Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1456: Rentvillas, Cortenanno 3
apartments on an estate near San Gimignano, Tuscany West
April 2005, one week
This gorgeous villa was located about 4 km from San Gimignano - in the heart of Tuscany. The multi-unit villa sat by itself on a hillside vinyard. The villa itself was beautiful, well-kept, and provided a lot of unexpected amenities. The scenery, the apartment, and the atmosphere were far exceeded our expecations.
The hosts spoke English and were very helpful. They made fantastic recommendations for restaurants and places to visit that weren't on the "main stream". We were extremely pleased with all of their recommendations and feel we would have missed out if we didn't experience them.
San Gimignano was the closest town (4 km). You COULD walk, but it's a hike. And since it seemed to have the best prices on leather and pottery in the area, you'll need a car to bring all of your treasures back. San Gimignano was my favorite small city in Tuscany. It had everything you could ever want -great leather and pottery shops, fantastic trattorias and ristorantes, and the beauty of the walled city is breathtaking.
The PAM is the nearest grocery store (6 km) in Poggibonsi. It has everything and anything you'll need for your stay. It's a mini-Walmart. From socks to bug spray to fresh seafood and meats - this place has it all. The prices are also very reasonable.
From this villa you can be in S. Gimignano & Poggibonsi in 5 - 10 minutes; Siena in 25 - 30, Volterra in 30 - 45 (highly recommended), and a bus ride to Florence is only about 45 minutes. Rome is a healthy 3 hours by car (with construction).
The villa was in excellent shape. The exterior is gorgeous and the apartment we stayed is was much more spacious than expected. It was very clean and had plenty of ammenities (TV, oven, stove, refrigerator, plates, cups, utensils, etc.) I believe there is a total of 10 - 12 apartments in this Villa.
There were a couple of sitting areas. Out back there is a covered garden where dinner is served a couple nights per week May - Oct. I hear it's wonderful, but since we were there in April we didn't get to experience that. There is a pool with lounge chairs and picnic tables are nearby. Some of the larger villas have their own patios.
The furniture was in great shape. The apartment was spotless. We had everything we needed and more.
Bed was fine. The bedroom was large and had plenty of room for our clothes. The bathroom was huge! There were brand new facilities in the bathroom.
The kitchenette was well-supplied. We had all of the appliances we needed. Plenty of dishes, utensils, pots/pans, etc. We cooked a couple of full meals in the kitchen and had no problems what so ever.
Problems or Bonuses
The only thing we would have changed, but it's a product of the building, is the "thin walls". Since the building is made of concrete and stucco it conducts noise easily. If our neighbors were up late, so were we.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rentvillas was absolutely wonderful to work with. Our representative went above and beyond to help us choose a villa, help us with alternative hotel recommendations on the front and tail end of our trip, and keep us informed of every step of the rental process. His help and exceptional service took the anxiety out of planning an international vacation. I recommend Rentvillas.com to anyone I hear who is planning a trip to Europe. I will definitely use this service again.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
ABSOLUTELY! If I return to Italy I will stay here. Even if it means driving a little further, I will come back to Cortenanno 3 because of the beautiful setting and the fabulous hosts. They really made us feel like part of their family.
Things to do in this area
* Spend at least one day in San Gimignano - we spent 1 full day and 2 half-days.
* Visit Volterra. This is a city that wasn't on our radar screen and our hosts recommended it - it was well worth going to.
* Siena is a must do! Sit on the Il Campo at lunch time and people watch! Go to Market Day! What a blast! Great buys too!
* Rome is my favorite big city. It looks intimidating in the tourist info, but the whole city is walk-able in a day if you're in shape. We did it easy. * Driving through the Chianti region and stopping off at the wineries is a great experience. Once again, our villa hosts made some great, off-the-beaten-path recommendations for wineries.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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