Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3087: Le Manzinaie, Le Viole
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
September, 2007, 8 nights
My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this September and when we started thinking about how we wanted to spend it, we immediately thought of Le Manzinaie. We had been there in May of 2006 and fell in love with the countryside and the family that owns this beautiful property.
Le Manzinaie is located a few miles from Montepulciano (Montepulciano Stazione). It is beautiful and peaceful. Every detail has been seen to so that your stay will be memorable and comfortable. When you arrive you will find welcome basket of goodies to get you started (wine, bread, jam, coffee, tea) and the refrigerator will be stocked with water, milk, juice, eggs, and prosciutto. All windows have window screens and all the rooms have ceiling fans. The construction of the buildings is such that they stay cool even in the warm summer months. As a matter of fact, when we arrived and walked into the villa if I didn't know better, I would have sworn there was air-conditioning on.
It is strategically located so that many towns and cities in both Tuscany and Umbria are within easy reach.
Nearest grocery stores and restaurants were within a 10 minute drive of the property. If you are energetic, you could walk.
The buildings are in beautiful condition. There are four apartments and two separate free standing villas on the property. It is very peaceful and quiet. Marzia has painted beautiful murals in all the apartments/villas.
There is a beautiful pool area. The pool is crystal clean. There are lounge chairs, umbrellas and tables around the pool area. There are separate outside sitting areas for each apartment and a covered pergola with a large table and barbecue for dining al fresco. Marzia also has a large fruit and vegetable garden in which the guests are welcome to partake.
The furniture is in good shape. The house was perfectly clean.
The bedrooms are nicely appointed with matching bedspreads/curtains, bed skirts. The beds all have orthopedic mattresses. There is a bathroom for each bedroom, depending on what size apartment you stay in. All bathrooms tubs and/or showers, hairdryers and some toiletries.
The kitchen is very well equipped. There is a refrigerator and a gas cook top. There are plenty of pots/pans/dishes/cups/cooking utensils. We didn't do a lot of cooking, but you could cook full meals if you choose to.
Problems or Bonuses
We arrived to a plate of fresh plums from Marzia's garden sitting on our kitchen table. She had also made extra ice for us because she remembered from our last visit that we liked ice.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We went directly through the property. The daughter Alice speaks English very well and Marzia is getting better all the time. The property absolutely reflected what we read about it on the Internet.
Marzia, Fiore and Alice are some of the most genuine, wonderful people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Never intrusive, but there to help you with whatever you need. If you are lounging by the pool, Fiore will appear with an offer of coffee, beer or wine. If you need suggestions on where to go and what to see, Marzia and Alice will put together a personalized itinerary for you and then Alice will be sure you get specific directions on how to get to where you want to go.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would definitely stay here again and plan to many times. We would recommend this property to anyone. It is great!
If you are looking for a PERFECT spot for a vacation, Le Manzinaie is it - great hosts; beautiful, comfortable property, perfect location, winery visit, cooking lessons, eating real Italian home cooking........
We truly feel we have an extended family in Marzia, Fiore and Alice and can't wait to visit with them again. I promise you will fall in love with Le Manziniaie.
Things to do in this area
This area is renowned for its Pecorino Romano cheese, and believe me, you have not tasted Pecorino until you have had it fresh from this area. Marzia showed us that they drizzle a little honey on it (YUM)! We couldn't eat enough of it.
This area is also famous for the Vino de Nobile de Montepulciano wines. We were lucky enough to have a private visit to a local vineyard/winery (for a very minimal cost) arranged by Marzia and Alice. On Monday afternoon we visited the vineyard Tanagatta where we were given a tour of the wine cellar with a detailed explanation of the wine-making process from grape harvest to bottling. It was fascinating. After the wine cellar, we sat down to crostini, bruschetta, fresh pecorino and salami while we tasted the wonderful wines of this vineyard. We were even able to sample the grapes the wine is made from. It was like eating candy. Susanna and Roberto are fantastic and the day was so much fun. I cannot imagine having a better time at a wine tasting. It was great not to be one of a herd of people at a large touristy estate. Tanagatta is really a hidden gem. You travel down a long, narrow road to reach it and once you are there, the views are awesome. This visit in available to all guests of Le Manzinaie and I encourage you to go.
Tuesday was our anniversary. Fiore brought us to the butcher that morning to hand pick our steaks for dinner. We had invited Marzia, Fiore and Alice to join us and we feasted on the famous Florentine steaks (Fiore does a great job on the grill) grilled onions, caprese salad, pasta, melone and prosciutto and a fresh from her garden plum torte that Marzia made - all accompanied by the delicious Vino de Nobile wine of Tanagatta. We were also lucky enough to sample Marzia's homemade plum grappa. It was an evening of great food and wine, great people and lots of laughter. It was definitely the memorable 25th anniversary we had hoped for.
One evening during the week we were invited to dinner with the other guests (which you will be invited to when you go). Marzia and Fiore are great cooks and the evening consisted of delicious food, wine, after dinner drinks, dessert, good conversation and laughter. It is a great way to spend an evening - meeting people from different parts of the world.
Marzia and Fiore are adding a new larger salon and kitchen for their dinners and Marzia will be giving cooking lessons as soon as it is completed. I cannot wait to return and take some lessons from her.
Also we went to Pienza which is a one of our favorite towns. We had lunch at Latte de Luna. I had the roast suckling pig which they are famous for. It was out of this world. I highly recommend it.
We also ate at La Grotta near the Church of San Bagio in Montepulciano. The food, atmosphere and service were outstanding.
A great caffe for coffee and dessert is Caffe Poliziano in Montepulciano.
If you go to Cortona, make sure to go to Gelateria Snoopy. The best gelato of the trip!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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