Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1693: Le Manzinaie, Apartment Rose
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
May 2005, one week
I lived in Naples, Italy from Jan 1973 to Nov 1981. It was a wonderful experience, I even learned a little Italian. My wife (second – we just got married on June 8, 2003) had seen a little of northern Italy but really, really, wanted to have an extended vacation there. We attempted to set it up in 2001 but after 9/11 we aborted. So when I retired on January 31, 2005 we knew the time was right. I like to do my own trip research so I went online and started looking. Le Manzinaie immediately caught my eye. We were flying into Milan, spending three nights in Varenna, three nights in Venice, staying on the Lido and then two nights in Manarola in Cinque Terre. I wanted an apartment in Tuscany where we could relax for a week before going on. I corresponded by email with Alicia at Le Manzinaie and it all worked out perfectly. Le Manzinaie was the most splendid and hospitable place we stayed at during our month-long sojourn in Italy.
For us, the location was perfect. Le Manzinaie is located in the countryside, but at only 5 minutes driving to the nearest village. I had always had an obsession with Montepulciano and this allowed me to visit it as often as I liked.
You can walk from Le Manzinaie to the nearest village: Montepulciano Stazione. There you'll find the groceries stores, restaurants, bar, banks, post office, butcher, fish market and shops.
The property Le Manzinaie has been restored because it's old - 1878. The house is of historical interest and the ceilings and the arches of all the apartments are wonderful. The property is composed of four apartments and a separate villa. We stayed in the apartment ROSE, it's perfectly designed for whatever you are doing. Tastefully and functionally decorated, the apartments can be a place of quick rest or relaxing residence, whatever your need or desire.
In the property there is a beautiful garden and plenty of privacy. It includes a beautiful swimming pool with chairs to relax, umbrellas and little tables. There is also an area to BBQ and some places where you can sit and eat.
The apartment was very clean, quiet and comfortable.
The canopy bed was comfortable, the bathroom had an Hydro massage tub plus shower.
The kitchen was well equipped and also provided with toaster and coffee machine.
Problems or Bonuses
The owners have laid out detailed and well-documented itineraries for day trips, including Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia, Pienza, Asciano, Arezzo, Cortona, and the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore. They also have provided itineraries for Orvieto and Perugia in Umbria which is quite near and easily accessible.
Owners Marzia, Fiore and Alicia’s hospitality knows no bounds. It is an Italian experience in itself as are their wonderful "ensemme" (to eat in friendship) meals. If you are looking for a real taste of Italian life, this family will truly assist you in finding it. Their local knowledge goes far beyond the guidebooks. It extends to local restaurants, wines and even how to set up a free Internet access while you are in Italy (thank you Alicia). After such a wonderful meal on Thursday night prepared by Marzia and Fiore we were about ready to just sit back and relax, but then the road called to visit other villages around.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I had all the correspondance with Alice, contacting Le Manzinaie directly and she gave me all the information you need. She speaks excellent English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I would recommend Le Manzinaie to anyone. My wife to say the least, is not that openly emotional, but when we were getting ready to leave Le Manzinaie there were real tears in her eyes. The experience had been that heartfelt. I have no idea why you are coming to Italy, how many times you have visited before, what you are looking for, or what you like or want, but I can only say that Le Manzinaie will offer you many alternatives and options for your desires and dreams in a beautiful setting with awesome hospitality offered at every corner. I can only wish you the same wonderfully fulfilling week we spent there.
Things to do in this area
When we were at Le Manzinaie, we ate there two evenings and were rewarded both times with outstanding meals. The second at Le Logge del Vignola was suggested by Marzia as a special romantic place – was she ever right!!
Our trip to Florence was enhanced memorably by Marzia’s getting us a reservation to visit the Museo degli Uffizi – which we found out had been sold out for two weeks – but she had her connections. We used our days to tour everywhere using the itineraries they provided. We had a festival day in Montepulciano where we never heard English spoken once and if you don’t sample porcetta – shame on you!!
One day we went to Montalcino, Pienza, and San Quirico d’Orcia (don’t miss the Horti Leonini). The next day we went to Castel del Lago by Lago Trasimeno, Arezzo, Monte San Servino, Gorgonza, and Lucignano. On the third day we went to Florence by train and, of course, it was, as always, amazing. The next day we visited Siena and San Gimignano. Marzia’s directions for getting into Siena and parking were absolutely fantastic – "just follow the signs for the visiting soccer fan." It made the trip really easy.
Then, we went to Asciano. The previous afternoon there had been thunder storms and they had cleared the air, leaving unbelievable vistas of pristine light. We then visited the abbey at Monte Oliveto Maggiore. I won’t describe it here – but say only that it is a "must-see", and Marzia’s favorite!!! Also based on Alicia’s recommendation, we sought out the well of all wells in Orvieto and believe me, it was some well!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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