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and Renaissance architecture res- pectively and are both thriving communities.’ Indeed, notes Mrs Djebbar, ‘you aren’t isolated, yet country pur- suits are never more than a few minutes’ walk or drive from home’. That said, many buyers prize the


local farmhouses, ‘which often sit atop a hillock, providing wonderful 360˚ views,’ according to Mr Fawcett. Demand comes from a mix of Italians and buyers from all over the globe, including the Belgians, Germans, Dutch, Israelis, English, Americans and Australians. Prices are higher


than in the Lately, however, many aficionados


are no longer content to get their hands on choice vintages and are investing in local vineyards instead. ‘Being one of the two finest wines in Italy, Brunello di Montalcino creates strong interest and various Mont- alcino wine estates have sold to non-Tuscan buyers—including some French ones,’ says Wanda Djebbar of Toscana Restoration. It helps that Montalcino is an


‘excellent place’ for people looking to enjoy small-town living in Tuscany, whether or not they have an interest in winemaking. ‘Montalcino and Pienza are probably the two finest small towns in the Val d’Orcia, offer- ing contrasting medieval vernacular


www.countrylife.co.uk/international


Maremma countryside, but not unreasonable. Mrs Djebbar quotes a starting figure of €350,000 for an attractive apartment in Mont- alcino, with town houses being priced from €400,000. Mr Fawcett mentions a range of


€3,800 to €6,000 per square metre for a restored property, with unre-


stored prices between €1,000 and €2,000 per square metre.


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Pienza This traditional, four-bedroom farmhouse near Pienza affords far-reaching views to Pienza,


Monte Amiata and Castiglione d’Orcia. The swimming pool is the best place to soak up the panorama. €2.7 million through Knight Frank (020–7861 1058; www.knightfrank.com)


5,,+ ;6 256> Maremma


Nearest airports Pisa (just over an hour’s drive) and Rome (about 2hr 50m)


Best restaurants Da Caino, Montemerano (www. dacaino.it), Bracali, Massa Marittima (http://ristorante. mondobracali.it), Il Pellicano, Porto Ercole (www.pellicano- hotel.com), Trattoria Toscana, Castiglione della Pescaia (www.trattoria-toscana.it)


Hotels L’Andana, Castig- lione della Pescaia (www. andana.it), Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort, Saturnia (www.termedisaturnia.it), Il


Pellicano, Porto Ercole (www.pellicanohotel.com)


Val d’Orcia


Nearest airports Florence (1hr 40m) and Perugia (1hr 40m)


Best restaurants Osteria La Porta, Monticchiello (www. osterialaporta.it), Osteria del Leone, Bagno Vignoni (www.osteriadelleone.it)


Hotels Adler Thermae Spa, Bagno Vignoni (www. adler-thermae.com), Cast- iglion del Bosco, Montalcino (www.castigliondelbosco. com)


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Pienza This four-bedroom


stone country house sits within walking distance of Pienza and comes with lush gardens, an olive grove and a walnut-


tree plantation. Offers in the region of €1.15 million through Toscana Restoration (00 39 338 793 5130; www.toscanarestoration.com)


Country Life International, Spring 2014 43


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