Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1136: Tenuta Spannocchia, Apartment
apartments on a farm west of Siena, Tuscany West
October 2003, 2 weeks
Spannocchia, which is owned by a U.S. foundation, is not just a vacation rental. It is a way of life. It is an estate devoted to self sustaining agriculture, and the husbandry of traditional Tuscan breeds. So, as you sit outside your 800 year old farmhouse sipping your Chianti, you are also watching farmers and interns taking care of their amazing Cinta pigs, Maremma cattle, sheep, horses and donkeys. Grapes and olives are grown there and processed into wine and oil.
The managers and interns are very knowledgeable and helpful. Meals are wonderful! There is plenty of space for hiking right on the property.
Siena is about 20 minutes away by car but there is charming Rosia nearby. Lots to see!
You need a car because Spannocchia is up in the hills. Plenty of restaurants in the area and a fabulous fixed price dinner is served at the villa Monday through Friday. It is a great time because dinner is served family style to farm hands, interns, management, and guests. By the way, there are many small groups of artists who travel there to study so you may end up eating with them as well.
All the buildings at Spannocchia are historical and in good shape. As with most, however, it is unheated so bring a couple of sweaters.
There are plenty of places to sit. Our house had a wonderful patio looking out on the vinyards.
Simple but fine.
Bedrooms also were simple but fine. There were two bathrooms, perfectly adequate for six friends. Don't expect long showers, however because hot water is at a premium!
Kitchen is large and there is plenty of space. The only problem was the extra charge for gas and firewood. It really was impossible to predict.
Problems or Bonuses
We totally enjoyed ourselves, learned a great deal about the people of Tuscany, and a bit of Italian. We would definitely go again but we would check the wood supply and gas and water gauges at the beginning so we had a handle on that small but real cost.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
It is just like you will see on the website and the management were great!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
No problem, I am ready to pack my bags right now.
Things to do in this area
What can one say about Tuscany? The Chianti region is less than an hour away. San Gimingnano, Pienza and other hilltop towns are not far away. Best of all is Siena - beautiful and bustling but without the madness of Florence. Great museums, restaurants, shops. We really loved going to the Siena outdoor market on Thursday.
By the way, Florence is about an hour away. It is a crazy place to drive but it does have amazing art and the Ponte Vecchio. The noise of all those motor scooters is an acquired taste. Since Florence has the closest airport, I would suggest staying there for a few days at the beginning or end of your trip. Park your car at the hotel, and take public transportation in and around the city.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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