Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3391: Il Poggiolo, Casa Colonica
2bed/1bath apartment near Montevarchi, Tuscany Chianti
January 2008, 7 days
Il Poggiolo consists of two apartments Casa Colonnica and Fienile. Both are side by side and were surrounded by vineyards and countryside. It was a peaceful retreat from the business of Rome where we had spent the previous nine days. The closest hamlet and village was roughly a four kilometer walk along a country road. A larger town was a car drive away and had a well stocked supermarket. However the village down the road was adequate for basic supplies. The fruit and vegetables and butchery were well stocked and very convenient. A bar where you could enjoy a drink and purchase essentials after a day of sightseeing was also in the village.
We often walked in the late afternoon to the village and enjoyed a coffee or a drink . There is a wonderful bakery in the village along the road to the left. I think it is called Buino. Delicious cakes and pastries.
The apartment called Casa Colonica, a restored farm house, was absolutely wonderful to stay in. Everything was provided and made the stay so enjoyable. The bedrooms (a double and room with two single beds) are upstairs along with the very large bathroom. Of a morning we could lie in bed and watch the sun rise or one occasion the snowflakes fall. Downstairs is the well stocked kitchen and the large eating area which comfortably seats 10. Tablecloth provided too!! As we were two families traveling together we shared cooking but usually shared our feasts in this room as the ambiance of the room encouraged us to sit and chat after dinner. Cooking in such a kitchen was an absolute delight and as it was so spacious allowed many cooks to work together and enjoy a drink and a chat about the day's pleasures as we worked.
As we visited in winter we did not spend a large amount of time outside but one sunny morning we sat and read in the garden watching the bird life as well.
Everything in this house was clean and thoughtfully placed. A library was there for those who wanted to read and an abundance of travel brochures, maps of the area and specific guide books on Tuscany, Florence etc. were greatly appreciated. The TV room was separate from the dining rooms so there was no distraction to the conversation. Not only was there a large table with sufficient chairs but a wonderful selection of crockery, glass wear, cutlery and serving platters. All of these items made our family dinners a real treat.
There were plenty of warm covers as it was a very cold winter. We slept like tops!
I have never stayed in such a well stocked kitchen. I encourage others to respect the generosity of the owners and enjoy cooking during your stay. Sara's instructions clearly displayed, are absolutely spot on and should ensure all appliances work perfectly. There are plenty of large pots for cooking pasta and an excellent stove-top and oven as well as a dishwasher.
We had the advantage of booking well in advance and were rewarded with a complimentary hamper, which we put to good use during our stay. It allowed us to settle in without that urgency to go and shop for immediate supplies.
Problems or Bonuses
It well surpassed our expectations.
Only warning - heating can cost a lot so take notice of the tips to keep the house warm, which Sara and Alan have provided. It is a very large area to heat and temperatures in winter do get down to frost. Take care driving on slippery roads we did see some poor tourists come to grief.
Roads are dark in winter so we chose to eat in for tea rather than have the worry of navigating our return.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners Sara and Alan live on site and were extremely welcoming but respectful of our privacy.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes we would stay here again. It was perfect for two families as we each had our own home but could share cooking and meals together. It would be a terrific place for a family reunion.
Things to do in this area
There are many places to visit but a hire car is fairly essential to really spend a week exploring as we did. We did take the train to Florence but you need to get to the station which is about 20 minutes away if I remember. We did day trips in our hire van to Montalcino, Siena, San Gimignano and visited the nearby Prada factory outlet.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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