Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1342: Le Meridiane, Apartment
Apartments just outside Siena, Tuscany Siena
18 February 2005 to 16 April 2005, 8 weeks in all (6 weeks so far)
Over the years we've stayed in a variety of rentals in the Siena area. In 1994 we shared part of a villa with two other couples for two weeks near Vagliagli, about 20 kms north of Siena. In 1998 we stayed at an apartment on Via Campane, which we rented through Turismoverde and which was just 25 meters from the Piazza del Campo, which I believe is still available as a rental (although it used to always be listed for sale as well).
For self-catering rentals we recommend Le Meridiane. Let me say right off, especially in light of our glowing review which follows, that we have always paid our way both at Le Meridiane and elsewhere and have never received free service or free rentals. The care and customer service extended by Andrea and Alva need to be helped in any way possible, in our opinion, since they make traveling to Siena that much more of a comfort and the experience a real pleasure.
We first rented this through italianvillas.com and stayed there for two weeks in 1999, enjoying every minute of it. (You can also contact Le Meridiane directly.)
In fact we liked it so much and were so impressed by the friendliness and kindness of the owner Andrea Piergallini and the caretaker Alva that we returned in February of 2005 for an 8-week stay! The prices are reasonable, certainly when compared with the few apartments available inside the city's historic center. Moreover, they have parking for your car (on street as well as an underground garage) and if you so choose you can walk a mere 200m to the bus stop and in 15 minutes you are in town you can forget the nightmare of trying to find a place to park. (You can also walk into town in about half hour or so at a brisk pace, but you will be sharing part of the road with Italian drivers.) And with a large pool slated for opening this summer one will have the best of both city and country living.
They also plan to reopen their walking path down the hill toward the city this summer as well. The neighborhood is also very quiet.
Note however that Le Meridiane has nine older units (where we stayed), which are slated for upgrading in the spring/summer of 2005. Check into the availability and latest pricing of their 11 newer units, which were completed within the past three years and which include two designed for disabled travelers. (As of March 2005 these were not on their website so you will have to ask for specifics when you email.) They also take credit cards in addition to cash, of course.
A bus or car would be required to get groceries -- bus stop is a mere 200m walk form the apartment.
The old section (where we stayed) is slated for upgrade (so we were informed) but there are some 11 new units (at the same prize and size as the older units) available and another 9 under construction as of the spring of 2005.
Each unit has it's own outside sitting area, some are more private than others.
Furniture was old and somewhat weathered but in good shape and functional.
Beds were quite comfortable and bathrooms (2) were enough for four easily.
Kitchen is usuable -- owner added a new refrigerator to replace the existing one which was functional but in need of replacement -- and there is a cooktop but no ovens in any of the units.
Problems or Bonuses
Great location, parking for a car bothon street and offstreet and close to the bus stop for easy access to the city. A pool is presently under construction which would certainly make this a unique blend of city and country properties.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner as well as his onsite representative are wonderful people and always willing to be both accommodating and as helpful as possible. Great customer service, in other words.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We've stayed here twice in the past five years and would stay here again but would opt for one of the newer units until the older section is upgraded. The parking and pool are big pluses I would add, particularly for a place that is within walking distance (40 minutes) into the historical center of Siena.
Things to do in this area
See our restaurant reviews for a couple of favorite places to eat in Siena. We have eaten (so far) at Boccon del Prete on Via S. Pietro a total of five times.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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