When you’re travelling on a budget, you’ll sleep just about anywhere. Because I’ve been wwoofing this summer, my array of accommodations is a little more varied than most travellers. I’ve slept in a camper, in a airport, on the lawn next to a parking lot, in a brick cave, in a private guesthouse, in a few one-star hotels, and in a handful of hostels.
Last week, I stayed at Fattoria Bassetto in Certaldo. Fattoria Basseto used to be a monastery when it was first built, back in sometime during the 12th Century. It was bought by some royal family or other and recently made into a hostel and villa.
Colours! I love Tuscany! This was taken right front of the villa.
The herb garden. It is maintained by the gardener. You can pick some rosemary or basil or whatever you need for your dinner. It’s organic and free!
The villa. Rooms are 70€ a night, which is cheaper than I can say about some shitty two-star hotels in Rome. Inside is beautiful.
The villa balcony. One night, Dana and Warren from Austin, TX invited us for dinner when they were staying in the villa. It was very grown-up. It was nice.
The villa library. There are farm records dating back to 1824, when Bassetto was once a farm producing olive oil and wine. There are also boxes and boxes of old postcards from the early 1900’s. There’s a photo of the Duke who once owned this villa sitting next to Lyndon Johnson in the Oval House.
The villa kitchen at night. Usually, villa guests have cars and drive into old Certaldo for dinner so this kitchen is empty at night. The guesthouse kitchen is always busy because it’s full of 20-somethings on a budget who can only afford to cook their own dinner. You have to wait at least thirty minutes to use the guesthouse kitchen. On my last night, Rocco used the oven in this kitchen to make pizza.
In the basement of the villa, an old basin to make olive oil.
In the basement of the villa. These bottles are about forty years old. Rocco reckons they probably aren’t very good, though.
The reception area. The potatoes and tomatoes in the basket on the table are organic and from the garden. Everyday, the gardener puts more into the basket. They’re free for the guests to eat and enjoy.
Rocco managed to convince Doughie, the Aussie who manages the guesthouse and villa, to let us work at Bassetto for a week in exchange for room and (no) board. Must have been a convincing argument because we got to stay at Bassetto for three nights free.
Stuffed tomatoes Dafne, the countess, made for us. She wants me to help her with her computer, to which I happily obliged. She’s such a character! I absolutely love her. Photo: Rocco.
A sparrow that flew into the communal kitchen one day. Rocco caught it and set it free outside. Poor thing!
This has to be one of my favourite accommodations in Europe I’ve stayed in. If you’re in Tuscany and you have the time, check out la Fattoria Bassetto in Certaldo. Because you’re out of the city and in the country, it’s a little like a summer cottage. It’s very reasonably priced so don’t dismiss it so quickly.
Until next time,