Recent changes & improvements

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More and more people are returning to Ripertoli for a second, third & even fourth visit. This section of the website is an attempt to keep you up to date with the things we have done to improve the property over the last few years.

Firstly inside: air-conditioning throughout the property has been a great success, powered by two heat pumps  and to help drive them and the heating of the swimming pool we have changed the solar panels to photo-voltaic. Nigel can monitor the output of these from the UK giving him hours of innocent satisfaction!

Last year (2019) we upgraded the terrace bedroom’s bathroom with a proper stand alone shower. There is still a bath so it remains a good choice of room if you have a baby.

Now for outside:

2017 was a year in which we improved the pool area with a small kitchen in the gazebo, a heat pump for the pool and an electric pool cover. It is now totally child safe as well as good for keeping the heat in.

Small kitchen in the gazebo beside the pool

We also had the drive through the vineyard partly concreted. Rain and erosion have at times made the road a challenge, but that should no longer be a problem.

Marcello & crew concreting 50 metres of the drive through the vineyard.

2018-19 was a year of huge work and expense and eventually pleasure as we had the main house scaffolded, the entire roof removed and replaced and all the stone work repointed and improved.  Of course you can’t see the roof but you can be sure that whatever the weather it will never leak and it is much better insulated than previously. The stone work  of course you can see and it  is now really beautiful. The difference is amazing and unfortunately leads us to feel the need to do the same to the capanne – Ripertoli will always be work in progress.

 

View to the north from the rooftop – you can almost see as far as Florence, 20 miles away.

View to the east from the rooftop. Nearest neighbour Le Gialle in the centre, Colognole above it another mile away.

 

Marcello and Enrico – proud father and chip off the old block.

 

Marcello’s team of builders who did a labour of love to make Ripertoli as beautiful as possible as well as watertight.

 

The other major thing we did in 2017-18 was to fence the edge of the cultivated part of the property. The increasing numbers of wild boar and deer has led many people to do this and as ours remained open house the animals came to us. Sometimes they were charming (baby stripy wild boar under the mulberry trees at dusk for example) but mostly they caused a huge amount of damage. What to do at the entrance was a cause of much debate and we eventually had a cattle grid made to measure and shipped on a huge articulated lorry from Wales. It is the only cattle grid in Tuscany!

Of course having the property fenced had one extra benefit for us ( Nigel would say it was really just for me) and that was that for the first time we were able to bring our dogs to Ripertoli without fear that they would run off and get killed. It was a great success. Unfortunately one small wild boar did manage to get into the property somehow and final score was dogs one wild boar nil. That would not have been the outcome if it had been a mature boar.

Nigel & Deborah with our dogs June 2019. We didn’t dare bring them until we had fenced the property to keep out the wild boar and deer.

Finally we finished the fencing task by having a really attractive entrance made at the site of the cattle grid with handmade stone columns and wrought iron railings – a job that we finished in January 2020 with the acquisition of two splendid terracotta wild boars.

 

And so to future plans – we would love to repair all the dry stone walls – we made a start a few years ago but there is so much more that needs to be done. Oh and having the capanne repointed is another thing on the list now.

Repairing the dry stone walls

 

Ripertoli continues to flourish, Marisa continues to welcome our guests with affection, and we look forward to another happy season.

Deborah,  January 2020