Monday 20 June 2016

An authentic Tuscan farmhouse located in a peaceful spot about 20 kilometres from Cortona. Owned by a couple of authors since the early 70's Cerri di Sotto hasn't been subject to any unfortunate renovation over the years and is therefore full of original features and character. Below is what the owners have to say about their lovely home. 

"Our first impression of the Tuscan house that was to be ours was of a grey stone building with a lichen-encrusted red-tiled roof standing above green and scented fields studded with the brightest scarlet poppies and blue cornflowers. The surrounding hills were green and lush with chestnut trees, and the valley was bisected by a dusty white road and a stream which we crossed by footbridge to reach the house. It was June and the air was full of the steady drone of bees. The crickets, disturbed by our footsteps, leapt before us as we walked through the meadows. Little has changed.
On entering the house we were enchanted by the great fireplace which soared to the red tiled ceiling with its massive chestnut beams. A fireplace which generations of farmers had sat around in the winters warming themselves at the ardent log fire and where families had sat at a long table enjoying good Tuscan food, much of it cooked over that same fire. The ancient tiles on the floor were made in the valley. And in 1917 as they replaced a stone within that fireplace, the farmers found a hoard of gold coins hidden in the wall. Though beautifully enlarged in the 19th century in typical Tuscan manner, there are renaissance bricks within its walls and some of its foundations are far, far older. Indeed, an Imperial Roman road runs down through the valley.
We have lived in this fortunate and venerable house since 1972. Whilst we have installed some modern amenities and insulated the roof, we have left the main building much as we found it with its original doors and windows, floors and walls. Inspired by the beauty of our green and secret valley and in the quietness of our fields and terraces and bubbling streams we have written six TV series and nine best selling books in this unique environment.

 Today, the white road from Cortona down to the Umbrian border has been resurfaced but the fields, the forests, the fig trees, the wild orchids, the crickets and the rare butterflies remain. A neighbour has placed beehives in a nearby field and the bees forage in our rosemary and provide delicious honey. And on the banks beside our door wild strawberries grow. It is a rare and happy place with a friendly, thriving and discreet community. In short, we have been blessed to live for so many years in a valley that is so verdant that Italian friends call it 'Paradiso'"

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