Bello Visto is a rare find. A large, traditional maison de village located high within the vieux village of Cairanne, it offers vast terraces and beautiful views with a luxury not often found in a village house - an expansive garden and a fenced 5 x 10 meter swimming pool. A charming one-bedroom apartment in a separate building comes with the house. Altogether the property offers 5 bedrooms and 3 baths. It is available for parties of up to 8 persons. No children under 8 years old.
The House and Terraces
The house was constructed in the 19th century and was remodeled by an eminent Cairanne wine-maker and his wife, who owned an antique shop in a separate house on the premises. Its large window expanses fill the rooms with light and open the house to exquisite views. The many original Provençal features of the house, such as tomettes, tile floors, exposed beams and a graceful curved staircase, are complemented by antiques purchased in nearby Isle sur la Sorgue and furniture and fixtures hand crafted by local artisans.
There are two entrances to the house, each through a courtyard. Guests usually enter through a door to the courtyard adjacent to the kitchen and dining room. Immediately upon entering this courtyard, the panoramic views of the vineyards, mountains and perched villages of the Côtes du Rhône Villages winemaking region and the Dentelles de Montmirail grace our view. This is also the tiled terrace on which we most frequently dine at breakfast and lunch in the warm months, surrounded by beautiful vines, bushes, and flowers, the picturesque old well which originally furnished the house, and beautiful views in the distance. French doors open out to this terrace from both the dining room and the kitchen, offering convenient access to this outdoor dining room.
The terrace level of the house includes the living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, and family room. The large living room offers an expansive bank of multi-paned French windows facing south and west, bathing the room in sunlight even in winter months. The room is furnished with hand-crafted provençal chairs and a table basse made by well-known local artisans, an extremely comfortable large sofa, and a finely crafted antique radassié (provençal banquette). With a large open fireplace on the north side of the room and beautiful views through the south and east-facing windows strategically placed to capture sunsets and the sparkling evening lights of the surrounding provençal villages -- this room provides the perfect semi-formal setting for before-dinner aperitifs, particularly in the cool months.
The dining room, separated from the living room by the fireplace which opens to both rooms, features a hand-crafted cherry table and six antique upholstered dining chairs. The table will easily seat up to eight diners. One of the finest features of this room is a beautiful built-in buffet, which was crafted by a local furniture-maker out of centuries-old cabinet doors. This buffet can be closed completely or its center doors can be opened to provide a pass-through to the kitchen. The room also features a wrought iron chandelier fabricated by an Isle sur la Sorgue craftsman, poutres apparents (exposed beams), and French doors at each end of the room.
The kitchen and pantry are adjacent to the dining room. Compact and basic, but very clean and well functioning, the kitchen and abutting pantry contain a stove with both electric and gas burners, an oven, microwave, dishwasher, coffee maker, food processor, butcher block tables and an under-counter refrigerator for drinks and staples, as well as a second large refrigerator-freezer. A good selection of dishes, glassware, linens, cookware and cooking utensils are provided and the space is very well laid out for cooking gourmet meals with the fresh provençal ingredients found at the farmers markets offered every day of the week in a nearby village or town.
On the opposite end of the dining room from the dining terrace through a bank of French doors and down a few steps is the combination library/family room. Since the family room is built slightly deeper into the rock outcropping which supports the vieux village, this room provides a cool haven on hot summer days. It sports a stunning antique tile floor in various shades of yellow, orange, and brown and is furnished with a beautiful oriental rug and a pair of large, very comfortable taupe leather sofas that invite curling up with a good book or to watch TV. The library wall also houses the entertainment center with large Sony TV served by a satellite dish offering BBC, CNN, MSNBC, childrens channels, and movie channels, as well as a DVD player. Between the two sofas is a big rustic coffee table large enough to serve as a workplace for the board games and puzzles to be discovered in its drawers. This room also has access to its own courtyard, which provides the most direct route to the stone staircase (known on town maps as lescalier) which furnishes easy access to the commercial section of the town, with its restaurants, shops and wine-tasting rooms.
A semi-circular curved staircase leads to the premier étage (second floor). At this level there are four bedrooms, one of which may be used either as an office or bedroom; a dressing room with extra storage space for suitcases and garments; a recently remodeled combination bath and shower room, and a separate WC (toilet room). Mattresses are good quality and facilitate an excellent nights sleep and beds are covered with either intricately quilted boutis or French tapestry covers and layers of pillows. High ceilings and antique tomette floors are found in most of these rooms. All bedroom windows and doors are equipped with shutters.
The large master bedroom is luminous when the automatic shutters are opened, dark and cozy when they are closed. It is furnished with a large queen-size bed (160 x 200 cm.), graceful night stands and a beautiful antique walnut Louis XV provençal armoire. The large French multi-paned corner windows offer the same panoramic views as are found in the living room. The room is tastefully decorated with wallpaper in a yellow and white faux plaster design and a blue wallpaper border with a curved geometric block-print design. Flooring is in antique tomettes.
A second bedroom suitable for a couple is graced by a balcony which is surrounded by ornate wrought iron railings and accessed by a pair of French doors. Voluminous linencurtains which are almost transparent billow to the sides of the French doors and spill to the floor, creating a feeling of simple luxury. Antiques complete the furnishings. A pair of matching Louis Phillipe night stands flank the bed and an ornate early 19th century armoire painted in cream and beige provides storage. The understated beige wallpaper is bordered in a sophisticated dark green block-printed design and the wood trim of the room is enlivened by a rose patina. Flooring is antique tomettes.
The third bedroom is furnished with twin beds separated by a painted commode (small dresser). The dresser is light and can be easily moved to allow the beds to be placed together for a couple, if desired. The room is cheerful and thus well suited for children as well as adults. Understated beige wallpaper is the background of this room as well, with a dark red Soleiado blockprint border. The window is framed with diaphanous draperies of red, purple and burgundy colors flowing almost imperceptibly into each other, a fabric very à la mode in France today. Hanging space is provided by a pretty wrought iron peinderie with matching ornately curved wrought iron hangers. Flooring in this room is antique tomettes as well.
A fourth bedroom, used primarily by the American owners as an office, can function well for either purpose. There is a painted desk and chair, with a high-speed WiFi Internet connection, telephone, fax machine, printer, and a surge suppressor. In order to access the Internet guests must bring their own laptops equipped with wireless connectivity. The lit gigogne transforms into either a single bed or a queen-sized bed, as desired. Finally a painted armoire in a grey-blue patina provides both hanging space and shelf space.
The tiled bathroom with combination tub and shower (wall-mount Italian-style and hand-held) was remodeled in 2006. It is clean, modern and very well functioning. There are many mirrors, ample storage space, good lighting and electrical connections,and the water pressure is very good. The water is heated by a large capacity water heater and softened by a large capacity water softener. (Each of the three bathrooms has its own water heater.) A hair dryer and an ample supply of towels is furnished. There is also a separate WC and a separate dressing room on this level.
Across the terrace from the kitchen is a large laundry and exercise room with an adjacent full bathroom. These rooms were renovated in the fall of 2006. The reconstructed bathroom features ceramic wall and floor tiles and an Italian-style shower, vanity with vessel sink, and toilet. The upgraded large laundry room features a new matching Whirlpool washing machine and separate dryer, drying rack for hanging clothes (if this is preferred), a laundry sink, an iron and an ironing board. In addition, there is an elliptical trainer for use while overlooking views of the village and vineyards through the large picture window.
Altogether the house has five levels of terraces spread out over a vast area. The largest terrace at mid-level offers absolutely panoramic views including all of the views seen from the upper (kitchen-level) terrace plus views of Mt. Ventoux and, at night, the sparkling lights of neighboring villages (including Gigondas and Séguret) nestled into the Dentelles de Montmirail mountain range. This terrace offers a particularly outstanding location for a traditional French evening dining experience.
The Pool and Garden
Across a small lane from the house is the large garden area. A very attractive building, looking almost like another house, contains the garage and pool equipment. On one side of this building is the lavender garden and on the other side is a pretty rose garden. Behind the rose garden is a bank of old olive trees.
Through a locked gate and up a set of ancient worn stairs is the 5 x 10 meter in-ground pool. The pool is set in a fenced garden which is unexpectedly large for its position in the old village (altogether the property is spread over almost 2/3 of an acre). Tall cypress trees behind the pool area provide screening from the uphill neighbors, while pretty views of the vignobles are unobscured to the area downhill. A wide deck of limestone dallages surrounds the pool on all sides. A touch of whimsy is provided by an amphora fountain which spills into the pool. There is an outdoor shower and a dining area beside the pool, as well.
The owners of Bello Visto renovated a one-bedroom apartment in a separate building next to the main house. The romantic 500-square-foot apartment has been charmingly decorated in a distinctive Provencal style. The textured walls are painted and finished with friezes in the combined living and dining room. The apartment also includes a well-equipped kitchenette, a bathroom with WC and shower, and a large bedroom with queen-sized bed. Throughout, the apartment is furnished with fashionably modern and good-quality antique furniture. The apartment is heated for year-round use.
The picture window in the dining area offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
Bello Visto is located high in the old village of Cairanne in the northern part of Provence. The village is known all over France for its excellent wine, which is labeled with the Cairanne, Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation. The village is on the southern Côtes du Rhône wine route, with other notable wine villages, such as Rasteau, Seguret, Sablet, Beaumes de Venise, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, and Chateauneuf du Pape, located within a few kilometers.
A very interesting website describing Cairanne in detail is found at http://www.provenceweb.fr/e/vaucluse/cairanne/cairanne.htm. For a virtual visit to Cairanne, click here: http://www.vaucluse-visites-virtuelles.com/glvirtualbluepopouts/cairanneus.html
The following village shops and restaurants are all within a very short walk from the house:
Cairanne is equidistant between Vaison-la-Romaine and Orange, both of which are known for their extraordinary Roman ruins. Each is within a 15-minute drive from Cairanne. Other fabulous Roman ruins, such as the Pont du Gard, are easily accessed by Cairannes proximity to the A7 and A9 autoroute entrances (15 minutes drive).
Cairanne is only a 30-minute drive from Avignon and its TGV station and a one-hour drive from the large international Marignane airport in Marseille. The closest beach is a little over an hour drive from Cairanne, and even Barcelona, Spain can be reached in just three or four hours.
2009 Rental Rates(House and Apartment together)(Including heat, linens, cleaning before and after rental, pool maintenance in season, and all utilities other than telephone charges). House and Apartment must be rented together during high season.
High Season* Mid Season** Low Season***
1 wk $3185 $2415 $1925
2 wks 5810 4410 3465
3 wks 8190 6090 4935
4 wks 10,220 7560 6300
*High Season: 6/1 9/15
**Mid Season: 5/1 5/31 and 9/16 10/31
***Low Season: 11/1 4/30
Normally, rentals begin on Saturdays after 4:00 p.m. and end at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Other start and end days can occasionally be arranged if requested in advance.
Low-Season Rental of House or Apartment Only:
During the high season, guests must rent the house and apartment together to allow complete privacy on the property, including all structures, facilities, terraces, pool, and garden. During the low season (11/1 through 4/30), the Apartment and House may be rented separately at the following base rates:
$1799 per week for the house (including utilities)
$420 per week for the apartment (including utilities)
Discounts are available for multi-week rentals.
Longer term winter rentals for sabbaticals or other long stays can be negotiated.
Mid-Season Rental of House or Apartment Only
During the mid season (5/1-5/31 and 9/16-10/31), the house can be rented alone, and the apartment will be offered for separate rental if the house has already been rented or on a last-minute basis. The house and apartment may be rented separately during mid season at the following base rates:
$1995 per week for the house (including utilities)
$525 per week for the apartment (including utilities)
Discounts are available for multi-week rentals.
To Contact Owners Regarding Terms of Rental and Availability:
Lynda and Jim Gardner (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Martha Lundberg (email: email@example.com) or David Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)