Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1689: Sant' Antonio, Leonardo Apartment
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
August - September 2005, 1 week
I stayed here with my husband and two sons (ages 2 and 4) in August. The location was fantastic -- only about a 5 minute drive to Montepulciano, but you are surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. The views from Sant Antonio were breathtaking. I LOVED the area around Montepulciano. We are planning on returning to the area next summer.
You really can't walk anywhere on roads from Sant Antonio and be safe, but there was a restaurant about a 2 minute drive, and the grocery store, Conad, was less than 10 minutes away. You can take a nice hike up the hill where Sant Antonio is located -- my husband and 4 year old son really enjoyed doing this. There isn't anything up there, but you can get a wonderful view of Montepulciano and the countryside.
Sant Antonio is set on a hill, surrounded by an olive groves. It is a former monastery which has been converted into apartments. The grounds were gorgeous and well-maintained. The complex is gated which makes it seem very secure.
Our apartment was the "Leonardo" apartment, located on the 1st floor of the main building. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with a living/dining room area, kitchenette and a small sitting room off of the living room (they can put an additional bed in here but it wouldn't be very private.)
Since Sant Antonio is an apartment rental, the location isn't totally private, but it is very serene. I never felt like the presence of the other guests was obtrusive, but I was aware of them. I believe there are 12 apartments in total.
We had a table and 4 chairs right outside of our apartment, and there were several sitting areas around the property as well as several barbecue grills. There is a very nice pool which we used every day. The view is beautiful from the pool, and there are plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas. There are also lots of terra cotta planters with geraniums set around the pool and around the property.
The apartment was VERY clean. The furniture was in good condition. It is comfortable and casual furniture, not fine antiques. Very pleasant. There was a large table which sat at least 10 people, and plenty of comfortable seats for people in the living room.
The beds were fine -- a bit hard for my taste, but not uncomfortable. The bedrooms were nice with bedside tables and lamps and a dresser. Only one of the bedrooms had a closet.
The bathrooms were wonderful. Nicely tiled and nice fixtures. Our bedroom had a nice big shower, and the other bathroom had a bathtub with shower. There was also a blowdryer, which was a nice surprise. Also, they supplied soap and shampoo which was a nice touch. There were plenty of nice towels, and these were replaced midweek.
The kitchen does not have an oven, but it was still very good. They do supply a toaster, coffee maker and espresso maker. Most of the pots and pans were good, although the non-stick pans were all scratched up. The dishes were plentiful and very nice. I didn't want to do a lot of dishwashing, so we did purchase some paper plates/napkins for the week. I cooked pasta a few times, but we mainly ate out, which we enjoyed. But we did enjoy making espresso every morning.
Problems or Bonuses
The garbage was collected every day, which was a perk since we have a little one still in diapers. Also, the midweek cleaning was a nice surprise.
One of the cats on the property, "Antonio", adopted my children and ended up staying with us. One of the rental employees brought us food to feed him. This was a definited bonus for my boys, but not for my husband!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Nico, the owner of Sant Antonio, couldn't have been more pleasant to deal with. He was always very prompt to answer my emails and very helpful. He speaks English fluently, as well as 5 other languages. He helped us to hire a babysitter and also recommended and made a dinner reservation for us at a lovely restaurant in Montepulciano.
Nico also arranges a weekly dinner for the guests on the property. The cost was 30 euro pp and included wine and 4 courses. It was fun to get to know the other guests and the food was very good. The cook made my boys some fried fish before the meal started because she was worried that they were hungry. They LOVED it.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would and have recommended this place to others. I booked a few nights there for March 2006 with my mother and sisters. AND we already booked a week for next summer.
This was only our second vacation rental, but the price seems very reasonable for the property. It almost feels like you are staying at a resort, only you have a large apartment instead of a small hotel room. You don't get the daily cleaning as you do in a hotel, but there are staff members on the property every day. Nico is usually in his office on the property, and can help make dinner reservations, etc. He even helped us fill out a form for a parking ticket we received.
Things to do in this area
We very much enjoyed eating at La Porta in Monticchiello (about a 10 minute drive away.) Ask for a table on the terrace if here during the summer.
We spent our mornings at the playground in Montepulciano. There is a cafe next to the playground, so we could each enjoy a cappuchino while the kids played. Why can't there be something like this in the states? It just makes sense!
We also loved Montepulciano -- have a drink and enjoy the view on one of the balconies at Cafe Poliziano. We loved our dinner at Le Logge del Vignola -- we had great service and enjoyed the tasting menu. If you go there, ask for the table by the window.
We ate a Fattoria Pulcino which was just down the road from Sant Antonio. This is a farm with a restaurant and food/wine for sale. This is a very family-friendly restaurant, definitely not fine-dining, but we liked it. Our kids loved the pici with meat sauce from here, so we also got them take-out from here a couple of times. Pizzas were also good. The kids liked visiting the sheep here too.
I thought we would have more time to do daytrips, but this was our second week in Italy and we were ready to do some relaxing. We did manage to visit Pienza, La Foce, Cortona and San Quirico. Oh, and we drove to Lake Trasimeno, but we didn't like it so we continued on to Cortona.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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