Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3024: Calcione, La Casetta
apartments on an estate near Monte San Savino, Tuscany East
May 2006, 1 week
The apartment was in an estate building near the main Castle on the Calcione Estate. The estate is closest to Luciginano and Monte San Savino and not far from the intersection of the A1 that runs from Rome to Florence and E78 (I think) that runs from Siena to Perugia. The location made visiting nearby hill towns in both Tuscany and Umbria relatively easy.
There were three other apartments in the building where we stayed but we never saw any signs of the other guests other than their parked cars. Overall the setting was very private and pastoral.
You must drive to any of the nearby amenities. The closest town, Luciginano is a very charming Mediaeval Hill Town with several small stores and restaurants for almost everything you might need. Luciginano is a 10 to 15 minute drive from the estate with a portion of the drive along a dirt road. Monte San Savino isn't much further and has a few more restaurants. There is also a large grocery store in a shopping complex that's about a 15 to 20 minute drive.
The castle itself is from the 10th century and the estate house where the apartment was located is clearly quite old, but also appeared to be recently renovated.
La Casetta is located on the ground floor on the back of the building, overlooking an olive grove where horses graze. You park in the front of the house and then walk down a path to the back of the house and to a private patio with lounge chairs, a picnic table, and a grill. There are large windows facing onto the patio and a large glass door that leads into the main living room of the apartment. There is a living space, dining table, and kitchen all in this main space. The kitchen appeared to be relatively new.
The bedroom is located up a couple of steps and through an arch. The bathroom is en suite and appeared to have been recently renovated. There is no closet in the bedroom but instead a large armoire. There was also a nice writing desk overlooking the view of the olive grove and other estate houses in the distance.
The outside area is very nice and very private. There is no reason for any of the other guests to walk down to La Casetta's patio. From the patio there is a nice view of the estate lake in the distance, another estate house, and the surrounding mountains. There are several horses grazing in the olive grove in front of the apartment. The outside area is quite comfortable and is a nice place both for small meals or for a place to read.
The apartment was clean and was furnished with a combination of newer items and antiques. The apartment is designed for two people, but there is seating for four in the living room. All of the furniture was comfortable.
The only thing that was uncomfortable is that the apartment got rather cold in the evenings our first night. The heat is not turned on automatically, but after we asked to have it turned on everything was very comfortable. Heat was an additional cost, although the cost was rather modest.
There is only one bedroom and one bathroom but both were comfortable. There is only a shower in the bathroom and the shower worked well.
The kitchen was very serviceable and we cooked a few dinners in the apartment. It took us a little while to figure how to turn on the stove and it worked well once we got the hang of it. There are plenty of pots, dishes, and glasses that were all of nice quality. It was both a very pleasant apartment to cook and to dine in.
Problems or Bonuses
One of the unexpected best parts of our stay was the time we spent in nearby Luciginano and Monte San Savino. We were able to make many day trips to the more famous nearby towns, but in some ways Luciginano and to a lesser extent Monte San Savino were more charming. Luciginano doesn't have some of the features of more famous hill towns like beautiful duomos, stunning towers, or amazing local wines. But as a result it also doesn't have droves of tourists. The city walls, winding stone paths, and beautiful views make it an absolutely charming town to explore and being the only tourists wandering the town made it easier to loose ourselves into the surroundings.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I made arrangements directly with the owner, Olivella, and all my interactions with her were lovely. We paid €590 for the week in May. We had paid for our visit by check before we arrived and had forgotten that we also needed to give a cash deposit when we arrived. Olivella was gracious about our not having the cash when we arrived and let us give it to her the next day after we went to town and were able to use the ATM. The deposit was used to pay for the heating oil that we used to heat the apartment in the evenings and for the bottle of the estate olive oil that we bought. After paying for these things, the remainder of the deposit was returned to us in cash at the end of our visit.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
My husband and I tend to prefer cities so, although we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, it will likely be a while before we return. For family and friends who find cities too hectic and enjoy escapes into the country, I have already recommended Calcione. If you are looking for a country vacation, this is a fantastic place to stay.
Things to do in this area
Calcione was a great jumping off point for touring the area. We made day trips to Florence, Siena, Montepulciano, Cortona, and Assisi, among other places.
Enoteca Il Goccino in Luciginano was great for dinner, but every meal we had in Luciginano was delightful.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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