Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1801: TuscanHouse, Torre San Domenico
3bed/2.5bath house in Cetona, Tuscany South
April 2005, One week
We rented a beautiful home in Cetona, a wonderful and charming town near Chiusi. Our rental was a refurbised 13th century tower, part of the town walls, and was beautiful, clean, very tastefully and beautifully furnished, with incredible views of the valley below.
We walked everywhere! A hilly town, with narrow streets, it took a little getting used to. However, when little old ladies, carrying two or three bags of groceries while smoking a cigarette, passed us going up a hill, we resolved to never speak of the ups and downs. :)
We walked to breakfast (coffee and croissants) every morning at a quite little place on the corner of the piazza, where we became "regulars" for the week. Our lunches were taken wherever we decided was our destination each day (Radicofani, Montepulciano, and so on). Dinners we had in Cetona at a great little place near the end of the piazza, by the church.
On the one night we cooked in, preparation was easy, as there is a nearby green grocer, and a regular grocery store just outside of town. And, of course, good wine is easy to obtain at several places. I almost forgot the great little prosciutto and cheese shop (with good wines), also easy to walk to just off the piazza.
The house was a tower in the original town walls, and was multiple stories. We loved it! We were one couple, so the extra bedrooms were not needed, but when we return with family there will be plenty of room.
It was quiet, with beautiful views from every floor of the valley below, and had a beautiful terraced area out back of the 1st level that was full of roses and looked over the hillside and valley. On the uppermost floor there was a reading room (and a small terrace) that had spectacular views of the countryside!
The outside sitting area, referenced above, was off the first level, and had several rose bushes. It was private, quiet, and relaxing.
We found the house very clean, comfortable, well equipped, and tastefully furnished. Simple and elegant antigues and works of art contributed to one of the most relaxing atmospheres I have ever vacationed in.
The master bedroom was quite comfortable, and the fresh air and wonderful view from the bedroom window woke us up refreshed each morning.
We only used the kitchen one night! However, it was equipped quite well, with a large wooden table and plenty of room. The window overlooked the narrow cobblestoned street, and made a nice picture, with the Madonna icon in the wall across the street.
Problems or Bonuses
Cetona was a wonderful surprise! Small, quiet, populated with friendly, warm people - we had a great time. I have never been to Cortona, but understand it has become somewhat crowded. Cetona was quiet, charming, beautiful and altogether a place I would return to, even retire to!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency, TuscanHouse, was great. I did not meet the staff personally, but they were very friendly via e-mail and mail, and very helpful. We met the owner in Cetona, who took us up to the villa. The owner and his wife (Giuseppe and Sacha) were great! We became friends - and I can offer no better adjective than that of "friend."
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this place to anyone and everyone who is fit enough to walk around in a Tuscan mountain town. And if you feel you are not fit enough, remember the old ladies I described above, who scampered up those streets with both arms full of groceries! I would be careful in this property with small children, as there are several floors and lots of steps - small children would need constant watching. Otherwise, I loved this place, our new friends, the town of Cetona - and the whole experience!
Things to do in this area
Roman and Etruscan artifacts, museums, and tombs in nearby Chiusi. The castle ruins at Radicofani, the beautiful towns of Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Assisi, and the beautiful countryside in between each and every town. For a bigger city experience, Siena is close, too! Lots of opportunities for your wife to spend money!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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