Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3288: Sant' Antonio, Signorelli
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
December 29, 2007, 7 days
Sant' Antonio is an estate located about three miles south of Montepulciano's city center. Nico, the owner, has several rentals varying in size on the property. My husband and I stayed in the Signorelli rental, which is a small private cottage big enough for two. Nico has around 195 acres and in a word his estate is nothing less than "stunning." We felt as though we were living in a postcard for the duration of our stay as his property is full of olive groves and every view is spectacular! His estate is gated, thus very private and guests must use an electronic fob to open the gate when coming and going. We absolutely loved the area and wouldn't think of staying anywhere else.
As stated above, Montepulciano was at most three miles away, but a very easy drive which took all of five minutes to get to. The CONAD is the grocery store in town and easily accessible by car and the parking is free. Montepulciano has numerous free lots around the city in which to park. Of course no matter where you parked around the town, you then had to walk just a bit to get to the local businesses, restaurants etc.
Sant' Antonio is in beautiful condition and it is clear that Nico has thought of every detail in making sure his guests are comfortable and happy. The cottage was extremely quiet and we hardly ever heard any of the other guests coming and going out of the other rentals. One thing Nico has done is put in an underground parking area for vehicles so finding a place to park was never a problem and it was a plus to have our car covered given the time of year we were there. Our cottage had a small kitchen area complete with cooking and eating utensils and dining table, a living area furnished with two love seats, small television, fireplace, nicely sized queen bedroom with armoire and an enormous bathroom with a giant soaking tub, full sized shower and a pedestal sink that is at least twice as big as my own pedestal sink in my powder room at home. The bathroom also comes complete with toiletries (shower gel etc.) and a towel warmer which was a nice touch. We also had our own little private outdoor space with a grill and a stash of firewood.
Aside from our own private outdoor sitting area, there is also a very large pool for the summer with patio which guests share.
All the furniture in the cottage was in great condition. The love seats were comfortable and everything was immaculate. During our week stay, our bed linens and towels were changed once, which was fine with us. Firewood is replaced daily. All in all, a very homey cottage and pleasant to stay in.
The bedroom was very nice with a queen bed. I didn't care for the mattress but I have a tempurpedic at home so I am spoiled. And it wasn't the worst bed I've slept in. The bathroom was huge, the water pressure good and we never had a problem with running out of hot water.
The kitchen was small but functional and I even cooked dinner in it for New Year's Day as not much was open that day. There were plenty of pans and dishes and the china was a nice quality. The bialetti stove-top espresso pot was very small but I just made a few pots in the morning so we would have our coffee fix before heading out for the day.
Problems or Bonuses
I must admit the whole property/stay was a wonderful surprise. My expectations were on the low end given what I've experienced in Italy in the past but Nico and Sant' Antonio far exceeded my expectations. My husband and I thought the place was phenomenal and we will return again and again.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Wow ... what can I say about Nico? He is a true master of hospitality. He speaks perfect English so there is no need to worry about communicating. He was incredibly helpful offering suggestions on day trips as well as eateries in Montepulciano and other towns. Every restaurant he recommended was superb in my opinion and I'm a gal who likes to make my own pasta and sauce! He assisted us in our dinner reservations for New Year's Eve and made sure that we knew that he was always available should we need him for anything. He made us feel like family. I've never, EVER, been treated like such a treasured guest. And I've stayed in some pretty fancy hotels. Americans in the hospitality business could take a lesson from Nico. He truly loves what he does and it shows.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Without question, this is the ONLY property I would stay at again south of Florence. If Nico is booked then I would prefer to wait until he has room rather than stay elsewhere. I absolutely will recommend Sant' Antonio to my family and friends with no qualifications. The prices are excellent, service impeccable and I guarantee you will have a memorable experience.
Things to do in this area
Sant'Antonio is a great hub to stay at while touring through southern Tuscany and Umbria. Besides Montepulciano, we took day trips to Montalcino, San Quirico D'Orcia, Pienza, Chiusi, Cetona, Perugia, Bagno Vignoni and San Antimo. We highly recommend Trattoria Fiorella in Pienza. My husband would have eaten their pici for breakfast. Their homemade pasta is splendid. Also, the Osteria del Leone in Bagno Vignoni was quite good. Their slow simmered stewed boar was out of this world amazing. Finally, you must visit Mariuccia pastry shop in Montalcino. It has been written up in Frommer's. The pastries there are outstanding. I highly recommend the homemade amaretti cookies and am still in withdrawal from not having them! Happy Travels!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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