Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 295: TuscanHouse, Casa Anna
3bed/2bath house in Montichiello, Tuscany South
July, 2002, 1 week
Casa Anna is in a tiny little walled hamlet of Montichiello about 10 minutes from Pienza. The town is lovely with incredible views. The only downside to Montichiello was that it was almost too quiet for us -- there is no real evening activity in the town as most of the residents appeared to be older. My daughter compared it to a senior citizens condo complex. We did not see any other children in the town itself while we were there and the streets were nearly always deserted day or night. We had hoped to stay in a town that had a bit more activity but Pienza is close enough to make up for any deficit. Another downside to the town is that we were not able to park near the house (according to the owner only residents are allowed to do this during the summer months) and so we had a bit of an uphill trek from outside the town gates every day we went out. However, on the upside, this is a perfect location for touring southern tuscany.
There are two restaurants (both great!) in town, as well as a small snack bar/cafe near the town gates. We particularly enjoyed the food and service at Taverna Moranda. Reservations are a good idea for either restaurant. There is a small alimentari in the town that has basic supplies. There is also an ATM machine but it seemed to have strange hours and was not always in service.
Casa Anna is perfect. Anna, the owner, lives in the house during the winter months and moves downstairs to a small apartment when she is renting the house out. Because of this, the house is filled with beautiful art and knick-knacks (this may not be a good choice for people with very young children). The house is spotless and there are top quality linens and towels provided.
There is a beautiful walled-garden with an incredible view just across the street that is used exclusively by Anna and her guests. Anna's friendly dog Tika spends most of her days in the garden. An absolutely incredible spot to spend a few hours enjoying the view. There is no pool.
Everything was perfect. More than enough comfortable chairs in the living room.
The beds were very comfortable. The master bedroom is very romantic with a canopy over the bed and views to forever out the window. Although we had double checked with TuscanHouse to make sure that the house had 3 bedrooms and were assured there were, Anna did seem somewhat surprised that we wanted to use all three bedrooms. She quickly brought bed linens for the third bedroom, however, after we explained that our 13 year old daughter and 12 year old son would not sleep together!
Since this is Anna's personal kitchen, everything you could want is available, even an american style coffee maker! We loved cooking here, although it did tend to be a bit dark at night.
Problems or Bonuses
Again, while Montichiello is beautiful, it is very, very small and quiet. We might have chosen a rental out in the country with a pool instead if we had known this beforehand.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Zak at TuscanHouse was very helpful.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, this is a wonderful, relaxing place. Although the hamlet is tiny and very quiet, it really is a nice place to unwind. The house is perfect.
However, this probably isn't the best place to stay with very young children or if you have any trouble with stairs (there are lots!) or walking up steep hills. If you are looking for a town where you can go out walking at night and see people, this also isn't it.
Things to do in this area
We went all over the southern Tuscany area - from Siena to Montalcino, Mt. Amiata, etc. We even took a day trip to a beach near Grosseto (about a one and a half hour drive). From here, it would be possible to do a day trip to Perugia and Assisi which are also about one and a half hours away. Florence would be a bit far.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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