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Review 1872: Terre Toscane, Gracciano

www.terretoscaneagency.it

Recommended
Review by Bianco Casa from PA

5bed/2bath apartment in Montepulciano, Tuscany South


When

November 3 - 11,2005, 8 nights

Location

Situated close to the main gate leading into Montepulciano, it is an excellent location especially if you have a car. Parking is limited in the town. Free parking outside the gate by the Tourist Information. The apartment has approx. 240 sqm and is on the third floor (from the back entrance)/fifth floor (from the front entrance) of a historical Renaissance palace in the heart of Montepulciano. Building was quiet and private and seemed to be secure. An excellent location for shops, morning coffee, and starting gate to days of Italian life.

Nearby Amenities

Many restaurants, coffee shops close by. Grocery store is within walking distance but it's all uphill going home. Not for the faint of heart when it comes to walking up hills, but if you are going to Montepulciano you should expect the steady uphill grade. We walked to all of the above. The grocery store is a 10min walk, the other shops are outside your front door.

The House/Apartment

As mentioned above, it is a historical Renaissance palace. Saw few neighbors occasionally. Very peaceful and quiet. There were several apartments on each floor. This particular apartment is on the fifth floor if you enter by the front door. It is an awful climb; however, if you enter by the back door, it is only 3 flights up the stairs. There is no elevator. Great for a work out.

Garden

There is a communal court yard at the back entrance but we were there in November and it was too chilly to sit outside for any length of time. It is a shared space and there is no swimming pool.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The front door opens to a long hallway. To the right is a living room and off the living room is a bedroom with 2 single beds, 2 windows, a fireplace, and a huge wardrobe. At the end of the entrance hall is a bathroom with separate tub and shower, bidet and toilet. To the left of the bedroom is a bedroom with double accommodations. To the right of the bedroom is a laundry room with sink, washer, cleaning utensils, and drying racks. To the right of this room is another double bedroom.

All rooms are nicely and adequately furnished but very simple. The living room has a small couch, coffee table, desk and chair, 2 casual chairs. An internal spiral staircase leads to the attic rooms which has 2 double bedrooms, living room, and bathroom. We were comfortable but there were only 4 of us. We each had our own room and plenty of space. The rooms are big.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds were comfortable. The bedrooms were adequate. There were plenty of blankets. The bedding was nice. Everything was very clean. The bathrooms were adequate for 4 women. Big rooms. Towels are typical European (leave much to be desired) and, of course, no washcloths. There is a bidet in each bathroom.

Kitchen

The kitchen was great with a long farm table and 10 chairs. All made of wood. A window allows you a view of the sky and roof tops. It is the length of the kitchen. There is a hutch filled with dishes. The gas stove and sink are on an area about 3 steps up from the main kitchen. We didn't cook much so I'm not sure of the pots and pans, but there are individual Espresso pots in the hutch.

Problems or Bonuses

For the first 3 days we lugged our luggage and purchases up the 5 flights of stair not realizing there was a back entrance but wondering why the brochure said it was on the third floor. The real estate office was never open when we were in that vacinity so we really didn't complain to anyone. This is not a luxury apartment but an adequate abode for a vacation. I could live there comfortably except for those stairs. My friends and I were quite happy in our Tuscan apartment and would do it again. The price was right.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We were treated very well by Virginia at the rental agency. She speaks English and is helpful. The pictures on the Internet depicted the rooms accurately, however, they were much larger in life. I paid 1200 Euro for 8 nights for 4 people. This included heat, water, linens, final cleaning. A real bargain. I negotiated for the price. I think they have a hard time renting it because of the steps.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay here again with a small group - 4 to 6 people. Ten would be a bit much for 2 bathrooms. My recommendation would be to always use the back entrance with only 3 flights of steps.

Things to do in this area

Visit the Grand Piazza, the early gothic constructions of Porta delle Farine, Santa Maria Dei Servi, San Francesco, and Palazzo Neri Orselli. Visiting San Biagio, outside the gate, is a must. Many thermal spas in the area. Great ceramic shop, jewelry shop, gift shops. The wine cellers with etruscan tombs and artifacts, and last but not least-the famous red wine of Montpulciano, Vino Nobile. Eat at the GROTTA for exquisite dining. Good restaurants: Ristorante Briciola, Trattoria di Cagnano,Trattoria Diva e Maceo, Osteria dell'Acquacheta. Good coffee and deserts - Caffe Poliziano.

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

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