Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3043: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
March 2007, one week
This cottage is located in a scenic, hilltop village with wide-ranging views of the Tuscan countryside. The village is friendly, quiet and safe. Parking close to the cottage is not always possible, but it is usually available within a short, pleasant walk (less than five minutes). The cottage is in the village, adjacent or close to other residences, but it is nevertheless bright, quiet and private.
There is a cafe selling hot and cold drinks (including alcohol) within five minutes walk, although down a steep hill. Some people will prefer to drive there, and there is parking. In the center of the village atop the hill, there are a small grocery, sundry shop and restaurant. For better grocery prices and huge variety, there is a Coop supermarket about six miles drive south on the main highway. The restaurant in the village is excellent, serving a gourmet menu on weekends and grill menu weekdays; the staff and chef are very friendly, and the stone decor is beautiful. Another restaurant, definitely worth visiting, is a 15-minute drive off into the countryside.
The cottage has been in the owner's family many years. It is a small stand-alone building with the residence on one floor. You enter into a narrow hall leading to the cheerful and well-equipped kitchen on the right, then to the left a queen bedroom, shower bath and sitting room. Floors are terrazzo. Rooms are furnished with a combination of antique pieces and modern furniture, all quite comfortable. There are many windows, with wooden shutters and lace curtains. Floors can be cold in winter, since there is no central heat. A portable catalytic gas heater, electric heaters in the bedroom and bath, and a wood stove in kitchen provide comfortable heating when needed. It is quiet, peaceful, scrupulously clean, and conveniently located, both for walking around the village or for driving out of the village to the main highway.
There is a small private sitting area outside that is charming. There is no pool.
Furniture is in very good condition and comfortable. The bedroom is modern and recently renovated. Everything is clean as a whistle.
The bed is very comfortable, supplied linens were of good quality. The bathroom is small, big enough only for one person to use for any purpose at a time. The shower is small and water pressure low by American standards, but anyone with a sense of living green and economically will understand.
The kitchen is large with a nice table and good cooking and sink facilities. Plenty of pots, pans, utensils and dishes are supplied. There is a small refrigerator, something like a dormitory refrigerator in an American college. One could easily cook a full meal in it.
Problems or Bonuses
The cottage is in an excellent location, on the main highway between Siena and Grosseto. There is both local and intercity bus service with good, fast service to and from Siena and Florence several times a day. It is also a good place to have a car for exploring the countryside, since secure free parking can be found, in fact, we especially recommend having a vehicle. A bonus is the owner's relationship with people in the region; we took and loved an exclusive olive-oil-tasting tour given by a local grower. There are other optional tours and sports offered. Because the village is located away from any large city, prices are significantly lower for most things. The village has not been "discovered" by the tourist hordes, so it is the "real" Italy--very scenic, quite friendly.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked through the owners online, and so of course we worried whether the cottage would actually be there when we arrived. It is there, and the owners, an Italian woman and her Canadian husband, are delightful. Both speak English beautifully, and they are friendly, good-natured and very hospitable. We hope to keep them as personal friends, they are so nice. We paid $450 a week in mid-March 2007, a good value.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again any time. I would highly recommend it to people who do not need a bar scene, American television, and tons of shopping around them. If you are looking for a comfortable accommodation, in a beautiful, authentic Tuscan town, off the beaten track, in great countryside for touring and recreation, this is a wonderful place to stay. It is not the Hilton or the Ritz, thank goodness! It is a beautiful little Tuscan cottage. I recommend a car for convenience in seeing other towns and the countryside at your leisure, but public transport is possible.
Things to do in this area
We took the olive oil tour, drove into the countryside to a 12th century Benedictine abbey, went to nearby towns, tasting wine on our own, went touring some of the well known Tuscan towns like San Gimignano, and took the intercity bus one day to Siena and one day to Florence. It was too cool during our week for cycling, but hiking would have been possible and beautiful; we just had other things we wanted to do more! Our favorite restaurant was right in Civitella, a romantic walk through the narrow streets from our cottage, La Locandra. Don't miss it.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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