"In the middle of nowhere and the middle of everything" is how the owners describe the 16th century San Martino estate, which is set amid in stunning rural Chianti scenery, yet within an hour of Italy's Golden Triangle (Pisa, Florence and Siena) and its beautiful Cinque Terre coastline, making it a fabulous and luxurious place do as much or as little as you please.
On arrival at this luxurious 5-bedroom farmhouse guests will come from the front patio into the entrance hall. Leading off from this room are a downstairs W.C. and a small laundry room with washing machine and also an arched entrance to the kitchen. The kitchen is laid out as a typical farmhouse kitchen but with carefully concealed appliances to enable very large parties to be catered for. Appliances include a drinks fridge, large larder fridge, dishwasher, a good quality espresso and latte machine and antique stone sink. A large double oven range cooker (with griddle and hotplates) situated in the stunning traditional fireplace which sits opposite an antique dresser. A traditional table and chairs enable guests to enjoy informal meals in this warming room, alternatively double doors lead out onto the front terrace and pergola where guests can enjoy a glass of wine or a meal and watch the sun go down.
From the Kitchen a brick lined arched passage leads to the main dining room. At one end are two sets of double doors leading to a shaded pergola and pizza room, then onto the gardens and pool. Also leading off from the dining room are the stairs to the upstairs bedrooms, the entrance and steps to the fifth bedroom and spa and an entrance to the living room. The dining room itself comprises the old stables and still features the original feeding troughs and a beautiful brick ceiling. An extending antique dining table seating up to 24 guests means that parties renting both the main house and cottages can all dine in comfort together. For weddings it is possible to completely remove the arched doors to the large bedroom 5 and this enables up to 60-70 guests to dine inside, higher numbers could be accommodated on the terraces or in the gardens.
At the back of the house and with arched doors overlooking our stunning views is the old barn which has now been converted to a large double height living room. During the day, light filters through the lattice work of bricks that form the upper walls; in the evening the brick work and beautiful beams are stunningly lit from below with a series of LED lights. In here guests can relax in the comfortable sofas surrounding the stunning copper fireplace, listen to music and enjoy the views or take advantage of the home cinema system to enjoy a movie. To the back of the room is a mezzanine floor with an open plan study area and half size pool table. The final room in the living accommodation is the original Pizza room complete with wood burning pizza oven, indoor barbecue stone sink and drinks fridge. Two sides of the room have glass windows and window seats overlooking the pool and views. The room is accessed from the side patios and can provide an area for guests to enjoy a relaxed family meal in winter or summer.
The house is surrounded by pergolas, relaxed graveled terraces, aromatic flowerbeds and gardens and the stunning 16m x 7m infinity pool is set 30m away. A shaded sun deck and covered bar, filled with comfortable couches and complete with drinks fridge and barbecue area, surround the pool and overlook the amazing views.
Since 2015, guests also have use of a championship-sized, professional tennis court with Mantoflex soft resin surface. The courts are also accessible to guests of the two smaller cottages located within the estate (cottages have their own grounds and pool).
San Martino is ideal rented on its own for intimate and luxurious family holidays or together with the cottages for larger parties, weddings or small conferences. Children are more than welcome and all who came last year thoroughly enjoyed the pools and wide open play areas.
The San Martino Estate is located right in the heart of the Tuscany countryside, only 20 minutes from the Chianti wine route. The nearest village with a basic shop and a restaurant is Il Castagno, just 3 km away, but there’s also a good restaurant at the end of the drive, only 1 km away. For those not taking advantage of the pre-arrival grocery shopping service, there's a supermarket within 10mins drive in Gambassi.
San Gimignano (10km) is one of the most remarkable Tuscan hilltop towns, looking like a medieval Manhattan thanks to numerous tall campaniles, while Volterra is a fine medieval walled town renowned for its carved alabaster and Roman remains.
The three must-visit Tuscany cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa are all within an hour away, as is the lovely coastline and many beaches of Italy's Cinque Terre.
Getting There: The best airports for San Martino are Pisa, 50-60 minutes drive, and Florence, 1 hour drive. Bologna is approximately 2 hours drive.
Nearest Medical Facilities: A&E Castelfiorentino; 20-25 mins; Doctors Gambassi or Montaione 15 mins