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 La Pietra 
 Two-storey villa: sleeps 11 - 13 

"This place was even better than we had hoped for" Former Travel Editor, Philadelphia Enquirer

 Description of the House 

La Pietra was carefully restored in the early nineties using the old materials -  stone, terra cotta, and massive chestnut beams -  merging gracefully with the spectacular landscape that surrounds it. While recalling an earlier way of life, the house in its current form offers beauty mixed with modern comfort, both as a base for travel to a score of lovely hill towns and a place to relax and recreate.

To provide guests with maximum flexibility in their accommodations, the house has been divided into two independent floors, each with country kitchen opening on to terraces for lounging and outdoor dining. On the upper floor, the house has three double bedrooms and two baths. It includes a cook's delight country kitchen with long oak dining table, fashioned from the antique beams of the original house.

The dramatic, high ceilinged living room has a raised hearth open fireplace, suitable for philosophical gazing and culinary pleasures. The upstairs living room leads out to a covered loggia, with some of the best views in central Italy; a place to read, to eat, to sip wine, and to watch the weather and light change throughout the day.

The ground floor consists of a second country kitchen (ideal for summer cooking), a combination living room/master bedroom suite with open fireplace, two additional double bedrooms and two bathrooms. Outdoor terraces on three sides expand the living space of the house, providing different vantage points from which to enjoy the view.

Close-in herb gardens make cooking at home a special experience. Like all of the Altabella, La Pietra was for centuries the dwelling of tenant farmers who worked the lands of the local castle, an outlying Medici aligned fortress, whose origins date back to the 9th century. Like the castle, the house was constructed over a period of several centuries, and probably served both as a military surveillance tower and an agrarian house for the peasants and their animals.

Standing on the loggia of La Pietra, with its commanding south western views towards the once fortified hill town of Preggio, one can imagine the role the house may have played in the integrated defense system that grew up around the castle, standing guard on the confines of Tuscany and the Papal States. Today, the house retains the outlines of its rugged history in a landscape largely unchanged since medieval times.

Summary of features:

Accommodation: 6 double bedrooms / 4 baths (sleeps 11-13) or 5 double bedrooms / 4 baths (sleeps 11) or 4 bedrooms / 4 bathrooms (sleeps 8) or 3 bedrooms

Spacious fully equipped country kitchens with modern appliances, including dishwasher, on both floors

Broadband internet access is available and a computer is provided on the upper floor for guest use (small fee for unlimited use)

Guests can also connect to the internet via their own laptop or phone

Central heating and washer and dryer on each floor

Double-glazed windows and screens for year round use and comfort

Two raised-hearth stone fireplaces

Furnished with antiques and pieces built by local craftsmen using old designs

Attractive linens and towels

Good mattresses and reading lights

Terraces and gardens, suitable for outdoor dining

Personalized Italian cooking lessons and/or serving at home, available upon request

Elegant 18 meter by 7 meter infinity swimming pool

Upstairs: kitchen with seating for 12
 
Upstairs: living room with open fireplace looking towards kitchen, with comfortable chairs, sofa and an open fireplace
 
Upstairs: master bedroom with ensuite bathroom with bath tub / shower
 
Upstairs: double bedroom with hand-wrought bedstead
 
Upstairs: twin bedroom with eastern views
 
Downstairs: country kitchen with seating for 12
 
Downstairs: double bedroom / sitting room with open fireplace and ensuite bathroom
 
Downstairs: double bedroom with french doors to garden
 
 
Downstairs: two single beds, one double bed and french doors to garden terrace 
 Praise for La Pietra 

“It was the first either of us had spoken in a while. We had been sitting on the front porch of our restored stone farmhouse, high on a hillside of its own, staring at the panorama spread before us—the fastidiously articulated fields and garden plots of the Niccone Valley below, and beyond them, rank upon rank of forested hills, many topped by castles. It is a panorama that fills the eyes, steals the breath and leaves the viewer sated with visual, visceral pleasure.”  Former Travel Editor, Philadelphia Enquirer

Altabella Italian Villas - A Place for All Seasons
 altabellavillas.com 
 altabellavillas@gmail.com 

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