Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2958: Poderi Val Verde, La Bellavista
apartments, cottage, house on estate near Castellina in Chianti, Tuscany Chianti
July 2007, 1 week
Just returned from a fabulous two week trip to Tuscany. Stayed at Poderi Val Verde for one week (July 21-28, 2007). Owner, Ulrike, is a pleasure to deal with. She is very organized and detail oriented. READ YOUR CONTRACT CAREFULLY! Everything is spelled out there so you won't meet with any surprises. The property is beautiful ... a farm just about 12 miles north of Siena and only about one mile out of the town of Castellina in Chianti. (It is also about an hour and a half drive from Florence.) Very convenient to the hill towns of Volterra, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, and all of the towns along the Chianti road. The apartment (La Bellavista) is very comfortable with a large living room (sofa bed) and a bedroom with very adequate furnishings. Great shower and good kitchen facilities.
Only drawback, you have to walk up one flight of stone stairs from the private patio and entrance to reach the living space. There is no air conditioning, but the nights were very cool and NO BUGS. We slept with all of the windows wide open and never had a problem although we were there during an extremely hot and humid week. In fact at night, I sometimes had to wear a light jacket!
Take advantage of the welcome dinner; it includes wine. Ulrike is a great cook and the price is very reasonable for the region.
In the morning you will hear Ulrike's roosters crowing. I was not bothered by them, but my husband found them rather annoying. Other apartments on the property face away from their location and therefore are not heard as much.
Castellina is close enough to walk to, but the road is windy, narrow and steep. It has a Coop Supermarket and we drove there to do our shopping. There are several good restaurants in the town, including the very expensive Ristorante Gallopapa. Many good shops for souvenirs, clothing and wine and of course a wonderful gelateria!
There are about seven or eight other apartment rentals on the property, each of differing sizes and layouts. Although the buildings date back to the early 1900s, the apartments have been modernized and are in excellent condition. If there is any problem, Ulrike or her assistant, Mirella, attend to it immediately.
There is one beautiful pool for all of the guests to use and the property has a volleyball net, ping pong table and soccer goal nets set up so that you or your kids can play. La Bellavista has a private patio with a table for four at which we ate breakfast, and two lounge chairs. It also has a clothesline complete with clothespins on which I could hang my laundry. There is a washer and dryer on the property, but there is a charge for the use of the machines. Again, read your contract!
The apartment is in excellent condition and immaculate. We (two of us) were very comfortable there and while there is room for four, I would recommend no more than three stay in it.
The bed was very comfortable ... two twin beds in one metal frame. The bathroom (no tub) is two steps up from the living room. It is small, but very nice and has great water pressure in the shower.
The kitchen is fully stocked with pots, pans and dishes. It has a small refrigerator and an oven and four burner stove top. No dishwasher.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owner, Ulrike. She is fluent in English, Italian and German and quickly responded to all of my emails. We received a 10% discount for booking early, as stated in her website.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I highly recommend this vacation rental. If I were to return to Tuscany I would definitely stay there again.
Things to do in this area
As stated earlier in this review, we used this apartment as a base and each day drove to a different hill town in the Chianti region. One of the highlights of the trip was attending a tour, wine tasting and lunch at Castello di Verrazzano, located in Greve in Chianti. It takes about four hours, but is well worth it!!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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