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Review 1878: Invitation to Tuscany, Il Musicista

www.invitationtotuscany.com

Recommended
Review by Diane D from CA

2bed/2bath apartment in Casole d'Elsa, Tuscany West


When

Dec 14 - 27, 2005, 2 weeks

Location

This property is located in a small Tuscan hill town Casole d'Elsa. It has a very relaxed and friendly feel to it. The apartments are located on the main street, very close to everything. It is easy to get around to other towns by car such as San Gimingnano, Volterra, and Siena as well as quite a few others. The town itself is absolutely charming, and the people of the town are very community oriented.

Nearby Amenities

Just a few doors down is an alimentary store run by a most friendly couple, Vittoria and Renato. They carry anything that one could need, and are very helpful. There is a bar across the street, and a very nice bar within walking distance with fast internet service further down the street.

The House/Apartment

The apartment is in an old historic building that belonged to the owner's (Anna) father. She has created beautiful, comfortable and extremely roomy apartments from the original building. The one we rented, Il Musicista, used to be her father's piano room. It was spotlessly clean, tastefully decorated and well supplied in the kitchen. Her daughter, Isabella, speaks English, and showed us how to use the appliances, and how everything worked. The layout for the apartment was spacious and the apartment was beautifully decorated with lovely handpainted local pottery and artwork on the walls. It has all the conveniences of home: washing machine, dishwasher, an iron, hairdryer. Plenty of room in the drawers and armoires for clothing.

Garden

Our apartment Il Musicista didn't have an outdoor area, but the front windows looked out onto the street, which was always an interesting view. Our friends rented Il Poeta, which had a small private balcony with a stunning view of the Tuscan hills.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

We've rented properties in the past in Italy, and have never encountered one as clean and as accommodating as this one. We truly feel this would pass the test of the most discriminating traveler. There was plenty of comfortable seating for everyone here.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds were comfortable, the headboards were of gorgeous carved wood. The linens were fresh (and even ironed) for us. Bathrooms also very clean, they even had a towel warmer.

Kitchen

We spent Christmas in the apartments, and I made lasagna for everyone. Everything I could possibly need was in the kitchen, including a good lasagna pan. The pots and pans were nice, good quality stainless steel.

Problems or Bonuses

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the accommodations were even better than we could possibly have imagined. I hope that we can do this again!

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We were met by the owner, Anna, and her daughter Isabella. They thoroughly went through everything with us; how things worked, etc. etc., which proved very helpful, especially the use of the stove and washing machine.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Yes - absolutely! Anna is a most gracious hostess, and a very sweet woman. We felt so much at home here. Even though we were only 2 people in the apartment, I felt the apartment would very comfortably accommodate 4 people, or 2 couples with children. There was an extra small bed in the bedroom we used, and I think the couch also could open up as a bed, and in the other bedroom which we didn't use there was a big bed.

Things to do in this area

Ooh - we had an incredible dinner at Il Columbaio - we weren't expecting such a treat. Found out later, they're in the Michelin guide. Highly recommended, but it is not cheap!

It's easy to get to many other hill towns from here by car. We were very lucky to view a town tradition called Presepe the day after Christmas (I know I'm spelling it wrong). I think it is only done every 2 years, but an entire street of the town is reinacted as it was in biblical times with many of the town citizens participating, while they show the day-to-day details of how people lived then, ending in a presentation of the nativity. It was really well done and fascinating. We recognized some of the people, like the guy that runs the internet bar, dressed as a Roman soldier in a ancient marketplace, staying completely in character.

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

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