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Fabulous villa in 4 acres below Cortona- pool and wonderful al fresco cooking

Bedrooms 5
Separate WC's1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Private Pool
  • Internet
  • Parking


About the property

Fully refurbished Cortona, Tuscany villa- Secluded and Tranquil with Stunning Views, but Very Near Major Towns

San Marco's drive winds through its olive grove, passes its wrought iron gates and up its avenue of pencil pines before arriving at this classic Italian villa, where our wonderful 'housekeeper' will greet you. Completely refurbished & with a wonderful poolhouse, the tranquil Villa San Marco is set in its parklike grounds of 4 acres, surrounded by fields, yet it has stunning views down the valley to Lake Trasimeno and also up the hill to the Etruscan city of Cortona, which alone would take many weeks to explore. The villa is spacious, bright, beautifully decorated, elegantly furnished with many antiques and it has a warm family atmosphere. The refurbishment created 6 new bathrooms (1 in the poolhouse), 2 fabulous 'cooks' kitchens (one indoors and one outside), a breakfast room with doors opening directly into the ivy-clad pergola, total redecoration and huge 'behind the scenes' improvements, e.g. very high specification hot water, heating and electricity systems.

Andrew Ball
Member since: 2007
Speaks English, Housekeeper; UK, Italian, German, French, Dutch +
Calendar last updated:
7 July, 2017

About Andrew Ball

My wife's family is in Australia and we have friends dotted around the globe, so we spend many months a year staying in other people's homes. This has given us considerable insight into what works in making a functioning home and what doesn't. This, combined with my wife's considerable talent as an interior designer, especially in relation to colours, and my perfectionism has enabled us to create homes that are calm and welcoming- places where people feel relaxed.

We were confirmed francophiles until we discovered Italy about 15 years ago and since then we have not looked back. The Tuscans are such happy and welcoming people, with a zest for life, especially really fresh, natural food and their sense of humour is superb. We manage about 3 months per year in Tuscany and love every momen

Andrew Ball purchased this villa in 2006

Why Andrew Ball chose Cortona area

We rented properties nearby in 2005/6 and had fallen wildly in love with Cortona, a true gem of a city within the magic of Tuscany and so central for visiting much of what it has to offer.

The first property was a converted farmhouse and it looked great, but it just did not work as a dwelling- the staircase was outside, the kitchen was tiny, north facing and 50 yards away from the (fixed) place to eat outside. The pool was even further away. The second was a villa "near" Cortona, but it was actually a 30-40 minutes drive. The description of the accomodation looked good for 12, but more that half the bedrooms were in the attic with sloping ceilings and unlockable windows at floor level.... and we had several young children!

We saw San Marco once, for 15 minutes, before we bought it. We did not look at any other- enough said

What makes this villa unique

We lived in San Marco for several months over 2 years before making any changes, but we then made structural alterations in all but two rooms in order to end up with a (brand new) villa that really worked. We took 30+feet off many of the trees to restore the glorious views and planted the drive of pencil pines, an orchard and a vegetable/herb garden.

Three years later we completed my dream of a poolhouse, wood oven and BBQ to enable 12 people to be entertained outside without having to go back to the villa, i.e. everything necessary, down to a full kitchen, all tableware, a changing room and bathroom were right there beside the pool.

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful and incredibly capable multi-lingual housekeeper, who project managed all our upgrades. She is one of our dearest friends and really looks after our guests.

Guestbook comments from the owner

'I don't have a wide enough vocabulary that could adequately describe how wonderful we found San Marco. Your beautiful house surpassed our expectations by miles! We have rented properties all over Italy and your house is the most perfect. We have often found bathrooms and kitchens to be basic in even the nicest houses but you have worked very hard to provide modern facilities in keeping with the elegance of the house.'

'We all had a lovely time- the photos and description on the website do not do it justice. It was everything I imagined a Tuscan villa to be but better.'

'We had a problem with one of our bags and your housekeeper could not have been more helpful. Thank you again for letting us share your home.'

'What a fabulous house, just lovely, lovely.'

'We wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, for its peace and tranquility, lovely setting and high standard of accommodation.'

'Thank you once again for the use of your fabulous home and we look forward to the next time.'
Apr 2007
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Cortona in Province of Arezzo

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 12
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Toilet 1 - Toilet , Bidet
    Shower room 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Shower room 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Shower room 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Shower room 4 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
  • Bathroom 1 with bath, shower (in the bath- not a hand held), basin, wc. Shower room 1 (en suite to bedroom 3) with shower, basin, wc. Shower room 2 with shower, basin, wc. Shower room 3 (en suite to bedroom 5) with shower, basin, wc Toilet on ground floor with basin, wc, bidet. Shower room 4 (poolhouse) with shower, basin, wc
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , Double aspect. Cot available on request
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Double Bed , with a Juliet balcony
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Large Double Bed , Double aspect. En suite. Cot available on request
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Large Double Bed , Double aspect. Large double, can be split to two singles
    Bedroom 5 - 2 Child Bed , En suite. The beds can be made up as one large double
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 10/12 (5/6 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedrooms 1,2 and 3 with double beds. Bedrooms 4 and 5 with twin beds that can be made up as doubles. Study/bedroom 6 is on the ground floor with a full double sofabed with orthopaedic mattress.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Table Football
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Terrace ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 3 bicycles
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes on accommodation: This is our second home, not a rental property and we have refurbished, decorated and furnished it to our own very high standards. The pool is fenced and the house is generally child friendly, though the living room is rather more adult and the ground floor is largely open-plan. There are toys, family games, a 32" Sony HD TV, BlueRay DVD player and an extensive DVD collection. High-speed wireless broadband (computer not provided) is available and free. We did not even consider air-conditioning during the refurbishment as with really thick walls and good 'heat management' (details in the house book) we are able to keep the villa at 22-24 degrees during the Summer. Oil for the central heating (only needed during the Winter) is charged separately, though there are 2 large and excellent real fires (in the kitchen/breakfast room and the living room) and these really heat the place up. There is a log-pile, for which there is no charge. Outside: There are 2 large tables to seat 8/12 and several places to enjoy the different views or to eat in either the sun or the shade of the pergola or the verandah of the poolhouse overlooking the 16 x 39ft pool and our olive grove. There is a huge pizza oven and barbecue and a full outdoor kitchen (including everything for 12 people), plenty of pool loungers, sun umbrellas and garden furniture. The 1st floor terrace has 2 tables and 8 chairs with views up to Cortona and bedroom 2 has a Juliet balcony with views over the pool to the local 14th century chapel. There are lovely walks amongst the trees, a grouping of hammocks and for the more active, outdoor table tennis, table football and 3 bikes. There is a herb and vegetable garden, two good fig trees, a mature plum and walnut and we have planted an orchard of nectarines, plums, apples, pears, apricots and almonds as well as 5 vines. We often have pairs of woodpeckers, hoopoes, pheasants and hares and the occasional wild tortoise. Utility Room: A separate laundry with a washing machine, drying racks, tumble dryer, huge basin for hand washing, with drying rack above, iron and ironing board. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Hair dryers, towels, including pool towels, and linen are provided. The house is clean on arrival and is cleaned and linen changed every Saturday. Further help (making up the beds, washing up, etc.) can be arranged for an additional amount paid locally. Other: An impressive entrance hall and staircase. Several different places to eat outdoors. Cinema room with 3m screen. The 18 inch thick walls mean that with good 'heat management' the villa stays delightfully cool.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(13 traveller reviews)

Fabulous villa in 4 acres below Cortona- pool and wonderful al fresco cooking
average rating of 5.0 based on 14 reviews

Beautiful Italian Retreat

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful Italian Retreat- Tuscany Italy

This Villa is not only beautiful, in a great location but it also is equipped with all the modern facilities you would need. During this week, we barely left the villa, apart from to top up on the yummy wine and food from the near-by supermarkets.

Guests: 12 young professionals from the UK.

Villa Accommodation: all good size double bedrooms, decorated beautifully in line with the style of the villa. Several the rooms are en suite and a few share 2 separate showers rooms. There is a large kitchen with all the appliances that you could wish for (coffee machine, dishwashers, washing machine, ect…).

Facilities: HUGE pool perfect to cool down during the hot super months. Ideal for pool games (we played water-volley ball each afternoon). On top of this, there is a pool toilet and changing rooms along with a fully functioning kitchen in the Pool House, so you do not need to go back to the main house for. There are lots of sunbeds surrounding the pool, set in a large garden. The villa is set far from the road so you feel you have escaped from the world. What we really loved was the croquet lawn which is perfect for sundowners before dinner.

On top of this there is an outside dining area (seating +14people) that looks over the pool and surrounding area.

In the evening the outdoor Pizza Oven and separate BBQ was fantastic. We had pizza making competitions and long leisurely dinners. We only ventured to nearby Crotona for dinner one evening and it was lovely. There are lots of choices for dinner/ drinks in a picturesque setting.

Near-by activities: Tennis courts in Crotona, Pedalo & swimming at Lake Trasimeno there is a quaint island that you can peddle to that has several lovely little restaurants serving local food. (For those not inclined to exercise there is a regular ferry). Top of this there are many Golf courses, Vineyards and lovely local restaurants. We had a lovely lunch at Casa Mia, in Camucia, which served the local delicacy, Pici.

Overall we had a fantastic holiday and would jump at the opportunity to return! You can tell that the Owners love their home and really want their guests too as well. It is 5* accommodation!!!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 23, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Blissful Holiday

  • 5 of 5

This is the third time we have been to San Marco and we can't begin to tell you what a fantastic time we have had in this beautiful home. It is honestly one of the most enjoyable and relaxing holidays we have ever had. The weather has been perfect - hot during the day and blissfully cool in the evenings and at night. The villa is incredibly comfortable with every last detail thought of. The pool house is a great meeting place for the whole family and the pizza oven tests everyone's cooking skills! Also there are interesting towns and vineyards within easy driving distance making this a fun holiday venue for all.

  • Review Submitted: Nov 2, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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The perfect getaway

  • 5 of 5

We have had a wonderful two weeks in this beautiful home. The house itself is really lovely and a credit to its owners. We loved the combination of beautifully decorated rooms with the benefit of every modern convenience - there is no detail or possible need which hasn't been considered!

However, most of our time was spent at the pool area, again - the pool house kitchen is wonderfully equipped, so our cooking was all done there and our eating all al fresco. The pool itself is just lovely, large and inviting, with cleaning done discreetly on a regular basis.

Carol looked after us so well on arrival, providing us with lots of useful information and the house book gave us lots of ideas for eating out both locally and further afield.

Cortona is just lovely, with beautiful old, meandering streets. We went most days to have coffee or an evening meal. We also went to Siena, Florence (by train, thank you for the tip), Assisi (our favourite), Montepulciano (great wine tasting) and Perugia (great chocolate!!).

We certainly hope to return to San Marco before long.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 11, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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San Marco Magic!

  • 5 of 5

Our second stay at Villa San Marco and this time we knew what to expect, in terms of facilities (luxury) and relaxation. We are all busy professionals who enjoy our working lives but prefer the downtime with our grown up children and friends and what a place to do this! We spent a fortnight last year and decided that a three week break (with a quick trip back to the UK via Rome for a wedding!) was the way ahead this year. Villa San Marco is the perfect setting to either spend the full duration, with all it has to offer, or as a base to explore some more of the historic local settings. We opted to enjoy the pool, cinema, table fussball, croquet and sunsets on the terrace, with incredible views of Cortona. As keen cooks, we LOVED the salad garden with a range of different tomatoes, herbs and salad and this year we found the almond trees(!) and were able to enjoy making salted caramel almond praline in the wood oven to add to our own gelato. The house is so beautifully decorated, with personal effects (we feel like we already know the owners, despite not having met them), able to play the grand piano and driving up the track to the house really felt like coming home! Our keen interest in cooking was more than satisfied by all of the local produce and the wood oven, which we used almost every night - also did a Tuscan cooking course while we were there...learned so much about my favourite hobby! It was great to see that some of the inflatables we bought last year were still there.....and having some very fit and young adults with us, we thoroughly enjoyed lilo races, as well as water volleyball. I know we will

visit again!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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A Tuscan. Delight

  • 5 of 5

This is the second year that we have stayed at this Villa, with another family. The accommodation is five star with every amenity you could wish for. Rooms are large and comfy. the pool is a delight, but the star for us was the outside pizza oven which we used pretty much every night. The housekeeper was on hand when required, the pool cleaned regularly and Sabrina the cleaner was just fantastic. Enjoy the fresh tomatoes and herbs from the garden.. I was happy to chill for 3 weeks and ventured out only seldom - other''s were more adventurous and found transport links good - only 45 minutes from Perugia airport, and 10 minutes from Camucia railway station with high speed links. No hesitation at. All in recommending this villa highly.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Villa San Marco Re visited

  • 5 of 5

Our 3rd visit to Villa San Marco,we always stay as a party of 4 couples although San Marco can sleep more this way every couple get their own bathrroom.

The location is perfect for exploring Tuscany.Cortona itself is a jewel best described by Francis Mayes in "Under the Tuscan Sun" read it.

The house is 5 star the pool a delight and pool house/bar BQ/pizza oven make for a foodies heaven with local produce.2 fully equipped kictens at pool and Villa ease party catering.local restauraunts in and arround Cortona are also a major pull bringing my wife and I back time and again.This rental has no faults and provides everything you need from bikes to fully equipped Cinema in the cellar.As an only child the only draw back is writing these reviews will mean I will have to share San Marco with others besides the thoughtful owner Andrew and his wife many thanks again to you both for sharing your beautiful home.

Phil and Irene Robson.Southport UK

  • Review Submitted: Jun 19, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
35 Miles
Nearest Barpub
500 Metres
In nearby hotel
Nearest Ferry
10 Miles
To islands and towns on Lake Trasimeno
Nearest Train
2 Miles
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
A1 (main North/South motorway)
Nearest Restaurant
500 Metres
In nearby hotel
Nearest Beach
10 Miles
Lake Trasimeno
Car: necessary


COOKERY COURSES - we can arrange wonderful 1 day courses with a great local Mama who meets you for coffee in Cortona, teaches you what and how to buy the best local produce and then takes you back to her home for you to prepare, cook and eat it. I went with one guest and immediately signed up for two more! SHOPPING - there are 3 excellent outlet villages within an hour's drive.

ANTIQUE MARKET- over the weekend of the first Sunday of the month (apart from August) Arezzo hosts the largest outdoor antique market in Europe.

ETRUSCAN TOMBS - we can arrange a tour of 3 significant local local tombs by one of the leading authorities- a highly entertaining American lady.

HAND-PAINTED POTTERY - Deruta, about 40 minutes by car is one of the largest towns in Italy for producing fine hand-painted pottery. We can arrange a private tour of a factory so you can see the whole process from clay to finished article and watch the highly skilled painters at work.


There are several guarded beaches on Lake Trasimeno (20 minutes away). There are ferries going out to the islands and there is also sailing.


Ryanair flys from Stanstead to Perugia (40 mins drive). BA/Meridiana from Gatwick to Florence (1hr 20 mins drive). BA, Easyjet and others to Pisa (1 hr 45 mins drive), Ryannair to Ancona (1 hr 50mins drive), Ryanair to Bologna Forli (1 hr 50 mins drive) and numerous airlines to Rome (2 hrs drive). Car hire is essential, though if some guests in your party are not hiring a car then the railway stations of Camucia (5 mins drive) or Terontola (7 mins drive) are on the direct Rome to Florence line.


If you can drag yourself away from the pool, the villa and its grounds and Cortona, then Sienna, Assissi, Montepulciano, Perugia, Arrezzo, Pienza, Lake Trasimeno and scores of hill-top villages are all within an hour's drive and Florence and Rome, which are not very car-friendly, are easily accessable by rail from Camucia (5 mins drive) or Terontola (7 mins drive). Over 30 excellent restaurants, shopping and more than all the usual facilities (including 5 supermarkets!) within a 10 minute drive.

Further Details:

Languages- our 'housekeeper' speaks English, Italian, French, German and Spanish and can book restaurants, etc for you.

Eating out- there are about 20 restaurants in and around Cortona and 10 in or around Camucia (i.e. all within a 10 minute drive), so the choice is awesome and it is difficult to get a bad meal. The house book describes our favorites.

Exploring Cortona- it has only one level road, fortunately the main one. Otherwise it is extremely hilly, quite fascinating and you keep on chancing upon the most unbelievable views. Anyone (and not just Frances Mayes of 'Under the Tuscan Sun', the book and film about falling in love with Cortona) who has been there longs to go back. It has extraordinary Churches, really ancient buildings, excellent museums, exhibitions, music festivals and opera. It has several great shops, a Saturday market and a passegiata on Sunday.

Shopping locally- Camucia is a more modern town with shops selling most things, a large market on Thursdays and 4 excellent supermarkets, the newest, only 3 or 4 mins away. There are plenty of banks and cash machines.

Activities- the surrounding land is criss-crossed with paths suitable for walking or cycling and for those wishing to raise their heart-rate the hills of Cortona are very steep, fabulously rewarding and only a few 100yds away. There is an impressive tennis and country club in Cortona, a spa in the neighbouring (4 star) hotel, sailing on Lake Trasmeno (20 mins drive), 3 9 hole golf courses within 30 mins drive and 2 18 hole courses within about an hour's drive, horse-riding at several local schools.

Jazz- Perugia hosts the spectacular 10 day Umbrian Jazz Festival in mid July (it has fielded stars such as BB King, James Taylor, Simply Red, Steely Dan, George Benson, Herbie Hancock & Tony Bennett, Mark Knopfler, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorterand many more).

Art- Cortona hosts many exhibitions, concerts and pageants.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Cortona, Arezzo Area

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
High Summer
1 Jul 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Late Summer
2 Sep 2017 - 22 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
23 Sep 2017 - 20 Dec 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
21 Dec 2017 - 5 Jan 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
6 Jan 2018 - 23 Mar 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
24 Mar 2018 - 6 Apr 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
7 Apr 2018 - 25 May 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Early Summer
26 May 2018 - 29 Jun 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
High Summer
30 Jun 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Late Summer
1 Sep 2018 - 21 Sep 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
22 Sep 2018 - 21 Dec 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Christmas, New Year
22 Dec 2018 - 4 Jan 2019
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
5 Jan 2019 - 12 Apr 2019
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Booking Notes:
We can hold an option on our villa for you for 3 days.

Changeover Day:
Rental starts at 4.30-7.30 p.m. on the day of arrival and ends at 9.30a.m. on the day of departure. Arrival-departure days are Saturdays and the minimum booking period is 7 days. Outside of the main season this is negotiable.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for the villa per week in euros.

There is a security or damages deposit of euro600 (+euro500 if using the cinema room) payable in cash on arrival. Subject to any deductions for damages, excessive cleaning, phone, heating oil, etc., this will be returned in your local currency shortly after you leave.

Reservations are guaranteed on receipt of a 30% deposit (non-refundable). The remaining balance must be paid 8 weeks before the rental commences. The damages deposit of 600 euros (1,100 euros if using the cinema room) must be paid in cash on arrival and this will be returned in your local currency, less charges for any damage, breakages, telephone, additional help, etc, following departure.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.