Podere Isabella is a traditional Tuscan stone country house built in 1900, inhabited by peasant families until the 1960’s and given as a wedding present from the bride’s father in 1990 to a young couple, Bebetta Campeti, actress, writer, documentary film-maker, traveller and healer, and Stefano Manca di Villahermosa, theatre actor, financial consultant, meditator and producer of an excellent organic olive oil in their nearby property in Montepulciano.
The house has a unique 360° degree view on the spectacular panorama of the Val d’Orcia and is a truly enchanted place, born out of love and the search for beauty.
It sits in an area filled with timeless art, ancient small villages and pictoresque landscapes, not to mention thermal pools, fine dining, and wine tasting of the most famous red Italian wines. It’s a place for rest and relaxation, at the end of a dirt road with only a few scattered neighbours, and enjoys total privacy.
The furniture is a mixture of colonial teak Javanese and heritage pieces, contemporary art from the owner’s collection and travel memories. The natural colours on the walls, painted by a Florentine artisan, have been carefully selected with a Feng Shui Master, who designed the landscaping and fountains to enhance the harmony of the place and bring peace and good luck to its dwellers.
The villa has six bedrooms and five bathrooms and sleeps 14 at its full capacity.
These are a master bedroom with super king size bed, one twin with two queen size beds, one double that can be made up as a king size bed or twin, a triple room/study with fireplace that can be made into a double + 1 extra bed, a quadruple with two beds downstairs and two in a mezzanine, and a single room.
One of the most coveted areas in summer is a porch for al fresco dining, with a king size sofa for reading and relaxing and looking at the rolling hills in front.
The top landscape artist of the area designed the garden, with olive trees, cypress, oaks, antique roses, and sweet scented Mediterranean shrubs.
A sea of rosemary surrounds the pool (14×5), hidden from view, but with a breath-taking view of Mount Amiata, a sacred mountain with a history of utopian colonies, and a Buddhist retreat centre of the Nyingmapa tradition on its slopes.
As their children grew up, the couple restored the Annex adjacent to the house, built in 1930 and opened in 2007 as a retreat centre, following instructions from a dream. The centre was run by Aurora, a charity, hosted international spiritual teachers, and was the seat of the inter-cultural, multi-disciplinary Aurora Nature & Spirit Festival. It is now available for private rental, for holidays or groups.
It has three double bedrooms, four bathrooms, a spacious 120 square meters living room that can double as a practice room or as a dormitory for up to 10 people on sofa beds and futons, an 80 square meters Yoga and meditation room, a professional kitchen and dining room, fully equipped for 30 people, and plenty of space to dine outside. The latest addition is a barbecue with traditional brick oven to make pizza, bread and other mouth-watering specialties of the area.