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Rent a 16th-Century Villa Featuring a Roman-Style Underground Plunge Pool

Soak up the Tuscan views and stroll to a medieval town on your next vacation.


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When a villa inside a 16th-century palace needs something extra, one option is to add an underground plunge pool—reached via trapdoor. That's the approach taken by Giovanni Settesoldi, an advertising pro from Tuscany who spent seven years collaborating with architect Gabriele Evangelisti to renovate this flat. Named "Umamma" (a Tuscan expression that basically means "jaw-dropping") the vacation rental sits in the hills of San Miniato, Italy, five minutes on foot from the medieval town center and a half-hour drive from Pisa, Florence, and Lucca.

Inside, red-brick walls and arches lend an industrial vibe that's beautifully juxtaposed with mid-century furnishings, glass walls, and huge windows that showcase the Tuscan countryside. There's a full kitchen with a marble breakfast bar, and a living room with pebbled floors and views that are, naturally, jaw-dropping. Both bedrooms tout air-conditioning, king-sized beds, and ensuite bathrooms, but only one has direct passage to the aforementioned pool, and that's the one you're going to want.

Settesoldi purchased the cellar knowing it would make his villa sing—so long as he could get people to actually hang out down there and experience the ancient vibe, according to Boutique Homes. So he added an irresistible pool that evokes Roman hot springs, but with modern touches like double hydromassage jets, built-in seating at varying heights, and chromotherapy lighting to rebalance the body. The finishing touch? Turning the wheel of a traditional Prosciutto slicer, sourced from a nearby restaurant, opens and closes the trapdoor.

Want to give it a spin? Visit the property's Airbnb page to learn more.


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