Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 109: Le Meridiane, Apartment
Apartments just outside Siena, Tuscany Siena
April, 2001, 1 week
We stayed at Le Meridiane for one week beginning April 26, 2001. We booked directly with the place which is a restored 17c. farmhouse in Siena. It is in a quiet location outside the historic center. A bus, a short walk away, takes you into the center in about 20 minutes.
The building has been divided into a number of apartments. Ours, Tartuca, was on the ground floor opening onto a small, grassy garden area with a table and chairs. Pleasant, but not much of a view. You could best describe the surrounding area as suburban Siena.
There was adequate parking near the building. You could walk to a small store but we never did, preferring instead to drive about 10 minutes to the incredibly large supermarket near the railroad station (plenty of free parking). I don't believe that small store was very well equipped. A car is really necessary to stay at Le Meridiane.
We had originally booked Tartuca for a week in May 2000. Unfortunately, a totally unexpected case of bronchitis on the eve of departure caused us to cancel our trip. (We wound up in Switzerland in June and had a great time--two fabulous apartments--I'll write about them another time). We were required to reserve Tartuca with a 30% deposit which I assumed was lost because we cancelled on short notice. Imagine my surprise when Andrea, the gentleman we had been corresponding with via e-mail, said he would hold our deposit for 3 years! Andrea also gave us extremely good directions for getting to Le Meridiane from the South on the SS2. We expected Andrea, who is fluent in English, to be available at Le Meridiane. However, he is now working in Rome. The very pleasant woman in the office spoke just about no English. Fortunately, I've been working very hard to learn some Italian and it came in handy.
Tartuca consists of a living/dining/kitchen area with a one person sleep sofa and a twin bedded bedroom. The bathroom is well equipped and has a stall shower. The kitchen was adequately equipped and the stove had 3 gas burners and one electric. The mattresses were not as firm as I would have liked (I have a bad back) and I wound up putting one on the BR floor since they did not have a bed board. That's essentially my only complaint with the place. You could have heat whenever you wanted and it was included in the price. The price was around $60 per night if you stayed for a week. The daily rates were much higher. It was not necessary to arrive on a Saturday. Of course, I don't know if this is true in the summer season.
Le Meridiane is well located for day visits to various hill towns in Tuscany. This was our first visit to Tuscany and we tended to run around quite a bit. Within an hour's drive or less you can visit Montalcino and San Antimo monastery, Monte Oliveto, the Chianti, Volterra and San Gimignano. We only spent one day in Siena finding it noisy and crowded. We enjoyed the other places, listed above, much more and especially the food and wine.
Pauline asks: From the map on the web site it looks like you could easily walk into Siena. Could you? >>Although the Le Meridiane people said you could walk into the old town in 30 minutes it would involve walking down and then uphill a considerable distance. It was not practical. The web site map is not drawn to scale.<<
Pauline asks: What was the size of the apartment? >>The size of the apartment tended toward small but not tiny. There was plenty of light. The furniture was nothing exceptional and not super comfortable. I would prefer boring but comfortable furniture to interesting and exciting uncomfortable furniture.<<
Pauline's conclusions: This looks like a good place to stay if you are looking for a bargain and want to be close to Siena. I disagree with Paula about Siena - we love Siena!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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