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- Karen Brown's Recommendation:
Easily accessed off one of the ancient roads leading from Rome to Florence (Via Cassia), Il Rigo farmhouse sits in its own 600-acre estate. It is ideally located as a base from which to explore the scenic landscapes south of Siena with their sparsely vegetated rolling hills. The large, rectangular stone and brick house dates back 500 years. Its inner courtyard sits on a hill overlooking fascinating vistas stretching to the distant horizons. Within are nine country-style bedrooms on both ground and upper floors, divided by several cozy sitting rooms. Country furnishings such as armoires and wrought-iron beds are very much in harmony with the simple, authentic farmhouse. Breakfast or a light lunch or dinner are served in a spacious dining room on the first floor. Ingredients from the farm include organic grains and beans and, of course, extra virgin olive oil and wine. Hostess Lorenza is an excellent cook and has conducted lessons both here and in the States. The Cipolla’s live most of the year in the family palazzo (which has been owned by the family since 1684), Casa dell’Abate Naldi, in the charming village of San Quirico, where four lovely bedrooms with antiques are also available for guests.