On your arrival help is on hand from your villa managers to book extra cleaning or maid services, cooking services or lessons, wine tasting, restaurants, golf and riding and a host of other activities to ensure that you have a memorable and relaxing stay. Please call us for more details and prices, or click through on the links below.
Wine Guide - guide to local wines which can be pre-ordered for your arrival
With Pisa, Siena and Florence all less than an hour away and plenty of activities nearby, Escape to Tuscany is the perfect setting for family holidays, weddings and parties, romantic getaways, spa breaks, golfing weekends, or cultural tours of the surrounding region.
Prices start from as little as £150 per person per week, or under £100 for four days… Just about any activity you can think of can be arranged for you.
History and heritage are sacrosanct to all Italians. From the beautiful architecture, frescos and art to the time-honoured traditions of truffle hunting and the violent spectacle of the Palio, all have been preserved to pass on to future generations of the all-important famiglia.
Almost every single village and town in Tuscany is proud of its ancient heritage and will have some prized religious artefact or painting for the visitor to discover. Ancient Etruscan and Roman remains are almost commonplace in Tuscany, with some of the most outstanding being found in the spectacular hill fortress town of Volterra, just a short drive from San Martino, where there is an Etruscan museum, Etruscan remains and an impressive Roman theatre and ruins.
The historic Tuscan cities of Florence (1hr), Siena (45mins) and Pisa (1hr) are all easily accessible and should not be missed - Florence’s busy Ponte Vecchio, the leaning Tower of Pisa’s ‘Field of Miracles’ and Siena’s spectacular medieval square are unforgettable, or lose yourself in one of the many museums or art galleries or just wandering around the historic streets.
Art courses taught by a local artist who also lectures in the University of Florence: Carlo Romiti has been painting for years using earth which he himself collects from the local area. Following an ancient technique, the dried raw earth is pounded in stone mortars and sifted, mixed with water, egg or different glues, or even flax oil, to create paints with their own natural ‘brightness’. These are used to create incredible original canvases which express the wildness and movement of nature, which is mirrored in Carlo’s sculptures in stone, bronze, wood and ceramic – his favourite subjects are those that surround him: horses and dogs, roedeer and wild boars in the nearby woods, and the local landscape.
Tuscany is a gastronomic delight. Ripened under the glorious sun even the simplest tomatoes taste truly delicious.. sliced on toasted ciabatta, drizzled with olio and grazed with herbs from the garden, they take on a whole new meaning..
Restaurants are plentiful and extremely good in the area around San Martino. Fattorias, osterias and restaurants offering local delicacies such as crostini, cinghiale and porcini abound in the many tiny villages and hamlets close to San Martino and cater for every budget.
In house cooks can also be arranged for those not wanting to stray from their villa. Cooks will cater for 6 up to 60 people and prices range from E20.00 to E40.00 pp. They must be booked a minimum of 1 month in advance.
Wine is produced to a high standard at many of the local vineyards (a couple within walking distance). Wine tastings can be arranged at some of the many fine wine producers within the region. The quality of wine in the Tuscan region has improved notably over the last 20 years and the new super Tuscans rival the finest wines in the world. Expect to also find high quality honeys, grappas and sweet wines.
Cooking lessons from Bruno Staccioli: Born in Colle di Val D’Elsa, Bruno has dedicated his life to writing, painting and cooking. Starting his cooking career in famous restaurants in Italy and Paris, he later opened his own restaurant in Colle which was favourably reviewed by international food critics. He now lives in the countryside near Poggibonsi, where he has his studio, and works as head chef at an organic food restaurant. Bruno is happy to visit San Martino to teach you the basics of Italian cooking or, for more experienced cooks, advanced techniques and recipes.
Golf is a relatively undiscovered pleasure in Tuscany: There are a number of visually stunning and challenging courses in the region, seven of which are within an hour’s drive of the properties. The nearest, Castelalfi Golf and Country Club, is just 15 minutes’ drive away and presents a tough, but fascinating test. In contrast to many better-known venues, most golf courses in Tuscany are not overplayed and are readily accessible to both the casual visitor and organised tour parties. The location of San Martino means that you are in the ideal location to experience seven of the best courses in Tuscany. A driver can be arranged to suit your parties requirements.
Horse-riding is available within 15 minutes’ drive. Hack in the spectacular countryside, or take lessons from beginner level to advanced dressage, in the capable hands of qualified instructors. Both Western and English styles are catered for, on a variety of highly-trained, quality horses.
Other activities included guided walks, cycling, Tennis (courts 15 minutes away) and Skiing. For those staying a week or so there is skiing in the newly developed Abbetone range, about 1.5 hours’ drive away.
Spa breaks - A girls’ weekend away.. or an alternative hen party – San Martino is the perfect venue to spend some quality time with your friends. You could start off by unwinding in our blissful spa with relaxing essential oils, beautiful Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room… If that isn’t enough pampering for you, we can arrange a visit from a beauty therapist for some on-site treatments… Enjoy meals cooked for you at one of the many local restaurants… Shop ‘til you drop at San Gimignano, Florence or Siena, or at designer outlet stores for D&G, Prada, Gucci and more – all within an hours drive - or simply stock up on wonderful Tuscan specialities – amazing olive wood or glass crafts, fine wines and foods…follow the example of our last girls’ party who departed happily laden with delicious olive oils, salamis, cheeses, wine, cakes and chocolates… Enjoy some culture – visit one of the art galleries in San Gimignano, or take a trip to the Uffizi in Florence.. Above all, enjoy getting away from it all in San Martino’s peaceful surroundings.
Other services are available on request. For further details please have a look at the attached brochure and price list.
Children are welcomed to San Martino, we had our two babies in Poggibonsi so we have acquired all the equipment, services and knowledge required to help families (and parents) have a stress and relaxing stay free stay.
If you have the energy to explore beyond your gardens and the pools there is plenty of space for your Children to run around in and have a fabulous time. We have 100 acres including woodland olive groves and laid out paths for walking and playing. Enclosed within the old vineyard we have ‘Castle Camelot’ a four turreted castle with swings, slide, climbing walls, playhouse, sand pits and more. For animal lovers we have cats and dogs as well as several retired ponies all of whom are entirely safe with even the tiniest babies, and who adore being petted. Zanzi and Parsley have astonished many of our guests with their tolerance towards our youngest clients!
For your convenience we offer cots, bedding, hi-chairs, changing equipment, bath seats etc just request them when you book.
Each property is tailor made every week for your family with playhouses, paddling pools, drawing-boards and other toys for your complimentary use. For older children and adults we have a tennis court and badminton sets. Full Sky TV is available with all the childrens, film and sport packages in case there’s a rainy day or you just need to chill.
We are able to recommend English speaking Montessori qualified child minders and babysitters so that you can enjoy some relaxing time alone....
Shopping, food deliveries and chef services are all available. One of our most recommended services is the arrival food delivery comprising quite simply the best lasagna we have all ever tasted followed by a simply divine tiramisu ( no coffee or alcohol and added fruit).
The "famiglia" is all important to Italians and you and your children will be welcomed and helped in local Osterias and restaurants.
Trattorias, osterias and restaurants offering local delicacies such as crostini, cinghiale and porcini abound in the many tiny villages and hamlets close to San Martino.
Vendita Dirretta are signs that should be followed by anyone interested in the local wines, spumante, olive oils and honey. Wine tasting is available at both the large estates and also at local farms. Some may require bookings and others just a knock at the door.
We think that part of the fun of your holiday in Tuscany is discovering your own favourite restaurants, food and wine. On the click through page below Local Restaurants we have detailed some of our favourites and things to try. Our staff will be more than happy to arrange bookings.
Producers in Tuscany, and especially those just outside the Chianti Classico area, have been working hard for the past few years to improve the quality of wines produced in the region. Many new grapes have been introduced resulting in more varied and delicious new wines. Some of the finest wines in the area are privately produced in very low volumes and are only sold into the local market. Our wine selections (see price list) are all personally selected from among the best local producers and will not be found on supermarket shelves.
The local vineyard owners are always delighted to explain the intricacies of wine production and to offer tasting to interested parties. We are happy to arrange visits before or during your stay.
Contact us for details of wine weeks where you can enjoy a guided tour of 3-4 vineyards, an evening meal and tasting of local specialities (a good reason to visit in November, see Tuscan Events Diary).
A welcome hamper is provided on arrival for all our guests. Further supplies can be arranged for your arrival, see the Hampers and Supplies and Wine Guide links below.
Il Castagno – Snacks and a handful of provisions can be bought at the local restaurant with some polite bargaining.
There are local COOP’s in San Gimignano, Montaione and Gambassi with a good stock of most things you could need; they also have delis, bread counters and meat counters. In addition, on the drive to San Martino from Pisa in Ponsacco there is an excellent COOP. Stop and stock up on route. There are also small supermarkets that stay open quite late (owner dependent), which is good if you’ve forgotten something. San Gimignano, in particular, offers a vast selection of shops selling local delicacies.
Poggibonsi is about 25 minutes away and has two large supermarkets; Supermercato and the COOP hypermarket. You can buy anything you will need in Poggibonsi, it looks industrial on the outskirts but the centre has some fabulous boutiques.
There are also hundreds of local food markets in Tuscany, see below for a list of locations and dates.
San Martino on site manager
+ 39 334 8835044
+ 39 334 1178526
Escape to Tuscany
38 Fernhurst Road, London SW6 7JW
+44 7961 111334