jlink
Friday, September 22, 2017

Count Filippo Fiorentini in his Siena’s Synagogue

One of the dining areas

An example of the inside of a suite

Rachel Fiorentini (standing) welcoming an Israeli family in their home

Filippo and Rachel’s son, David, with friends at their home

The beautiful Tuscany countryside

The villa’s heated swimming pool

As Shavuot approaches and the school year winds down, it is time to think about a summer vacation, or begin planning for the fall. Seeking an alternative to the usual beach, mountain or theme-park-centered vacation options? How about a kosher bed and breakfast in the Tuscany region of Italy?

Yes, Italy!

Count Filippo Fiorentini and his wife, Rachel, will welcome you to their lovely San Fabiano farm estate where you can choose from one of five unique suites in a beautifully restored farmhouse or stand-alone cottage. The entire farmhouse can be reserved and is perfect for large or extended families. Each suite can accommodate four people and has a kosher kitchenette, a private bathroom and a sitting room with pull-out sofas. The main large dining area is koshered and appropriate for groups. You can prepare as much (or as little) of your own food as you’d like by selecting half-board or a dinners-only option. With a week’s notice, the Fiorentinis will purchase kosher meat for you to cook yourself. There are also bicycles that you can use (free!) during your stay to explore the immediate area or visit the nearby village. Kosher pans, dishes, plata for Shabbat, Shabbat and Havdalah candles can be provided.

The Fiorentinis (formerly from Israel) have been running their business for more than 20 years and have been focused on pampering their guests at all times.

All accommodations have air conditioning and heat and WiFi. Guests can enjoy privacy in their suite or take advantage of the common areas with comfortable seating, grand piano, organ and a CD/DVD player.

Open from April 1 to October 31 (and over the secular New Year), there is something special to experience for every season. In the spring, everything is green and you can enjoy the fresh air, the on-site heated swimming pool and the nearby hot springs. Summer’s beautiful weather can be enjoyed with a drive through the countryside to the seaside, the Chigiana music festival in July or horse races in Siena. Autumn brings the wine harvest, the search for white truffles, the olive oil harvest and more enjoyment of the hot springs and heated pool. With summer temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s, you will be able to stay outside all day and not feel uncomfortable.

A typical one week stay can include many unique activities. You can do as much as you’d like or simply rest and relax with a book and do very little. The nature trails are beautiful places to bike or walk, with flowers (especially sunflowers) and stunning views. You can take a mini-cruise at the sea, a ceramics class to create pottery and bring home a unique souvenir, go for a horseback ride, take an art class and learn to draw, visit the Saltalbero Adventure Park or take a cooking lesson that includes dinner and appropriate wine pairings!

The villa is family oriented, with things to do for everyone. A playground area with slides, swings, badminton net and soccer field will please all ages. You will experience the true joys of the Tuscan countryside in a way that will make you feel connected. A major part of how much you enjoy a vacation is how comfortable you feel and how willing your hosts are to accommodate your needs. No worries here! Guests have commented about how much they felt like part of the family

Don’t worry about not speaking Italian—most people in the tourist areas have a basic knowledge of English and there is always the Google Translate function or many other phone apps that can help.

Assuming rooms are available, only 48 hours’ notice is required to reserve your place. Visit their website at www.sanfabiano.com to select your room choice. From New York, Rome is the major airport, but Pisa and Florence (with a kosher dairy restaurant) are under two hours away. The reasonable rates and unique accommodations will provide memories of this trip of a lifetime that you will never forget.

This beautiful villa has received a five-star rating on Trip Advisor. The hardest part of the trip may be deciding which of the delightful suites to book. Can’t decide? Pick one now and book another trip for next year; they offer 10 percent off for returning guests.