Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1016: Easy Reserve, Montefili (aka Montefilione)
Apartments on an estate near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
July 2004, 1 week
The Montefilli farm/vineyard is on the top of a small mountain overlooking Greve in the heart of Chianti. Swallows sailed past, and wildflowers were everywhere. We stayed there a week, and never tired of the views. One day storms passed through the region all day- the light was spectacular. The farm has four apartments of various configurations together in a grouping, and a very small cottage separate. Two of the units had families with young children when we were there but they were all very quiet. It was incredibly peaceful.
A car is really needed. You can walk down the mountain to the castle of Montefiorelle where there is a coffee bar and a great restuarant, but for groceries it would be a 3 kilometer walk down to Greve, and a very steep uphill hike back. Greve is full of wonderful little food shops as well as a supermarket and internet point.
All of the buildings had been fully renovated with very nice fixtures and finishes. The owners did much of the work themselves and clearly it was a passionate endeavor.
We were there in the heat of July so the landscaping was fairly burned out, but the blooming poppies and the huge lavender plants made up for it. The pool is just wonderful with nice landscaping around it. Two of the units had private terraces, the others had a large shared one. However, with only 4 units, there were very few people around at any one time and it was always quiet.
Our unit was very clean and everything was spanking new.
Bed was very comfy. Bathroom had high end fixtures- only lacked for a shelf or two, maybe a few hooks.
There was only a two burner stove and a fridge (but it had a freezer!) If you wanted to cook meat, which we didn't, you were quite limited to stovetop cooking, or could use a shared grill area (which did not appear to be used at all when we were there.) We cooked all week, and the couple implements we needed that were not available, the owner supplied when we asked. There was an espresso maker but no coffeemaker, so bring a melita (as I did) if you like your morning cup. Only thing lacking was more shelving for foodstuffs.
Problems or Bonuses
We had concerns about going in July-whether we would just bake in the heat. This farm however, being on the mountain - always had cool breezes. They had promoted that in the website but we didn't believe it. We chose the property in part because of the pool but only ended up using it once. Another aspect of the breezes was that it was not buggy. We had stayed in another nearby property for the prior week and the mosquitos drove us nuts. As dry as Tuscany is, I have no idea where those bugs came from.
One thing that we came to appreciate, that folks don't often think of, was car access. The road to this farm is PAVED and the parking is generous and easy for US drivers to navigate.
The other property we stayed in was 2km off a paved road and while romantic, got really tiresome in its extreme narrowness and dustiness, and made us think twice every time we wanted to go out. The parking situation was so frightfully small that the owner had to repark my car several times and somehow on the first day, we blew a tire on the sharp stones.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I had several back and forths with Tuscany-Villas (aka Italy-Villas) about this property and other possibilities. (I got my other one straight off of the www.greve-in-chianti.com website.) I did a "search" and quite unexpectedly received an email asking if I found what I wanted. I believe the contact was Lucia and she as incredibly helpful.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I will go back in a heartbeat.
Things to do in this area
Greve is a great area to stay in. It has wonderful food shops, two hardware stores (with stuff like duct tape) and a market on Saturdays. Its only an hour from Florence (there are buses all day) or Siena or San Gimignano, and not much more to Arezzo. We only ate "out" once (its so much cheaper and adventuresome to cook) - in the Montefiorelle castle there is a terrific little traditional tuscan restuarant called Taverna del Guerrino. A multicourse meal was about 50 euros without wine.
At the information booth in Greve they sell hiking maps for the Chianti region. We did several overlooking, and in the area of the abbey Badia a Passignano. The hiking there is mostly on old farm roads so they are easy to follow and you can create easy loops back to your car.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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