Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2386: Le Manzinaie, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
August 2006, 1 week
Le Manzinaie is located close to the autostrada, about 9 kms from Montepulciano. It is closer to smaller villages such as Montepulciano Stazione (mere minutes) or Aquaviva or Valiano. It is in the country, set amongst farmlands, but the main house is set back via a long driveway from the road, which is the Via Laurentana Nord. We loved the area and have stayed in the vicinity before but this was our first time at Le Manzinaie. Being east of Montepulciano, places you amongst sunflower fields and farms, rather than the rolling hills that are west of Montepulciano.
You really must have a car. Aquaviva has a great Coop grocery store and Montepulciano has a Conad. Smaller grocery stores are in Montepulciano Stazione. There is also an ATM here which we used often. There are many restaurants in Montepulciano which is a 10 minute drive, but we also enjoyed the nearby ones located in the smaller villages. The owners provide a lovely "book" to all guests, that lists the nearby places to eat and to see.
The main building is from 1878 and has been lovingly restored by the owners, Fiore and Marzia. So much has been written about this place that I hardly know what to add. Suffice it to say, that it was the most enjoyable week we have ever had in a rental. No expense has been spared in the restoration. There are four apartments on the lower level and the owners' apartments on the upper level. There is also another separate building with two bedrooms, two baths and its own private garden. Fiore is presently busy restoring another out building that will have three bedrooms and three baths!
The pool area is beautiful with chaise lounges and umbrellas to seat over 20 people comfortably. There is also a vegetable garden and orchard, which is available to the guests. We had the most delicious tomatoes and plums, and there were also zucchini, cucumbers and other fruit trees.
Our apartment was furnished beautifully, with stenciled wall treatments, ceiling fans in all the rooms, a kitchen with everything we could want and wonderful linens. And the greatest thing was SCREENS. No mosquitos! Everything was in great shape and most importantly, spotlessly clean. From the beautiful terra cotta floors to the vaulted ceilings, everything was great. A small television was in the living/dining room and also a large table that could seat four.
We had so much closet space that we barely filled the beautifully painted and large armoire. The bathroom was great, a small but great water pressure shower, lots of places to put cosmetics, etc. and great towels. I fell in love with the decorative hooks for towels and jackets and had to buy some to bring home. Now when I look at them, I think of the rooms at Le Manzinaie.
The kitchen was great, lots of dishes, glasses and coffee cups. My husband loved the toaster with the handles to take out the toast! We really only ate breakfast there but it had a great gas range (which I don't have at home, made me want to switch from electric). It was so well equipped that a chef would have no problem there (however, I am not a chef!) There is lots of counter space.
Problems or Bonuses
The only problem was having to leave!! The owners felt like family to us by the end of the week. Upon arrival, they had filled the refrigerator with eggs, bacon, milk, water. There was a welcome bottle of wine, coffee, sugar, cookies, bread.
During the week, Marzia and Fiore cooked a fabulous meal for the guests which we all enjoyed outdoors, eating. drinking, laughing and making new friends from 8pm til 1 in the morning. When we were at the pool, they would surprise us with wine or plums, or ice tea. It surpassed our expectations.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
All of our correspondence was with Alice, the daughter of the owners. She is a delightful young woman, who is fluent in English and of course, Italian. We communicated both by phone and thru email. Everything in terms of price and directions were as expected. Their website accurately represents the rental and the farm.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would, without a doubt, stay here again without reservation. We are piling up those frequent flier miles now. Only next time, we will stay even longer!
Things to do in this area
Siena was only 45 minutes away and we were fortunate to be there the week of the Palio, so we went in for the practice races and the parades. That was great! Other mornings, we would pick a hill town and head out-- San Quirico, Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoreggio. We also spent a long day in Umbria in Gubbio, Gualdo Tadino and Assisi. I love to buy the spices and chocolate filled biscotti in Montepulciano.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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