Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 288: EuroCasa, Villa Martina
7bed/4bath house near Lucignano, Tuscany East
June 22 - July 6, 2002, 2 weeks
The location for the house was great - Lucignano is a very cool little walled town about 1/2 hour SE of Siena, 1/2 Hour west of Cortona. Montepulciano, Pienza, Assisi, Firenze all easy day trips. Pretty area dotted with hill towns.
The house itself was situated lower in the valley, so we didn't get any breezes during a wicked heat wave. But there is a pretty view of Lucignano up on the hill.
There is one other house next door, but we were lucky and the renters were quiet and gone on day trips most of the time. I'm sure they heard us more than we heard them.
The biggest drawback with the house was its proximity to the A1 and a dog kennel next door. Either you could hear the highway, or barking dogs, all night long. After awhile one would tune them out, but it was the single biggest drawback to the rental, and my only reservation in recommending the house.
The nearest town was about 1KM, but it was 1/2 KM just to get out of our driveway. Lucignano was 3km away, and a 5 minute drive. Lucignano is charming, with wonderful restaurants, a mid-sized grocery store and plentiful bars and gelaterias. Sinalunga is a bigger town, not as pretty, but has a Coop, internet acess, etc.
The house was a very rustic Tuscan rental. I compare it to renting a summer cottage in Michigan - the sheets didn't match, and barely fit the beds, the lighting was dismal and we had to buy a knife that was actually sharp. Actually, we had to buy quite a few things to make the house more livable: fans (we were in the middle of a heat wave), a market umbrella to be able to sit in the shade or be in the pool midday, a tablecloth, candles, said knife. But we were not expecting a Villa, but rather a farmhouse, and that is exactly what we got.
The pool, thank God, was clean and well-maintained. With all the heat, we used it a lot. The house was clean, and the bathrooms all redone. There was no dishwasher, but there was a washing machine. When we arrived the washing machine was broken, there weren't enough towels and lights were out, but the owner fixed everything quickly. Her son came by almost daily to tend to the garden and the pool.
The pool was lovely, and the yard had a great view of the town. My only complaint was with the outside sitting area - more like a big picnic table on gravel - it would have been nice to have some sort of patio. Did I mention the great pool?
The house was very clean, the furniture very tuscan and simple. But we had eight kids with us, and I would have been uncomfortable with valuable antiques.
The beds were your basic rental droopy beds. Great bathrooms, new, clean and big. The sheets were old and mismatched and quite a little scratchy. Could have been better.
The kitchen was poorly lit which made it difficult to cook. There were two kitchens, on in the upstairs apartment, which had no dishes or utensils, and one downstairs. We never used the upstairs kitchen except for the refrigerator for extra storage.
Problems or Bonuses
The house was exceedingly difficult to find. The barking dogs, as I said earlier, turned what may have been a recommended rental into a no-go. The owner tried to squeeze extra money out of us for a repairman visit (the hot water heater broke down), which was annoying considering the failings of the house.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was fair.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Would I stay here again? No. But I have, and have exhausted the area. Would I recommend it to my best friend? IF, my friend had a gaggle of kids and a limited budget and had fairly thick skin regarding inconveniences, I would. The house was by far the best priced house I saw, and as in all things in life, you get what you pay for!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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