Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2140: TuscanHouse, Il Palazzotto
6bed/6bath near Buonconvento, Tuscany South
May 2006, two weeks
Il Palazzotto is located in the quiet hamlet of Le Befa which along with the town cats that sprawl lazily in the middle of the main and only street, the peacock, rooster, and hunting dogs totals maybe 75 inhabitants.
A short scenic five minute drive to Buonconvento which is situated on Sr2 half way between Montepulciano and Siena and you find an excellent Coop supermarket, several green grocers, a variety of restaurants, trattorias, and bars.
Il Palazzotto was the manor house of Le Befa and has been lovingly restored to grandeur by owner Maurizio Di Febo. Filled with antiques, period furniture and Maurizio's paintings and murals you enter a home and not a typical rental. The main floor includes a medium sized living room, very large dining room, sitting hall, full bath and large, very well stocked kitchen. The second floor has a large sitting area hallway off of which are the six large bedrooms and five full baths (one off the hallway).
At the rear of the house is a large patio covered with a pergola dripping with wisteria designed by Maurizio. This mini piazza with its tables and chairs overlooks rose gardens and a spectacular view of the hills across the valley. On the upper patio is a large pool and another large tree canopied sitting area with tables, chairs and lounges. Both patios are surrounded by hedges that make them very private.
Carina, the housekeeper makes sure the rooms are cleaned and tidy six days a week. She also will do laundry. A bit gruff when we arrived Carina soon succumbed to our cajoling and by the time we left she let down her guard and we all became endeared to her.
The beds have the standard firm European mattresses but are very comfortable. The bathrooms were not large but adequate with plenty of hot water. The only complaint with the rooms was minimal closet space in the wardrobes. However that may be due to the fact that we seem to travel with nearly every stitch of clothing we own.
It was a pleasure to have all the pots, pans, utensils, dishes, serving pieces, machines and gadgets one could want to cook a four course meal for twelve. Have Maurizio prepare at least one dinner for you during your stay. Amongst his other talents he is an excellent chef. We even arranged for him to give us a cooking class which was great fun and even though we are excellent cooks in our own right learned many new tips and techniques.
Problems or Bonuses
The only negative about Il Palazzotto is out of Maurizio's control. The hunting dogs kept in a kennel across the street would take to howling at any hour whenever a non-human creature would come into sight. This was not as bothersome as it could have been since we tended to keep the windows and shutters closed at night to keep out the cool May air and thus the noise too.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Zak and TuscanHouse are very easy to work with. This is the second time we have booked with him and will do so in the future. Small touches such as arrival directions, restaurant recommendations and a phone card sent prior to arrival, to his visiting us while at the villa, to the very prompt return of the security deposit all make for a very enjoyable vacation experience. Maurizio and partner Augusto were wonderful. We couldn't have asked for better hosts.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We more than likely will not return to that part of Tuscany again but we highly recommend Il Palazzotto to anyone.
Things to do in this area
Il Palazzotto is ideally situated for easy access to Siena, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Cortona, Volterra, Castle Brolio, Deruta and with the train station in Buonconvento only five minutes away made it a pleasure to get to Florence within two hours. Our favorite sceinic hilltowns are Sant'Angelo in Colle, Murlo, Pienza, and Montepulciano. The restaurant at the Sinalunga inn Locanda dell'Amoraosa was one of the best dining experiences we've had in Italy. If you are in the area on May 15th a must excursion is to Le Festa Dei Ceri in Gubbio.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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