Belvedere was once a farmhouse, with the animal stalls on the ground floor and the family living above.  It had been abandoned for many years when we bought it but much of the original structure remained.  So, in restoring the house, we set out to preserve the charm and rustic appeal of the old casale, whilst still creating a beautiful, comfortable home for ourselves, our family and friends, and also for holiday guests.

Wherever we could we left the wonderful chestnut-beamed ceilings and terracotta floors that can be found throughout most of the house.  Many of the furnishings and fittings have been handmade locally to complement the traditional surroundings, and the thick stone walls provide protection from the heat of summer and winter frosts.  Even the old bread oven has been restored to full working order (if you have an entire day and a vast pile of wood to spare).

All six bedrooms have wonderful views over the surrounding hillsides, comfortable beds and plenty of storage for your holiday wardrobe.  The five bathrooms (four of them en suite) are light and airy, and the kitchen is comprehensively equipped so that keen cooks can make the most of the delicious local produce.  The sitting rooms have log-burning stoves for when the weather is cooler, but in summer you will probably be eating every meal either under the portico which runs along one side of the house, or on the wisteria-covered terrace looking towards the little hamlet of Prato in the distance.

Outside, the lovely garden has many different areas for relaxing in sun or shade, surrounded by the scent of lavender and jasmine.  The swimming pool and tennis court will provide diversion for the more energetic, and at night you can turn off the garden lighting to revel in the starry skies or, in early summer, watch the fireflies dance amongst the olive trees.


Please click the photo links for more details about the house and garden.