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Review 131: Cottages to Castles, Villa Metelliano


Review by Paul from OR

apartment in villa near Cortona, Tuscany East


September 2001, 1 week


Penthouse Michelangelo (#326), apartment in villa with 3 apartments, near Cortona. This property was rented from Sept 8, 2001 to Sept 15, 2001 through The Parker Company. Note that the standard rental period is Saturday to Saturday, although you can stay multiple weeks when available.

The villa, which we were told has been around since the 15th century, is approximately 4 miles east of Cortona. A car is needed if you expect to go anywhere, even to Cortona.

The grounds around the villa, which include an outdoor pool, walking paths and a long, tree-lined driveway, are very well maintained by gardeners who appeared to live on the premises. We were told that the villa has three separate "apartments" for rent: A two bedroom, two bathroom, kitchen, sitting area section on the 3rd floor, a smaller area on the 3rd and 4th floors that sleeps 2 if not more, and a separate unit at the end of the main house. The owner of the villa, Signora Tommasi, lives on the ground floor, speaks good English and was helpful and friendly during our stay. She explained that due to recent break-ins at night, she was able to provide lodging space for a local police officer who actually sleeps in the villa at night. This is his home, but he's also available in case of emergency. (None noticed whilst we were there.)

The unit we rented was occupied by 4 adults. Each bedroom, equipped with two single beds each, was large and comfortable. We pushed the beds together to make a double bed, but we had to be careful not to fall between the two beds when they moved apart. The ceilings must have been 20' high! The floors were finished with glazed tiles which had obviously been walked on for many years. The sitting area was very nice for relaxing in the evening with a glass of wine and a good book. A writing table was also available for taking notes to be written up on Slow Travelers.

Both bathrooms had very modern fixtures. One bathroom had a toilet, bidet, sink and tub. The other bathroom had a shower, toilet and sink. The kitchen had ample sink and counter space area, and was stocked with plenty of dishes, utensils, etc. The stove/oven was a very tiny gas model that worked well but worked best for making coffee in the morning.

This villa has no phone or TV, which wasn't a problem but should be noted. I was carrying a TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) cell phone and was able to make calls from most areas of the villa.

A quarter-mile away from the villa is a neighbor who raises hunting dogs. Every night, if a critter tried to walk past the dogs, they would howl and bark and make quite a racket which kept one or more of us up at night. Signora Tommasi said she's working on the problem with the local authorities. Apparently, the owner of the dogs does not live on the property.

Mosquitoes got into the room on the occasional evening. The trick was to leave the windows closed during the day and open them slightly in the evening with the lights off in the bedroom so the mosquitoes are not tempted to come in.

If you plan to stay in the villa, make sure to buy the following items at the local Coop: toilet paper, coffee (sugar/cream if needed), tea, salt and pepper (if you plan to eat there). We made coffee and enjoyed biscotti every morning rather than rushing out the door to the local coffee bar.

Overall, this property was easy to rent through Parker, was fairly inexpensive and exceeded our expectations with the quality of the lodgings. Signora Tommasi was friendly and helpful in giving directions or restaurant recommendations as needed. We would stay with her again.

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

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