Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1595: Le Manzinaie, La Viole
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
July 2 - July 9, 2005, one week
Le Manzinaie is in the country, about 10 miles from Montepulciano. It's a beautiful location, rolling hills covered with vineyards, olive trees and corn fields! Other buildings on the property included the "big house" and a few outbuildings. We loved the area.
You can walk into Montepulciano Stazione if you're daring. You have to walk along a fairly busy highway. Montepulciano Stazione has two small grocery stores, a couple of butchers and a fish market. It also has a farmers market on Saturday mornings. You can get essentials at the grocery stores, but if you need a lot, you need to go to the Conad in Montepulciano. The butchers, however, had a very nice selections of very fresh meats.
The main house was 130 years old and had been abandoned, sitting empty for 20 years before Marzia and Fiore bought it and renovated it. In the main house, there are four apartments for rent, plus the large apartment upstairs where the family ives. La Viole, the name of our little "villa," is separate and sits behind the big house. It was quiet, sparkling clean and beautifully decorated by Marzia. On the main floor, there is a kitchen and small eating/sitting area, a large bedroom with bathroom en suite. Upstairs is another huge bedroom and bath.
There were two outdoor gardens: one for general use and a private one for La Viole. It was surrounded by a 5 foot hedge and equipped with a table, umbrella and four lawn chairs. There is a large, well-maintained pool for general use.
The furniture was simple but adequate in the kitchen/sitting area. The bedrooms were very prettily furnished and the beds very comfortable. Again, everything about this property, including the inside of our house, is sparkling clean. The care that is taken is very apparent.
Beds were large and comfortable. The bedrooms were spacious and there was more than enough room to unpack and stick your suitcases out of the way. The bathrooms were large and fixtures were new. The downstairs bath had a combination shower/whirlpool. The upstais bath had a large shower.
The kitchen was well-equipped: gas cooktop, large refrigerator, and more than enough pots, pans, and utensils. We had a great time doing our shopping and then cooking dinner each evening and breakfast the next morning in our kitchen!
Problems or Bonuses
No bad surprises, only good ones. Marzia and Fiore are very considerate hosts. One of the little bonuses was the arrival, each day, of one of them carrying a gift for us: fresh produce from their large vegetable garden, fresh baked bread, a plate of bruschetta, a bottle of olive oil. It was also nice, since the weather was warm and we needed to do laundry, that Marzia did our washing for us while we were out having a good time. It was well worth the few euros she charged to have that service. She was able to provide an iron and ironing board for our use the next day.
We were also thrilled to be treated one evening to a dinner cooked and served by the family. It was a great opportunity to visit with them and the other guests and to sample some wonderful Tuscan cuisine!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Booked with www.labellatoscana.com. La Bella Toscana is based in London. Kathy was an excellent contact; we never would have been able to make this connection without her help. However, I would now feel comfortable contacting Le Manzinaie directly. Marzia speaks good English, Fiore some, but their teenage daughter, Alice, speaks excellent English. She also acts as the rental agent so it's easy to avoid any misunderstandings.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely! We were sad when we left and, less than a month later, are longing to return.
Things to do in this area
You can be as busy or as relaxed as you want. Many of the small Tuscan hill towns, Asissi and Siena are no more than 1 1/2 hours away. The roads are easy to drive and it's easy to find your way. Fiore and Marzia have prepared a booklet outlining drives that you can make from Le Manzinaie.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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