The brainchild of one of Italy’s top contemporary architects, the private hamlet of Casamora is a dazzlingly successful marriage between the historic and the high-tech. It forms the stylish centrepiece of a 2500-acre farming estate set on the sunny, western slope of the Pratomagno mountain range, mid-way between Florence and Arezzo. The hamlet – or, more properly, borgo – offers three luxurious holiday residences arranged around a beautiful stone piazza with a burbling fountain and a huge swimming pool , including three more villas with private gardens, two sharing the pool with the hamlet and one with its own private pool. Setting the tone for the property is the reception area: a grand, two-storey structure, built in the 16th century as a carpentry workshop, where rustic stone walls are complemented by modern furnishings, state-of-the-art lighting and an astonishing suspended library offering high-speed internet and a vast collection of books on Tuscan topics. Casamora boasts its own restaurant, where the chef makes full use of the estate’s own organic produce, including a range of award-winning olive oils. Next door, the enoteca is one of the most appealing rooms in the borgo, not least because its walls are lined with a mouth-watering selection of Tuscany’s finest wines and grappas – notably those from the Chianti, only 30 minutes away. The hamlet, or more properly Borgo: Each of Casa Mora’s residences is unique, but L’Ulivo offers some particularly interesting features. Arranged along a dramatically lit hallway on the lower level, each of the very spacious bedrooms boasts high, partially beamed ceilings and glass doors opening to the garden or a small terrace. On the upper floor, an exposed brick arch supports a magnificent, peaked wooden ceiling that runs the length of the house.
A sitting room with a TV opens to a second sitting area that, in turn, opens to a sunny terrace overlooking the swimming pool. At the far end of the house, an ultra-modern fitted kitchen shares a large room with a massive, double fireplace and a long, gleaming dining table. In traditional Tuscan style, the two floors are connected by indoor and outdoor staircases. Impeccably restored to the same high standard as all the buildings at Casamora, Villa Il Noce is one of the oldest structures in the borgo and opens directly onto its main piazza through a shady loggia. On the ground floor the villa’s very high wood-beamed ceilings overlook a spacious living room, a large eat-in kitchen and a double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The three bedrooms on the upper level, also with ensuite bathrooms, overlook the piazza and the estate’s beautiful, infinity-edged swimming pool. A lovely old footbridge made of pietra serena connects I Meli directly to the estate’s beautiful pool terrace – a convenient feature for early-morning swimmers! Finished in pale wood, terracotta and stone to the same impeccable standard as the estate’s other buildings, the residence features spacious, high-ceilinged rooms furnished in a stylish blend of custom-designed modern pieces and antiques. The main entrance to I Meli is on the lower floor, just off the borgo’s main piazza. Here, two bedrooms, each with dressing rooms and luxurious ensuite bathrooms, share a sitting area. A second, larger sitting room is found upstairs, as well as a third bedroom, also with an ensuite, a dining room and an ultra-modern kitchen opening to a small terrace.
The three villas with private gardens, one with its own private pool: A wrought-iron gate leads from the borgo’s piazza to Villa Le Magnolie, largest of the estate’s residences. Finished in pale wood, stone and terracotta and furnished with a stylish blend of custom-designed modern pieces and lovely antiques, the villa is configured on two levels. The lower floor is devoted to the living areas, including a very large living room with a dining area and a state-of-the-art galley kitchen. Four sets of French doors open to a walled garden studded with olive trees and magnolias and a private swimming pool. The spacious bedrooms, each with a luxurious ensuite bathroom, are all on the first floor, overlooking the garden and the hills beyond. Set just off Casamora’s main piazza, La Leccina owes its name to the group of Holm oaks which shade its large private garden. Designed on two levels to accommodate six guests, the villa is characterized by its pale terracotta floors, natural wood-beamed ceilings and a multitude of French doors that allow the rooms to fill with the unique Tuscan light. The bedrooms, each with a luxurious ensuite bathroom, are arranged around a gallery on the lower floor and open directly to the garden.
Also on the lower floor is the state-of-the-art kitchen with its adjacent dining area and portico. The highlight of the villa is the first floor living room, where exposed architectural features compete with a glorious view of the Pratomagno mountains, best contemplated from a spacious open terrace. La Nocciolina (‘The Walnut’) is an independent villa which occupies one side of the borgo’s main piazza. Beautifully decorated in an updated Tuscan style that bears on pale shades of wood, stone and terracotta, the villa is furnished with a stylish blend of custom-designed modern pieces and family antiques. The two levels are connected by indoor and outdoor steps, a typically Tuscan feature from the days when farmers lived above their livestock. The lower floor is given over to two spacious bedrooms with luxurious ensuite bathrooms and French doors opening to a beautiful walled garden. A large living room occupies the first floor, along with a dining area and an ultra-modern kitchen. Two terraces facing in opposite directions ensure sunshine all day long.