“A ravishing bolthole for 2 in an 18th-century villa furnished in 20th-century style, with huge views, ancient forests and peace and quiet”
Be prepared for the "wow" factor when you enter - if you're into design icons then sleeping at Villa Metato is a real treat. The 1-bedroom villa is split-level, arranged over 2 floors (ground and lower ground), and the whitewashed interior is furnished with an eclectic range of cool designer items. The owners, ex-property developer/fashion photograper Nick Ferrand and his Italian fashion-stylist wife Margerhita, both have an eye for detail.
On the ground floor the bedroom comes with a 1960 Memphis bed, matching bedside tables and early 60s Conran lamps. A huge stone arch separates the sleeping area from the dining area, complete with a classic 50s Saarinen table and tulip chairs. Another arch introduces the sitting room with its open fire, Scandinavian teak writing table, contemporary art and Eames chairs. An open-plan feel runs throughout, creating a great sense of space, and the whole upper floor floods with light.
You have the place to yourselves so you can fling open all the shutters and doors during the day and relax. The doors open out on to a lawned garden for your own use, where you can sunbathe and read. And you have your very own pool.
The lower ground floor is reached via a spiral staircase and houses the kitchen and another dining area. It's the same size as the upper floor, but slightly darker, despite french doors leading to the terrace. It's a little cold in the spring months, but the whole apartment is blissfully cool in the summer. Rather like the décor really. The highlight of the lower floor is the table tennis table - yes, you have that much space. Unfortunately, the bathroom is also on this level, down the same spiral staircase, so watch out if you take a shine to the local wine! The bathroom and dressing area, decked out in 70s G-plan teak furniture, isn't as luxurious as the rest of the apartment - there isn’t a bath, but there's a powerful shower and a washing machine (useful should you stay for a while).
You breakfast outside under the wisteria and vines. It’s included in the price and prepared by the owners, who live next door. You’ll get fruits in season, with the wild strawberries, blackberries, figs, apples and pears coming from the garden. Homemade bread can be topped with local honey and washed down with fresh juices. Organic eggs from resident chickens and the odd slice of local bacon are also on offer for a small supplement. Breakfast can be left waiting for you at a certain time if you wish to not see a soul.
You have a fully equipped kitchen (with a cooker, all crockery, pans, a sink, a large fridge and a small freezer, but no microwave) to yourselves on the lower groud floor, so you can stay at home and whisk up your own lunch or dinner, and there's a BBQ for your use next to the Bocce court. The kitchen has French windows that open out on to your secluded terrace with a dining table and a cushioned seating area.
Alternatively, there are a couple of simple restaurants and trattorias in the village of Volterrano, a 5-minute drive away. However, for busier restaurants with a more extensive menu you'll need to drive to Città de Castello, 20km away. We had an excellent pizza from a local trattoria, and Nick is happy to go and collect it for you if possible.
And if you really don’t feel like lifting a finger, there's a private chef who'll come and cook for you - perhaps some lasagne or ravioli, followed by local meats (or fresh fish on Fridays), fresh fruit, homemade cakes and so on. It's very simple but tasty traditional Italian food (“just like mamma used to make!” says the chef). Dine alfresco perched above ancient woodland, watching the setting sun...
Nick has an endless supply of the local farmer’s wine, and can stock up the fridge with this and other supplies prior to arrival if you give him instructions.
Small ones are welcomed with open arms, and cots, babysitting and extra beds are available on request. However, the spiral staircase, the lack of separate sleeping areas and the designer furniture mean the villa might not be suitable for all kids.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby monitors are available on request.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking