Casa Mela is an apartment of 56 square meters (about 600 square feet), for five
people, with a patio, it also shares a pool and a 4000 square meter (about 1
It is part of a farming estate located on a low hillside, 300 meters (about 980
feet) above sea level.
You will be in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, 50 km (31 miles) from
Florence and 20 km (12.5 miles) from Siena, among the hills in which Chianti
wine is produced.
A short distance away, you will find some of the most famous towns of Tuscany,
such as San Gimignano, Monteriggione and Colle Val D’Elsa.
Casa Mela is located on the first floor. It has two double-bedded rooms, a
living room with divan bed for one person, a bathroom with shower and a kitchen.
In front of the apartment’s entrance, on the ground floor, there is a long and
broad terrace with a view of the valley and of the pool. Along here, you will
find the entry doors of the three apartments; each apartment has its own
reserved space with table and chairs, deck-chairs and umbrellas.
The swimming pool
You will have at your disposition a lovely pool of 7 X 14 meters (about 23 X 46
feet), surrounded by lawn and equipped with deckchairs and umbrellas. The pool
is shared among the guests of the other three small apartments.
Stretched out by the pool, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful and expansive
view of the gentle hills that surround you.
At Casa Mela, you will spend your vacation in an historic and fascinating
Casa Mela is one of four apartments that have been renovated, and that are
attached to a small church dating back to the 1200s.
The church and the attached rooms originally formed a small compound.
Casa Mela was actually the priest’s residence. There were also the wine cellar
and storage, and rooms that hosted the pilgrims who passed through here on their
way to Rome. These same rooms, renovated after practically a thousand years of
history, now serve to house tourists who visit Italy.
Through this area of Tuscany (the Val D’Elsa), passed the ancient “Via
Franchigena,” the official road to Rome taken by pilgrims from all parts of
Europe. This was one of the principal communication channels of the medieval
world. Along this road, many similar country churches were constructed; these
are still called “Pievi.”
Beyond their religious functions, the historic parishes also served as gathering
places for the residents of the community. Because of this, there is usually a
village or at least a small group of houses next to the churches.
Staying at Casa Mela, you will feel that you are part of this long-ago time.
The church is slightly raised from the surrounding countryside. From a distance,
when you arrive, you will be able to see on the summit of a small hill, the
ancient view tower of the priest’s residence, the round stone apse with its
red-brick designs, and the belltower with its elegant double-lancet window, in
which the church bells hang.
The entire building has been lovingly renovated, re-using historic and
traditional materials: in a single moment, you will be transported into the
atmosphere of times gone by.
The beautiful stone and red brick construction, the surrounding green lawn and
flowering hedges, the vast horizon of gentle hills that fade to pale blue at the
horizon: all this will infuse you with a sensation of peace and well being, and
you will feel overjoyed to be a part of this place during your vacation!
The apartments that have been renovated as vacation homes are all on the side of
the church that faces towards the hills, and have a view of the large swimming
pool located a few meters away and below.
The church can be visited. Perfectly restored, it holds a room in which the
owners receive the guests of the apartments.
Not far from the house, there is also a small hamlet of stone houses.
The household furnishings and equipment
At Casa Mela, you approach from the terracotta-paved patio. From this patio, you
can enjoy a splendid view of the pool, and of a vast horizon of hills. You will
find umbrellas, deckchairs, table and chairs: perfect for eating in the open
From the patio, a short staircase leads to the first floor. Here, you will find
a living room with divan bed and dining table, a kitchen, a bedroom and a
bathroom with shower. An internal staircase leads from the living room to the
upper level, where you will find the second double-bedded room. This space was,
in Medieval times, a view tower. From its windows you can admire a vast panorama
over Val D’Elsa.
The kitchen is equipped with four-burners, oven and refrigerator with freezer. A
laundry room is available.
The furnishings are carefully chosen, and in the welcoming style of the Tuscan
You will find ancient terracotta floors and ceilings made of wooden beams and
In the garden, you will find a barbecue area with wood-burning oven, available
to all the guests.
Casa Mela is equipped with parking space and heating, satellite TV and telephone.
It is possible to buy the products of the farming estate of which this house is
a part; these include Chianti wine and extra-virgin olive oil.
Nearby tourist attractions
Staying at Casa Mela, you will be in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, 5 km (about
3 miles) from Colle Val D’Elsa, a small city famous for producing crystal
This is the nearest place where you will find shops, restaurants, supermarkets,
banks, tennis courts and golf courses, and bike rental facilities.
You will be within reach of the great “art cities”: Siena, Florence and Pisa.
You will also be able to visit the most characteristic towns of Tuscany,
starting with San Gimignano, the city of 100 towers, and Monteriggione, the
medieval town encircled by an ancient wall.
Don’t miss the opportunity to travel the “via Chiantigiana,” which is the “wine
road” that cuts through the territory where Chianti wines are produced.
Along this road, you will see rows of grapevines to the right and left of you,
and hills topped with castles and villages, the evidence of two millennia of
You can visit wineries, discover wonderful small restaurants, and experience the
friendliness of the local residents, which is truly part of the fascination that
Tuscany holds for the rest of the world.
If you enjoy hiking, you can trek through the Senesi hills, or part of the via
Franchigena that crosses the Montagnola Senese, a protected hillside covered
with chestnut trees, where nature is uncontaminated.
Accommodations: Independent house or villa in small complex