Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 158: RRClarke, Villa Cercetole - Il Panini
4bed/1.5bath house on farm near Sansepolcro, Tuscany East
first week of July 2000, 1 week
Second story of an old farmhouse, very high on a hill overlooking the tiny town of Pieve St. Stefano (near Sansepolcro)in the Tuscan countryside. Farmhouse is part of a mini-hamlet (more like a compound of just a few homes). Beautiful panoramic views. Owners lived downstairs. Second smaller apartment on other side of building (with separate entrance).
You must drive to town Pieve St. Stefano for supplies. This is about a 10 or 15 minute drive on little roads. In town were adequate supermarket, pizzeria, local restaurants, post office, etc. All the amenities of a small town.
Building is very old stone farmhouse. Lovely from the outside. Quite rustic. What they call "antiques" are simply older flea market type furnishings. One corner of the general living area is a kitchenette with stove, sink and refrigerator. Half bath is off the main room too. Down a tiled hallway are four bedrooms of various sizes plus one full bathroom. The two nice/larger bedrooms face the mountains/valley. The two front rooms overlook the chicken coop and courtyard/parking area. Furniture and kitchen supplies were rustic/basic.
This was the best part. Lovely pool overlooking the valley and mountains. Lovely natural garden. Little patio for sitting and playing cards or whatever.
Furnishings were weak point. We put a sheet over the couch so we would feel more comfortable sitting on it. Main living space is large dining table to accommodate 8-10 people plus two couches and I think a coffee table. Kitchenette in corner. All windows are deep set. Lots of stone and tile.
At first, our bed was an "antique" straw mattress. After we requested a new mattress, one was supplied within two hours. Then very comfy. Other mattresses were obviously not new (but not straw either). Bathroom situation was a bit tight with seven of us sharing one full bath. The half bath did not have hot water in the sink, did not lock properly, was right off the living room. Water pressure was adequate. Fine hot water in kitchen sink and main bath.
Fully usable kitchen. We actually cooked full meals here.
Problems or Bonuses
Separate laundry building with washer that took forever. Clothes lines for drying. You are handed a bundle of linens upon arrival and must make your own beds.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Agency was fine. Onsite greeting (by mother of owner) was curt and unfriendly. Other members of farm community just sat and stared at us during the week. Not friendly. We were asked to park away from the building, which might be a problem for someone who can't walk a lot.
Note from SlowTrav: This agency, RRClarke, is based in England on the Isle of Wight. Contact by email: RRClarke@aol.com
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not stay here unless you like camping/roughing it. Frankly, the price was in our budget and the pool was just what we wanted (especially the kids). The roosters crowing and the sheep bells clanking early am may not please late sleepers. If you're looking for a warm welcome or lots of on-site attention this is not the place either.
Things to do in this area
This spot is like the center of wheel for seeing Umbria and Tuscany. We made day trips from here to Urbino, Gubbio, Perugia, Siena, La Verni, Poppi and Sansepolcro as well as Arezzo.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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