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