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Vagliagli: Villa Astrea - La Casa di Rompicollo

Via del Colombaione 4, Phone: 0577.322624

Reviewed by: Steve from MD, review #563

When: April, 2004

Our most enjoyable and memorable foreign stay.

Rosanna and her adult children, Francesco (a seasonal actor) and Chiarra (an artist and athlete), gave us the most memorable B&B stay we've ever experienced. The Villa Astrea - La Casa di Rompicollo is about 125 years old, built by her grandfather, on prime land on the ridge with gorgeous sunrise and sunset views. The family history is nothing short of fascinating. Rosanna "Rompicollo" (dare-devil) be sure to get the whole story behind that nickname) is the only woman to race in the historical Palio in Siena since 1560 or so. The only other woman, back in the 16th century, did it pretending to be a man.

Between her many exploits and those of her husband, an Army general (now deceased), the first floor of this magnificent place is truly a museum to their long family histories. The rooms are spacious and beautiful. The grounds are lovely. The pool, open in warm weather, is large and well located.

But the truly memorable aspect of this stay was the time spent in conversation with the hosts. Whether it was over a glass of their own label wine made from their own vineyard, in the afternoon, dinner at night or just relaxing down time, we thoroughly enjoyed the conversations. We were truly meant to feel like members of their family and the parting was clearly much more than the ordinary professional courtesies. It was the kind of relationship you might be lucky enough to make with other guests rather than your hosts.

The cost: a reasonable 99 per night for three nights.

The villa is conveniently located for sightseeing through much of Chianti, Siena and much of Tuscany (up through San Gimignano ...), and those three areas are what we visited during our three days there.

We truly look forward to another opportunity to visit them at Villa Astrea - La Casa di Rompicollo.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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