Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3047: Le Meridiane, Apartment
Apartments just outside Siena, Tuscany Siena
June 2007, 10 days
Le Meridiane is a series of private-entry, apartments on a hilltop overlooking Siena. The place we stayed (Jacopo del Quercia) had one bedroom, one bathroom, and a connected living room/kitchen complete with stove, sink, refrigerator, etc. The apartment was very clean and well stocked with plates, glasses, knives, etc. We had a little patio with a table and chairs and sat out looking over Siena, drinking wine, every night. The residence has a VERY refreshingly cold pool which was fantastic since Italy is so hot! They also have their own olive groves and make their own olive oil which we purchased and have since consumed entirely.
I remember reading some debate as to whether or not one could actually walk to Siena from Le Meridiane. I am here to answer that question to the fullest! First you need to know about my fitness level to compare it to your own as a reference. My husband and I run marathons, mountain bike, and rock climb. That being said we would not make the trip to and from town more than once daily because it was a pretty taxing hike especially with the heat. However, I would not have given up that daily walk because it was gorgeous and it did help me feel better about the three gelati I ate every day. The details of the walk are this: you start off down a little slope, past the pool and into the woods. Here we saw pheasants every morning. Then down a little hill, through a gate and past this BEAUTIFUL garden. These old Italian men would be out there gardening every morning and the tomato plants smelled amazing! Then there's a little walk to a tower of stairs, across a bridge, up a hill, up two sets of stairs, and around a corner into the park. This corner is where the open air market is on Wednesdays. If we hadn't walked this route every day we would've missed out on the biggest porcini I've ever seen not to mention heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and MORE salame! Then you walk through the park and come to the bus station/beginning of Siena. This bus station is where we met to go on trips out to vineyards and hill towns. So my official recommendation is DO the walk, but make sure you bring ibuprofen because your legs will hurt the first couple days.
There were some gardens at Le Meridiane, but I was more impressed with watching their olives grow while where were there. They also had some figs, magnolias, and limes.
Everything was very very clean and comfortable.
I have a herniated disc that can cause bad back pain if I don't sleep on the right mattress and I never had any pain from their beds.
We bought some groceries from town and from the market and cooked dinner and lunches several times. The refrigerator was plenty big for what we stored in it and the kitchen had all the appliances and utensils we needed.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked Le Meridiane ourselves. They spoke English and were very polite and friendly. The price for 10 days was very, very reasonable.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I absolutely recommend Le Meridiane! We LOVED Siena and would absolutely stay here again if we returned to this area. Just make sure you're prepared for the walk to and from town.
Things to do in this area
We found our favorite restaurant the first night in Siena - Le Ristorante de Lorenza. The same servers are there every night so we sort of got to know them. They speak English, but are very excited and patient if you want to try speaking Italian too. They had tagliolini with truffles and lasagna and boar sausage that were all the best three things I had in Italy. They give you complimentary limoncello after your meal too which was really nice!
For gelato, there's a little place just off the Campo that looks Caribbean themed, but they have flavors like Riso, Vin Santo with Cantucci, etc and they were some of the creamiest we had in any flavor. They of course have all the standards like pistachio, and stracciatella. Then sit in the Campo and people-watch. That's what the locals do.
If you want to visit some wineries and hill towns, go in the morning to the information building in the Campo and sign up for one of their tours. Originally we didn't want to do something so "touristy" but we learned SO much (and we already thought we knew quite a bit). Ask for tours with the guide Marco - he was hilarious, very knowledgeable, and taught us an Italian drinking song.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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