Wine, Wifi, swimming pool, and other essentials
The swimming pool is the perfect place to relax after a tough day at the Uffizi. The natural stone-tiled pool area is a short but tactful distance from the house, and offers the most amazing sunset views, as well as the opportunity to watch the cheeky swallows having an evening dip in the pool. There are plenty of deck-chairs and sun-loungers, as well as umbrellas and the natural shade from the oak trees near the pool. The pool terrace is a great place to enjoy a shady picnic while overlooking the rich Tuscan landscape, or to spot some of the local wild-life, especially just before dusk. Wild boar, deer and foxes have all been spotted here.
The pool is usually open from June to September, but this is somewhat weather dependent.
NB There is no pool supervision, so NO children under the age of 16 may use the pool unsupervised.
The Terracotta Terrace
There is a large tiled area surrounded by a dense rosemary hedge. It has one of the best views in Tuscany, especially at sunset. There are plenty of tables and chairs, and gazebos to provide shade. Many of our guests use the Terrace for sunset drinks or bring their meals here to enjoy their dinner as the sun dips behind the Apennines and San Gimignano.
Wi-Fi in Tuscany
We have a perfectly adequate internet connection, which we share with our guests via 2 free Wi-Fi zones, one on the Jasmine Courtyard, and the main one in the Old Franoio. Feel free to use these for everyday, low-impact connections, but, as the connection is shared amongest everyone, and it's not exactly optic-fibre speeds, please do not stream TV/films or upload your camera contects onto Facebook.
You'll find plenty of free Wi-Fi connections in bars, towns and cities. If you prefer your own guaranteed connection buy a data plan from your cell provider, or rent a portable 3G/4G Wifi hotspot for the duration of your trip. You and your fellow travellers can then use this wherever you are - handy for when you are out sight-seeing.
The Mezzanine Library
The Villa houses a well-stocked library, everything from Russian Classics to pulp fiction, from discourses on Renaissance Art to self-help books. You are free to browse and read as you please, and the paperback section works as a like-for-like swapping library in case you have finished your book early and want to take one of ours with you.
The Outdoor Cinema
We are hoping to have a number of outdoor cinema nights showing some Anglo-Italian classics. We will let you know if we are planning a showing when you arrive.
Walking through Patrignone
Patrignone is set in 150 acres of lush forest and olive groves. We are slowly cleaning paths and tracks which should enable you to wander and explore as you please. Ask us for some tips on the best paths when you get here, and remember to bring some walking shoes if you are planning to venture further than the pool.
The Old Frantoio & Dining Room
The Frantoio is the old olive pressing room where the original Patrignone olive oil was pressed. All the original pressing equipment has been rescued and restored, making this one of the most beautiful and interesting rooms at Patrignone. This large room with stained glass windows and lamps is now used as a central lounge and meeting room, where you can enjoy pre-dinner drinks at our fully stocked ´Honesty Bar´, check out our growing library of local guide books and reference books, swap your paperback for something more racey, or help yourself to our selection of games.
It's also where we have our main Wi-Fi area.
There is a large communal dining room, renovated wonderfully from what used to be an old stable (the horses, of course, have long gone). It seats up to thirty, and is simply furnished with Italian oak chairs and tables. Much of the room was originally cut straight out of the Tuscan hill-side rock, and this has left some beautifully lit niches, with shades designed and crafted from stained glass by one of Carla´s artistic brothers, Dany Govoni.
If you decide to eat with us, this is where dinner is served.
The Koi Pool and Gazebo
The Koi pond is a peaceful landscaped area made up of a stone built circular pond, with a seating area all around. It has dozens of Koi carp and goldfish, and it is very quiet and cool as it is shaded by large cypress trees. There is a gazebo to one side which is a lovely place to read in the summer.
NB It is NOT a safe area for young children to roam unsupervised.
Phones, internet and work
Most people come to Patrignone to get away from it all. They don´t want to be reminded of the mountain of work they probably have waiting for them when they get back. But sometimes work can´t be avoided. So if you need to work, please be sensitive to your fellow guests. Your cell phone should work fairly well out here, but please try to make and take your calls away from others. Please do not use your mobile around the pool, pond or on the Terrace. We have a Wifi in the Old Frantoio and the Jasmine Courtyard with a less-than-supersonic internet connection, perfectly adequate for email and Skype.
However, if I were you, I´d check your messages once a day and leave your phone off the rest of the time. Whatever it is, it can usually wait.
Karen & Ali - UK 2014