The villa is beautifully appointed with antique furnishings and original art, but is also ideally suited for a wonderful family vacation, with its three large sets of arched french-doors that fully open up onto the shaded loggia and pool areas. It sits amongst the terraced and manicured grounds of a larger villa, that is used only by the owner when guests are not renting the second property, so your total privacy is assured.
I divide my time between the Caribbean, London and Italy, but of all my properties Villa Felice is the family favourite. I purchased it as a virtual ruin in 2001 (my friends all thought I was crazy!). The restoration was a labour of love that lasted almost 10 years....all orchestrated from Boston where I was living at the time, with frequent visits throughout the year. It wasn't always easy, but I hope you agree that it was worth the effort!
I don't get to spend as much time there as I'd like, which is why I've decided to open it up to others...a house needs people and laughter and love!
Wendy Slater purchased this villa in 2001
In a word, Tuscany!!
And, truthfully, though the main villa had good 'bones', and I knew would one day be an elegant home, I really fell in love with the arched spaces of the smaller house.
The views, the tranquility, the light, the sunsets, the rainbows, the sunflowers!
Villa Felice is perfectly situated for day trips to Florence, Montepulciano, Siena, Perugia, Arezzo, Assisi, San Gimignano, Volterra, Sansepolcro, Passignano, Tuoro, Cortona and many others waiting for you to discover!
Drive through the breath-takingly beautiful Tuscan landscape, walk through ancient, shaded streets, enjoy a leisurely lunch al fresco, accompanied by a locally grown wine, look in on a Piero della Francesca or a Fra Angelico (or an Armani and a Ferragamo!), stop for a wine-tasting at one of the famous wineries on your way home, reboot with a swim and a glass of prosecco, before heading out to dine at any of the countless wonderul restaurants in the area.
My personal recommendations in each of these places:
Florence: too many to mention, but I love to drive up to Fiesole
Montepulciano: the wonderful copper shop, everything hand-made. Ask to visit his work-shop and see his delightful museum.
Siena: The magnificent facade of the Duomo. I like to ask my guests to follow me across the piazza, without looking back, until we are standing directly in front of it, so when they turn they get the full impact of its amazing beauty. Try it, its fun! The Piazza del Campo is one of my favourite places to have lunch.
Perugia: Well, there's the chocolate festival! Also check out the Pozzo Etrusco...built in the third century BC.
Arezzo: The Piero della Francesca frescoes 'The Legend of the True Cross'.
If you are there the first Sunday in the month (and the Saturday before) then don't miss the opportunity of finding treasures at the Antiques Fair.
Assisi: Simply put, the Basilica di San Francesco is to me one of the most beautiful places in the world.
San Gimignano: All those towers!
Volterra: The alabaster
Sansepolcro: the exhibit of ancient and ingenious locks in Museo Civico, which also houses Piero della Francesca's Resurrection. Take the time to read the charming story of the British Artillery Officer Tony Clarke's part in its preservation (there is a street named after him).
Passignano: The local fish restaurants, and strolling along the lake-side after with a gelato!
Tuoro: This makes my list because of the Lido on Lake Trasimeno (read up on the amazing history of this lake....Hannibal's military ingenuity in defeating the Roman Legion there). You can hire chaises and umbrellas, and paddle-boats, go windsurfing or waterskiing, and there is a charming playground actually in the shallow (and clean) waters of the lake. Take the ferry out to Isola Maggiore for lunch.
Last but not least, Cortona: my local town....many of my guests like it the most, as it has a charm all of its own. Seeped in history (it is one of the oldest hill-towns in Tuscany), with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
A favorite for me is lunch at La Loggetta, sitting on that marvellous balcony overlooking the Piazza.
If you are there at the right time of year I thoroughly recommend the Cortona Antiques Fair - it's wonderful.
At the opposite end of the scale, the local market in Camucia, held every Thursday, is a delight. Don't forget to buy some parmesan to take home with you...they will vacuum pack it.
There are so many places to explore, and things to do, that you will inevitably have your own list of favorite spots. I hope you will take the time to share them in the guest-book for the benefit of future guests!
And, remember, its always good to spend the day at Villa Felice too; let its magic seep in, because I promise you it will.
|Refundable damage deposit||$1,000|
50% to be paid within 7 days of "requesting" your reservation. Balance due (including damage deposit) must be paid in full 45 days prior to your arrival.
100% refund if cancelled at least 30 days prior to arrival date.