwashing soap included....moreless


  • Balcony:

    Incredible views from this vantage point...moreless

  • Deck / Patio:

    Sits12 for outdoor eating by the barbeque area...moreless

  • Gazebo
  • Golf:

    Two Golf courses within 45 minutes by car....moreless

  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden:

    Badminton, Lawn Crocket...moreless

  • Outdoor Grill

Pool / Spa

  • Heated Pool
  • Private Pool:

    Pool 4,5 by 11 meters with sundeck with 8 chaise lounges, 2 umbrellas, 4 chairs and 3 tables around the pool....moreless



Write a review 4.9
from 10 traveler reviews
Rental basis: Per property
Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Mid Season 2017
Apr 23 - Jun 3, 2017
7 night min stay


Changeover Day: Saturday

High Season 2017
Jun 4 - Sep 30, 2017
7 night min stay

Mid Season 2017
Oct 1 - Oct 27, 2018
7 night min stay


Changeover Day: Saturday

My Standard Rate
3 night min stay

Additional information about rental rates


  • Refundable Damage Deposit $748.51
  • Pet Fee $160.40


Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. 30% down payment required to book and the balance plus the refundable damage deposit 10 weeks prior to vacation date.

Owner's cancellation policy:

50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.

100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.

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Last updated: 04/23/2017
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates


60 Kilometres
Nearest Airport
10 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
Ambra or Castelnuovo Berardenga
20 Kilometres
Nearest Train
10 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
Siena - Bettolle
0.3 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
Osteria Orciaia in Montebenichi
200 Kilometres
Nearest Ski
80 Kilometres
Nearest Beach

Car: Necessary

Tuscany, and specifically the Chianti Classico wine region are famous worldwide for reflecting the dolce vita lifestyle. Wine and olive oil tasting, great food, plenty of excellent restaurants to choose from, cooking classes (that can be set also at the villa), all types of summer festivals, antique markets, outlet shopping malls, and golf courses within 1 hour from the villa. You can organize yourself for biking tours, horseback riding excursions and lessons, and of course the enjoyment of the area. Just trekking from the villa wondering off on to the woods and then taking time off at the thermal spas 15 minutes away.


Owner info

Year Purchased: 2014

About the owner: For more than 10 years Il Colombaio has been home to Valeria Bottazzi, her husband and her two sons. Despite being let for the last years, the house retained its character of being a primarily private permanent home. In June 2014, Valeria sold the House to Michael Semler, born 1946 in Munich/ Germany. Michael grew up in Germany and the UK. As a trained lawyer, specialized in international tax-law he became an international investment consultant and opened companies in Munich and St. Louis/Missouri. They accompanied many European companies, largely mid-sized family held companies, on their ways through mergers and acquisition in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentinia, Europe and Africa. In 1987, Michael sold the companies to one of the major international consulting firms. Michael returned to his great love, Africa, and tried for two decades to bring peace and prosperity to this rich continent, working for private organizations as well as for the UN on peace making and peace keeping missions. Michael continues to travel to Africa, today specialized in legal issues on land ownership, protection against land grabbing and better justice in land ownership.

Why the Owner Chose Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena, Italy:
From the age of a toddler Michael came to Italy, every summer for at least six weeks, to a house on the island of Elba, where the family rented an old napoleon villa near the sea for almost two decades. Through his close friendship to imminent art-history professor Bernhard Berenson (Harvard) Father Semler became a hobby-art-historian. Trips to Italy therefore were never holidays only for Michael; they were often extensive tours through the history and art history of Italy. For decades there had been a strong desire in Michael to own a house in Italy, preferably in Southern Tuscany. Michael is a keen cook and loves the wine. But he equally loves the art, and the Music. All his life, Michael has been travelling extensively, often to the least desirable, hot, dirty places. Michael felt that time had come to sit down and dig deeply into the art history of Italy. A multi-lingual library will soon grow in La Colombaia. Italian literature and Film during the last three decades might well, be one of the most interesting in the world. This will be another area of intense research. But Michael also feels that there is such a mass of experience, positive and negative, he has enjoyed during his life, that he hopes to be able to put this into one or more books in Il Colombaio. Il Colombaio will therefore remain a house almost permanently lived in. Valerie offered all her extensive experience in letting the villa when not needed, and thus Michael agreed that the house can be let during times he continues to travel somewhere around the world, or not needed by his two daughters. This implies that Il Colombaio will never be a sterile Hotel but it will breathe the spirit and taste of those loving, ownig, and living in it. It will breathe the individuality of the owner and we would be grateful if, to the extent possible, you will respect this individuality. Then, Michael enjoys the opportunity to share the beauty of this place with you.

The Unique Benefits at this Farmhouse:
Nature: The wooded areas near Il Colombaio are home to wild boar, falcons, deer, fox, beech maarten, & other animal species. It is recommended that guests wear sturdy hiking shoes when walking in these areas. Some of the aforementioned animals wander onto the roads during the hours near sunrise/sunset and during the dark. The lack of lakes & open water reservoirs as well as the continuous wind make Il Colombaio almost insect-free. Local attractions: With its upward winding spiral shape, the medieval village of Monte Benichi has a rich history, and features two castles, two churches, a small luxury hotel and a great family-owned Tuscan "trattoria" restaurant, where the food is fantastic and reasonably priced. A few kilometres by car is the small walled village of San Gusme, sitting atop a hill, with the views extending from the local vineyards to the towering landmarks of Siena; San Gusme is completely a pedestrian zone, offering charming restaurants. Il Colombaio is also near some of the most important historical cities in Tuscany: Florence (1 hour), Siena (20 minutes), Perugia (1 hour), Arezzo (45 minutes) and Pienza (1 hour). Even the famous duomo of Orvieto is only just a little over one hour away. From Monte Benichi, the Chianti road winds around woods, olive groves and vineyards taking you to medieval villages, imposing castles, and wineries. It takes 40 minutes to drive southwest to Montalcino (producing Brunello, one of Italy's best wines) or to head southeast to Montepulciano (known for its Vino Nobile). There is an extensive house book to provide guests with hints about where to go and also where to dine. Slightly south of Monte Benichi are the “Crete Senesi”, an extraordinary and unique land known for its clay lomes & the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore. The small thermal spa town of Rapolano, 20 minutes from Il Colombaio, features two resorts, one of them a full SPA, with natural hot springs emerging from the ground at 38 degrees.

Contact us

Speaks: english, german, italian
Response time: Within a few days
Response Rate: 50%
Calendar last updated: 04/23/2017

Send email

Links to more information:

Guestbook comments from the owner

1 of 1


  • Pool with house

    Pool with house

  • Main view of the villa from the pool.

    Main view of the villa from the pool.

  • View of Il Colombaio from Montebenichi

    View of Il Colombaio from Montebenichi

  • View to Montebenichi Village

    View to Montebenichi Village

  • Badminton field

    Badminton field

  • Ground Floor

    Ground Floor

  • Dining Room

    Dining Room

  • Kitchen


  • Downstairs bathroom en-suite with ground floor bedroom.

    Downstairs bathroom en-suite with ground floor bedroom.

  • 1st Floor

    1st Floor

  • Family room

    Family room

  • Bathroom by blue bedroom 1st floor

    Bathroom by blue bedroom 1st floor

  • Views from the pool

    Views from the pool

  • Main Villa

    Main Villa

  • Pool house apartment

    Pool house apartment

  • Balcony 'Loggia', at the top of the world looking....

    Balcony 'Loggia', at the top of the world looking....

  • GRound Floor Living

    GRound Floor Living

  • Fully fitted kitchen on ground floor.

    Fully fitted kitchen on ground floor.

  • Ground Floor Bedroom

    Ground Floor Bedroom

  • Outdoor porch

    Outdoor porch

  • Family room 1st floor

    Family room 1st floor

  • Green & Grey Room

    Green & Grey Room

  • Pink room 1st floor

    Pink room 1st floor

VRBO #376920

This listing was first published here in 2011.

Date last modified - Monday, April 24, 2017

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