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Review 120: Tuscany Net, Podere Torricella


Review by Shirley from Ontario

apartments on an estate in Chianti, Tuscany Chianti


July 2001, 2 weeks


Podere Torricella is located just 20 km. south of Florence and is comprised of 10 apartments. We had a large group – five families with a total of seven kids, ages 6-13. We rented five two-bedroom apartments (two apartments had 2 bathrooms) for two weeks in July 2001. We all found our apartments to be very spacious and spotlessly clean.

Our apartment had lovely beamed ceilings and terra cotta tile floors throughout. The bathroom consisted of toilet, bidet, sink and shower stall and we had hot water whenever we wanted and good water pressure. The kitchen was fully equipped and we were able to cook simple meals, make toast and coffee with the utensils provided. Much to our dismay, there was also a television where you could watch CNN if you so desired! There was a covered patio-type area across from our apartment and we ate many dinners there. We had a small refrigerator and a cooktop with four cooking elements – there was no oven or microwave, and although it said on the property information that there was a barbeque, there really wasn’t one that was usable. We had plenty of thick towels and the bedding and towels were changed once during our two week stay. The furniture was comfortable.

For the whole two weeks we were at Podere Torricella, each day the weather was hot and sunny. However, we found at night we could open the windows wide and were able to sleep very comfortably if we kept the windows and shutters closed during the heat of the day. TIP: After dark, only open the windows when you’ve turned off the lights as there were mosquitos.

Surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, the property itself sits high on an isolated hill, reached down a dirt road about 2-3 kilometres from the small village of Cerbaia. In this town we were able to buy groceries, wine, fresh cheese etc. As well about 7-8 km. away in the town of Montelupo was a great Coop (grocery store) with a vast array of food and it was open 7 days a week (not even closed for siesta). We made several trips to this store for incredible cheese, cold meat, foccaccia, etc. A car was essential to rent this property.

Podere Torricella had a good sized swimming pool with chaise lounges and umbrellas, a ping pong table and a washing machine on site. The views from the swimming pool area were spectacular and on a few evenings we brought our food up and ate around the pool. In any case it was a great spot to meet at the end of the day and enjoy a glass of wine while sharing our day’s experiences with one another. Several in our group remarked how much they actually enjoyed preparing simple meals right in the apartment because the ambiance and location was so beautiful. There is a lovely restaurant on the property and we enjoyed a few fantastic meals there – I believe the only wines served there were the ones made on the property and they were very good.

Podere Torricella was well located, particularly for visits into Florence. Oddly, my husband and I didn’t venture into Florence this trip but the rest of the group did and they all drove in with little trouble. Most places we visited were within an hour’s drive – Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Montecatini, Colle Val d’Else, Monteriggioni, Chianti. And the delightful towns of San Casciano and Montespertoli were just 10-15 mins. away. We also ventured a little further afield (about 1 ½ hrs.) – one trip to Forte de Marmi and one day trip to Montalcino/Pienza. We tried to subscribe to the slow travelling method!

One request: if you do rent this property, please pick up a box of cat food and feed the sweet, stray gatto (cat) who lives on the property.

Last Notes: Surprisingly, we didn't have to pay a penny upfront - we sent our credit card numbers and paid when we left. We could also charge the restaurant charges right to our room. Every single one of the five families on this trip unhesitatingly recommend this place for the price, beauty, facilities, cleanliness.

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

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