The area around Siena, stretching from there to Montalcino and Montepulciano, is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Tuscany. The “Crete Senesi” and the lush hilltops around Montalcino never fail to amaze. Located south of Siena, Villa Dobel is an extraordinary property for those who want to enjoy Tuscany without giving up modern design. This light-infused property was originally an industrial construction: it has been repurposed by the previous owner – a European architect – to better blend with the Tuscan landscape and to have less environmental impact. The interior, with its large open-space floor plan and massive sliding glass doors, allows a lot of natural light into the rooms and offers a wonderful view of the garden. The décor is made unique by mixing many surfaces such as wood for warmth, red bricks for contrast, and cool cement flooring, making the whole space fresh and inviting. Finally, the infinity pool, a piece of art in itself, with dark grey paving and a sloping shape, it is immersed in nature delivering a blend of beauty, function and tranquility. Live the good life!
Nearest Airport: Florence Peretola 1 h 29 min
Nearest serviced town: 5 min
Nearest major city: Siena 53 min
Driving time estimated by Google Maps
The medieval town of Siena is built across several hills and valleys; that's why you will find yourself walking up and down through its historical center. The lack of car traffic makes Siena a wonderful place to stroll, especially with kids! Despite sometimes being packed with tourists, the city always has a quiet and easygoing feel. A must-see is the shell-shaped square called Il Campo. This is the focal point of the city and the perfect setting to snap your Instagram photos while enjoying an over-sized gelato. This is also the venue of the internationally renowned horse race, The Palio, which takes place on July 2nd and again on August 16th each year.
Visit San Gimignano, famous for its skyline, and Volterra, renown for alabaster artifacts. The small fortress cities within easy driving distance of one another, each offer their own special appeal. The medieval walled city of Monteriggioni – for example – was built in the 13th century and it is known to be one of the most well preserved ancient fortifications in Italy, which is why it is a preferred destination for plenty of tourists, scholars, architects and archeologists from all over Europe.
WHERE TO EAT
Osteria Le Logge - Excellent Tuscan cuisine at elegant old-world restaurant. The best tables are on the ground floor, but there is also outdoor seating. Delicious handmade fresh pastas (small portions). Don't miss the desserts! Watch out for the small step down as you walk in!
Via del Porrione 33, Siena - +39 0577 480 13
Enoteca I Terzi - casual atmosphere under a vaulted ceiling, market to table seasonal ingredients divinely cooked, extensive selection of wine.
Via dei Termini, Siena - +39 0577 44329
Il colombaio - Michelin starred restaurant (in 2016!) in a very traditional sophisticated atmosphere. Outdoor seating also available.
Localita Colombaio, Casole d'Elsa - +39 0577 949002
Villa Dievole great restaurant with excellent food, set in a wine and extra virgin olive estate. Not only you can buy wine and olive oil produced on the estate, they can even ship it internationally.
Località Dievole, 6 (fraz. Vagliagli) Castelnuovo Berardenga - +39 0577 322613
Officina della Cucina Popolare This restaurant sits right inside the ancient medieval city walls of Colle di Val d'Elsa. Just a two minute walk from the free parking areas nearby the city gate called Porta Nuova. The menus are seasonal and utilize fresh local ingredients grown by nearby farmers. Enjoy true Tuscan food.
Via Gracco del Secco 86, Colle di Val d'Elsa - +39 0577 921 796
WHERE TO SHOP
Handmade Crystal: Collevilca – besides purchasing their products, take a factory tour available from Monday to Friday and watch the artisans hand-blowing their creations.
Loc. San Marziale, 24, Colle di Val D’Elsa – +39 0577 927 204
Alabaster Houseware: Alab’Arte, an artisanal bottega where one-of-a-kind pieces are created.
Via degli Orti di San Agostino, Volterra - +39 0588 879 68
The best gelato: Gelateria di Piazza in San Gimignano it’s one of the most famous ice cream shops in all of Italy. Award-winning master ice cream maker Sergio Dondoli uses seasonal ingredients to create some unusual flavors.
Piazza Della Cisterna 4, San Gimignano - +39 0577 942244
Specialty Food shop: Pizzicheria de Miccoli - Located in Siena historic center, it is very well known for its special selection of Tuscan cured meats.
Via di Citta 95, Siena - +39 0577 246948