The pitter-patter of steps trailing away from the door to our apartamento tells us that our basket of fresh pastries, butter, jam and hot coffee await on our doorstep.

There is not a lovelier way to welcome the day in all of Italy.

Perched on hillside about 1.5 miles from Pienza, Italy, this restored farmhouse – originally built in the 18th  century – overlooks 100 year old olive trees and boasts its own mini-winery.

Vistas of classic Tuscany rolling hills and ancient homes dot the landscape, a marvelous view from the backyard of this gracious place. Walk through the olive trees, or take in the vineyard that feeds the winery operation. The owners are rightly, and modestly, proud of this oasis from the daily grind.

Smack dab in the middle of half a dozen ancient small towns, Agriturismo Cerreto is a taste of the traditional Italian way of life. Join the hostess,  Monica, while she prepares the evening appetizers. Walk through the olive trees, or take in the vineyard that feeds the winery operation. Better yet, sample the excellent wine.

Extra-virgin olive oil, jams and fresh produce are also produced on site. For an over-the-top experience you can join in the annual hand-harvest of the olives in November.

A mere two miles down the road is the convent used for the movie “The English Patient.” The walk down the entry path serves up marvelous views of cultivated hillsides and another of those ancient small towns. Excellent restoration work of centuries-old wall murals is underway – but you have to ask to see it. (No cameras allowed.)

Enjoy a traditional Italian dinner prepared in the convent’s on-site kitchen. (Reservations are recommended – seating is limited to roughly 20 people.)

Be sure to spend some time in Pienza, with its well kept, well-stocked shops, hidden alleyways, excellent restaurants and wonderful countryside views. For those who must have a big city experience, Sienna is about an hour’s drive north.

From double apartments to an entire villa available; rates from 40 Euros to 60 Euros per person. Includes breakfast, weekly linens change, pool and fireplace wood.

Contact information here:

Getting there:  a rental car from Milan, Tuscany or Rome

What were the WOW moments you experienced?
Restored farmhouse was awesome, like stepping back in time. Wandering the grounds among olive trees & vineyards about as romantic as it gets. 5 course meal at the convent a tasty and memorable time. Most of all was the grilled barbecue meal we shared with 6 new Italian friends (who did not speak English) on the back terrace, and who brought out the good wine halfway through the meal.
Italy, Pienza, Agriturismo Cerreto

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