This is a beautiful apartment on a farm estate in Tuscany that is ideal for families. The apartment is big enough for four and has a decent-sized shared pool with stunning views down the valley. It's about half an hour from Arezzo and there are shops at nearby Anghiari.
LaVialla is a beautiful organic farm estate about 8km north of Arezzo on the SP56, well sign-posted from the village of Castiglion Fibocchi. You can visit the estate and stroll along its paths in the woods, enjoying the most spectacular views. If the weather is fine (and it usually is!) you can enjoy a delicious lunch of cheeses, home made bread, salads and salami; all organically produced on the farm with LaVialla wines at incredibly good prices. All the produce is on sale at the "little shop" and accommodation is provided in converted farm buildings.
If you have seen “Life Is Beautiful” and enjoyed watching the central character, Guido, attempting to woo his “principessa” then you have been transported to the Tuscan town of Arezzo.
Much of the backdrop for the first half of the film is the Piazza Grande, a large sloping square dominated by the Romanesque facade of the church of Santa Maria, the Palazzo della Fraternita and an arcade designed by Vasari, now occupied by antique shops and restaurants where you can watch fresh pasta being made.
However, if you look a little more closely you will notice a number of display boards dotted around the square, showing stills and dialogue from the film. Roberto Benigni, who scripted, directed and starred in the film, obviously picked his locations with care, and he won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1999.
If you do decide to visit this classic film location you will also have the opportunity to visit one of Italy’s great fresco cycles, Piero della Francesca’s Legend of the True Cross, which adorns the walls of the church of San Francesco.
Eastern Tuscany; Tourist Information in Piazza della Repubblica (www.apt.arezzo.it)
On a sunny spring afternoon while driving around Tuscany, we became lost and were desperate to find somewhere to stay. Just when we were about to give up and opt for a Motel, we came across "Agriturismo da Domenico" near the lovely town of Cortona.
As we parked our car, we were greeted by Domenico's family (including Granny) who welcomed us as if we were some lost relatives.
The rooms were rustic and beautifully decorated and the farmhouse something out of this world.
The evening came and we were served a wonderful dinner, full of locally grown ingredients including veal and veg accompanied by local wine and spirits.
We didn't only found a great place to stay, but we experienced the real Italy and made friends!
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