The Cerretella Villa
Casa Cerretella is a beautiful old farmhouse with a pool in Tuscany which sleeps up to 8. Below is a description of the house. Click the photos to see larger versions.
Click to download the floorplan of Cerretella.
From the front terrace, the front door opens onto a large entrance hall with a central brick arch. From here double glazed doors lead to the rear terrace, shaded by the vine covered pergola and perfect for lunch, evening dining and barbeques. Throughout the ground floor are terracotta floor tiles and exposed beams.
To the left of the entrance hall is the large and well equipped kitchen/dining room with gas hob, electric oven, fridge freezer and dishwasher. There is also a bread making machine and plenty of other equipment to tempt the creative cook. The dining table comfortably seats eight. Additional double doors lead from the kitchen onto the front terrace.
To the right of the entrance hall is bedroom 2 with double bed, wardrobe and chest of drawers. Also on this floor is bedroom 3 with twin beds, wardrobe and chest of drawers. From bedroom 3 double doors provide direct access to a private terrace. Both bedrooms are spacious, with shuttered windows and mosquito nets. Adjacent to bedroom 2 is a shower room with WC, basin and washing machine.
Alongside the kitchen is a store room. From here stairs lead to bedroom 4, with twin beds and perfect for children.
Stairs lead from the entrance hall to the first floor hallway. Once again the floor is finished with terracotta tiles throughout with exposed beams above.
On this floor is the large bedroom 1 with double bed, wardrobes and chest of drawers. This room has views over both the front, rear and side of the house and a beautiful exposed ceiling of beams. Next to bedroom 1 is a bathroom with WC, bidet, basin and bath with shower over.
To the left of the first floor hallway is the large and comfortable sitting room with a stunning open fireplace. Here you will find a music system (with dock for iPod), DVD player, games and an extensive library (including guidebooks and maps for all the local attractions). Whether it's during the heat of the summer or the cooler autumn evenings, this is a room to truly relax. From the sitting room are double doors leading down a stone staircase to the front terrace.
Narrow stairs lead from the upstairs landing to the tower. Here there is the additional small bedroom 5 with a single bed. Although there is provision for nine in the house, we accept a maximum of eight guests, this makes sleeping arrangements more flexible. There is folding cot for small children.
Pool, terraces and garden
Casa Cerretella has three separate terraces. The front terrace overlooks the pool and is shaded from the morning sun, an ideal spot for enjoying a morning coffee. The front terrace also provides access to the original bread oven.
The rear terrace has stunning views over the Tuscan and Umbrian hillsides and catches the morning sun. With its vine covered pergola, this is the perfect spot for lunch and evening meals and barbeques.
Finally, bedroom 3 has its own terrace, a tranquil area nestled to the rear of the house.
The area around the house is surrounded by landscaped garden, including a variety of herbs for cooking. There is an abundance of wildlife here, including lizards, porcupine, fireflys (a beautiful sight during June/July) and bats. Wild boar are also frequently spotted in the surrounding area. Whilst harmless, they can start digging up plants. Consequently, an electric fence surrounds the garden.
From the front terrace a lawn gently slopes down to the steps leading to the swimming pool. This measures 10 x 5 metres, with a shallow and deep end. Roman steps descend to the shallow end. Sun beds, towels and a sun shade are all provided. The pool is cleaned daily and can be illuminated at night.
Whilst secluded, Cerretella has the advantage of charming neighbours, farmers, who are happy to sell guests their home grown vegetables, free range eggs, wine and oil. Their house is a 5-minute walk up the track. With prior arrangement, they will happily provide a delicious home cooked meal.
Casa Cerretella has full central heating and a private water supply. Whilst the water is fine to drink we recommend bottled water. There is no WiFi or fixed line at the house. However, it is possible to receive a mobile signal (including 3G). We provide a prepay mobile phone on the Italian network, which can be topped up in Cortona. Bed linen and towels are provided. The house is cleaned and linen changed once a week.
History of Cerretella
Casa Cerretella was a working farm-house when purchased by the current owners. This explains many of its quirky features and interesting layout. The ground floor was originally used to keep animals during the winter, hence the external staircase leading to what is now the sitting room. The store-room and bedroom 4 were originally the tobacco drying tower, whilst bedroom 3 was the pigsty! The central tower of the house once had the nesting holes for birds, providing eggs for the house. Whilst Cerretella maintains many of the original features and rustic charm, it has been restored to the highest standards. It is used every year by the owners and therefore has the feel of a true home, rather than a rental property.