Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2109: Tenuta di Corsano, Apartment Le Carrozze
apartments on farm, near Siena, Tuscany South
May 2006, 5 nights
This rustic 17th-Centry(?) farm building holds several apartments, each quite private from the others; owners live in separate building adjacent. Our apartment, Le Carrozze, was the owners' home until a few years ago, and is extremely spacious. Though there isn't a 5-star view from the apartment, the bedrooms at the back of the building, overlook the garden and trees. The front entrance of this and the neighbouring units is off a broad, gravelled drive furnished with various outdoor table and chair options next to the hedged garden and more huge old trees. Sounds like it's lacking in privacy, which we care about a lot, but it isn't at all. The estate is quiet and pretty, with lovely views just down the drive in several diretions. Five minutes drive to the little village of Ville di Corsano; 20 minutes or so into Siena. Nicer landscape, I think, than farther north in Tuscany or south in Umbria, since it's hilly but open.
Walking into the little village took about 15 minutes; there was a little supermarket there with a bit of everything, from fresh bread and deli products to laundry detergent, kleenex, and produce. A couple of little restaurants here we didn't try but would have liked to; and a "vino e olio" sign resting against a big wicker-covered bottle in the village points across the road to the home of an ancient old lady who opened up the huge doors of her wine-cellar and sold me some decent red and white wine for a few euros when the store was closed (Tuesday, as I recall). That did us very well!
This apartment was immense, silent, airy, spacious, and (just in the central room, the living room) dim (electricity restrictions in Italy can produce unexpected consequences if you turn on too many lights at once!!). The entrance led into a very large dining room with a table and chairs that could easily seat 10, I would think. Off to the right was a good-sized kitchen with a marble table and chairs for six or eight. The central living room was really enormous, and had a few different seating areas, one around a fireplace for which you can purchase wood. Behind the kitchen was a small bathroom with shower and a washer. Behind the living room was a hallway off which opened the three bedrooms and the full bath (with tub/shower); a walk-in closet at the end of the hall gives extra storage space. There were billowy muslin curtains hanging from way up over the double-door entrance, so the breeze, but not any bugs (though we didn't encounter many), could circulate through the apartment. There were screens on the bedroom windows.
The sitting area immediately outside our door was very pleasant, but there were also places to relax beside the pool and in the garden, where there was a nice view over the little valley and the grape-vines to a herd of cows and an 11th-century church. These were shared areas, though there was so much available that we never felt intruded on by any other guests. The pool, unfortunately, was set to open the day we left, but would no doubt have been very very nice to swim in! We also enjoyed sitting in the patio area in front of the owners'home with them on a couple of occasions; so lots of pleasant choices about where to relax and comfortable furniture to do so on while "at home" here.
Inside the apartment the furniture was all in good shape and comfortable. There was enough seating and space here to have a big party but the six of us really enjoyed just spreading out and being quiet. Everything was clean and in good condition. Light for reading in the living room might have been a bit of a problem, but we read elsewhere (or just collapsed into bed in the evening and fell straight asleep).
The beds were comfortable, the bedrooms gave us lots of places to put our clothes and luggage, had pleasant furnishings and lots of extra cushions and pillows, and were silent and insect-free (b/c of the screens on the windows). The little plumbing problem we encountered was quickly remedied by the solicitous owners. Good water pressure, lots of hot water, some kind of system to turn on jets in the tub I never bothered to figure out.
Very good kitchen appliances, ample counter/table work space, satisfactory pots and pans, and lots of dishes and cutlery. Nice to cook here.
Problems or Bonuses
Our stay included at no extra charge a "welcome dinner" that I had imagined might be a kind of ok pasta-and-salad mixer. Instead, on the evening of our choice (not our first evening, to my surprise!), our hosts and their adult daughter invited just the six of us into their own sitting-room for appetizers and champagne, and then into their dining room, where they served us a full and wonderful meal, from fried sage leaves, pasta, chicken, and salad to fresh strawberries, freely pouring us their own wine and then limoncello and vin santo. Along with their convivial company, this feast made a wonderful memory!
A few days later, my daughter and her boyfriend booked a cooking lesson for a very reasonable price with our hostess, who instructed them in the making of chicken-liver pate, involtini di melanzano, risotto, and a Neapolitan torta; then we were all invited to come eat it all up. Wonderful! Liliana is a first-class chef who, with her husband and daughter, really love being hosts (without being obtrusive in the least), to the delight of their guests (we discovered that several others there were return guests, incidentally: no wonder)!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Contact was through their web-site with the daughter and their assistant, all of whom spoke English well. We paid 1000 euro for our five nights for the six of us in mid-May, which included our delicious welcome meal (what a deal!!) and a couple of bottles of the Tenuta's own wine, libero.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! Yes! The family is very hospitable. The apartment is excellent. The location is very pleasant and peaceful, really out in the country but close enough to Siena, San Gimignano, etc. to offer variety; and the price was very good, in my opinion.
Things to do in this area
Best place to eat: table of Signora Migone; after that, the Pizzeria dell'Arco in Murlo, as much for the tiny walled hill-top town itself and the views from this restaurant's big windows as for the simple, tasty food. Trattoria Il Poggio in Volterra (excellent pizza, seafood gnocchi; waitress the double of Bonnie Rait).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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