Just 3km from the house, this local spa town has plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. There are also two museums in the town: the ‘Delle Acque’ museum has archaeological and historical exhibits, including Etruscan and Roman artefacts and a reconstruction of rooms from an Etruscan farmhouse; and the ‘Museum of the Collegiata’ contains various frescoes, paintings, carvings, sculptures and silverware by renowned Siena artists.
Enjoy a spa treatment
Chianciano Terme is a spa resort, the word ‘terme’ being the Italian for thermal bath. Its heyday was in the 50s and 60s as you’ll note from the hotels. The baths themselves have a surprisingly sophisticated set-up with multiple pools, baths and treatments available.The staff at the main spa in Chianciano are incredibly helpful with plenty of information in English.
The Gardens of La Foce
These formal gardens at Chianciano Terme are one of the grandest in Italy, and a main cultural attraction in this area. Designed by Cecil Pinsent and commissioned in the 1920s by an Anglo-American historian and biographer who became the Marchioness of Chianciano. Not to be missed but plan carefully as visits are by guided tour only on weekends and Wednesday afternoons.
Take a walk around Montepulciano
A beautiful Italian town full of Renaissance palaces, ancient churches, and charming squares. A walk through Montepulciano is the best way to view the town and its landmarks as well as enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Piazza Grande is the heart of Montepulciano and the setting for its main events, including the barrel-racing Bravio delle Botti contest held at the end of August.
Visit a winery
Montepulciano is home to the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Rosso di Montepulciano wines. Situated under the Palazzo Tarugi and Palazzo Sinatti (two of the oldest buildings in the town) is the Talosa Cellar. Take a tour of these 16th century cellars which include an Etruscan tomb and then enjoy tasting these renowned wines or try the Cantina Contucci just off the Piazza Grande, where you can view how the city's jail was converted into a wine cellar.
Tennis and bicycle hire are available at the sports centre in Chianciano, and horse riding can be practised in nearby Chiusi.
Pienza - the city of cacio (cheese!)
This charming village is widely known as the "ideal city of the Renaissance", the creation of the great humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II. Pienza is also the city of cacio, which means cheese! The Pecorino of Pienza is a tasty cheese made from sheep's milk, renowned worldwide and delicious. The town streets are full of small charming shops selling various types of pecorino that you can taste together with a number of other typical local products, such as fine wines, spices, and pici (handmade pasta). We recommend stopping and tasting!
Round of golf
There is a 9 hole golf course approximately 30 minutes drive from Mulino d'Anna, the Golf Club Valdichiana.
Often described as Florence's rival, Siena is well worth a visit. More gothic in style, this striking medieval town spills across three hill tops. Siena's heart is its unique central piazza, Il Campo, shaped like a shell with scalloped edges and known worldwide for the famous Palio run, a horse race that is run around the piazza every summer. The painters Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers made Siena their home and were among a host of brilliant artists who created the distinctive Sienese style.
The capital of the region and its largest city, Perugia is one of Umbria’s best preserved medieval hills towns. A beautiful and elegant place, it teems with history, architecture and art yet at the same time, it is very much a modern city, vibrant and full of life with lots to see and do throughout the year. You may wish to take the ‘Perugia City Tour’ bus, which leaves Piazza Italia throughout the day or you may simply want to start wandering and discover the city at your own pace, stopping for a cappuccino at one of the many cafés, or to look in the windows of the stylish shops lining the Corso Vannucci.
A beautiful pink-hued town which is famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis, the patron saint of Italy, of animals and of peace. The first thing you will see as you approach the town is the huge and imposing Basilica of San Francesco. You will also come across yet more stunning churches and palazzi in the town. Assisi is worth visiting either early in the day or late afternoon.
Città della Domenica
This animal and amusement park opened in 1963, and is still a favourite! Occupying 100 acres on a hillside overlooking Perugia, it is a lovely setting for a family day out. There is plenty of parkland to roam, or enjoy the views from the comfort of the little train. There are many animals to see, including kangaroos, ostriches, llamas, donkeys and many birds. In the farm area, children can get hands on and help to milk the cows! There are also themed areas to explore such as Pinocchio’s Village and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, a Medieval zone, a space shuttle and the Wild West. A programme of activities and shows runs each day. Other attractions include mini-karts, mini-boats, slides, a maze and inflatable play area.
Just to the east, over the border in Umbria, Lake Trasimeno is Italy's fourth largest lake and its environs are a protected regional park covering 13,200 hectares, including the Oasi la Valle wetlands which are an important habitat for migratory birds. You will find some good waterfront fish restaurants around the lake and eight public beaches, with opportunities to practise water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and wake boarding.
Take a boat trip
You can book a private boat trip across Lake Trasimeno from Castiglione del Lago or Passignano. There are also public ferries that leave from the lakeside villages of Tuoro, Passignano and Castiglione regularly throughout the summer to Isola Maggiore in the middle of the lake.
Train trip to Florence
Trains leave from Chiusi, just 20 minutes drive from the house and in 1 hour 30 minutes you will be pulling in to Florence. One of the most beautiful cities in Italy, if not the world, Florence (or Firenze in Italian) must be visited, if only for a day. Surrounded by the beautiful Florentine hills, the city sits either side of the River Arno in a natural bowl. The ‘centro storico’ consists of an overwhelming abundance of Renaissance ‘palazzi’, museums and churches that are world famous for their beauty, art and history.
Train to Rome
Leaving from Chiusi, you can be in Rome by train in under 2 hours ready to explore the many sights of this city which has captured the imagination of visitors for millennia. The world's largest open air museum, a walk around the city will take you past the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps - to name just a few of the famous landmarks. With so much to see a day’s sightseeing will only afford a tantalising glimpse of what it has to offer.
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