Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3177: Rentvillas, Virgilio - Rosmarino
Apartments on an estate near Tavarnalle, Tuscany Chianti
10/18/2007-10/31/2007, 13 days
The rental was located on a private estate in a very rural area, down a long dirt road, so it was very private and peaceful. There were beautiful views from an area in the back where you could sit and relax.
The location is absolutely perfect for exploring Tuscany, especially the Chianti region, and is in good proximity to a major highway connecting Florence and Siena.
There was nothing within walking distance, but the town of Tavarnelle was only a 10 minute drive, if that much. Tavarnelle, while not having as much medieval charm as some of the other Tuscan towns, was a lovely place with everything you could need -- a good sized supermarket, a nice little town square that was the location for almost daily morning markets, and several wonderful little local shops selling fresh local goods: meat, cheese, produce, fresh pasta, and some incredible breads. There were several banks, a tourist center, several little eateries, and an inexpensive bus service into Florence(I highly recommend using it instead of driving!).
I don't know if the building was historic, but it had the rustic "Tuscan" look that one would hope to find in this area. There was another apartment across from ours, and a total of seven rentals on the property. This apartment was an upstairs one.
You enter into a beautiful kitchen, decorated in a beautiful rustic style, as was the rest of the place. There's a small hallway/foyer off of the kitchen, with the bathroom on one side, a large bedroom with double bed off to another side, and a winding iron staircase to the loft bedroom above, which has two twin beds.
You can view the apartment directly: Rosmarino.
There was a pool, in a lovely setting, but since we were there in October, we didn't use it.
There was also a large, shared sitting area that we used on a couple of occasions. It afforded gorgeous views, and was very peaceful and relaxing. All around it are plantings of flowers, shrubs, and herbs, all very artfully "wild" looking. We actually harvested some herbs from the gardens to use in our cooking.
Everything was in very good shape, and the place very clean. There were only two of us, so there were plenty of chairs; there were four around the kitchen table, and two soft-seating chairs. But there were two more kitchen chairs around the place, so you could seat six at the kitchen table if need be.
The beds were comfortable, we both slept very well, and the bedrooms very nice. The downstairs bedroom is quite large, with a double bed, two night stands with lamps, a large dresser with mirror, and an armoire. There's also a skylight above the bed, but there are motorized shades that can be drawn if you want to shut out the light.
The upstairs bedroom is a loft that looks down into the other bedroom; it has twin beds and a dresser, as well as two windows.
The entire apartment has rustic wood beam ceilings.
I found the kitchen to be a good working one, although it could use more light in the counter/cooking area. We prepared all our dinners there, and found everything we needed, including a cutting board and knives. The pots and pans were of good quality, and the dishes very pretty.
The only thing we found odd was that there were no wine glasses!
Problems or Bonuses
Just the pleasant surprise of there not being any bad surprises! Booking on-line, there's always a concern about whether what you see is what you'll get, but this was everything we'd expected and hoped it would be.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The rental agency was excellent; they answered all the questions we had prior to leaving, provided a very helpful booklet as a guide to "living" in Italy, including some helpful recommendations and tips, and certainly fulfilled their obligations.
As stated above, the reality of the place very accurately reflected the published information.
The on-site person did speak some English, but is conveniently came and went! But she was very helpful in providing us information when requested, such as maps, directions, recommendations on places to visit, etc. She also offers breakfast and dinner in a very pretty little dining room that's downstairs from the apartment. We had the dinner one evening, and it was excellent, and a very good value.
We rented this place in October; we paid a total of $1581 for the 13 days, which included a booking fee.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this place.
Things to do in this area
We spent most of our time exploring the different towns and villages the area is known for--Siena, Arezzo, Cortona, Greve, Radda, Montalcino, Panzano, Pienza, Lucca, and Pisa. For us, driving the winding roads through the beautiful countryside and up the hills and mountains, and seeing the beautiful little towns, was the best part of the trip. And along the way to these towns, we'd come upon tiny little villages, some of which aren't even on the map, that were wonderful surprises. Our favorite places were Siena, Cortona, Panzano, and Monteriggioni. We also utilized the high-speed Eurostar trains available from the Florence train station to do a day trip to Rome (only 1 1/2 hours from Florence by train!), and an overnight trip to Venice.
Probably our favorite shop, which I wish we'd found sooner, was a very small bakery a couple blocks from the Tavarnelle square, that baked and sold just bread. It was the best bread we had while in Italy. And there's a great little shop on the square that sold incredible fresh pasta; there was another fresh pasta place near the bakery, but we didn't discover it until the end of our visit.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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