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Barberino Val D'elsa

A winding hilly road, once the ancient Via Cassia and now State road n° 2, leads up to the town of Barberino Val d’Elsa, situated high up above the valley.


Discover Barberino Val d'Elsa
Barberino Val D'Elsa - FlorenceA winding hilly road, once the ancient Via Cassia and now State road n° 2, leads up to the town of Barberino Val d’Elsa, situated high up above the valley from which it takes its name and halfway between Florence and Siena, on the north-western borders of the Chianti area.
Looking at the fortified town walls surrounding the medieval heart of the town, we can easily imagine what the pilgrims or merchants would have found before them about six centuries ago when they arrived here on horseback or by mule on their way to Rome.
In Piazza Barberi we can find Palazzo Pretorio, decorated with the noble coats of arms of the Podestas or Magistrates and the apse of the Church of San Bartolomeo. Inside the church we can admire a fragment of an Annunciation by the school of Giotto (14th-15th century) and a bust in bronze by Pietro Tacca.
From the square, a long street - Via Francesco da Barberino – leads from the right down to the 14th century Porta Senese (Sienese Gate), and, from the left, towards the Ospedale dei Pellegrini (Pilgrims' Hospice) dating from 1365. Further down the hill and outside the walls, we can find the Town Hall with its Council Chamber frescoed by artist Marco Borgianni with elements recalling the landscape, history and culture of the town and its district.
Our exploration of the suggestive past and art of this area continues outside the town walls and gates. The entire district is in fact rich in tiny villages, parish churches and castles scattered here and there in the midst of the Tuscan countryside. Don't miss the very old Parish Church of Sant'Appiano, in stone (11th century) and brick (12th century), whose attached Antiquarium Museum contains various Etruscan finds and ceramics that come from the many necropoli in the area; the village of Linari, the romantic Castle of Poppiano at Vico d’Elsa and Petrognano.
The Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo is particularly interesting. Built in 1597 by Santi di Tito, it is a perfect 1:8 scale reproduction of the Cupola or Dome of the Cathedral of Florence. It was constructed on the site of the ancient city of Semifonte, completely razed to the ground by the Florentines in 1202. A most important factor in this area is the great care taken to ensure the quality of the environment.

Discovering Barberino Val d'Elsa
Barberino Val d'Elsa Entering the borough through the lower gate, to the left we find a noble palazzo: it is known as the Cardinal’s Palazzo and on its entrance door there is a coat of arms with bees, that is, the one of the Barberini, Pope Urban VIII’s powerful family. Inside there is a picturesque courtyard with a round well and a representation court: To the right of the door there is another fourteenth-century palazzo erected on the eastern walls and now turned into a farm. Proceeding along the main road, on the right we encounter the beautiful Palazzo Pretorio, now the provostship of San Bartolomeo, with a renaissance facade adorned with noble coats of arms belonging to the Magistrates up to the XV century.
Barberino Val d'Elsa The thirty-five coats of arms on the facade belong to the most important families of Florence and are mostly made of grey stone. On the opposite side of the square there is a building with a loggia that had the typical function of communal loggias as public area for representation, meetings or even covered markets. The provostship of Barberino underwent remarkable changes in the course of centuries until it was radically transformed in 1910 by the Florentine architect Castellucci, who also changed the orientation of the facade from the main square to the valley. An interesting remain of the old church is the cross, sculpted and enclosed in a sphere of the architrave external to the main door. Inside one can admire a few fragments of frescos dated XIV-XV century, a bust in bronze of the Blessed Davanzato as well as his mortal remains. Near the Florentine gate we find the Pilgrim’s Hospice in which there are some frescos and a tombstone. Recently restored, the building now houses the rooms of the Municipal Library. A statue has recently been placed in the square in front of the Town Hall, in commemoration of the fourteenth-century writer Francesco da Barberino to whom our town owes its existence, by the German sculptor Quirin Roth.
 

Routes in Elsa Valley
TignanoTignano

The picturesque castle of Tignano stands on a small and isolated hill (334 m.) directly facing Barberino, with an extensive view that takes in the Elsa Valley and the narrow Drove valley. It is perhaps the finest example of a walled village in the Elsa Valley. Its circular castle-like structure with a central square is particularly original. A steep slope leads up to the Florentine gate of the castle, further defended by a squat and square block of the Keep.
Tower House in Upper Tignano
This tower house was once part of the ring of defensive walls around the village.

Church of San Romolo
Originally built on a square plan in Romanesque style, this church was notably altered and restructured in the 20th century.

Oratory of Sant’Anna

Sixteenth century oratory situated inside the castle walls of Tignano. The interior, on a rectangular plan, has a trussed wooden roof.
The tabernacle of Tignano
This tabernacle, built in a niche in a raised wall, can be found on the road that descends from Tignano to Uliveto and is in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape.
MARCIALLA
It stands in a wonderful position right in the midst of the countryside, sprawled along the ridge-like hill that acts as a watershed between the Elsa and Pesa Valleys. The village boasts many unusual and unexpected architectural elements, such as old round arches, as well as fine houses in stone with aristocratic entrances. The pentagonal shaped square is extremely interesting. Marcialla is famous in particular for its climate, thanks to its hilltop position, about 400 metres above sea level, and gives on to splendid views over all the surrounding countryside.
Church of San Lorenzo at Vigliano
Various elements within the church date from the 10th-12th century. The building itself, constructed with rows of stone, is designed on a single nave with an apse. It was enlarged and restored in 1928.
Church of Santa Maria
The original structure of the building dates back to the 12th century, even though various alterations were carried out during the 16th century. The interior contains some very interesting 16th century paintings.
Palazzo Giannozzi 
The palace, with the characteristics of an urban villa, has an eighteenth century facade with Spanish influences. It contains a beautiful room with a vaulted Gothic ceiling lined with bricks set edgewise.
Villa San Lorenzo at Vigliano
Originally a convent known as San Lorenzo alle Grotte, the villa contains a small chapel.
PETROGNANO
The village of Petrognano sprawls along the green hills cultivated with vineyards that lie on either side of the road leading from Barberino to Certaldo. The tiny hamlet is made up of a series of ancient houses, scattered haphazardly around the Villa Capponi; in actual fact these buildings with their medieval towers resemble city houses more than country cottages, in spite of being deep in the countryside. This is because Petrognano was once a village attached to a city that has long disappeared: Semifonte.
The village of Petrognano
The small hamlet is formed of a cluster of houses built alongside the road, many of which also possess the vestiges of 13th and 14th century towers and elements from a castle.
Chapel of San Pietro
Originally a small church, the chapel contained several paintings, which, for the moment, have been transferred to the Church of San Donnino in the borough of Certaldo.
The Montigliano SS. Annunziata Tower House
A tower house in rural architecture possessing important elements that date from the 12th - 15th centuries. Enlarged several times over the years, it presents important and distinctive typological elements.
The Morello Tower House
A tower house with outbuildings dating from the 13th century, traditionally believed to having been part of the outer perimeter of Semifonte.
Archaeological remains at Petrognano
Remains dating from the Etruscan-Hellenistic and Imperial Roman periods were discovered between 1967 and 1968 after excavations were carried out by the Board of Archaeology of Florence.
SEMIFONTE
Semifonte no longer exists today, for it was razed to the ground by the Florentines, Dante's fellow citizens, in 1202. It possessed as many as four gates and a central keep with an octagonal tower. The cupola of San Donnino, the only building standing on the site today, was constructed four centuries later to commemorate those tragic events.
VICO D'ELSA
Small town of medieval origin situated in a strategic position on a low hill above the Via rancigena (Road to France) and in the vicinity of the bridge of San Galgano, which goes past Semifonte to ink the Volterra road to Florence. This ancient walled castle and town has retained its original oblong design with two central squares and two parallel streets that meet up near the two gates, which no longer exist today.
The Brancadoro - Majnoni - Guicciardini Chapel
Situated inside the Villa Guicciardini, this small chapel is characteristic for its harmonious geometric forms and for the splendid frescoes by Giovanni da San Giovanni.
Chapel of San Michele
The Chapel, the property of the Guicciardini family, is built with elegantly worked rows of stone in ypical Renaissance style, with a single nave without any decorative elements of note. A coat of arms hangs above the main entrance.

San Bernardo's churchChurch of San Bernardo
The church, a Gothic construction of great architectural interest, is situated in Piazza Torrigiani at Vico d’Elsa.

Church of Sant’Andrea
The church dates from the 14th century, but it was reconstructed in 1934 and has been raised in height in recent years. The interior contains valuable works of art.

Fattoria Torrigiani (Farm)
Large farm with a huge farming estate attached, situated on the site of the former Castle of the Florentine Republic, built to defend the Elsa Valley.
Villa Guicciardini
The villa, which incorporates the farm of the same name, was reconstructed during the 18th-19th centuries. The small chapel frescoed by Giovanni da San Giovanni in 1621 is of particular interest.
Villa Torrigiani
The villa, constructed between 1896 and 1899, is situated on a hill that dominates the Elsa Valley. The building is composed of a single construction surrounded by grounds shaded with great trees.
PONETA - PASTINE- POPPIANO
The tiny country village of Poneta stands on a low hill. It is cut through by the road that branches off from the Via Francigena at the bottom of the valley and climbs up to Barberino Val d’Elsa. The Church of Santa Maria at Poneta is extremely old and important. San Martino at Pastine is a small and very pretty church that dates from the 12th century; its original Romanesque structure and layout is substantially intact. The Castle of Poppiano, whose origins are extremely old, is situated on a hill overlooking the medieval towers of San Gimignano. Itwas completely rebuilt in Neo-medieval style with battlemented towers.
LINARI

This is a delightful fortified village of extremely ancient origins and particularly fascinating for its position among the verdant hills of the Elsa Valley. It stands on the road that branches off from the Via Francigena and leads towards Barberino. The little Church of Santa Maria, built on a Romanesque design with a fine eighteenth century bell-tower, stands at the highest point on the site of what was once the ancient Keep. The Castle itself is built around a paved central street that connected up the two gates.
Church of Santo Stefano at Linari
The tiny church, like many other rural churches in the area, is built in brick with typically Gothic decorative elements. The square bell-tower, with its curiously truncated cusp, is also Neo-Gothic in style.
SANT'APPIANO
The monumental group of buildings that composes Sant Appiano – the Romanesque Parish Church, the ruins of an octagonal building, the cloisters, the canons' house and the group of houses in the close vicinity forming the village - is situated on a pleasant hill and surrounded by dark cypress trees. The beauty of the landscape blends in perfectly with the sacred atmosphere of this place, which also preserves the remains of the Saint who gave his name to the village, originally called Monteloro.
Etruscan tombs
The remains of a single complex dating from the 8th century B.C., have been discovered near the Parish Church, while two chamber tombs have been found near Podere Piazza.
Parish Church of Sant Appiano Parish Church of Sant Appiano
This suggestive and beautiful Parish Church, mentioned in documents as early as 990, still retains many early Romanesque structural remains, like the part in stone in the left nave, the apse and the crypt.
Antiquarium of Sant’Appiano
The museum occupies two rooms that contain part of the archaeological material found in the surrounding area and unearthed during some of the excavation campaigns.


SAN MARTINO AI COLLIChapel of San Martino ai Colli
San Martino ai Colli is a group of very old houses built on either side of the Via Cassia road; many are farmhouses but some were originally built to offer various services to wayfarers, as well as pilgrims of course, on their way to Rome. The cemetery chapel now remains as the local place of worship.
Chapel of San Martino ai Colli
Situated inside the cemetery of San Martino, the chapel has taken on historical importance since the discovery of two Etruscan tombs dating from the 8th-7th centuries B.C. beneath its foundations. 

Necropolis of San Martino ai Colli 
The excavations of 1960 brought to light a necropolis with chamber tombs and funerary furnishings dating from the end of the 6th century.
Castle of PanerettaSAN FILIPPO - PONZANO
Stretched along the hill, the country village of San Filippo is composed of various groups of houses set in a particularly beautiful landscape. The central group is more typically urban as it is cut through by a stone-paved road that comes to an end at the church of San Filippo at Ponzano. This 12th-13th century Romanesque church is built on a rectangular plan with an apse.
MONSANTO - LA PANERETTA

Monsanto is situated in a panoramic position on the ridge of the hill that rises between the river Drove and the stream of Cepperello. Standing on the border between Florence and Siena, it is surrounded by forests, where we can also find the famous wood composed solely of cypress trees.
Castle of Paneretta Palace al Pino
The aristocratic architectural style of the villa includes various structural elements that can be traced back to the 17th-18th centuries.
Castle of Paneretta
The ancient fortress villa of Paneretta was built around an existing medieval tower. The square structure, the central tower and the three corner towers were part of the original building.
CORTINE
This tiny hamlet, surrounded by countryside that still shows signs of the traditional farming methods, is composed of a handful of houses in stone, a church, and a large mansion. The splendid tower house of Torre del Chito, situated in a strategic position for the defence of the road along the boundary between Florence and Siena, the cause of centuries of war, is a really splendid example of medieval defensive architecture.
Villa Cortine
The Villa, built in post-Renaissance style, boasts several important typological elements. Recently renovated, it is today a private residence. 
Castle of Cortine 
The Castle can be found mentioned in a document concerning a donation to the Abbey of San Salvatore all’Isola as early as 1038.
OLENA - SAN GIORGIO
The tiny hamlet of Olena lies on the edges of the great Chianti woodlands and is formed of a cluster of houses built around the church. It makes a charming and old-fashioned rural scene, with an atmosphere of the past, further enhanced by the unique landscape all around. The surrounding countryside is particularly beautiful thanks to the combination of woods and hills covered in vineyards. The Hospital of San Giorgio is instead an isolated building that was originally constructed in medieval times to assist the poor pilgrims and wayfarers.


Barberino Val D'elsa sourrondings

 


Barberino Val D'Elsa: discover the surroundings

  • Poggibonsi Poggibonsi (8 km)
    Poggibonsi rises nearby the confluence of the Staggia torrent in the Elsa river, along the valley dividing the region of the Chianti by the Colline Metallifere.
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  • Staggia castle Staggia castle (8 km)
    The walls of Staggia castle in Poggibonsi join the castle on the northern side and are today almost intact, with the exception of two short interruptions.
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  • Certaldo Certaldo (11 km)
    Certaldo is divided between its medieval walled town on a hill and the modern residential and industrial suburb spread out below.
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  • Castellina in Chianti Castellina in Chianti (12 km)
    The centre of Castellina in Chianti built up area is the ancient fortress designed in the second half of the fifteenth century by the great architect Giuliano da Sangallo.
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  • Montefioralle Montefioralle (12 km)
    The village of Montefioralle is probably one of the most ancient in Chianti and is still today enclosed within its original walls.
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  • Greve in Chianti Greve in Chianti (12 km)
    In the ancient times, Greve in Chianti was a small built-up area of the territory called "Agro di Florentia", even if expert and researchers of the Etruscan civilization claim that it can date back to a previous century.
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  • San Casciano Val di Pesa San Casciano Val di Pesa (13 km)
    Situated to the south of Florence, San Casciano is surrounded by the neighbouring Communes of Scandicci and Impruneta.
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  • San Gimignano San Gimignano (13 km)
    San Gimignano rises on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its towers.
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  • Montespertoli Montespertoli (14 km)
    Montespertoli in ancient times, the Etruscans inhabited these lands, but Latin place names are mostly reminiscent of the numerous Roman settlements that flourished here.
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  • Colle Val D'Elsa Colle Val D'Elsa (15 km)
    Colle di Val d'Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, in a strategic position, close to the cities of Siena, Florence and Volterra, along the route of the old Via Francigena
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  • Valdelsa Valdelsa (15 km)
    Val d'Elsa is located in the heart of Tuscany, in a strategic position near the cities of Siena, Florence and Volterra.
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  • SentierElsa SentierElsa (15 km)
    The way down is located to the left of the bridge of San Marziale, as one stands with one's back to Colle di Val d'Elsa.
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  • Monteriggioni Monteriggioni (17 km)
    Monteriggioni is without doubt one of the most classical and best known Italian walled town.
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  • Impruneta Impruneta (17 km)
    The territory of Impruneta is included in the system of lower hills between the Greve River and the Ema River. This territory slowly slopes down to Florence.
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  • Terracotta of Impruneta Terracotta of Impruneta (17 km)
    For Impruneta the art of terracotta is both an important heritage of great value and a primary element of its cultural identity.
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  • Chianti museums Chianti museums (17 km)
    Chianti museums: Museo di Arte Sacra of Impruneta, Basilica di Santa Maria of Impruneta, Museo di Santa Maria sul Prato of San Casciano val di Pesa, Museo di San Cascinao
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Accommodations in the area


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 11 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Agriturismo la Lucciolaia

    In the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Agriturismo La Lucciolaia is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized art towns.
    This ancient farmhouse has been recently renovated and divided into eleven double rooms and two Suites, where the magic atmosphere of past times is perfectly blended with modern comforts.

    Availability request


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 14 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Relais della Rovere

    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
    Set in Colle Val d'Elsa, in the heart of the Chianti area, it is strategically located among Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra.

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    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 14 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto

    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto located in the vicinity of the medieval centre of San Gimignano, nestled in the rolling hills of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside.
    Provides comfortable accommodation in 6 double bedrooms and two Suites

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 14 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.

    Availability request


    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 15 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    B&B la Fornace di Racciano

    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    La Fornace di Racciano consists of seven comfortable rooms and four apartments, two of which are located in the ancient hamlet of Racciano.

    Availability request


    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 18 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    La Pieve

    La Pieve, charming farmhouse located on the hills of Val d'Elsa, between Volterra and San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, with its luxuriant nature and rich history.
    Framed by olive trees and a wood, it fosters a direct dialogue with nature in complete relaxation where they contemplate and enjoy the stillness in private and unique spaces.

    Availability request


    • Firenze (Florence)
    • 23 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

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    • Siena (Siena)
    • 26 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Agriturismo Marciano

    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
    Five confortable double rooms and a suite with a beautiful sight on the Siena Duomo

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    • Fucecchio (Florence)
    • 42 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Relais Hotel Vedute

    Relais Hotel Vedute Florence surrounded by green countryside is located in a strategic position near Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Pisa and Siena
    Our Wellness Center & Ayurvedic Thai Aquamor invites you to know Ayurvedic and Thai experience in Fucecchio Florence

    Availability request


    • Castagneto Carducci (Livorno)
    • 63 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Podere Vignanova

    Podere Vignanova, little charming resort in Tuscany, in one of the more enchanting corners of the Etruscan coast, where vineyards with wines which are conquering the world.
    Surrounded by important vineyards in Castagneto hills the farm holding includes an old country house which hosts 4 comfortable flats and 4 delightful suites.

    Availability request


    • Lucca (Lucca)
    • 64 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Historic Villa Lucca 12 beds pool

    Historic villa 14 km from the center of Lucca immersed in the green of the Tuscan vineyards and olive groves, it has a private swimming pool and a large park.
    Set on 350 square meters in a dominant position offers a unique view of the hills of Tuscany.

    Availability request


    • Montepulciano (Siena)
    • 69 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Agriturismo le Caggiole

    Immersed in the verdant countryside around the noble town of Montepulciano, that boasts ancient Etruscan origins, Le Caggiole Estate is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized treasures.
    In a relaxing and cosy atmosphere uests are offered three comfortable, quiet double rooms with private bathrooms and two comfortable apartments for two persons and for small family groups.

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    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 76 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Stone Farmhouse Massarosa 8 beds pool

    Stone farmhouse in typical Tuscan style skilfully and elegantly renovated in a dominant position on the hills of Massarosa with spectacular views that reach the sea of Tuscany. The farmhouse has a swimming pool with whirlpool.
    Perfect solution for those that search the real authentic Tuscany staying in the hills but not far from the Versilia sea.

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    • Massarosa (Lucca)
    • 79 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Farmhouse Massarosa 14 beds pool

    Beautiful ancient Tuscan farmhouse completely renovated located on Tuscan hills 10 km from the golf course of Versilia. The villa can accommodate up to 14 people.
    An oasis of peace for those looking for a stay in the Tuscan hills while staying close to the sea. Perfect for a relaxing holiday in close contact with nature.

    Availability request


    • Camaiore (Lucca)
    • 80 km from Barberino Val D'Elsa

    Villa Pieve di Camaiore 8 beds pool

    Luxury and charming villa with swimming pool for rent surrounded by the green hills of Camaiore not far from the sea of the Tuscan coast.
    The villa is ideal for those looking for an oasis of absolute peace and relaxation guaranteed by the elevated position and the external fence in style.

    Availability request



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