Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 332: InTuscany, Villa Nell'Oliveto
5bed/4bath villa in Castelmuzio, near Pienza, Tuscany South
June 8 - 15, one week
The villa was set in the middle of an olive grove overlooking the hills of Tuscany (the val di chiana) and the church from the English Patient.
It could not have been more beautiful or peaceful, and yet still just a two minute walk to the village of Castelmuzio. Our children loved being able to walk to the park themselves to play with other children.
The town has a very cute restaurant/bar, a grocery store and a magazine/tabac. Down the road away from the town, still walking distance, is a wine bar that has live music a couple times a week.
The villa could not have been nicer. It was much bigger than we expected, well decorated with beautifully large bathrooms (four of them), with all the important amenities for a family (complete kitchen with dishwasher, a laundry room with washing machine, satellite TV and stereo).
The building itself is the old stables but had been renovated last year.
It has lovely pergolas across the back with a huge dining table underneath. The balcony on the second floor was used extensively to take in the sun and recover from our walks.
The pool needs to be seen. The couple who own the house designed it themselves, with an overflow on one side. When you swim in it you feel like you are swimming off into the valley below. It is about 50' by 20', I think.
The furniture is quite lovely with a perfect blend of rustic country and some unique antique armoires.
There were enough chairs at both the indoor and outdoor dining tables for all ten of us. The couches were equally ample.
The cleaning woman came twice during the week, which was more than enough.
The beds were very firm, something important to my wife who has a bad back. The master bedrooms were quite large with en suite bathrooms.
There is one suite that would be perfect for anyone wanting the romantic holiday... With four children, we really didn't get to explore this aspect, oh well.
All the rooms have great views of the olive grove and the hills. Plenty of closets and drawers.
The kitchen was complete including a traditional pizza oven. We cooked about one third of our dinners and found everything we needed including a good complement of pots and pans.
Upstairs, there was a small kitchenette, which meant that those using the upper rooms could easily have breakfast on the balcony.
Problems or Bonuses
For the children, the real bonus were the animals including two dogs, a cat and some chickens. They were behind a fence which meant they didn't bother us but were always available for play. The owner's children are now good friends with my youngest son, Sam (age 9).
The village itself and proximity of three other villages with good restaurants meant we never really left the area in 7 days.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rebecca at Intuscany is fantastic. We had never been to Tuscany before and were unsure about renting a villa as opposed to staying in a hotel. She patiently helped us with the selection and even arranged for a cooking course for my wife and friend.
She and her staff spoke English and Italian fluently. When we had a problem with lost luggage, her assistant Manola was on hand to help us translate. It wasn't really necessary since the owners spoke fluent English as well but it was a very nice offer.
The site was very helpful. I thought that the villa was beautiful on the web but after staying there I think they have not done it justice.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
YES! YES! YES! I have already told a few friends and I believe we may be back this year, if everything works out.
Things to do in this area
Favorite Restaurants - CamarLenga in town(nice dishes with a bit of traditional with a difference), Latte di Luna in Pienza (great Truffle pasta), Conte Matto in Trequanda (just amazing food).
To Do - the frescoes in the church from the English Patient (can't remember the name), ice cream at the Dolce Sosta in Pienza, horseback riding at the stables nearby, tennis at the public courts.
For the most part we traveled from restaurant to restaurant when we weren't by the pool.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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