Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 211: In Italy, Palazzo Bandino
apartments and cottages on an estate near Chianciano Terme, Tuscany South
May 2002, 1 week
Palazzo Bandino is located in the country, in the vineyards, with beautiful views in all directions. The property consists of a main house and two other cottages. It is a quiet (except for the sounds of song birds and roosters in the morning).
Must drive for coffee and groceries. Nearest town is Chianciano Terme about 5 minutes away with numerous cafes. About 8 km away in the opposite direction, is a mall with large, modern supermarket. About 5 mintes past the mall, is Chiusi proper with very good butchers, pastry shops and sellers of "produtti tipici di Toscana".
The building is lovely and very well maintained. There are two apartments and two B&B rooms in the main building, two sharing a separate cottage a few hundred feet away and another small apartment in a third cottage.
Each apartment and cottage has a private terrace. There is also a lovely pool area overlooking the vineyards, with glorious views of the hills.
Furniture tasteful, in good shape. Good sized kitchen table, plenty of chairs, a sofa and a small lamp. Nice table cloth. Looked a bit sterile at first but a big vase of glorious spring flowers warmed things up.
Our apartment was scrupiously, eat off the floor, clean.
Beds comfortable, furnishings pleasant, bathrooms had good showers plenty of hot water and did not flood the bathroom. Il Vigneto has two bathrooms. Only one has a hair dryer.
The kitchen was usable - the fridge good. There was a 2 burner cook top. Plenty of dishes and glasses.
We did not cook but I think I could have managed a full meal.
Problems or Bonuses
Good surprise - wine tour and tasting that followed was great!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
InItaly a pleasure to deal with. Answered all my questions by e-mail and phone promptly, reality reflected the description.
Hosts Enrica, Franz and Anna very pleasant very helpful. Enrica and Franz are fluent in English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I'm looking forward to staying at P.B. again next spring. (One couple said this was their 7th year!)
We were the only Americans - other guests were mostly German with some Italian and Dutch. Not a problem for us - everyone was most cordial and the staff speaks English.
We'll probably try a a different apartment just for variety. Our cottage, Il Vigneto, faced the fields which made it the most private and had fabulous views across the vineyards. On the other hand, it is on the dirt road that the farm workers use mornings and evening.
Palazzo Bandino hosts "typical Tuscan" dinners for large parties - from 30 to 100, several times a week. The dinners usually break-up around 11:00 or so and the diners can be heard upstairs if you are staying in the main house (but not in the cottages). Again, did not bother us. Guests are invited to dine once a week. The dinner is delicious and features Palazzo Bandino's wine and olive oil! Yum!
Things to do in this area
Easy driving distance to southern hilltowns Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino. Buonconvento, etc., Orvieto and also to Lago di Trasimeno. Assisi is about a two hour drive (probably can be done more quickly using major roads).
Twenty minutes to the Chiusi train station. From there Siena is just over an hour, Florence hour and half with fast train, Rome an hour and a half. Chiusi itself is a nice little twon with an excellent Etruscan museum.
Chianciano Terme is a modern spa town that consists of 200 hotels, cafes, gelaterias and shops. It is very pleasant to take a stroll on the Via Roma. The old Chianciano city center is up the hill (of course) and is worth a peek. We ate at an excellent restaurant - Il Buco.
We had terrific meals at La Solita Zuppa in Chiusi, Mario's in Buonconvento and La Tripolitana trattoria in Sarteano. The set meal at Palazzo Bandino is delicious and good value for 20 Euro. Antipasto of mixed prosciutto, capacolla & salame, crostini, bruschetta, ribollita, pici, roast chicken, veal and sausage, fagiolini, vin santo and cantucci. Oh yes, and their most excellent chianti.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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