Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2912: San Lorenzo a Linari, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Siena, Tuscany South
June 16-23, 2007, 1 week
San Lorenzo a Linari is located about 10km outside of Siena. The closest town is San Rocco a Pili, which is 4km away.
It's in a private location in the country. The views from the property are wonderful.
The location requires a car (or very expensive cab rides). There is a COOP in San Rocco a Pili (4km) and a larger one near the Siena train station (8km).
The residence itself has a coffee and snack bar that is open (in the summers) from 9am to 8pm. They sell pizza, sandwiches, drinks, beer, and ice cream. The coffee is pretty good, and a full breakfast (croissant, coffee, toast, cheese, meat, cereal, and fruit) is only €5.
The residence also has laundry facilities (€6) and an Internet point (€2).
There is a spa at the residence that is a little expensive compared to US prices, but that got rave review from our guests who used it. All guests get a free offer for small spa services (like a leg massage) at check in.
The building is a renovated 12th century monastery. It was renovated during the Renaissance by Baldassare Peruzzi. It was finally converted to a country residence in the 18th century.
The rooms are nice and spacious. In my opinion, the grounds and the spa are of a higher standard than the rooms. But, the rooms are very nice, too.
We rented four apartments (and had room for 22 friends and family members who were staying here). There is room for about 70 people at the residence, so I assume there are 10-15 apartments.
Linari is very peaceful and quite. In fact, our large group (there for my wedding) was probably a bit obnoxious. As hard as we tried, it is difficult to keep 22 people quiet. Large groups like ours were definitely not the norm, though. In fact, during our stay we were the only people from the US staying there. Most of the other guests were European.
There is a beautiful pool that was never too crowded. There is also a courtyard with chairs and picnic tables throughout the property. There is a grill for shared use.
The furniture was pretty comfortable. It varied between the four rooms. There were definitely enough chairs in the dining room.
As far as cleanliness, bathrooms and kitchens were clean. We did notice a few cobwebs on our dining room chandelier.
There is no air conditioning, but we didn't have a problem with the windows open in June. We were there during what the locals considered a heat wave, and there was a great breeze in the evening. (I should probably add a disclaimer here. I'm from Texas and pretty tolerant of warm temperatures.) You might want to bring mosquito repellent or a net if you intend to sleep with your windows open.
The bed I slept in was comfortable. The extra beds in a couple of the rooms were futons, so you might want to ask about what types of beds you're getting. Single beds looked really small.
The kitchen was usable. It even included a dishwasher. There were plenty of dishes, a Moka coffeemaker, and even a brick oven in one of the rooms. The refrigerator was fine, but freezer space was limited. There were enough pots and pans and other dishes. The only thing we ran out of was glasses.
Problems or Bonuses
The good surprise was the level of service at the front desk. Bruno, the owner, and Ana, the receptionist were wonderful. We had our wedding here, and Ana's help made the wedding go smoothly. They also helped us solve various other problems, including lost luggage.
The only other thing worth mentioning (and this shouldn't be a surprise) is that this location is still pretty much a self-catering rental. There is a snack bar, but it's not food you'll want every day.
The front desk will sell you toilet paper, and you can pay for pool towels and extra linen changes. This is not, however, a hotel. The level of service at the desk is better than that of most hotels, but there isn't someone there around the clock.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly through the owner. We paid €2900 for all apartments for the week. The two-person apartment was €415 for the week.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would love to stay here again. I would have no reservations recommending this rental.
I do think the grounds and the spa are nicer than the rooms themselves, but overall, this property is much nicer in person than it appears on the website.
Things to do in this area
Of course, we had the wedding to occupy us for a couple of days. After that, we took trips around Tuscany.
Siena is a wonderful town. We enjoyed Trattoria Papei. Linari also recommended a pizzeria in San Rocco a Pili that was very inexpensive and surprisingly good.
San Lorenzo a Linari is well-located to visit Florence, Chianti, Montalcino, and other southern Tuscan towns.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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