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Review 171: Podere Lamaccia, Apartment

www.poderelamaccia.it

Recommended
Review by Mare from Seattle

rooms and apartments on farm near Cetona, Tuscany South


When

Fall 2001, 1 week

Review

This agriturismo is 2.4 km E of Cetona (about halfway between Cetona and A-1). The farm apartment is 1 km from the road down a level dirt/gravel lane. The rural countryside and vineyards are beautiful.

From this location we explored Chiusi (7 km), Citta della Pieve, San Casciano dei Bagni, Monte Cetona (2 km), Sarteano, Chianciano Terme, La Foce, Monticchiello, Pienza (45 km), Montepulciano & Montalcino.

Agriturismo

A restored farmhouse (c. 1600) of 4 apartments; each with a private entrance. The owners live in the same farmhouse.

This farmhouse is on a working farm in a quiet location. An electric gate secures its grounds. Amenities include a swimming pool with a nice panoramic view, a large shaded grass area with hammocks, picnic tables, BBQ, and a play area for children. This is a wonderful place for animal lovers as they have several dogs, a cat, rabbits, ducks and at least 6 peacocks. The peacocks were a bit messy but much quieter than we expected. They are quite friendly and love treats.

Apartments

In addition to the owner’s apartment, the farmhouse has 2 ground floor and 2 first floor units. Apartments have traditional tile floors and wood beam ceilings. Our apartment was an end unit on the ground floor (approx 500 sf).

The living, dining and kitchen areas were located in one large room. The dining area had a table with four chairs. There was also an outdoor table and chairs on the covered private patio. The small kitchen had an under counter size refrigerator, 4 gas burners and sink. The kitchen was the perfect size to prepare a simple breakfast or lunch but too small to prepare elaborate meals. The kitchen was adequately equipped with cooking supplies, dishes and utensils. It was even equipped with the one and only toaster oven and espresso maker we saw in Italy!!

The living room area included a corner wood burning fireplace, a small couch, table with a reading lamp and a wooden bench—a bit sparse for 4 adults. There was a small television (no SAT or cable) that received only a couple of Italian stations.

The bedroom was very spacious and had both a window and double door (good cross ventilation). The queen-size bed was very comfortable. When we did laundry in the bathroom, it was very convenient to carry it outside via the bedroom door to the patio. We hung our laundry to dry on the ivy-covered pergola above our patio. A telephone (local calls only) was located in the bedroom.

The ample sized bathroom was equipped with modern fixtures including a bidet. The weakest link was the shower that was a sitz bath with a built in seat. You could not use it as a bathtub nor did it make for a very comfortable shower. Access was at one end, requiring climbing up and over the tub ledge while avoiding the faucet to sit. The tub enclosure design and execution was extremely poor as it allowed water to get between the side of the tub and the glass wall. Only the side of the tub had a glass wall, the end was open (no glass or shower curtain). On a positive note, the water pressure was good and there was plenty of hot water.

We rented this apartment from September 22 – 28, 2001 (Saturday to Saturday) for $402 USD ($57 day). An Italian friend recommended this apartment and reserved it for us. We were not required to pay a deposit. Price included breakfast (Italian style=minimal), linens, heat, gas, water, electricity, final cleaning and parking. Daily cleaning service was available @ L15.000 day (approx. $7 USD). VISA accepted.

Owners

The couple who own and live in the farmhouse do not speak English. Their daughter, Stefania, speaks and writes a little English but is rather shy and normally gone during the day.

Stores/Shopping

It is necessary to drive into Cetona (2.4 km) for groceries and supplies. There is a small grocery store with a fresh meat and cheese section in town and a new COOP right outside town. To our surprise, Internet access was available in a small shop on Piazza Garibaldi. Gas stations are conveniently located outside of town.

Restaurants

Podere Lamaccia offers excellent dining on site at Trattoria del Contadino (review to follow). According to friends who live in nearby Chiusi, it is the best trattoria in the area and is popular with the locals. We ate dinner here twice and both times the meal was fabulous. The casa vino is excellent (see Travel Notes: Cetona for winery). Trattoria del Contadino is open for dinner only. A reservation is essential but can be difficult because they speak very little English. The sample menu on their web site gives the impression that dinner is a fixed menu -- this is not the case as they have a complete menu. Also misleading is the photo showing one large table. It is not communal seating — there are many tables for 2-6 people as well as the large table for big groups. Outdoor seating is available in the summer.

Cetona has an excellent restaurant, Ristorante Osteria Vecchia, (review to follow) which is open for both lunch and dinner.

Our Impressions

We enjoyed our stay at Podere Lamaccia. I doubt if we will stay here again because we explored most nearby towns and sights during the week but we would stay again if we decided to explore the region in more depth. The farmhouse and its grounds were very clean and offered a convenient base for day trips. We thoroughly enjoyed all the animals.

If we find ourselves in the area again, we would definitely return to Trattoria del Contadino for dinner.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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