Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1799: Rentvillas, Il Castello
1bed/1bath apartment in Castle, San Casciano, Tuscany Chianti
September, 2005, 7 days
This rental was in the most marvelous area of Tuscany, located in the heart of vineyards and olive groves. The views were breath taking. This apartment was in the main castle (The Castle of Bibbone) and there were several other apartments in the castle, but we never heard, nor saw other renters. This rental was just a short drive to a lot of the smaller towns in Tuscany, and what a drive it was - beautiful. We couldn't have asked for a better location to stay.
There weren't any stores within walking distance. But in a short distance there was a small family owned grocer to pick up a few things. I would recommend the CO-OP Grocery Store in San Casciano; they had everything you could possibly want - fresh breads, meats, etc. It wasn't a long drive from our villa, maybe 15 minutes. Plus there was a bakery and fruit shop in San Casiano as well.
The castle we stayed in is owned by the Machiavelli family. The grounds were beautiful, as was the apartment. It was decorated nicely and was clean. For the most part the apartment was quiet. Close by is the Florence/Siena highway, which is always busy. At night when we left the bedroom windows open, you could hear some of the traffic, but not enough to keep you awake. There are several farmhouses for rent on the estate as well, and when we go back, we will look into renting one of those, as there were lots of stairs to climb to our apartment.
There was a beautiful pool overlooking some of the vineyards. We didn't get to use the pool as it was late September when we were there and a little chilly. The outside sitting areas were so beautiful, and well maintained. They are shared.
The furniture was pretty nice. Although they should replace or clean the white sofa in the living room, as there were stains all over it. I didn't want to sit on it. The apartment was clean and there was ample seating for just the two of us.
The bed, although creaky, was pretty comfortable. I slept like a baby. There was one bathroom which was up the steep stairs to the bedroom, so it was a hike. The bathroom was small and had a hand held shower. The water tended to get all over the floor when you showered due to the fact that there was no shower curtain. But we managed just fine.
The kitchen was very usable. There was a small refrigerator where we kept snacks and drinks. The pans were limited, as were the dishes, but again, with just the two of us, it was fine. We didn't cook any major meals in the kitchen. And there was a place where you could go for a nice light breakfast every morning, at an additional charge.
Problems or Bonuses
The major surpise was the steps. We were on the 3rd floor of the castle and there were lots and lots of steps. In the apartment itself, there were steep, narrow steps up to the bedroom and bathroom. So if someone had difficulty with steps, this would not be the place for them.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rentvillas was just super. They kept in constant contact with us up to our departure, as well as contacting us when we got back. I highly recommend them. The onsite person was super. A fantastic young Italian gal who spoke English. So we had no hassle checking in or out. And that was a big relief. And the place was represented exactly as the published information we recieved.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We most definately would stay here again. Although as I stated above, we might look into staying in one of the farmhouses as they didn't appear to have the steep steps we encountered in our villa. And I would and have recommend this place to others, and we will definately stay there on our next trip to Tuscany.
Things to do in this area
There is so much to see and do in the Tuscany area. We visited all the nearby towns: Florence, San Casiano, San Gimignano, Siena, Cortona. They are beautiful drives.
We ate at all kinds of places along our drives. One I just loved was a small pizzeria in San Casiano (on the left as you walk from the parking lot). The owners were so friendly and helpful - we ate there several times and it was always good. The one place we ate at that I would not recommend at all was Nello's in San Casiano. We had a very rude and inconsiderate waiter, he even laughed at me when I tried to explain that we wanted the check. The food wasn't that good either, for the price I'd stear clear of it.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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