Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1641: Tuscany Net, Il Caggio
apartments on an estate near Monte San Savino, Tuscany Chianti
September 2004, 1 week
Il Caggio is located in the heart of Tuscany, several km from the village of Monte San Savino, in the province of Arezzo. It is nestled on the slope of a hill, surrounded by vineyards, trees, and fields of sunflowers. It is a short drive away from Cortona, Arezzo, Siena, Firenze, the Chanti region and many other visit-worthy Tuscan towns and villages.
The village on Monte San Savino, 3-4 km. away, has several stores, restaurants, bars, pizzerias, and gelato stores. We drove to Monte San Savino, but you could walk or bike there. There are also several other villages in the vicinity where you can have dinner or shop for food.
Arezzo and Cortona are a short drive away; Siena is about 40 km away and Firenze is a little further, about 70 km or so. The best way to get to Firenze is by train ó the Intercity ó from Arezzo. This saves you the trouble of having to drive through Firenze and park. The Intercity is fast and usually on time. The other trains take much longer to get to Firenze and make more stops, so itís worth spending the extra money on the Intercity.
Il Caggio combines the charm of old Tuscan farmhouses with modern amenities. It dates back to 1586 and incorporates architectural features characteristic of the era, all beautifully preserved during a recent refurbishing.
The main building has 2 sunny bedrooms with bathrooms on the second floor that can be rented for several days or longer periods. There are also 3 apartments: on the ground floor of the central building is a small apartment with a lounge, cooking area, bathroom and double bedroom. This is the apartment we stayed in during our first visit and it is charming. The bathroom is modern, the bedroom is comfortable and quiet and the living/cooking area is cozy. The furniture is mostly antique and the apartment is very comfortable. There is a small sitting area outside the front door with a table and 2 chairs, a perfect place to eat a quiet lunch in the shade.
There are 2 other apartments on the property: one sleeps 2+2, the other 4+2.
The grounds are green and perfectly maintained; flowers of all colors give life to the large stone buildings and make the entire complex exude a feeling of joy and relaxation.
The swimming pool (16x5 m) is behind the main building. We enjoyed relaxing by the pool, reading and writing in the peace and quiet of the Tuscan countryside. The pool is up the hill from the main house and the view of the property and the valley below is breathtaking. The pool is surrounded by a vineyard and some woods, which provides a feeling of calm and seclusion.
There is also an outdoor grill area, which we never used, but plan to try out during our next visit this fall. The agriturismo also has a beautiful Jacuzzi in an old, converted outbuilding; a big window provides a view of the valley below and we enjoyed some very relaxing moments gazing at the Tuscan countryside.
There are several areas with tables on the property where you can eat or watch the sunset with a glass of wine.
The furnishings are mostly antique, but the amenities are modern. The complex is very clean and well-maintained. Our apartment was perfectly clean and neat and provided enough kitchen amenities to prepare a lunch or two (which worked out well for us because we wanted to explore many restaurants in our week there).
The living area of our apartment was neat and cozy, with a couch, a table, a TV, and a couple of chairs - all perfect for 2 people.
The bedroom in our apartment was quite large and the beds comfortable. There were extra blankets in the closet. The bathroom was new, modern and clean.
The cooking area of our apartment was small, but enough for making coffee and light lunches/dinners. It has a gas stove, small fridge, and the necessary pots, pans, and utensils.
The kitchen of the main house where Gabriella teaches cooking classes and serves breakfast is beautifully done and has all the character of old Tuscan-style farm kitchens. I recommend you try Gabriellaís breakfast at least once.
Problems or Bonuses
The owners, Paolo and Gabriella, are very nice, friendly, and helpful without being intrusive. I speak Italian, so we communicated mostly in Italian, but they also speak English and respond to e-mails in English. They were helpful with information not just about the agriturismo but also about the surrounding area.
Gabriella offers courses in Tuscan cuisine, which I didnít manage to fit into our schedule on our first visit. I plan to do that this fall when we go back. She is also a wonderful baker and we got to enjoy some of her breakfast pastries and cakes.
We considered the proximity to bigger towns and sightseeing attractions combined with the peace and quiet of a Tuscan farmhouse a big bonus.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I highly recommend this vacation rental to anyone who wants to have a peaceful vacation at an affordable price.
Things to do in this area
We visited Firenze, Siena, Cortona, Arezzo, and Monterriggioni. We also drove through Chianti and stopped at several of the small towns. All of the places we visited offer excellent food and many cultural and historic attractions.
There are also working farms in the area that produce olive oil and wine and during our next visit we intend to tour a couple of them and taste some their products.
Our favorite bar for morning coffee and pastries was Bar Madison in Monte San Savino, where we enjoyed cappuccino every morning while people-watching.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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