Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2364: InTuscany, Villa nell'Oliveto
5bed/4bath villa in Castelmuzio, near Pienza, Tuscany South
August 2006, 2 weeks
The house is in the small village of Castelmuzio, but it is a large property with lots of privacy. I loved the location because it feels like the house is in the country, but you have the convenience of staying in a village.
Within Castelmuzio, there is a restaurant & bar, grocery store, tabacchi and butcher. There is also a hotel with a wine bar and restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the villa. Pienza is about a 10 minute drive from Castelmuzio, and Sinalunga, with a large grocery store and train station, is about 15-20 minute drive.
The villa is a restored farmhouse. It is a good layout for 2-3 families or three couples. There are three double rooms which have their own bathrooms, and two small twin rooms which would be tight for adults. Each floor has a living room, and the upper floor also has a kitchenette with sink, coffee maker and toaster ... this was a nice touch.
GORGEOUS GARDEN!!! Olive and fruit trees everywhere, herbs, amazing views and a wonderful large, albeit cold, pool. There are also lots of little sitting areas in different areas of the property.
The house is very comfortably furnished ... nothing fancy. Plenty of room for people around the inside and outside tables. The bedrooms and bathrooms were very clean, but there were other areas of the house which could have used more attention.
I preferred the upstairs living quarters because it was nice and bright, and the living area furnishings more inviting than the sofa downstairs.
The beds were fine. The bathrooms were fine. Nothing fancy, but better than some rentals I have stayed in. I liked the rain-showerheads. The agency provides toilet paper and blow dryers for the bathrooms.
The kitchen definitely had enough pots, pans and dishes. They were good quality for a rental. It was an okay kitchen for cooking ... could have used more counter space because it is tight with more than one person cooking.
Problems or Bonuses
The property was far better than I imagined ... I miss it terribly! However, the house was less luxurious than I expected after reading some reviews. It was fine, and I definitely would rent this again, but my expectations were too high for the interior. Also, we were unhappy with the cleanliness. The bedrooms and baths were very clean, but there were tons of cobwebs everywhere, and the living room rug seemed less than clean ... I didn't want my kids sitting on it to play, so had them play on the tiled areas. Also, there are no screens on the windows, so we got eaten up every night.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was professional. I never met them in Italy, as they had the caretaker meet us to show us the property. I did think this was strange since their office is next door to the villa, but it wasn't a big deal. They did leave us a fantastic basket of goodies upon arrival, and replenished it at the start of our second week -- this included wine, milk, pasta, sauce, sausage, cheese, cake and bread. What a treat!
The only issue which disappointed me was that I had requested that they arrange a cook for us on the day my husband arrived. According to my emails from them, everything was set-up, but no cook showed up. When I called Manola to inquire, she gave me the cook's phone number. I called and was told that Manola had never confirmed with the cook, and that they had left several messages for her. I'm not sure what happened, but that was the only real problem we had ... it was disappointing for hungry travelers but I would still rent from In Tuscany again.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I would definitely recommend this to others. It is wonderful in that you have the beauty and privacy of a country rental, but the enjoyment and convenience of staying in a village. Plus the house is great with several couples or a couple of families. There are lots of videos and toys for children, and we even found a beat-up stroller which we used while at the rental, since the airline had lost ours. And there are lots of books and games. Just realize that it is a very nice house, but it is not luxury accomodation
We stayed here during the village's annual festival which was so much fun. I'm sure we will end up renting here again in the near future.
Things to do in this area
This is a very convenient location for touring southern Tuscany.
The town restaurant is very good, and there is a FANTASTIC restaurant about 10 minutes away in Trequanda -- Il Conte Matto. Also, lots of good restaurants in Pienza, about 10 minutes away.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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