A Family Run Lodging and Vineyard
My visit to A Casa di Dante was on a warm sunny afternoon with just a bit of cloud cover in the distance - nothing of which would disturb what seemed to be an endless visual of the valley between me and the Renaissance City of Florence. Surrounded by the family olive groves, vineyards and horses, time seemed to slow down and let me indulge in a bit of "tempo spensierato"... idle time with no rhyme or reason - just pure appreciation. The rustic decor, wide open spaces, silence and total immersion on an genuine Tuscan farm will appeal to those who savor the tranqulity of Mother Nature yet, prefer to still be close to the city, its wide array of restaurants and the many small hamlets that dot the Chianti countryside.
I had parked the car in the free parking lot close to the main farmhouse, and was immediately greeted by a gentle breeze carrying the fragrance of cut grass and a hint of rosemary. I could hear the horses grazing below, and the tinkle of the bells on the goats. It was easy to see why so many guests fall in love with A Casa di Dante: the Tuscan silence, the crisp colors, and Mariella's warm welcome mingled together for that perfect first impression.
As you leave your car in the shadow of the 13th century farmhouse and stroll towards the huge sunny terrace, the Florence skyline stretches from left to right where you can make out the dome by Brunelleschi, the neighboring bell tower by Giotto and the impressive outline of the Palazzo Vecchio.
The only difference? Instead of being surrounded by masses of tourist, you are standing on the quiet patio of the apartment A Casa di Dante.
Why stay here?
We loved: the travel time to Florence and Chianti...less than 10 km (about 15 minutes)
Ideal for: most definitely those who enjoy the outdoors and being in touch with nature
Stop the Clock at A Casa di Dante
There are approximately 3000 olive trees which greet you as you turn down typical Tuscan “white road." They surround the antique farmhouse which dates as far back as 1427 (and most assuredly even further). These always green trees are definitely just one of the distinguishing features of the family wine producing estate and one of the highlights of a stay with the Pelacani family at the apartment, equipped with a kitchenette, is the wine tasting from their cantina which dates back to the 1800’s.
The owner and husband to Mariella, Dante, is certainly a Jack-of-all-Trades. If you catch him on just the right night, you will be enjoying the perfume of fresh baked Tuscan style bread and a bubbling pizza from his wood burning oven. In the field, just below the farmhouse, are rows and rows of an authentic Tuscan vegetable garden.
These fresh edibles are always welcome when on vacation: good old fashion & natural “bontà” as the Italians would say. Can anything truly beat making a fresh salad with plump red tomatoes & green basil from the garden with a drizzle of the family extra virgin olive oil, carrying it out to the terrace area or even the gazebo down by the pool and opening a bottle of Poggio Solatio red or white wine.
It just feels so right.
An Explosion of Colors & Flavors
A Casa di Dante at a Glance:
Type: self-catering apartment
Distance: 15 mins from Florence by car
Transport: Florence city bus less than 700 meters from B&B & it takes only 20 minutes to Florence
Rooms: 2 double rooms with kitchenette, 2 bathrooms
Sleeps: up to 5 persons
Meals: Breakfast is NOT included
This is the kind of holiday lodging that leaves you lots of time to organize your own day. Get up early and watch the sunrise, hang out by the pool and prepare your own happy hour, you come and go as you like making use of the gardens, the pool and the scenery. In fact, whenever you want, you sleep in or get up early, prepare breakfast and enjoy it on the terrace with the view.
After all, isn’t that what being on vacation is about? Taking your time to relax at your own speed.
“Guests love the flexibility of their own time,” Mariella explained. ”We found that most times everyone wants a bit of privacy... and no one likes feeling rushed while on vacation. Can can enjoy all meals anywhere they want on the property: right outside their apartment, down by the pool, or at one of the picnic tables overlooking the valley between A Casa di Dante and Florence."
Touch a Piece of Tuscan History
While restructuring the farmhouse, the family were able to ascertain part of its history, which was already fairly well known to them. The Pelacani family has documented the various owners of the estate since the 1400’s - even discovering a few artists and important local figures along the way. And they managed to unearth a few unexpected prizes, like the massive wooden door that takes up one of the walls in the apartment. The historians have studied the wood and manufacture, dating it to the 1600’s! The farm itself has grown over the years; the original nucleus dates from prior to the 1400’s and it is now the family residence while the vacation apartment is located in the slightly "newer" sections. The pool, which is filtered naturally, is furnished with lounge chairs, tables, umbrellas and commands a prime position for dreamy Tuscan views on the family estate.
A Tuscan Adventure
The 14 hectares provides ample space for those who are looking for an opportunity to do a bit of exploration by foot or other means. Upon request, and for a minimal fee, Dante will take small groups out to explore, via horseback, the borders of the property explaining the sights, animals and vegetation in the area.
The position is actually what makes A Casa di DAnte such a treasure. Located less than 10 km from Porta Romana and parking for the city center of Florence, guests can easily navigate the country roads in minutes to the city gates. In the opposite direction, it is possible to plan an adventure among the small hamlets of Chianti starting with the nearby town of Impruneta, the home of antique kilns from the 1300’s for the massive terracotta production in the area before heading towards San Donato or Greve in Chianti. The first time "Tuscany" driver can relax when they are confronted with finding the Autostrada and the main road that connects Florence and Siena, both of which are located less than 15 minutes from the main gate of A Casa di Dante.
The family run accommodation, vineyard and olive groves with its stunning panoramic view and comfortable self catering apartment provides both a versatile environment for the Tuscan traveller while being located conveniently between the museums, monuments and churches of Florence and the multifaceted landscape of Tuscany. Mariella and Dante will be the first to tell you: the luxury of staying at A Casa di Dante is the wonderful scenery and the views of Florence... and they invite you to come and see that for yourself.
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