Text Sarah Raymond & Kim Matland
We at Haven in Paris have had a busy few months. With bookings picking up in the first half of 2009, we have added several new properties to our website – three in Paris and one in Tuscany. Recently, the first group came to stay at our new Haybarn villa in Monteriggioni, Italy – located just minutes from our Poggio 5 Bedroom property and a short drive from Siena. Kim Matland, one of the guests, gave us a lovely commentary about the home and their stay, and has been so kind as to allow us to share it here. Grazie, Kim!
Vieri was an excellent “greeter,” being the owner of the property and so very knowledgeable about it. We had no trouble following the driving instructions. The list of instructions at the house was clear, and the list of suggested restaurants very helpful. In addition, the first Monday there, Vieri considerately led us around the nearest large town to show us the recommended bakery, supermarket, and bank.
The Haybarn is ideally located for easy day trips throughout the Chianti region, as well as to such major towns as Florence, Siena, and San Gimignano. We were most interested in bucolic peace and quiet – hard to imagine a better spot – and being in the heart of the Michelin Red Guide Tuscan restaurant scene – many of which were practically within a stone’s throw.
The Haybarn sits on the top of a hill, with the 2km dirt road leading up to it, as well as other dirt paths, making for wonderfully aerobic and scenic walks, surrounded by olive orchards, fields filled with sheep or pheasants, and distant vineyards.
The only thing that could have improved our stay at the Haybarn was better weather: it was the wettest, coldest spring in living memory. So, in lieu of the wonderful patio, we had supper most evenings up in the master bedroom with its huge east-facing windows looking out over an olive orchard, across a vale to vineyards with a forest-covered ridge in the distance. As sunset approached, wine glasses in hand, we would briefly adjourn to the second bedroom to view through its large west-facing windows the sun setting behind multiple hilltowns.
The kitchen was well stocked with dishes, glasses, cutlery, and cooking utensils and had a convenient pass-through to the dining area and living room. While the downstairs is rather dark, with its thick stone walls and minimal windows it should be delightfully cool in the hot Tuscan summers.
The plumbing is all modern; both showers had excellent showerheads; and the master bathroom was spacious with great views to the east.
The Haybarn has 2 bedrooms and can sleep up to 4 people for a cozy and intimate vacation. Owned by the same Italian-Americans as our Poggio and Capriolo properties, it is located very near the Poggio villa and the two can even be rented in tandem, sleeping larger groups of up to 14 people. The Capriolo 5 bedroom villa is not much farther off – just a 10 minute drive – so large groups of 20 or more wanting to stay near each other can do so easily, making it perfect for weddings and celebrations.
With its ideal location, you are able to visit Tuscany’s famous vineyards and wineries, rent bikes or go hiking, take a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful countryside — and even go olive oil tasting! Or you can take an afternoon to just relax, sitting out on the patio with some local wine and delicacies and enjoying your peaceful surroundings. For a fee, there are personal chef and catering services available for groups large and small, as well as cooking lessons for those who would like to create a traditional Tuscan meal. You can find more details, including nearby sights & activities, by visiting our site: http://haveninparis.com/rental/Haybarn.php.
** Please note: there is not yet a pool at the Haybarn, though the owners hope to have one installed before the 2010 summer season.