Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1229: Terre Toscane, Podere Ninfeo
apartments on a farm near Sinalunga, Tuscany East
Sept-Oct 2001, 2 weeks
About 3km north of Foiano Della Chiano on a side road off the road to Pozzo. Quiet country location, overlooking the Val di Chiana. In the distance you could make out the A1, but no traffic noise could be heard.
2km to the closest cafe. Groceries in Foiano, Pozzo, or Lucignano. Restaurants within 10km at Lucignano, Sinalunga.
The farm had four rentals in three villas. Ours was upstairs in a building attached to the farmhouse. The building was divided into an upstairs and a downstairs. The place was peaceful and quiet. The stone buildings did not allow noise to come through from the other part.
Each villa had an outside sitting/eating area, though they were not particularly demarcated. Anybody could go anywhere outside. There was a pool and spa. This normally closes at the end of September, but they kept it open until we left as our boys were enjoying it so much.
The buildings were new/recemtly renovated. The furniture was in good shape, though the wardrobes hanging rail was surprisingly high (unreachable for short people). The rooms, kitchen and bathroom were clean. The dining table had chairs for 10 but there was only a couch for 2, and it was not particularly comfortable.
Beds were comfortable. The bedrooms had a country cottage feel. One bedroom was on an upstairs mezzanine. The two bathrooms were enough for 2 couples, 2 kids, and 2 singles.
The kitchen had a good stove and sink. The pots and pans were serviceable, but were a mixed bag. We had to buy a grater and cork screw. I enjoy cooking so I enjoyed cooking there, though cooking a full meal was something of a challenge.
Problems or Bonuses
The farm has its own cantina from which you can buy red and white wine and olive oil, and also fresh produce. The milky greeen olive oil was delicious. The red wine was an acceptable house red, but I was not keen on the white. On Tuedays Maria bakes the weekly bread. She gave us a loaf straight out of the oven and we had devoured it with their olive oil in 15 minutes.
It is a working tobacco farm and we could see them cutting, stacking, curing, and loading the trucks for sale.
We could have had a meal with the family but did not get around to it. A couple of times we joined the family in the farmhouse for coffee. There were a couple of nonnas there. One moring we got up to see her killing the chickens and loading the bodies into a wheelbarrow, presumably to take to the house/cantina for processing.
The owner, Guiseppe, normally accommodates Germans, and until our italian speaking friends arrived we conversed in the little German we had. The brochure advertised a washing machine, but they did not have one yet. Maria took our washing, but did not charge us for it. However, we did not know that she was not going to charge and we were reluctant to ask her to do the washing. So we used the bathroom sinks.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was efficient. They are in Montepulciano, and we had to go there to make payment. We told them at the end of our stay about the lack of washing machine, but do not know if they did anything. The brochure reflected the reality well.
The onsite person, Guiseppe, spoke Italian and German. Maria, and the others in the family spoke only Italian.
The road directions to the villa were appalling. We all got lost on our first attempt to find it.
Note that you can book direct with Guiseppe. You do not have to go through Terra Toscane. He is also listed with another agency.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would go there again. In fact, our relations have suggested a combined Italy trip, and we think this place would be very suitable if we could rent a couple of the villas.
Things to do in this area
Favourite town. Lucignano. Dine at La Rocca reataurant, great food, great decor.
Notice the old men outside a cafe on corner near the old town in Foiano. They always seem to be there! You will pass by this way on your way to the A1. Within easy reach of Cortona, Montepulciano, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Castiglione del Lago, Siena, etc. Petroio is the terracotta capital of the world.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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