Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2377: InTuscany, Le Manzinaie - Rose
apartments on a farm near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
June 17 - July 22, 2006, 5 weeks
Podere le Manzinaie is located in the heart of Tuscany, approximately six kilometers from the walled city of Montepulciano and two kilometers. from Montepulciano Stazione. The property is surrounded by farms and a vineyard. The property itself is absolutely gorgeous with large lawn areas, flower beds, fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a great pool.
You will need a car. Le Manzinaie provides covered parking for each apartment. The nearest grocery store is in Montepulciano Stazione. A large, very well equipped Co-op grocery store was located in Acquaviva, about five kilometers away. Other large grocery stores are located in Montepulciano, Sinalunga, Cortona and Chiusi, all of which are within reasonable driving distances.
The main building was built in 1878 (the date was marked in the brick ceiling of our apartment). The building and all accomodations are very well constructed and maintained. They truly exceeded all of our expectations. The pictures on their website are absolutely accurate.
Our apartment, The Rose, was a one bedroom, one bathroom unit. The main room contains a well equipped kitchen and a sitting area complete with television and writing desk. The separate bedroom was quite large. The queen sized canopy bed and two armoires still left plenty of room to move comfortably. The bathroom is off the bedroom. It too was spacious, containing a jacuzzi tub, separate shower, toilet, bidet and sink.
There are four apartments in the main building and a separate two bedroom "Villa" next door. All have private entrances.
The grounds were amazing! The "Villa" has its' own private covered patio. There were a number of outdoor sitting/eating areas for the other apartments. We had the choice of two vine covered eating areas just outside our apartment. The pool was large, meticulously well maintained and surrounded by an equally large lawn area. There are lawn chaises, tables and umbrellas for everyone. The property is large enough to give you the choice of enjoying the company of other guests or having a serenely private day.
The apartment met all of our needs. The owners are meticulous in their cleaning and maintenance. We had a dining table and four chairs for eating. The sofa was very comfortable for watching television or reading in the evening.
We had the opportunity to view all the other apartments and the "Villa" during the course of our stay. Each unit reflected the same standards of cleanliness, tasteful decoration and maintenance as ours.
Our apartment had a Queen sized canopy bed which was very comfortable. There were two armoires, one for each of us, that held all our our belongings. As I have mentioned before, the bedroom was quite large and very well decorated. Marzia's decorating tastes are exquisite.
The bathrooms were among the best we have seen in Europe. The jacuzzi tub, separate shower, bidet, toilet and sink were well maintained. The towels, changed twice weekly, were of a high quality.
The kitchen had a double sink, four burner gas stove, under counter refrigerator and microwave. The pots and pans were all upscale stainless steel. A complete four place setting of dishes and glasses was found in the china cabinet. There were more than enough cabinets to hold our groceries.
We cooked full meals in complete comfort while we were there.
Problems or Bonuses
Bad surprises - NOT ONE!!! Every one of our expectations were exceeded.
Our hosts, Fiore, Marzia and their daughter Alice could not have been more gracious or helpful. Alice was forever giving us directions to various sites. They were always accurate and led us to many an interesting site. Fiore's wine, which magically found its way into our apartment on a regular basis was always a welcome surprise. His offers of cafe, vino, birra while we were relaxing around the pool were always appreciated. Marzia's cooking tips and recipes are being enjoyed at home on an ongoing basis.
Then there were the weekly group dinners! Magnificent feasts prepared by Fiore and Marzia were served to all the guests in the large dining room or under the vine covered tables outside. Multi-course culinary feasts complete with apertifs, dinner wines, apres dinner liquers with desserts and coffee were the order of the evening. We stayed for five weeks and not once was there a repeat of the menus. These dinners started at 8pm and seldom ended before 1am.
When we were searching on the internet for an agriturismo in Tuscany we probably checked out over 100 various locations. The pictures on Le Manzinaie's site kept drawing us back to it. The references and reviews by previous guests were as complimentary as this one is. Too good to be true? We had the opportunity to actually talk to one of the guests who had written a glowing review and they simply stated that we would enjoy Le Manzinaie to the fullest.
We had never stayed in an agriturismo before and were obviously somewhat hesitant. Nonetheless we booked five consecutive weeks based on the reviews and we were not disappointed. From the moment we drove up to the property, then met our gracious hosts, now our good friends, to the time we parted company amid tears of sadness we had what we can only describe as the best holiday in our 37 years of marriage.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We dealt with InTuscany. They were very helpful and professional. We had no problems with language. As mentioned earlier, their description accurately described what we found on our arrival.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
YES !!! We have already recommended it to several friends and two couples are in the process of booking now. My sister-in-law is a travel agent and based on our experience has been recommending Le Manzinaie to her clients.
Things to do in this area
Podere le Manzinaie is situated in the heart of Tuscany. We were 1/2 hour away from Cortona (Frances Mayes' house is as beautiful in reality as the pictures in her books), Lago Trasimeno and Siena; minutes away from Montepulciano. Florence, Chianti, Assisi, Perugia, San Gimignano were all within an easy day trip. Even Rome was only two hours away. The walled medieval cities, the vineyards and olive groves of Tuscany surrounded us. We picnic'd regularly. A quick stop before lunch bought us the freshest of meats, cheeses, breads and wines to enjoy in parks, at the lakesides or on the top of a knoll overlooking a valley of vineyards.
My wife especially enjoyed the pottery unique to Cortona. We both enjoyed visiting the small, family operated vineyards and wineries such as the Tanagatta Winery just outside Montepulciano.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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