The swimming pool, immersed in an olive grove, is the perfect place to spend sun filled days. Guests can sleep or relax on our comfortable sun beds or just read a book and enjoy the day lounging in the deckchairs on the more shaded side of the pool. There are two gazebos around the pool: one with a small table and directors chairs with a view to the olive grove and hills beyond; the other with a long marble table that seats 12/15 people for poolside dining. There are festoon lights in this gazebo that create a magic atmosphere in the evenings.
After lazily sunbathing by the pool our guests can enjoy a fun table tennis game outside at the back of the house, where tall oak trees provide a refreshing shaded area.
There are two panoramic sun terraces. From the south terrace, on crisp days, you can rest your eyes on the sixteen medieval towers of San Gimignano along the hilly skyline of Tuscan countryside.
From the north-west facing terrace, especially in the evening, we suggest you enjoy the most evocative sunsets beyond olive groves, hills and cypresses while having an aperitivo.
Below the front gate, facing south, guests can enjoy a bocce game amongst friends in a 6 x 2.5 m field. Next to this, there is a sand pit for small children and a grass area where they can play safely and be close to the grownups having a match.
Films, Cards & Board Games
The TV room is equipped with a full Sky satellite subscription, plus a DVD player and film library: classics, thrillers, romance and children’s animation are available. There are five big floor cushions and a comfortable sofa for chilling out.
By the staircase, there is a cupboard containing many classic board games like Monopoly, Scrabble, various decks of cards and much more. A big table outside the front door is painted with a chess board, so our guests can play with gigantic pawns from Pisa while enjoying a refreshing cold drink.
Local Things to Do
ACTIVITIES IN THE LOCAL AREA
If you'd like to participate in any of the following activities, our house manager Eugenia can arrange them for you so please feel free to get in touch.
One of many activities you may want to try in this area is hiking by bike through the hills of the area. We have partnered with a very knowledgeable and fun group that prior to booking can bring bicycles to the farmhouse and offer you a tailor made tour with or without a guide. Based in Montespertoli, you can contact them here: www.toscanaebike.com or call +39 3395021007 (website/phone available in English).
The area around Montaione, just 19 km away form the Farmhouse (30 minutes by car) the Gelsomino ranch has beautiful horses and organizes tours in the area up to Castelfalfi, a charming resort where you can appreciate one of the most incredible countrysides in Tuscany. They also offer horse trekking tours of wine cellars in the area. Visit www.gelsominoranch.com or call + 39 347 3200800 for more information (English spoken).
We regularly invite local cooks and chefs to the farmhouse to teach real Tuscan recipes for our food-lover guests. Classes are held in the chef's kitchen, followed by dinner with the meal prepared by guests. The classes are always a lot of fun, and it is possible to choose from a variety of menus to suit all tastes: meat, fish, vegetarian and typical Tuscan menu.
Booking in advance is necessary, so please contact Eugenia who will be happy to make arrangements for you.
Other sport activities in the area:
Local & Seasonal Sightseeing
Positioned on a ridge immersed in central Tuscany, Belvedere Farmhouse has the advantage of being equidistant to all the major historical cities: Florence, Siena, Livorno, Pisa and Lucca. From Belvedere our guests are also able to discover and enjoy the following local jewels:
Certaldo – 16 km
Home to the famous writer Boccaccio of the Decameron and based on an Etruscan site, guests can enjoy walking through small squares and streets leading to Palazzo Pretorio and Via Boccaccio, the only large street that had the function as public space instead of a piazza in the high medieval period. More info: www.comune.certaldo.fi.it
Ideas for you:
Around the 12th of July every year, this international street theatre festival immerses the whole town in a colourful feast of circus, theatre, music and masks. www.mercantiacertaldo.it
Around the 8th of October every year, this food festival celebrates local produce. The streets are packed with local street food stands, chefs competing in cooking regional recipes, and wine tastings. www.boccaccesca.it
San Miniato – 13 km
Dominated by the tower of Federico II built at the beginning of the XIII century, the town of San Miniato Alta demonstrates the historical importance of being at the strategic crossroad of the roman Via Quintia and the well known Via Francigena. A very well organized network of musems enable our guests to enjoy a full art and history experience. More info: www.sanminiatopromozione.it
Ideas for you:
White Truffle Market & Food Festival
Every year in the last three weekends of November, the White Truffle Market and food festival brings food and wine stands throughout the town, and guests are able to taste regional specialities with white truffle.
Monthly Food Market
The third Sunday of each month is the date for the typical local food market, where our guests can by produce that comes directly from the surrounding countryside.
San Gimignano – 30 km
Walk through the medieval town and appreciate ‘palazzi’ and towers dating back to the XI century. It will be as breathtaking as the drive to reach it.
More info: www.sangimignano.com
Ideas for you:
Around the 6th of December every year, this annual light festival illuminates the medieval buildings and towers with colours and pictures of famous Italian paintings.
Around the 25th of June every year, the night festival fills the town centre with refined folk music, exhibits, performances and concerts for a whole weekend.
Italy, and in particular Tuscany, is spoiled for great produce. Belvedere is very fortunate to be surrounded by notable restaurants and chefs. While we offer just a few suggestions here, Eugenia will be more than happy to help you choose the right restaurant for any preferences you may have.
Closest to the Farmhouse
10min drive - Google map
This is our local buzzing pizzeria with a very friendly host and al fresco dining. We recommend to book as in the summer months it gets really busy. It is very child friendly and the menu offers great choice in addition to a great variety of pizzas. Mosquitoes can be annoying, so you might want to bring repellant to prevent your ankles from being savaged.
Via Salaiola, 144, Empoli. Closed on Monday, +39 0571 589553.
Borgo San Giusto
15min drive - Google map
This is a small ‘borgo’ (Italian village) that has been newly renovated with typical Tuscan colours. Here you can find a small wine bar, ideal for nibbles and a glass of local wine. Alternatively there is a restaurant which serves good steak and mixed meat grills.
Via Salaiola, 151 Empoli. Closed on Monday, +39 0571 1720770
This charming restaurant, with a panoramic terrace, offers the choice of a very original reinterpretation of typical tuscan dishes, excellent charcuteries and renaissance recipes, all accompanied by an incredible wine selection. Please book well ahead to secure a table for al fresco dining.
P.zza Michele da Montopoli, 2 56020 Montopoli in Val d'Arno(PI) +39 0571-466.878/466.940
Osteria San Vivaldo
A simple and somewhat chaotic osteria where Andrea, the owner, will welcome you, serving local dishes with a smile, a shout or a whistle. The best local ingredients are used, yet it's very affordable. The location is in breathtaking countryside, and you can go for a walk to the ‘Sacro Monte’ of San Vivaldo where a group of small chapels containing terracotta statues - dated 1500 - replicate the Passion of Christ.
Via San Vivaldo, 21/23, Montaione (FI) + 39 0571 69264
Google Map (24km from the house)
This very elegant but rustic restaurant has a charming outside area. This restaurant is a great evening out for those who want to celebrate a special occasion while tasting typical tuscan cuisine offered in a very charming atmosphere.
Via Collerucci 53, 50050 Montaione (FI) +39 0571 677170
Google Map (18km from the house)
If your tastes lean toward fine dining, we are lucky enough to have two exceptional restaurants located just 25 minutes away in San Miniato.
The cuisine is of the very highest calibre, and in fact we are still unable to decide who is the very best. We tend to favour one or the other depending on the menu of the moment, but maybe you can try them both and help us solve our ongoing dilemma: Chef Gilberto Rossi or Chef Paolo Fiaschi?