Entire House in Siena: Papaveri
L’Aia Country Holidays is an enchanting group of old agricultural buildings only 1km from Siena. All have been lovingly restored by the owners in the rustic style typical of Tuscany.
There are several options for your stay at L’Aia and you can choose between a variety of apartments and rooms. All, however, cater for your every comfort, just as a holiday should. Discover the pleasures of staying at L’Aia.
“I Papaveri” is the biggest of our apartments. It is suitable for a large family or group of friends and can accommodate up to six people.
The apartment is on two levels. Up a few steps to your left there is a large messanine area with warm wooden flooring. Two armchairs and a double sofabed make a comfortable place where you can sit and chat or play games on colder evenings. The ground floor, from where there is access to a private garden, has an ample living room with integral kitchen leading to the bathroom and the two bedrooms (double and twin). The building is completely detached and is surrounded by a private garden enclosed by a “green wall” on top of which grow examples of the area’s aromatic plants for use in the kitchen.
L’Aia (Aia means “threshing barn”. It is also the Italian name for The Hague) has a complex history. Located on the mediaeval pilgrim route, the Via Francigena, the original residence was called “Spedaletto di Uopini” (the Hospice at Uopini). It was built by the Senese cloth trader, Giovanni Colombini, who founded the Ingesuati Order, was beatified and, immediately after his death, became the protector of Senese traders. Giovanni took a vow of poverty and dedicated all his property to providing hospitality to travellers and the needy. In 1363, the buildings were donated to the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena and under this administration, the property was transformed into a place for curing the infirm. A document of 1440 states that the hospice was a “place of recovery for pilgrims and wayfarers comprising of 8 rooms, a stable and the room of the hospitaler”.
Following Grand Duke Leopoldo II of Tuscany’s edict of 1751 to regulate Tuscan hospitals, the hospice was closed and sold to become a private residence.
In the first half of the 19th century, “lo Spedaletto” was acquired by the painter Francesco Nenci who personally decorated the sitting-room of the main house. He also painted the annex of the church of Santa Croce where there is an interesting altar-piece. Church and sitting-room can be visited on request.
The buildings have all been recently restored to reflect their history and the tradition of “lo Spedaletto”. As our predecessors did in days gone by, we welcome modern-day travellers visiting Siena and its environs.
Holidays, whether long or short, are times for relaxing and being pampered. To help you feel as comfortable as possible during your stay at L’Aia, we have provided air conditioning, satellite TV, direct-dial telephones and hairdryers in the bathrooms. There are also washing machines and irons provided in the apartments.
We also thought of the comfort of our guests when we designed the outside space. There are wooden tables for eating lunch or dinner in the open air; there is a “campo da bocce” (a typical Tuscan game of bowls); there are areas for 5-a-side football and volleyball, which can also be used for badminton; there is a swimming pool amongst the olive trees which blends in with the rustic style of L’Aia. Paths and borders are built of old bricks and retaining walls amongst the olives are in local stone. By the swimming pool, you can sunbathe, relax in the shade of the pergola or take the opportunity to improve your fitness in the small gym, as well as swim of course! A corner of this area is reserved as the internet point should you need to work or consult your emails during your stay with us.
We haven’t forgotten the children either; they can play safely and undisturbed amongst the olive trees. To make their stay even more enjoyable, we have created a wooden play area where they can amuse themselves and where parents can also relax.
Bicycle hire is available for cycling enthusiasts. The nearby towns of the world-renowned Chianti region can be easily reached by bike from L’Aia. This area is particularly beautiful during the autumn when the vines and the oak forests are changing colour and where villages and churches can be found hidden amongst the hills.
For those of our guests without their own transport but who still wish to travel farther afield, we are able to organise car hire.
Additional fees, if applicable, must be arranged directly with the Host after booking. Only accommodation fees are payable when booking through the HouseTrip platform.
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