Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2740: Trust & Travel, Il Gallinaio
1bed/1bath cottage near Vivo d'Orcia, Tuscany South
May 5-12, 2007, 1 week
This two-storey stone cottage is well into the country, near the village of Vivo d'Orcia in the Val d'Orcia, about 30 miles south of Siena. The location is very private. The immediate area is wooded with small fields, a stream behind the house, and flowers everywhere. Down a short walk from the cottage is a tiny and ancient village with a church that dates from the 800s.
This location is at an altitude of 900m.
You could theoretically walk to the main village, but it's steep. The drive was about five minutes to get coffee or panini or to visit the small supermarket or restaurant. Abbadia San Salvatore is a larger town about 10 minutes' drive, with a greater variety of shops and restaurants.
The cottage was originally a hen house on a large farm. The owner has pretty much rebuilt the inside from scratch, and she did it with the eye of an artist--we have stayed in many cottages over the years, but this was the most delightful we've ever seen.
On the ground floor: a very comfortably furnished living room with good lighting, a fireplace and a basket of wood, a real phone; a completely furnished dining room; a small but complete kitchen; and, with a separate entrance, a washing machine with detergent, ironing board, and iron.
Upstairs: the all-tiled bathroom with tub and good hand-held shower; the bedroom with good queen bed, armoire, a couple of chairs, and a door to stone steps leading outside.
In front of the house is a stone patio with table and chairs. The land slopes down to what used to be a vegetable garden and orchard, and it's still beautiful. Further along is the tiny old village and then the land rises to distant high fields. All of this is very private.
There is no pool, and we didn't miss it!
The bed, couch, and upholstered chairs were very comfy. The other furniture included a lot of antiques, all in good shape. The house was immaculate, and there were huge bunches of fresh wildflowers in every room.
There is a full stove and oven, and a fridge -- no microwave. It had all the utensils (except, oddly, a colander for pasta) as well as basic staples such as olive oil, sugar, S&P, etc. Cooking full meals is a squeeze but we managed fine.
Problems or Bonuses
Only good surprises: the sounds (birdsong, bees, rushing brook), the wildflowers, the bowl of ripe strawberries that welcomed us, and the charm throughout.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Trust & Travel was very good. The booking was more complicated than we're used to (they only accept Visa, and everything had to be done by fax). Maria, the contact person, was extremely helpful. The on-site person was the owner, and she was wonderful.
We rented in mid-season, and the cost was €480 for the week.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We recommend it wholeheartedly!
Things to do in this area
It's Tuscany, so we did a lot of driving and took walks. Visited the hill towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, & Pienza, and discovered a remarkable two to the south: Sorano and Pitigliano-- not to be missed! Spent one day each in Florence and Siena (our favorite).
You should go.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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