Charming 1-bed flat, with exposed beams and terracotta floors, on the first floor of a 13th-century watchtower. Set among olive groves, in a quiet hamlet 25 mins from Pisa, it has soothing views of the rolling Tuscan landscape - and a stunning pool.
Borghettino di Ripoli is a farmhouse and watchtower dating back to the Middle Ages.This small, but lovely little flat on the first floor has big South-facing windows, ancient wooden beams and ancient terracotta floors. The living room has a dining area,with an antique farmhouse table, kitchen area made by local craftsmen, a small leather sofa and a couple of antique leather armchairs. There's also a TV (with Italian satellite TV), DVD player, hi fi and wi fi.
The bedroom has an antique painted wardrobe, painted cupboard and comfortable double bed.
The shower room, off the bedroom, has a big window, with a view of the next village, tiles made from local marble, and is a tasteful mix of old and new.
It's perfect for a couple; too small for anything more. It's my bolt hole, the place I go to escape the big city (in my case, London) and write. I fell in love with it, and most people who've stayed there seem to have, too. My neighbours - mostly Brits, and there just for holidays - are my friends, so I'm fussy about who I allow to stay in it. If you want peace, sunshine and a cosy base to explore Tuscany, you probably couldn't ask for all that much more.
The flat comes with its own parking space. There's shared use of a small, but pretty garden, using chairs (and a table, if you like) stored in the flat. Best of all, there's shared use of a stunning 10-metre infinity pool, with sun loungers and parasol. There's the whole of Tuscany, to explore, but, to be honest, I find it quite hard to wrench myself away from that pool.
Interaction with guests
If you're there, I won't be. I'll make arrangements for keys and give you details of who to contact if you need any help.
In high season (June, July, August) my flat is usually booked by the week, from Saturday to Saturday. Outside high season, I'm more flexible, though the minimum stay is four nights. If you have any questions while you're there, you're welcome to contact me at any time.
My flat in Italy is my cherished bolthole. I get on extremely well with my neighbours, who are generous and kind, and I expect my guests to be considerate to them, too, respecting the fact that the pool and garden are shared spaces, and that noise travels on a balmy Mediterranean night when the windows are open...
This host has 13 reviews for other properties.View other reviews
I'm a writer, columnist and broadcaster. For 10 years, I worked at The Independent but I'm now freelance, and writing mostly for the Sunday Times and the Guardian. I write about books, politics, society, the arts - anything that interests me. I worked with writers for some years, and was director of the Poetry Society for a while. I have many friends who are poets, but ended up agreeing with Muriel Spark, who ran the Poetry Society in the 1940s. "I have never," she said, "worked with such strange people. I think poetry does something to them." I've just finished the first draft of a memoir, and am plucking up the courage to send it to my agent. I've lived in London for more than 20 years, and wouldn't live anywhere else...