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Review 31: TuscanHouse, Bellavista


Review by Pauline from NM who is a SlowTrav Contributor

2bed/2bath house in Celle sul Rigo, Tuscany South



June 2000, 2 weeks


We spent two weeks in Podere Bellevista in June 2000. Podere Bellevista is a lovely two bedroom, two bathroom house on a quiet street just outside the town walls of Celle sul Rigo.

The house is newly renovated, in very good condition and was very clean. The living room/dining room, kitchen and one bathroom (with a washing machine) are on the ground floor; the two bedrooms (one queen, one twin) and one bathroom are on the first floor. The house has tile floors throughout, comfortable living room furniture, good beds, nice bathrooms (the upstairs shower is very small, but the downstairs one is better), a very small but usable kitchen (dishwasher, stove, oven, larger than usual fridge), a covered deck along the back of the house to sit on with a table for eating and loungers for reading. The house has lots of lights so you can sit and read in the evening (many Italian vacation rentals are very poorly lighted). They also provide a TV. Unfortunately there is no phone, but you can rent a mobile phone from the agency (we didn't get around to doing this, but we should have). The house also has a swimming pool. It has a nice yard with a spectacular view. You look across a valley to the town of Radicofani with Monte Cetona on your right and Monte Amiata on your left.

The location is very good. It is about 50 yards from the town walls of Celle sul Rigo. The photo to the right is the main piazza in town. The town is very small, but they have a good food store (so you can walk in for your groceries), a small caffe and two good family-run restaurants. The management agency that runs the house is in the town square (they give you your keys and handle any problems). TuscanHouse does the bookings, but the office in town looks after you once you arrive. They were very helpful and friendly and spoke English. Our favorite town for eating and shopping was San Casciano dei Bagni, about 5 minutes away by car. This part of Tuscany has a lot to recommend it. It is different from the Chianti region: the roads are less crowded, the driving is easier, the towns are smaller and not as crowded (but there are enough tourists in the area to ensure good restaurants and stores), you are close to northern Lazio and southern Umbria, you are close to the A1 Autostrada if you want to make longer day trips, you are close to the Val D'Orcia towns and the Monte Amiata towns which are wonderful to explore. It is also different from the Chianti region in that there are fewer wooded areas - it is a more wide open feeling. I don't think this area is better than Chianti, but I think it is a nice alternative. We plan to use this agency again. The house we rented was expensive for just the two of us (it has a private swimming pool, which adds to the price) but we were booking at the last minute (a week before!) and this was what was available. We will probably try another of his houses the next time. And, we really loved this corner of Tuscany.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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