Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2260: Tenuta San Carlo, Apartment
3bed/1bath apartment near Grosseto, Tuscany West
July 2006, one week
Tenuta San Carlo is located about 10 kilometers from Grosseto directly on the coast. It is actually within the park l'Uccellina in La Maremma so, very nice woods and fields. There are hundreds of acres of woods and fields and marshes at the disposal of the guests to explore. They are very proud of the wildlife in the park, especially abundant and unusual birds. Perfect for a birder. The owners(who are American) are happy to give a wildlife tour of the property. The property has a lovely private lane to the beach(2.5 kilometers) where one can occupy a cabana built of driftwood by locals each summer. The owners supplied bicycles, including one with a baby seat for our friend's two year old.
The closest town is a few miles, Principina a Mare, a seaside resort sort of town. We did bike there but it would have been wiser to have rented a car for our whole stay. I would not do without a car again. It took at least a half hour of very pleasant biking through woods and fields (some on trails through the woods) to get to the town. One could also go on the main road but there was a lot of traffic. There are buses that run to Grosseto, but with limited times.
Tenuta San Carlo is, among other things, a horse farm. Our apartment was located above the main horse barn and thus had a distinct, though not unpleasant, smell of hay and horses and lots of house flies. There was another apartment below us where the horse trainer lives. There are also two other smaller apartments elsewhere on the property. The building was not historical, I think built in the early 20th century. It was very quiet and peaceful, a nice large communal living area with kitchen, a large bathroom, and three large bedrooms all on one floor. The owner lives in a large house also on the property but well away from the apartments. It seemed reasonably private to us.
There was a nice little playground for small children though no pool (which would have been nice since it was terribly hot during the day). Also each apartment was equiped with a grill and outside table. We didn't use them because of mosquitoes.
The furniture was simple but good. The apartment was uncluttered and easy to live in. There was only one couch but plenty of room to sit at the table. It was big enough that we didn't feel cramped when cooking. It was clean when we arrived but difficult to keep that way due to the dustiness of the area. We were supplied with a broom and so forth but didn't keep up very well with the grit on the floor.
Three bedrooms, one with the large Italian double bed and two with two twin beds each. The size of the bedrooms was generous and I thought the beds were very comfortable, though my friend would have prefered a much firmer bed. They were not saggy, soft beds, just not as hard as a marble counter. Plenty of room in dressers & bureaus to unpack. There was only one large bathroom which wasn't a problem for us. It was very nice with a full bath, shower, bidet, toilet and sink. They provided sheets and towels for an extra charge. Very nice large towels!
It has a large kitchen with a gas stove that we did enjoy cooking in, especially breakfast. We did cook a few dinners but the weather was very hot and it did heat up the whole place to cook a full meal. They supplied a drip coffee maker, plus stove top espresso makers, tons of good pots, pans, trays, dishes, pitchers, glassware, etc. Generous sized fridge for Europe.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners are Americans who inherited the property from their Italian grandfather. They are particularly dedicated to preserving the area, the land, and not allowing it to be developed further. Their web site is very thorough.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
This place is not for someone wishing to see the historic sites of Italy or the fabulous shops of Italy. It is for the nature lover. There are mountains nearby in the park and the property is right on a very lovely beach near to the mouth of the Ombrone River.
Things to do in this area
The town of Principina A Mare is newish and specifically for beach holiday goers, very casual. There are several good restaurants and a few little shops but shopping is much more fun in Grosseto. There is a particularly neat restaurant (pizzeria) that features a large outdoor patio complete with giant swimming pool. People come here and hang out all afternoon and evening eating and drinking and swimming - "Rio Grande." The food was good everywhere and, of course, lots of good seafood. We enjoyed a touristy looking pizzeria called "Tira Tira." There is really nothing to do but go to the beach.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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