Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2712: Rentvillas, Villa Antonietta
5bed/7bath house near Lucolena, Tuscany Chianti
April 21-28, 2007, one week
Our villa was located in the countryside of Tuscany, about a one mile walk from the little town of Lucolena. The location was stunning; we had views from nearly every angle and the property around us was perfect for exploring anything from old ruins up on the hill to the vineyards down below us. Even though there was a farmer who lived nearby and a family down the driveway a bit, it was very private and exceptionally peaceful. We loved the area and this villa and its surroundings far exceeded our expectations. To awaken to the sounds of birds each morning (and the rooster, but not until after 7:30)was (in the opinion of one person, like waking up to a Disney movie.
It was about a one mile walk to town; we walked it for exercise and walked about town. It was wonderfully real; there was a pizzeria with great pizza and antipasto, a little grocery store with local wines and cheeses and other needed items. We saw children playing in the alleys and folks cleaning their yards and driveways. They were friendly and clearly used to tourists.
The building was historical and at one time had a winery and olive oil producing business in the basement. It was in very good shape. There were 10 of us in all and we had plenty of room and privacy. Each bedroom had its own bathroom plus there were two other baths--one off the laundry room and one near the game room on the third floor. The house also had two living rooms, where we didn't spend a lot of time. Most of our time was spent in the kitchen and the dining room, wonderful gathering rooms. The kitchen was very well equipped with all the necessary appliances and the dining room table seated all 10 of us. What we enjoyed most was that we never ever got into each other's way -- some would sit out by the pool, under a tree, in the back yard, etc. There were other apartments near us, which are being refurbished but nobody was renting them while we were there, thus, we had complete privacy. I believe these apartments (two of them) will sleep four and six respectively) and have their own yard and pool as well.
There was a pool but it doesn't open until April 30. The sitting area was lovely, with lots of flowers and bushes, tables, chairs and even a BBQ that we used one night to cook dinner. The long outside table with chairs could seat all of us at once. It was all private and in an enclosed area.
The furniture was in very good shape. The beds were perhaps a little more firm than most of us were used to, but, we got used to them. The house was impeccably clean and there was plenty of room/chairs/seating for all of us. We had great linens and they came in to change the towels mid-week.
Regarding the beds ... see above. The bathrooms were beautiful and plentiful. There was plenty of hot water even when multiple people were showering.
We loved the kitchen! It had everything we needed. One suggestion we might have would be to have some glasses (like for juice and such) however, we had many many wine glasses that we used for those purposes. They had detergent for cleaning and for the dishwasher and provided garbage bags as well. We had lots of fun cooking Tuscan meals, good knives and cutting boards and bowls!
Problems or Bonuses
We had no problems whatsoever! Leonardo, the key holder and family owner of the villa was the quintessential gentleman. He even came back one day and gave a tour of the villa and its surroundings to those who were there for the day (for €5 each). We like the "wine closet" where we could purchase the house wine (it was quite good, we purchased 11 bottles). This villa was truly our little piece of "heaven on earth."
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rentvillas was awesome. Our travel consultant Patricia was always available to me, whenever I had questions either for myself or any of the group. Each and every time I called or emailed her, I got a prompt and thorough response. I admit to being a little anxious at times and pestering her with many questions. Not once did I feel like I was bothering her. Kudos to Patricia!
As mentioned above, Leonardo was also wonderful and spoke very well in English. The description of this villa was right on target and we felt we got quite a deal! I believe we paid $2800 for the week (April 21-28) plus about €12 per person for cleaning. You can't beat the price and the quality.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this place to anyone who would like to visit Tuscany and loves peace, quiet, views, beauty and the sounds of nature. It is also only 20 minutes to the train station in Figline Valdarmo where you can catch the train into Florence. There is also a great grocery store there (COOP) that has everything you need. Having Figline Valdarmo nearby was a great advantage. We also were within 30-45 minutes driving distances to other great towns, like Greve in Chianti, Panzano and a little further to Siena. The roads are very windy and you must be careful, but, renting a car is the only way to see this area.
Things to do in this area
We did some great shopping in Greve in Chianti, good crockery and leather products along with terrific food and gelati. Panzano had great views and a terrific restaurant overlooking the valley (and a neighborhood below us). We loved the vineyard at Vicchiomaggio where we had a tour and on Monday nights they have a five-course meal with accompanying wines for €42 (approximate). It was an incredible experience that lasted for about four hours all together.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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