Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2215: Le Manzinaie, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
June 2006, 1 week
Our apartment was part of a farmhouse; the owners lived upstairs. It was in the country, which we liked, very quite with no traffic noise. We enjoyed walking around the vegetable garden and orchard; ate cucumbers and zucchini just picked and wishing we had been there a little later when we could pick fruit from the fruit trees.
We had rented a car for the week, so drove most of the time. However one evening, with the lovely long twilights, we walked into Montepulciano Stazione to a restaurant, and walking home was amazing with the fire flies lighting our way! Part of the attraction of the place had been to do our own cooking, and the owners, Marzia, Fiore and Alice had given us clear instructions about where the food shops were - and hours of opening - all such valuable information.
The apartment was terrific. There were four apartments underneath the owners house, and another stand alone one. Because the car park was out the front, we were never disturbed by cars. We would occasionally chat to the other guests if we were sitting outside having a well deserved pre-dinner drink.
A really lovely garden. In fact, I think it's part of the charm of the place. The pool was great because you could actually swim laps in it if you wanted to. There were lovely comfortable sun beds that let you lie there with your face protected from the sun.
The place was perfect for the two of us. Everything was very clean and everything worked!!
The apartment had been decorated by Marzia who has a real 'eye' for details. Everything was colour co-ordinated; she had gone to so much trouble to ensure that everything matched.
Everything in the kitchen worked. There were great tea cups, which were a pleasure because we were missing good cups of tea. The wine glasses were good quality and and plates and saucepans good quality and everything was very clean and well organized.
Problems or Bonuses
The surprise for us came on the third night we were there. We were invited to have dinner with the owners and all the other guests in a huge dining area. Marzia, Fiore and Alice (the owners) cooked an amazing meal. I lost track of how many courses. The wine kept flowing, produced locally. It was an amazing evening, chatting to complete strangers for many hours.
Then on the Friday night, we were again invited for pizzas and salad. Fiore spent time in the afternoon out at the BBQ cooking home grown zucchini and capsicum and cooking them Italian style. It was again a lovely evening.
One day we had decided we were just going to hang around the farmhouse, so asked Alice (who spoke great English) where to walk. She then offered us bikes and we rode to Lago de Montepulciano, beautiful and peaceful. The family were only too pleased to help. I know they advised on trains to Florence and when we arrived we were given a great book of possible itineraries, which would have kept us going for two weeks.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
While we had taken Italian lessons and planned on speaking Italian as much as we could, in reality our Italian was pretty atrocious, and so it was great to have Alice speak such great English, and we could always manage a conversation with Fiore and Marzia. Compared to the hotel prices we paid in Florence and then Venice, Le Manzinaie was good value.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
It was a really lovely place to stay. Can't think of anything that I would have changed!!
Things to do in this area
Visiting all the hill towns was the main attraction. Buying cheeses and wines from separate regions was a great experience. There were so many restaurants to choose from. We could have kept ourselves busy for far more than the week we were there.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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