“Two ultra stylish serviced villas (sleeping 2-4) in Tuscany’s wildly beautiful Scannagallo Valley”
There are 2 villas: Gallo (sleeps 4 in 2 double/twin bedrooms) and Galletto (sleeps 2 in one double bedroom). They both back onto a gorgeous lavender garden and swimming pool, which is shared between all guests; but soaring brick walls and a clever internal layout mean that each house seems to face away from the other, with views towards rolling hills and fields. Each has its own entrance and car-parking space, and its own sunny lawned garden (we thought Galletto's was the prettier and more private of the two).
All bedrooms are air-conditioned and furnished with a mix of cool classics and traditional Italian – upholstered headboards in pale colours, diaphonous white muslin, Arne Jacobsen Ant chairs. And we love the pebble mosaics in the luxurious ensuite bathrooms.
There are fireplaces in the living rooms, for cosying up on cool spring nights. You get TV/DVD, internet access and a daily maid service. Kitchens are clean and white, with terracotta worktops and space for indoor dining if you need it.
Gallo is perfect for families, having two double bedrooms (both can be made up as twins), each with air-conditioning, personal stereo systems and ensuite bathroom. It's split over two levels, the lower part enjoying sliding full-height French windows for airy poolside living. Galletto is a scaled down version, with just one double bedroom, an ensuite bathroom with a sunken bath, a kitchen and lounge-diner. The latter has a glazed aspect which opens onto the pool terrace, but the rest of the accommodation faces a private garden and is cleverly hidden behind a wall, so honeymooners and loved-up couples can feel suitably ensconced.
Each villa is provided with a welcome hamper – basic provisions but enough to make a meal (pasta, pasta sauce, wine, tea, coffee, bread, cheese etc). For keen self-caterers there are simple shops in Pozzo (3 minutes by car), and supermarkets and a Monday fruit/veg market in Foiano (5 minutes by car). Each villa has the option of dining poolside or on its outdoor dining deck; the kitchens are smart and bright, and equipped with dishwasher, washing machine, coffee machine etc. But you don’t have to lift a finger: the “concierge villa” concept provides the option of hiring a resident cook just for one night, or for the entire holiday; or, twice a week, you can amble down to the sister hotel for dinner.
Children are welcome, and the larger villa is perfect for a family of 4. Babysitting can be arranged and you can squeeze a fold-up bed in either house (to make 3 / 5 people respectively). And with tennis and swimming pools at the main hotel, plus a choice of catered or self-catered dining, it's an indulgent family option.
Most children aren't as captivated by Tuscany's charming vineyards and art galleries as their parents, so do a little research before you go. Florence has 3 museums especially for children 8+ (all with a playroom for those 3-7): Palazzo Vecchio, Museo di Storia della Scianza and Museo Stibbert. Climbing bell towers in towns like Siena is a good way to entertain and tire them out at the same time.
Gallo is perfect for a family of 4 - though you should be prepared to share the pool with the occupants of Galletto (unless you book both)
Non English-speaking babysitters available; arrange in advance. See rates.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
It's self catering, but not as you know it: a kitchen full of the best gadgets plus dishwasher and washing machine and chefs on tap if you want a night off. You can eat at Villa Fontelunga's restaurant too. Pozzo and Foiano are the nearest villages.
The unfenced pool is the main hazard. You're an hour from the airport here, and about 5km from the nearest medical facilities.