Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 229: Tuscany Now, Il Cipresso Di Caspri
villa, sleeps 7, near Castelfranco di Sopra, Tuscany East
May 11 - 18, 2002, One week
The house is in the mountains above Castelfranco di Sopra. Up a very winding paved road to a narrow, winding dirt road. Did not know that before we picked up our rental mini-bus. The location was beautiful. Other buildings were within sight, but unoccupied. The only spoiling point to the view was the power plant in the Val D'Arno. Sunsets were wonderful.
We could not walk to anything, but had two vehicles. It was a hairy drive down the mountain to town. The town had everything we needed, including a small COOP.
The building is a rebuilt farm house. Stone, well equipped. The kitchen was well-equiped. Linens were plentiful.
There were two outside sitting areas, one under cover of a roof. Totally private. There was a nice pool, it was clean and the view terrific.
Furniture was in good shape and comfortable. There were plenty of chairs everywhere and the house was clean. A few cobwebs. One of the dining chairs broke while I was trying to photograph our group at dinner. It just fell apart (no glue) and my camera went flying and broke.
Comfortable beds, bathrooms nice. With seven people we could have used another bathroom.
One bathroom was something I had seen before, but never experienced. The bathroom is about 9 feet long and 4 feet wide. One walks in and the shower head is about 2 feet in from the door, followed by the sink, bidet and toilet. There is a drain in the floor below the shower head. There are no shower curtains or anything else to delineate the shower from the rest of the bath. The toilet stays dry during showers, but the sink and anything near get wet. We were surprised by this set up, but it worked fine. One of our group had a similar set-up in Amsterdam.
The kitchen was very usable, with plenty of pots and dishes. We cooked several meals there. It did not have an American style coffee maker, but we did fine with the Espresso pot. I learned how to make decent caffe latte.
Problems or Bonuses
Surprises - the road to the house. We had rented a mini-van that turned out to be a mini-bus. Were afraid we wouldn't make it up the road, but did very well. We had arranged for a cook for our last two nights and called to confirm on Wed. They never arrived on Thurs. and we telephoned Tuscany Now. There first response was, "Oh no, what did you eat? Did you have any food?" They offered to send the cook for free on Friday, we declined having already purchased provisions for that night. They did send three bottles of wine to make up for it. Not the best wine, but it was something. We were disappointed, but it was a savings we put to use in Rome.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency treated our friends (the actual renters) well. The onsite person, once located, was helpful, but spoke little English. The reality of the place accurately reflected the published information, except the road to the house. It was only for the strong hearted, even in a small car.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay there again and again. I would recommend it to anyone willing the deal with the drive. It was a lovely house. The tv satellite dish was receiving only German television, which we found strange. I enjoyed the view, but would have preferred something more like the area around Montalcino.
Things to do in this area
We dined mostly at home, except for lunch while out and about in Siena, San Gimignano and Montalcino.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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