Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2872: TuscanHouse, Costa della Luna
3bed/2bath house near Cetona, Tuscany South
June 9-16 2007, one week
The house was off a dirt road a few kilometers from the town of Cetona, a nice area in southeastern Tuscany. There were lovely mountain views and there was only one neighboring house visible from our rental.
Occasionally we could hear a little traffic noise from the house, but it was not a distraction.
We chose the house as a great base for visiting the hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. Pienza, Cortona, Assisi, Gubbio, for example, are all within reach.
We were about a 7-8 minute drive from Cetona. There are stores and restaurants in the town, as well as a gas station.
The house was built in the late 1800s and is in very good shape. There is no air conditioning, so it might be a little toasty in, say, August. It is a pretty house of stone and brick with nice patios in two areas.
The house would work well for two couples. There is a bedroom off the living room and a full bath. Upstairs are two more bedroom and another full bath. Thus, there is a nice degree of privacy.
The kitchen, while small, has a dish washer, stove, fridge and oven. There is a washer -- but no dryer -- in the basement/garage area. The washer was not very efficient and a dryer would have been very helpful.
The swimming pool and gardens were beautiful and in great shape.
The place was clean and the housekeeper was friendly and very thorough. The living room area was small but worked fine for the three of us. There is satellite TV with stations in English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and Arabic.
Unless you speak Italian or French, bring your own reading material. Many, many books but nothing much in English.
The bedrooms were nice and spacious with plenty of storage space. Both baths were modern, clean, very usable with marble touches.
See notes above. The kitchen is small and we did not cook full meals, although there is certainly enough in the way of pots, pans, plates, etc., to do so. The dining room is actually larger than the living space with seating for 8-10.
Problems or Bonuses
No real surprises. One word of caution: there are a lot of steps or slightly different levels throughout the house. For example, the dining area is a step down from the living area. The bath near the living area is two steps up from the living area and two steps down from the bedroom it services. It took us a day or so to be comfortable with the steps and levels.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency we used is outstanding; "ZAK" of TuscanHouse is in Tuscany. We did not meet him but his emails before we left meant we had no surprises. We also spoke by phone while in Italy. He is ever helpful and incredibly knowledgeable about all things Tuscan, and Rome and Florence too.
Our housekeeper -- the person who greeted us -- spoke no English, but her husband and daughter speak enough to get you situated. We also spoke a little French with the daughter.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again with my family or with one other couple. I would want a larger place if I had a group of more than four, even though it would work quite well for groups of six -- I just prefer more space with more people.
Things to do in this area
As noted we spent a lot of time traveling to nearby hill towns. One of the best restaurants I've been in anywhere in the world is just outside Cetona: La Frateria di Padre Eligio. It's in a 13th Century convent that is just a fabulous setting: peaceful, lovely views of mountains and gardens, a surreal experience.
It is NOT inexpensive. Dinner was 100 euro each without wine, but it is a set seven course meal.
There is another restaurant that is quite nice in the Cetona square -- La Nola I believe.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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