This beautifully restored stone farm house is luminous and cozy with spectacular south western views. Nestled amidst old terraces on a high hillside, it is surrounded by wild cherry trees and sheltering oaks, from which the house takes its name. Though it has a commanding perspective on all it surveys, La Quercia gives the sensation of being utterly imbedded in its landscape, seemingly at one with its multiple views of distant farms, olive groves and undulating hills changing color in the shifting light. French doors and outdoor terraces on three sides of the house make the landscape an integral part of the indoor and outdoor environment of the house, a constant reminder of the Tuscan and Umbrian landscapes made famous by Piero della Francesca and Giotto.
Restored in the late nineties, La Quercia is a blend of old materials and modern comforts. The house has been designed with two bathrooms, country kitchen and living room on each of two floors and provides ample space for eight people, while also offering privacy between floors. Ideal for up to four couples, the house lends itself to a group of friends or inter-generational family groups, who may wish to keep different hours. A 17th century refectory table in the upper kitchen and a large teak dining table on the expansive, wisteria-covered terrace allows everyone to eat together in all seasons.
The kitchens have been designed with luxurious cooking facilities, antique dining tables, and marble and granite counter tops. On each floor, large, open fireplaces with stone surrounds and heavy chestnut mantles are equipped for cooking grilled meats and bruschetta, or offer seductive nesting places for readers and loungers, seeking quiet retreats.
Romantic bedrooms are furnished with handcrafted furniture, large beds with good mattresses, and desks equipped with phone and electrical outlets for computer use.
Built for comfort and contemplation, the house offers a wonderful retreat for writers, artists and anyone looking for a place apart, from which to refuel the soul and senses.
Inhabited until the early fifties by relatives of the families living elsewhere on the Altabella estate, La Quercia is a classic example of an Italian casa colonica, a dwelling constructed and lived in by generations of tenant farmers linked economically and militarily to the nearby castle. We know from earlier inhabitants that the house was once surrounded by terraces of grapes and olives with an intricate system of water sluices that took advantage of its abundance of spring fed wells.
Restoration of the house and grounds has revealed an ancient structure that may have dated to the early days of the castle’s history as well as the traces of a small, self-sufficient agricultural paradise. As fifty years of blackberry growth has been carefully stripped away, the old vines strung up to catch the sun have once more begun to bear fruit, recalling the families who must once have planted and tended them.
Summary of features:
- Accommodation: 4 bedrooms/4 bathrooms (sleeps 8) OR (mid and low season only) 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms (sleeps 4)
- Spacious fully equipped country kitchens with modern appliances, including dishwasher, on both floors
- Broadband internet access is available and a computer is provided on each floor for guest use (small fee for unlimited use)
- Guests can also connect to the internet via their own laptop
- Large American-style showers, large bathtubs, bidets, pedestal sinks and heated towel racks
- Double-glazed windows and screens for year round use
- Central heating and washer and dryer on each floor
- Three large stone fireplaces
- Furnished with antiques and pieces built by local craftsmen using old designs
- Good reading lights
- Attractive linens and towels, and good mattresses
- Terraces, herb and flower gardens, suitable for outdoor dining and lounging
- Personalized Italian cooking lessons and/or serving at home, available upon request
- Elegant 18 meter by 7 meter infinity swimming pool