There’s something about a centuries-old masonry house that exudes romance. It is almost as if every stone bears a link into a charming world of yesteryear. So it’s no surprise that stone houses make for some of the most enchanting holiday spots anywhere in the world.
With sweeping wine-country views and general foreign appeal, Italy has got the lion’s share of great stone-built holiday spots. In the end, it’s a country with a much older architectural history than, say, the United States, although the latter will not harbor a few rustic stone. Listed below are seven time-tested getaways that will simply take your breath away.
Podere Alto Farmhouse, Tuscany
This conventional 17th-century stone farmhouse on a hillside in Tuscany is close Montalcino and Montepulcino, among the most significant wine towns in Tuscany.
Colorful insides come solely by way of the house’s owner, a famed designer based in Rome. She had a hand in most of the beds, lamps, side tables — the dishes.
Exposed wood beams on the ceiling carry throughout the house, such as this living area.
The house is perched high on a hill, offering sweeping views of the Italian countryside.
In addition to five bedrooms, there’s this vibrant study-TV room.
Natural materials like metal, stone, leather and linen fill the insides for a reinterpretation of a rustic Tuscany farmhouse.
While the farmhouse is near a few of the best medieval villages and spas plus spots for wine tasting, shopping and hiking, and is only a day trip away from Rome and Florence, nothing beats relaxing on the outside terrace while enjoying the view with buddies.
Cost: $14,000 a week (one-week minimum) for either 10 or even 11 guests. Includes utilities, cleaning, buffet breakfast, excursion planning and concierge. More information
Broadgate Farms, Yorkshire, England
Five old-world cottages were assembled from barn buildings constructed in between 1780 and 1897. They sit on 19 acres of grass and woodland, and also have private gardens and patios. The cottages are walking distance to the village pubs and restaurants.
This cottage was previously a granary store.
The converted Barn House features four bedrooms, underfloor heating, natural stone and oak flooring, a private courtyard garden, a large kitchen and this cozy living area with a rustic beamed ceiling and Persian carpeting.
The two-bedroom Forge cottage was a blacksmith shop. It now features bamboo flooring plus a three-quarter stove.
In the Stables cottage living room, dark leather furniture plus a wood-burning stove create a cozy vibe.
Cost: From $425 in the low season | More Info
Casa dell’Ambasciatore, Tuscany
This two-building, two-bedroom cottage lies just below the Castle of Vivo, constructed for the pope through the Renaissance.
Rolling green lawns and views of Monte Amiata create an amazing paradise.
The main living area once was an old wooden hay drop before the owners remodeled it in 2001. Local rock, wood and terra-cotta flooring create an artisan vibe.
Black slate kitchen counters include a swath of modernity into the rustic interior.
Cost: Contact for speeds | More Info
Castellare Villa, Florence, Italy
This solid-stone Italian villa in the center of a private forest on a hill is approximately 800 years old and has been carefully restored. It has six bedrooms and can sleep 17.
Furnishings are a mixture of old Tuscan bits — gifted to the owner by her grandmother, who was a collector — and modern touches, like an Eames RAR seat.
Other items include ancient Oriental pieces and furniture from Ikea.
Olive trees grow in the back of the house; the owners harvest the olives to make oil. There’s also a vegetable garden. In front there are apples, pears, figs, apricots and peaches.
Cost: Contact for speeds | More Info
Palo Alto Creek Farm, Fredericksburg, Texas
Peter Itz settled in this farmstead by Means of Germany in 1854, first creating a log cabin. In 1875 he constructed what is currently called the Itz House out of foot-and-a-half-thick limestone walls.
The home now includes four houses: a log cabin, the Itz House, a barn and a hideaway, which was a single-car garage.
A laid-back sitting room from the Itz House encompasses a large limestone Balcony fireplace.
Guests gather at this classic farm table for hearty meals.
A separate barn also supplies accommodations. This king-size pine pencil post bed has been custom built. The area features historical limestone walls and a cosy fireplace.
Rustic antique furniture remains true for this Texas farmhouse’s style.
Bleached white walnut wraps a two-person whirlpool tub that rests on a massive slab of native limestone.
Cost: $145 to $325, depending on the Home
Il Mulino Mill House Villa, Tuscany
This Italian villa still keeps a few of the qualities from its original mill arrangement.
All the doors and windows were made with local chestnut wood. The walls have been painted in white chalk.
Two long rock walls, which used to channel water into the mill, divide the land into two spaces.
The insides have a mixture of local Italian furniture and bits from India and Brazil.
The owners painted the inside of the pool a light gray to create an idyllic respite in the center of the expansive lawn.
Cost: From around $4,000 for seven beds
Mezzola Farmhouse, Tuscany
A antiques dealer owns this classic Tuscan farmhouse from the Chianti-producing area, and he has supplied it beautifully.
The spacious living area connects with a large kitchen and opens into a courtyard.
The house contains five bedrooms and four baths, and the home boasts this expansive swimming pool.
Cost: From $4,667