There's something about a centuries-old masonry house that exudes romance. It's almost as if every stone bears a link to some charming world of yesteryear. So it's no wonder that stone houses make for some of the most enchanting vacation spots anywhere in the world.
With sweeping wine-country views and overall foreign appeal, Italy has the lion's share of great stone-built vacation spots. After all, it's a country with a much older architectural history than, say, the United States, though the latter does harbor some rustic gems. Here are seven time-tested getaways that will simply take your breath away.
Podere Alto Farmhouse, Tuscany
This traditional 17th-century stone farmhouse on a hillside in Tuscany is near Montalcino and Montepulcino, two of the most important wine towns in Tuscany.
Colorful interiors come exclusively by way of the house’s owner, a famous designer based in Rome. She had a hand in all the lamps, beds,side tables — even thedishes.
Exposed wood beams on the ceiling carry throughout the house, including this living room.
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 stone, metal, leather and linen fill the interiors for a reinterpretation of a rustic Tuscany farmhouse.
While the farmhouse is near some of the best medieval villages and spas plus spots for wine tasting, hiking and shopping, and is just a day trip away from Rome and Florence, nothing beats relaxing on the outdoor terrace while enjoying the view with friends.
Cost:$14,000 per week(one-week minimum) for 10 or 11 guests. Includes utilities, cleaning, buffet breakfast, trip planning and concierge.More info
Broadgate Farms, Yorkshire, England
Five old-world cottages were constructed from barn buildings built here between 1780 and 1897. They sit on 19 acres of grass and woodland, and 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 Housefeatures four bedrooms, underfloor heating, natural stone and oak flooring, a private courtyard garden, a large kitchen and this comfy sitting room with a rustic beamed ceiling and Persian rug.
The two-bedroom Forge cottage used to be a blacksmith shop. It now features oak floors and a wood-burning stove.
In the Stables cottage living room, dark leather furniture and a wood-burning stove create a cozy vibe.