Guests who choose Villa Personatina have the opportunity to experience Italian life alongside a wonderful Italian family, and attend a cooking school with an excellent professional cook and teacher. Located about 8 miles southwest of Siena near the town of Sovicille, two cousins renovated a small hamlet by the end of 2007. The hamlet consists of a large villa, portions of which date to the 12th, 16th and 19th centuries; several old farmhouses which used to house farmers and their livestock; and a chapel. The family wanted to establish their own homes as part of a holiday setting for tourists, so that the guests could enjoy a peaceful vacation surrounded by the colors and fragrance of the countryside. They have created a true "agriturismo."
Personatina is situated in the countryside, with 400 olive trees on the property. There is a large common garden area filled with Mediterranean herbs and flowers, and a large swimming pool. The pool is open from June 1-September 30th and is shared with the owners. Villa guests can pay an additional fee for exclusive use of the garden and swimming pool.
The guests at Villa Personatina can choose to participate-or not-in a wide range of activities that their Italian hosts can organize upon request. The most important of these activities is a cooking school run by one of the family members who is a professional cooking teacher with many years of experience. A professional kitchen was installed in the villa during the restoration, and upon request she will organize cooking courses of several days' duration or single cooking lessons. Guests can also have several types of meals prepared upon request for an extra charge.
Other activities that can be organized for an extra charge include: hiking; services of a naturalist guide; horseback riding; an art tour in the countryside focusing on Siena's history; yoga; wine, olive and food tasting; mountain bike rentals; excursions to local spas; and tours of the markets in Siena and Florence. English-speaking babysitters are also available.
Villa Personatina makes up one half of the large villa that dominates the hamlet grounds. The furniture is a combination of antiques from the family region of Piemonte and modern furnishings and fabrics. There are many works of art lovingly collected by the family, which decorate the rooms. In the bedrooms, the cupboards and chests of drawers come from the owners' ancestral homes, and hand-woven linen bedspreads cover the four-poster beds. The villa is equipped with modern kitchen appliances (cook top, portable oven, toaster) washing machine, portable fans in each room, baby crib and child's bed, and independent heating
Personatina offers a gateway for touring the Tuscan countryside. Access to Siena is quite close, and Florence is about an hour away. San Gimignano and Monteriggioni are about a half an hour from the property. The towns of Southern Tuscany-Montepulciano, Pienza, and Montalcino-are also in easy reach for day trips.
For groups of 12, an apartment for 4 people on the grounds near the villa can also be rented. Italian Vacation Villas can provide more details.