Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1070: Bosco Della Spina, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Murlo, Tuscany South
September 2001, 1 week
In the hamlet of Lumpompesi not far form the delightful village of Murlo. Our apartment was on the second (top) floor, so was quite peaceful. We quite liked the tiny hamlet of Lumpompesi but adored Murlo. We had great views from the terrace of the swimming pool over to the Rocca of Murlo.
Groceries were a short drive away in Vescavado but the nearest and best restaurants were closer still in Murlo.
The buildings are a conversion of the out buildings of the original farm of Lumpompesi.
When we visted there were about 10 other apartments all newly converted in a modern natural style. Everything was nicely done but we felt that perhaps the owners had tried a little too hard, with style being put before practicality and atmosphere.
For example the windows in the apartment were huge and designed to swing open to emulate a French window but the glass in our apartment had already cracked, presumably when the wind took it and banged it against the window frame.
A very modern long, slim swimming pool with a small terrace around it and a larger terrace quite close by provided comfortable seating and lovely views. Some apartments can sleep up to 8 people and the largest in the Torre has a good sized terrace.
All the furniture was new and designed especailly for Bosco Della Spina. Most of it was quite comfortable and the apartment was nicely laid out with a small dining area and good sitting room area in the open plan main room. The bedroom was quite large and furnished with a huge ultra modern 4 poster bed.
Bed linens were nice but the bedspread in brown suedete was not a success!
Our enormous bed was quite comfortable but the pilows were rather hard. There was ample storage and the lighting was quite good. The apartment was always lovely and cool with a system called cooling panels.
The shower room was excellent with a top of the range shower and lots of good towels and toiletries and ample hot water. Most apartments have an ensuite bathroom for each bedroom or sleeping area, which is a nice touch.
The kitchen was only suitable for cooking simple meals as there was no oven. We had sufficient utensils and good storage with an excellent fridge. We hoped to eat in the hotel as Bosco Della Spina is a Residence but both breakfast and dinner were disappointing.
Problems or Bonuses
We couldn't put our finger on it but this wasn't the place for us. It had a lot going for it, a nice apartment with hotel facilities if required, but somehow the atmosphere was strained.
Breakfast was served on the terrace but somehow missed the mark with regard to quality and quantity and poor coffee. Dinner was a big let down with only one or two acceptable courses and my main course was served reheated but not well enough. The dining room is big and not unattractive but certainly not the venue for a romantic dinner. It is hung with flags and banners like those denoting contradi.
We revisted again in September 2003 to see if things had improved but at 9pm on a Saturday night it was empty and pizzas were the main feature on the menu.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The hotel owners tried to be helpful but it was clear that their lack of English was a big problem for them. Thankfully Richard speaks Italian but we still didn't feel at ease when chatting with them. The price of about 180 euros a night at that time was quite good value for money.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I feel this place might settle down and become a very nice place to stay but for the time being my view is neutral.
Things to do in this area
Bosco Della Spina is in a good location within good striking distance of our favourite Tuscan hilltown Montepulciano and Montalcino too.
In the walled Borgo of Murlo we enjoyed fine pizzas and excellent pasta from the Pizzeria (there is only one Pizzeria) - I think it is Ristorante Bar Pizzeria del Arco. It has a lovely terrace which is particularly attractive at sunset.
We ate supremely well at Cafe Poliziano in Montepulciano and I would recommend advance reservations for both.
We drove to Pitigliano for the day and thorougly enjoyed our explorations.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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