Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1833: I Pianelli, Gli Archi
apartments on a farm near Murlo, Tuscany South
June 2005, One week
I Pianelli is situated in a quiet rural area just outside of the small town of Murlo in the heart of southern Tuscany. Nearby towns include Monteroni d’Arbia, Vescovado, Buonconvento, San Quirico, Asciano, Montepulciano, and Pienza. Siena is 30-45 minutes away, directly north. We found it to be a perfect spot to station ourselves to explore Val d’Orcia and other nearby Tuscan valleys and towns. I Pianelli is a former farm and its grounds are spacious with several beautiful vistas.
I Pianelli is set well out in the country and is accessed via a bumpy unpaved road through the woods (the turn in is well-marked and easy to find). This is definitely for car travelers only; we took beautiful drives, then stopped for groceries on the way back. Restaurants were closer than grocery stores, but not walking distance.
Murlo is known for its Etruscan museum. There are a number of excellent restaurants in Buonconvento, Murlo and nearby towns. We especially enjoyed da Mario in Buonconvento and Bosco della Spina in Lumpompeso. Also, we took day trips to various hot water springs including Bagno San Filippo, Bagni di Petriolo and Bagno Vignoni. A visit to the estate and gardens at La Foce was another highlight.
The main building is new construction of old stone with about six apartments of one and two bedrooms. Well equipped kitchen, TV, even window screens!
The grounds are beautiful. A modern swimming pool with chairs, lounges and umbrellas, not to mention great views, is a short walk from the main building. The pool is clean and a delight to be in after a hard day of Tuscan sight-seeing. In front of the main building that housed our apartment are stone tables where we often had meals or snacks and wine and enjoyed a beautiful Tuscan view. Each apartment had a table area which was reasonably private and shaded, and there is an outdoor grill to share.
Our first floor (or second floor to Americans!), one bedroom apartment, named Gli Archi, was well equipped and clean. Our friends, another couple, were downstairs in the very new apartment that had no name. All is modern construction. Our bathroom was fine with plenty of hot water and good water pressure. The kitchen and dining room were open and airy. The kitchen was well equipped and we cooked several meals while there.
Bedroom was nicely decorated, large, and had a large wardrobe.
Kitchen was well-equipped; small fridge, small gas stove which was somewhat hard to light, on-demand hot water.
Problems or Bonuses
I enjoyed the guests at the six apartments – guests from Belgium, South Africa, Poland, and elsewhere. We were often at the pool together or outside snacking, drinking wine and enjoying the sunset. We had a wonderful time. One bonus for those with children was the outside game area with foosball and other activities.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We were two couples who paid about 750 euro in total for our two apartments for our one week stay. We made arrangements over the internet, paying about 30% upfront on our credit card. The owner came by morning and evening and spoke adequate English; the owner's father was on-site all the time, but spoke no English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! Absolutely I would recommend I Pianelli. We had a wonderful time. The apartments and pool were superb. The beautiful views made me wonder why I left the grounds at all during the day. All in all, outstanding accommodations for the price!
Things to do in this area
Southern Tuscany, in my opinion, has the most beautiful vistas in all of Italy (and I’ve been everywhere in Italy!). Nearby I Pianelli you’ll also find outstanding restaurants, great wine, many charming small towns, Etruscan history galore, and thermal baths outdoors with the locals. Siena is an easy autostrada drive, but the tiny roads are spectacularly scenic. Several local restaurants are outstanding (but Da Mario in Buonconvento is the best IMHO)! Just as superb was cooking Chianini beef (cut to order for us at the local macelleria!) on the outdoor grill as the full moon rose over the Tuscan hills.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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