Every building in the Tuscan landscape is redolent of the many cultures that inhabited it throughout the centuries.
About 30 Km from Florence, the castle, built on the ancient Via Francigena connecting France to Rome, is a shining example, evoking a multitude of ancient influences. The castle’s history dates back to 1210, when the Counts Alberti di Certaldo, chief of the ruling Longobard family that dominated the nearby Elsa valley, built Caput Aulae, as the centre of Val d’Elsa’s court.
The Alberti family owned and lived in this fabulous castle, later transforming it into an elegant country mansion, until the 17th century. Traces of the original 13th century fortified castle are still discernible in the square brick tower and the defensive walls alongside the villa. The Castle then fell into the possession of the Brandini family, one of the leading families of Castelfiorentino, owners of various farms and a bank.
The family has personally overseen the restoration of the Castle, maintaining all the charm and uniqueness of a historical home. Here, the warmth and hospitality that has always been a feature of the Castle is still very much in evidence today.The Castle, perched atop a hill, has been completely restored whilst maintianing the spirit and atmosphere of a noble mansion. It can easily accomodate 12 people in luxurious comfort.
On the ground floor, the front door leads into a large, cosy living room with a fireplace. On the left, a beautiful On the ground marble staircase winds up to the first floor. From the living room a corridor provides access to the rest of the house. The spacious and fully equipped kitchen on the right has terracotta flooring and beamed ceilings. Along the corridor, beyond a guest bathroom, there is a sumptuous dining room with French windows that access the courtyard. Further on, the Yellow living room with fireplace has a reading room alcove with TV, computer with broadband line and fax. To the right, the double bedroom of Federico Barbarossa has an en-suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath.
On the first floor, at the top of the marble staircase, a long corridor leads to the bedrooms. On the right there is the Yellow double bedroom – again with en-suite bathroom with shower and Jacuzzi bath. To the left there are two twin bedrooms, the Celeste and the Pink bedroom – both with their own bathrooms, one with shower and tub and the other with shower. Towards the end of the corridor on the left a double bedroom with outside balcony overlooks the front yard. It is next to its own bathroom with both shower and Jacuzzi bath. There is also a laundry room with wardrobe and second staircase leading down to the ground floor.
The annex is a medieval tower standing alongside the villa (part of the original castle) and has its own access. From the living room on the ground floor a staircase takes you up to a double bedroom with its own bathroom with shower. With a breathtaking roof terrace.
In front of the Villa a big garden with a breathtaking view on the Tuscan countryside: dramatic views of the undulating, fertile countryside below, as far as the towered town of San Gimignano which is just visible on the horizon to the south.
A staircase leads down to the swimming pool of 10 x 5 meters surrounded by a lawn and a n arcaded loggia. Behind is a shower and a fridge.Limonaia converted into a casual sitting room, with six arched windows offering sweeping views of surrounding countryside. Breathtaking roof terrace.
XIII century chapel dedicated to Saint Bartholomew, restored in the XVIII century, contains a XIII crypt.
Wine press dated 1743 and cellar with a selection of fine wines available for the guests.
Air conditioning, swimming pool that measures 10 x 5 m, jacuzzi, jacuzzi tubs in 4 bathrooms, maid service 3 hours/6 times a week (Sunday available on request), local cook on request, breakfast for 6 days (Sunday available on request), linen change once a week, food delivery service on request, heating at extra cost, safes in evry bedrooms, computer with broadband line, satellite TV, VCR and DVD player, telephone extra cost, dishwasher, washing machine and BBQ.