Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2409: InTuscany, Castello di Monteggiori
2bed/2.5bath apartment near Viareggio, Tuscany North
Oct 5, 2006 through Oct 13, 2006, 8 days
The Castello is perched atop a hill as part of a small medieval village, Monteggiori. The village is located about two miles from the Mediterranean (as the crow flies), and the view is absolutely spectacular. The Castello is a reinvented version of the actual castle that helped guard Monteggiori since about 1250. Thanks to the creativity of the owners, the modern version of the castle is absolutely amazing. The exterior has been restored to what appears to be original. The interior is absolutely modern in every detail. The location is entered through a private arched castle door, and once inside the courtyard, it's a feast for your eyes and senses: fruit trees of several varieties, a productive grape arbor, wonderful grassy area for relaxing, and the peripet that looks down to the coastal villages and beautiful Mediterranean.
Monteggiori, where the Castello is located, is a small medieval village about a mile or so up the hill from the small town of Capezzano Pianore. In the town one can find several markets that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. There is also a meat market. About a half a mile further away is a supermarket that rivals any Wal-Mart in the U.S. Restaurants can be found in almost every little village and town within several miles of the Castello. Also, there is a restaurant, believe it or not, in Monteggiori. The owners of the Castello, as local residents, provided a list of "tested" restaurants where they have eaten in the villages.
As stated above, the interior of the Castello is absolutely modern. The first floor includes a spaceous living room, cozy fully-equipped kitchen, and half bath. Up the spiral staircase is the master suite, including large closet space in the bathroom area. The bathroom includes a bath and separate shower. The additional sleeping accommodations are located across the interior courtyard in a separate apartment. This area has a bedroom and living room, also a kitchen and full bath.
You can view the property directly: Castello di Monteggiori.
As mentioned above, the exterior private courtyard and grassy common area is breathtaking, what with the multitude of fruit trees, grapevines, flowers, and well manicured lawns. There is also a swimming pool, with outdoor shower. The entire area is surrounded by high wall, and so is completely private.
The interior of the house couldn't have been more comfortable. All furnishings were modern and adequate.
Beds were very comfortable; roomy and nice. The design of the house includes many large door/windows that allow for beautiful views of the mountains and the ocean. Off the master bedroom are two small balconies that provide such vistas.
Though we visited many of the restaurants in the area, we did "cook in" on two of the eight nights. The fully-equipped kitchen made it very easy to prepare a great Tuscan meal, complete with china and stemware for the Chianti bottled in Capezzano Pianore, the village at the bottom of the hill.
Problems or Bonuses
The only suprize for us was the access to the Castello. Since it is located within a walled village, there is no access by car. The car is parked outside the village wall, and the house is accessed by a walk up a cobbled street/path. We thought this to be quaint, but it could pose a challenge if tenants are not in relatively good physical shape. Also, it does give one pause when shopping whether to buy too many heavy items that must be carried up the hill. The owners of the house do have a small tracked vehicle (size of a lawnmower) with a basket to carry such items. Whether they would make it available to the tenants is not clear, since we did not ask to use it.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The InTuscany agency was extremely helpful from the very beginning of our inquiry about the Castello. In particular, we worked with Manola, who expressed true concern for our plans, offering in every email correspondence to answer any and all questions we had, whether about the Castello or anything else about the region. She was pleasant and very efficient in all our correspondence.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
The only problem we had was not being able to stay longer at this unique property. My wife and I hope to return to the Castello, next time bringing another couple with us who we know would be just as enthralled as we were.
Things to do in this area
The region surrounding the Castello offers a long list of adventures that can be found in any guide to Tuscany. Carrera with its amazing marble quarries is 30 minutes north, the beach is 15 minutes west, Pisa is 25 minutes south, Florence, about an hour on the Autostrata, and the amazing city of Lucca also about 30 minutes away. We ventured all the way to Siena, travelling along the "Chianti Road" with great wine tasting and lots of stopping at vista points with one view outdone by the next. Superlative in all respects!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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