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Review 2301: Sant' Antonio, Apartment

www.santantonio.it

Recommended
Review by Dougal from SC

apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South


When

April 29 through May 13, 2006, 2 weeks

Location

Sant' Antonio Country Resort is just outside of Montepulciano in the southeast part of Tuscany. It is a beautiful, quiet location on a south-facing hillside along a country road. To the east, Lake Trasimeno is visible in the distance, and nearby hills and vales to the south and west are spread with olive groves and vinyards.

Nearby Amenities

There are no cafes or stores within easy walking distance. Montepulciano is maybe two kilometers away and there are a couple of restaurants on the way. The supermarket, Conad, is located at Montepulciano and, when we were in the area, we ate lunch or dinner at several restaurants in Montepulciano. Among them were Ai Quattro Venti, Il Covo di Obelix, Antico Caffe Poliziano, and La Grotta. We would recommend them all, but Il Covo and Ai Quattro Venti were our favorites.

Pickup and delivery of laundry can be arranged, since there is no on-site laundry facility. There is also a laundromat in Montepulciano.

The House/Apartment

Sant' Antonio is a former Franciscan Monastery that dates from the 12th century. It has been fully restored into 13 modern apartments that are self-catering. The apartments are in two separate buildings. We stayed in Apartment 10, called Verrocchio, that is peaceful, quiet and well laid out. This apartment has a full-sized bedroom and a smaller bedroom, two baths, and a large living-dining-kitchen area. It is modern and sparkling clean. It was very comfortable and “homey” and had everything we needed for the two weeks we were there. The kitchen was well furnished. We made coffee and breakfast every morning and also cooked several evening meals.

Garden

The property is surrounded by a working olive grove. Around the buildings are beautiful chestnut trees, grassy areas, flower pots and planters. There are several large terraces with outdoor furniture for couples or groups to gather, sit and eat, but many apartments also had a table and chairs immediately outside the room. The swimming pool is impressive and is set a short distance up the hill where the views are best.

Parking is out of the way in an "underground" garage, which further enhances the aesthetics of Sant' Antonio.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The apartment was clean and neat and the furnishings were all authentic Tuscan pieces in very good condition. The dining table was large and had six chairs; there were two loveseats in the living area. Beautiful linens were provided for the table. The living area has a fireplace and wood is furnished for a nominal fee.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The bedrooms and baths were very clean. Towels and bed linens are of top quality and changed frequently. The master bedroom is roomy, nicely furnished and has an ajoining bath. There is a shower but no tub in each of the two bathrooms. The bedroom windows have shutters that can be closed at night so you can sleep in if you wish. There is adequate closet and drawer space to accommodate a lengthy visit.

Kitchen

The kitchen is utilitarian; it has a stove top (no oven), a full-sized refrigerator, and lots of cupboard space. The kitchen is well-furnished with the necessary dishes, pots and pans and utensils. Hot water was not a problem. We were able to cook full meals in this kitchen, and enjoy it.

Problems or Bonuses

We were delighted with the high level of customer service that Nico and his staff provided throughout our stay. He was available most any time for information and advice on our daily excursions. He always had time to stop and chat, even when we bumped into him in town.

A highlight of our stay at Sant’ Antonio was Nico’s guided tour at Avignonesi, a noted Italian winery which is owned by his wife’s family. Nico was a wonderful tour guide and the vineyard and winery were beautiful.

The only problem we had with the apartment was with the water heater, which Nico quickly repaired.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We booked directly by email with the owner, Nico, who lives with his family onsite. He speaks excellent English, and at least four other languages. The only published information is over the web, I believe. We expected Sant' Antonio to be pleasant and beautiful based on Nico's website. The experience of staying there exceeded our expectations.

The price per week was Euro 680 in May.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We would definitely stay at Sant' Antonio again, in fact, we booked two weeks for September 2007 within days of returning home. I recommend Sant' Antonio without qualification to anyone looking for a beautiful, quiet place in the country.

Things to do in this area

Our objective was wine, cheese, and a quiet retreat. Montepulciano was perfectly located for us. It is the center of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano region. We visited Montalcino (23 miles) several times to taste (and purchase) the fabulous Brunello di Montalcino during our stay. We also enjoyed Pienza (8 miles) and the pecorino cheese. It's about an hour's drive to Siena (38 miles) and very convenient to many small and interesting towns in southeastern Tuscany. We enjoyed our visit to Cortona, about 19 miles away through the Val di Chiana.

Our favorite restaurants in Montepulciano were Ai Quattro Venti and Il Covo di Obelix. It's only a short drive to Bagno Vignoni and the Osteria del Leone, which we also loved.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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