Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1826: Le Meridiane, Apartment
Apartments just outside Siena, Tuscany Siena
March - May 2005, Three months
Le Meridiane is located in the Cappucini area outside the center of Siena. The location is excellent it is at the end of Via Fracassi and has a beautiful view overlooking Siena. I did not have a car but there are several spaces for parking on the street.
In nice weather, yes, you could walk to the town it would take about 25 minutes. There is a grocery store with limited items about six long blocks away. I never went however as I just shopped when I was in town at Conad or Coop. The center of town is approximately 10-15 minutes away by bus.
I did not have a car and was able to shop, go to school, go out most days via bus. The bus stop is about a block away up the hill from the apartment, and was generally on time. At night I would take a cab if the bus had stopped running. The average taxi ride cost 5 euro during the day and 7 - 8 at night. I bought a three month bus pass good for all Siena buses for 62 euro. The Numero Uno autobus covers the Capuccini area and runs twice an hour, 6 days a week.
The building is not historical and was in good shape. The apartment property was under construction while I was there. Andrea the owner added a new building of apartments along with a pool and a jacuzzi. It is now open. I think there were 6 total apartments in my building.
My apartment had a nice private area in front with a table and 4 chairs. Once the pool was finished I could look out over balcony onto the pool. There is also a large game room with TV, library and boardgames. There is a shared outdoor BBQ area.
The house was clean and neat and the staff were friendly and helpful.
I found the bed uncomfortable but most of the mattresses in Italy are hard compared with US. The bedroom had a large armadio with two side tables and a desk. There was also a built in shelf for books. There was one bathroom with shower - it was quite large, and Andrea was planning to have shower doors installed as opposed to the curtains I used.
As I said I stayed in this apartment for three months and the only thing I bought was a new coffee pot. The pots and pans are not gourmet but they were clean, and adequate for vacation puposes. I had dinner several times for groups of friends without problem.
Problems or Bonuses
The only bad suprise was at the end of my stay I got a bill for 200 Euro for long distance calls to Rome. I had bought and used the Europa phone card and when I tried several times to get through to the States and could not, I called the service number. The service representative gave me a different access number which I used the whole time I was there. Apparently the number was to Rome, so everytime I called I had a Rome long distance tacked onto my paid for call to the States. This was not Le Meridiane's fault, it was Europa's - it was an expensive lesson.
The best suprise was the owner Andrea who was just wonderful. The second day after my arrival I found the frige was not working he had it replaced the same day.
I now live in Siena and Andrea the owner wrote a letter on my behalf to assist me in getting my visa.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The local staff did not speak English but I used my Lonely Planet phrasebook and most days we were able to communicate. If not she would call the owner's sister who could speak English. I paid 1000 euro per month all inclusive, heat, electric.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
YES!! Would definitely stay here again and have recommended it to others. Great location, clean, close to everything but far enough from the center that it is peaceful and quiet at night. It did get very, very cold though and it is a damp in your bones cold and the radiator heaters did not do a good job of heating the apartment. I have found this is normal in Italy. I used extra blankets and wore long PJ's and was fine.
Things to do in this area
Siena is a beautiful city that will be my home for at least the next year; there are many wonderful places to see and things to do. I would suggest stopping by the Book Shop on Via Pietro, it is the only English language bookstore in Siena. Internet Tran for using the internet has a couple of locations in Siena I would often wash clothes at the laundry and check my email across the street. Internet Tran has locations all over Italy, they use a reloadable card which you can use at any of their cafes.
I would suggest getting a bus pass and just spend sometime taking the local buses around it is away to get out of the center into the areas where the real people live. It is also cheap non structured sightseeing which I like.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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