Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3118: Classic Vacation Rental, Cortine - Vespro
2bed/2bath apartment near San Donato, Tuscany Chianti
September 2007, one week
Canonica di Cortine is a medieval borgo (a small commune, smaller than a village) that has been converted to a vacation rental village. It contains apartments, rooms and separate buildings that are converted to homes. It is in the country, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and a five minute drive to a small hilltop village where you can buy groceries and cappucino. It is a beautiful location and very quiet and pristine. The old church, Vespro, is where we stayed and it has been converted to a beautiful home, complete with lovely dining area, fireplace, living area, kitchen with new appliances, bedrooms upstairs with twin beds in the loft and a beautiful master suite. The best part was the private patio behind the building, which gets morning sunlight and is a perfect place to wake up with your own cappuccino. If you like to cook this is a great place, as rosemary and lavender grow on the property as hedges.
You must drive to San Donato for food, or you could rent a bike and ride there quite quickly. The locals suggest not walking the roads at twilight as the wild boars live in the forest and can be a problem. We didn't see any boars, but ate a few in the local restaurants. There are quite a few really good restaurants close by, which is nice when you want to enjoy the wine. The Coop in San Donato is very small and basic, but has the necessities. The butcher is really great, and we bought a bistecca fiorentina (1.5kg hunk of steak) there and barbecued it up back at the Vespro.
The house is really peaceful, but because the twin beds are located in the loft and the building is a converted stone church, we had to be very quiet in the morning so as not to wake the kids. Instead, we'd take our cappuccino outside to the patio and enjoy a morning conversation there. Otherwise the building was very comfortable. There are other rentals on the property - unsure of the number of separate apartments.
You can view the property directly: Cortine Vespro.
Excellent private patio with the Vespro building. The pool is a gorgeous infinity blue water pool, with white cement surrounding it and situated in a grove of olives. The water is not heated however, so only the very brave or very hot could venture into the pool in September.
The furniture was very comfortable, and not too precious that you felt that you had to be careful. Could have used another chair in the living area for the four of us (big teenagers can take up a whole sofa quite easily by themselves). The dining area was perfect, and included a really nice buffet for storage. The kitchen is compact and does not have much counter space, but enough to make a good dinner. There were enough cooking implements to create a lovely roast chicken with rosemary and garlic, roast vegetables and an ensalata caprese with ease.
The master bed was quite comfortable and the master bath gorgeous, with nice fluffy towels. The shower is fairly compact but bigger than other places in Italy. Two full bathrooms made it comfortable and fast for four of us to get ready. Bathrooms have new fixtures, marble tiling and stone floors.
The kitchen was great - oven big enough to roast and chicken and veggies and all the appliances were nice euro machines. They also included a moka coffee maker.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Carina from Classic Vacation Renal recommended and booked this for us. We wanted an apartment that would be a home to the four of us, with our two teenagers, and have enough space that we could enjoy the inside space. It was a perfect match, and such a lovely location. The morning sounds of birds and church bells in the distance echoing over the vineyards was a great start to the day. At the Canonica di Cortine Stephano, the owner, is a gracious and fun hands-on manager. He speaks English quite well, better in person than on the phone, and has assistants that helped us with directions, booking wine tours, interpreting the Italian phone system, and other bits. Stephano was such a nice guy and so helpful - he actually drove my husband to the local clinic for stitches after he'd cut himself. A good start to a month in Italy.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again although we really explored the area quite well and the country is so big that I'd like to find another Canonica di Cortine somewhere else...
Things to do in this area
Best restaurants - Locanda di Pietracupa, just a three-minute drive away, and La Troppa - in San Donato - both offer delicious dinners in real Italian style.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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