Surroundings


Easy access and rich pickings in terms of potential visits and things to do mean that you can relax about planning, be spontaneous and truly enjoy your time.

 

Why Here?

Malvin spent 10 years scouring Tuscany and Umbria before buying here.  An Italian friend, Armando, whom he met in London insisted that ‘Close to Sinalunga, the countryside is beautiful, the tourists haven’t made it there just yet – and the North South motorway for Florence and Rome is only a few minutes away’ Indeed a very comfortable location, Malvin based himself close to Sinalunga during the years of search. Ultimately the search concluded here when San Carlo, a Leopoldina farmhouse atop terraced Olive groves, came up for sale.

The countryside is indeed beautiful in Southern Tuscany, as are the hilltop towns and historic cities. In this area you can tour several whole days and not see all of our favourite sights, villages (or wineries).

Strategic Location

We interpret the meaning of ‘Strategic Location in Tuscany’ to be a location that offers easy exploration, great visits and scenic driving in all directions coupled with an idyllic and comfortable home base for staying in that’s certainly what Malvin was seeking…

Located roughly between Chianti, Cortona, the Crete Senesi & the Val d’Orcia we are situated in the undulating edge of the Val di Chiana, with views of the Orcia Chiana Ridge (a zone of hills & hilltop villages bordering both Orcia and Chiana valleys) to the South. Having a truly fascinating history (which we will not go into here..) the surrounding countryside and wider area is dotted with hilltop dwellings, hamlets and towns with Etruscan origins and the circling panorama is varied between undulating hills, distant villages and towns, hamlets and farms. On approach from Sinalunga, the house sits against a magnificent backdrop: two extinct volcanoes looming distant and olive – studded hills in the mid ground. Indeed a concentration of Olive oil producing hilltop villages begins moments away.

Rounding the corner from Sinalunga. View of our neighbours ‘Locanda dell’Amorosa’
Well Located for Wine

Our location is also strategic for wine: we are at a hub point for 5 wine producing zones  Chianti Classico, Nobile di Montepulciano, Orcia, Syrah of Cortona – and the world famous Brunello di Montalcino. Indeed we welcome many wine lovers to the house (and have installed a professional wine refrigerator for bottles you bring home to enjoy at the house).

Dining Close By

In this area, it’s still ‘real’ Tuscany. We are close to famous Tuscan sights and yet in a cognoscenti local area where you can still enjoy authentic dishes at good prices in restaurants full of Italian diners – and very close by, too.  We have 5 super places to dine out within 2 km of the house.

Scenery

Some of the most photographed and filmed parts of Tuscany are within the Province of Siena and easy to reach, we are familiar with the locations for most of the top images associated with Tuscany – and can help you to find them – as well as helping planning glorious scenic routes to travel by car, something we never tire of doing. Gladiator, Quantum of Solace, The English Patient, Master of None, Made in Chelsea, and The Medicis have all included footage of the Province of Siena towns and countryside which is indeed varied and beautiful.

Siena City on Palio Day
About Siena

A province as well as a city – the capital city is named Siena – or Sienna.  We’re part of the Commune of TORRITA DI SIENA – Little Tower of Siena although we are closer to Sinalunga, a very authentic medieval hill town in the Orcia Chiana Ridge.   From the garden at Siena House we can see 7 medieval hill towns, including the well known Cortona and Montepulciano, the previously mentioned ‘lost in time’ old town of Sinalunga – and the lesser known double walled Lucignano.  Many well known visits – including Pienza – are well within half an hour’s drive and Siena City is about 35 minutes away.  Read about our favourite visits in our Tuscany Guide

Sinalunga Old Town seen from Siena House
Sinalunga. Photo by Alina Memet
Proximity to Florence & Rome

Florence is one hour North (without traffic delays) and Rome is 2 hours South (ditto) It’s a 10 minute drive to the motorway. This location has been an important stop for North-South travelers for centuries, and has a very interesting history but international tourism has not really arrived in number yet.  Here at this location we’re also not too far from the province of Arezzo, including some gorgeous Chianti towns well worth visiting.

Image showing the olive oil producing hill town of Petroio in the Orcia Chiana Ridge
Petroio, olive oil village in the Orcia Chiana Ridge.
Itineraries

It’s easy to spend 5-7 days in this area exploring and our average stay with returning guests is 5/+ nights. From this location you can also see Umbria with relative ease: Starting at 20+ minutes away you can get deep into UMBRIA with a 45 /+ minute drive. PERUGIA (useful airport location at 55 mins) Perugia is both a province and City. The City of Perugia is the capital of Umbria is about an hour away. Beyond Perugia, at about 80 minutes drive is ASSISI. Starting at 20+ minutes away, you can get deep into CHIANTI in an hour. A drive to SAN GIMIGNANO, beyond Siena City, will take about 80 minutes. You could get to VOLTERRA in an hour and a half. PISA & LUCCA are just over 2 hours. ORVIETO, roughly one hour is an oft missed but splendid visit, convenient for those going to or coming from Rome.  A day trip to FLORENCE (just over an hour away) is certainly not out of the question, either. Those are the Big Name visits but we suggest that spending time exploring in a half hour radius from the house is wonderful and we would not encourage driving much further away unless on a 4-5 night’s stay at least. We are always happy to help you with your planning and to put the breaks on your ambition; in this area the journey is generally equal to the destination in terms of enjoyment and so don’t plan in too much.

How to get around

Without question, the best way to enjoy the Tuscan Countryside is by car – your ‘own’ car. Roads are generally very quiet and driving is very enjoyable. Nothing beats the spontaneity and independence offered by a rental car and we will help with parking spots and journey plans or in any way we can. For the frequent wine question, ‘do we need a driver when going wine tasting’ we will remark that the best way to wine taste in this area is to mix one winery into each day of your stay, don’t drink but go ‘pro’ (spit out the wine) and bring something back to the house to enjoy. Wine tasting in Tuscany tends to be a very different experience to tasting in the USA, for example, and you are not expected to actually drink the wine in the winery. You can read about winery visits, both independent and by chauffeur, in our blog.

General Summer 2021 booking will not open until May, when we begin to offer June + July. We have excellent villa availability for high Summer weeks.