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La Foce - Tuscany

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La Foce - Tuscany
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Chiarentana Bird's eyeLa Foce - Tuscany

Casa di Donata, Chiarentana - Bersagliere

Donata’s house offers all the special charm, character and seclusion of a private home and garden, with the additional advantage of having the restaurant, tennis, playground and other children’s activities within easy reach.

At the far corner of Chiarentana is the house lived in by Donata, one of the two Origo sisters. When, in the early eighties, Donata began to renovate the square fortified farmhouse for many centuries occupied by 7 peasant families, an open informal garden was designed to blend into the surrounding countryside, and rambling roses, shrubs and bulbs planted to soften the stone-flagged courtyard shaded by a large linden tree.

Recently Donata’s house has become available for rent. The house is on two levels with windows facing south over the Val d’Orcia, west beyond the horse paddocks to the sunset beyond the distant hills, and over the courtyard. From the front door steps lead down the lower garden level and an open living space with rattan sofas and armchairs and a with a spectacular view over the valley and beyond to the Monte Amiata. Large clumps of rosemary, lavender and thyme rise from the open lawn with areas where walnut, apricot, cherry, plum, quince and fig trees provide shade and seclusion. There is a rectangular swimming pool (15X5m), also looking out towards the view but tucked away where bathers cannot be seen, with a shower and changing room next door.

Doors from the courtyard and the main door on the west side lead into the ground floor. There is an entrance hall, a cloak room for guests, a library/study, a large sunny living room with windows looking out both ways over the courtyard and the valley, with a pretty fireplace with antique Neapolitan tiles. The dining room is a beautiful tiled kitchen with a raised fireplace, a large table extendable to 14 places, and a smaller kitchen next door where the cooking is actually done. Next to the dining room is a comfortable and informal living/playroom with satellite TV and an entire book-case with children’s books, some dating back to Donata’s childhood. French doors lead to a wisteria and rose-shaded pergola. This becomes the main dining space in summer, in the shade at lunch time and looking out towards the sunset in the evening. A wood oven in front of the pergola can be used to cook pizza and succulent roast meat. A guest room with twin queen-size beds and en suite bathroom is also on this floor.

A flight of stairs leads up to the first floor, where a suite with a room with a large double bed and another with twin beds sharing a bathroom and a smaller washroom with basin and toilet is ideal for a family. Two other large rooms with double beds, each with en suite bathroom are also on this floor. One is called the “African” room for its paintings and sculptures from Zimbabwe, the other the “yellow” room for its shades of wash on the walls, curtains and bedspread, carpets from Morocco, and sunny exposure. Both rooms look south over the valley. Antique family furniture, paintings, and objects can be found in all rooms in the house.

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Elevations:


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