This one-level villa is nestled in the secluded Provence countryside, surrounded by a beautiful oak grove for privacy. Facing south to catch optimum sunlight, the architect-designed house has a very large living room (with a grand piano) and wall-to-wall sliding doors that open to an enormous flowered terrace with two outdoor dining areas. The lovely stone stairway leads you down to an exquisite flower garden with a natural swimming pool and a completely-equipped summer kitchen and BBQ.
There are four comfortable bedrooms (plus another room that can be used), all on the same floor (unlike most houses in Provence, where you have to climb stairs to go to a bedroom). The master bedroom is on one wing of the house for privacy, and the others are grouped on the other side. There are three fully-equipped bathrooms (plus an extra WC near the living room, for guests to use). And also a library (which can double as an extra guest bedroom) and an office that's an extension of the master bedroom.
The house faces a valley with a stream meandering through the middle: pure French country living at its most delicious. There is a gated, private driveway as you enter the property, and no visible neighbors on three sides of the house (two quiet neighbors in the back of the Villa).
The villa is completely equipped for your comfort: refrigerator + 4-drawer freezer, a microwave and oven, garbage disposal, dishwasher, clothes washing machine, and a good variety of kitchen appliances and utensils for avid cooks. There are four different dining areas -- the indoor table, right next to the kitchen; the outside porch table (by the kitchen door, under a protective roof shelter); the terrace long table (see photo here); and two large tables in the lower garden level right next to the summer kitchen. All on one level (good for handicapped guests).
Villa la Dolce Vita is located 2 km from Eguilles, close to a main departmental highway that connects Aix-en-Provence with Avignon, in the middle of the wine-growing area. It is only a twelve minute drive to Aix-en-Provence, one of France's most pleasant places to live. A convenient bus stop is an easy walk and a one euro ticket gets you to Aix in a few minutes. The villa is also close to the Luberon area, known for the abundant flora and stunning views that made it a favorite location for the Impressionist painters. It is dotted with hiking trails and quaint towns with wonderful restaurants. The closest beach is 30 minutes away near Marseille, a vibrant, sparkling gem on the Mediterranean. There are convenient bus connections to both Aix and Marseille. The TGV (high-speed train) station is a 25 minute drive from the house and Paris is less than 3 hours away. There are open-air vegetable/fruit markets once a week in 4 nearby villages, and the famous Aix market is open every day of the year. Here you can stock up on fragrant herbs de Provence, organically grown foods, and a wide variety of locally produced household items. Click here for a map.
Aix en Provence: Oozing with history and enchanting atmosphere, Aix-en-Provence began life as a Roman settlement fed by the warm springs and was capital of the region for several centuries. Aix was a centre for art and learning in the 15th, it has earned the epithet 'city of a thousand fountains'. The town itself is a jewel of a Provencal town, with an outdoor market open every day of the year and many nationally-renowned restaurants. Stroll down the Cours Mirabeau with its tree-lined promenade, as well as old Aix with the old town hall and Saint-Sauveur cathedral with its cloister. There are over 400 restaurants to choose from, plus annual summer Music Festivals. This year the Art Museum in Aix hosts an exhibit on Picasso and his relation to Cezanne (a local Aix painter).
Like any French town, Aix has a thriving local cafe life. Excellent wine chateaux can easily be found in any direction, depending on your taste, and the local wines are excellent. Other small towns dot the Aix countryside near Villa la Dolce Vita, each with its open market one day per week, its local cafe life and occasional cultural events. Good wine chateaux can easily be found in any direction.
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