Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1375: Le Manzinaie, Apartment
apartments on estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
April 2005, One week
Le Manzinaie is located in the country approximately a 10 minute drive to Montepulciano. It is in a farming area and very peaceful with no buildings other than those of the rental in the immediate area. We found Le Manzinaie to be a wonderful setting to spend a quiet afternoon sitting in the sun and reading up on all the wonderful day trips we made.
Le Manzinaie is located about a 10 minute walk from Montepulciano Station, which offered grocery shopping and some small restaurants. To do a major shop, it is better to make the 10 minute drive into Montepulciano itself.
Le Manzinaie is a restored farmhouse (I believe about 130 years old). Fiore & Marzia (the owners) have done a marvelous job of restoration with wonderful gardens and a large pool for all to share. There are 6 apartments in total - all in beautiful shape with all the amenities one would want. There is no actual farm, but many fruit trees of various varieties (cherries, apricots, apples, peaches, pears). While we were there Fiore was just planting kiwi fruit. Guests are free to pick fruit for themselves during season.
Our apartment was spotless with ample furniture for dining and watching TV if you desired. Marzia has done a great job of stenciling artwork on the walls in the living/dining area as well as the bedrooms. These touches made it a most enjoyable place to stay.
The bedroom was ample in size and the bed (queen) was nice and firm ... very comfortable. Our daughter stayed with us, so they had put in an extra single bed for her. There was lots of closet and drawer space for our clothes. The bathroom was large with shower, separate jacuzzi tub, double sinks, bidet and toilet.
The kitchen comes with all the amenties. Stove top, fridge, Microwave, toaster, coffee maker and ample pots/pans/dishes for cooking a full meal. We made a number of meals and had no problems cooking.
Problems or Bonuses
On our arrival, we were pleasantly surprised to find wine and milk in the fridge, coffee and breakfast goodies for our use.
Alicia, Fiore & Marzia's daughter, speaks very good English and is able to explain where to go and what to see. While Fiore & Marzia speak some English, Alicia acts as an interpreter and I must say does a great job. I told her that she should work at the United Nations as an interpreter.
The family has printed a guide showing where to go on day trips in the area - what to see and where to eat. All their reccommendations were first rate.
During our stay (one week), Marzia & Fiore had us to dinner on two occasions. Both times the food was marvelous. Fiore seems to be the cook in this house. On one of our visits he was cooking steak in the fireplace. Lots of wine. One tip.. don't let Fiore get you into too much grappa ... it's deadly ...
When we arrived, we had been in Italy for almost 10 days and were running out of clean clothes ... no problem ... Marzia did a couple of loads of wash for us and hung them out on the line. Everything smelled nice and fresh. There is a minimal charge for this.
My daughter is taking a university course by correspondence and while were were at Le Manzinaie she had to submit a 60 page project over the internet ... No problem ... Alicia came to the rescue ... she and my daughter spent an hour in their office getting everything in order and off it went back to Canada with no hitches ...
There were many other little kindnesses that made our stay so enjoyable.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Le Manzinaie was reccommended to us here on Slow Travel and we couldn't have been more satisfied. Our stay here was the highlight of our trip to Italy. We booked our stay directly with the owners and it was all it was presented to be.
The price for our stay in early April was to be Euro 683.00 for the week. A deposit of 30% was required on booking in early February. This was done by credit card. On our arrival, we were again pleasantly surprised to find that they gave us a 10% discount on our rental because were staying early in the season. There was no mention of this discount when we booked in February. The actual cost was about Euro 615.00 for the week.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I have absolutely no reservations reccommending this vacation rental to others and will stay here again on our next trip to Tuscany ... (Hopefully there will be another visit). Fiore, Marzia and Alicia made our stay so enjoyable and there was nothing they weren't prepared to do to accommodate us.
Things to do in this area
Montepulciano is located central to so many other interesting towns and cities. We took day trips to Arezzo, Cortona, Pienza, Montalcino, Perugia, Assissi, Siena as well as a number of other smaller villages. None of the foregoing trips was more than 90 minutes one way. Most were less than an hour. I can't think of a better location to be based if you want to see the hill towns of Toscana.
Lastly, Fiore, Marzia and Alicia, thank you ever so much for such a memorable vacation... We shall be back...
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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