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Review 128: Italian Vacation Villas, Il Fiocco

www.villasitalia.com

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Review by David from NY who is a SlowTrav Contributor

2bed/2bath house near Lecchi, Tuscany Chianti


When

August 2001, 1 week

Review

We rented Il Fiocco for a week in August 2001 through Italian Vacation Villas who represent properties offered by Tuscan Enterprises and other Italian agencies. Located in southern Chianti at the edge of the little village of San Sano near Lecchi, Il Fiocco is a terrific house, beautifully situated with views of the surrounding hills and valleys. Although it is an independent house, its position is not one of total isolation. There are neighboring houses, a rooster somewhere that usually didnít get it together to crow until about 9:30am and a hotel across the street, from which we could often hear kids playing in the pool. Nevertheless, we enjoyed staying here very much. The house is on a bit of land where there are olive trees and vines and it is set back from the street so you do feel like youíre out in the country although youíre on the verge of a small village.

The village of San Sano really doesnít have much going on. Thereís a trattoria which we didnít go to but is said to be good and the hotel and thatís about it. From San Sano one can walk into the next largest town, Lecchi in probably about Ĺ hour. I didnít do the walk so I canít say for sure. In Lecchi are a couple of restaurants, one that Pauline and Steve loved, Malborghetto (oops, we never made it there either), a post office, food store, phone booth, etc. Siena, and the large Coop supermarket, is a 25 minute drive. Gaiole in Chianti is about 10 minutes away by car and Radda in Chianti is about 15 minutes Ė perhaps a bit longer.

Il Fiocco a perfect place for 2, 3 or 4 people. It would work well for a couple and one other person Ė a child or friend, possibly another couple who donít mind sleeping in a smaller-than-queensize double bed. The owner, Massimo, and his family were very welcoming and seemed proud of their house. And well they should be. Itís very comfortably furnished and well equipped and we felt inclined to spend time there just enjoying the house. Outside alongside the driveway is a swing as well as a table made from an old olive grinding stone. There are a few groupings of comfortable outdoor furniture, both under and out from the porch.

You enter through the porch into a foyer from which a staircase goes up to the right to the second floor loft. Up there is a double bed and en suite bathroom with shower. There is no formal door to this room but itís kind of isolated from the rest of the house and felt as private as could be without a proper door. From the loft window you can see Monte Amiata to the south. Continuing into the house downstairs, you enter the living/dining room with a large table and chairs and TV. Farther back, a door to the right leads to the kitchen. At the end of the hall is a bedroom (with a door) with a large double bed(two twins pushed together and covered with one sheet) and a full bathroom with shower. From the kitchen is another door to the outside patio on which thereís a table and a great view of the area. We spent most of our time out here. It faces west so we got beautiful views of sunsets. Going down some stairs from the patio is an outdoor wood-burning oven which we didnít use, but is perfectly functional. If you continue back on the driveway, you can go to the back of the house and the door to the cantina (basement) above which there is a sign saying that this house was built in, I think, 1539, but donít quote me on that one. Whatever Ė itís old.

Massimo told me that the structure was originally a "fienile" Ė hay loft or barn. Evidently, the hay was stored in the upper level and fed down and processed on the lower floor. He bought the house in 1997 from some people who had lived there for a while and he did major renovations.

We really loved the feeling of this house, both inside and out. However thereís no clothes washer and no pool. I was fine washing a few things in the bidet Ė thatís what theyíre made for anyway, right? Ė so Americans can do some hand washing! Iíd recommend it very highly. Itís priced very well and I like the location a lot Ė a bit off of the beaten track, but not too far from things.

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

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