Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 34: Parker Villas, Santa Maria in Chianti
apartments in a hamlet near Panzano, Tuscany Chianti
May/June 1997, 2 weeks (each week in a different apartment)
Santa Maria in Chianti is a medieval complex that has been restored and turned into nine vacation rentals. The apartments have TV and a phone and are well furnished. We rented two apartments there: Giogo, a 2 bedroom apartment and Lavanda, a 1 bedroom apartment. The location is fabulous - about 30 minutes by car north of Siena and about 20 minutes south of Greve. Castellina or Panzano are your closest towns. Also an easy 45 minute drive to Florence. A great location for touring this whole region. Also, there are many very good restaurants and food stores close by. Even though I was not totally pleased with the apartments, I recommend this vacation rental, especially for a first visit to the area. The apartments are reasonably priced.
Giogo is a nice sized apartment suitable for four people (two bedrooms). It has a big living room/dining room with 20 foot sloping ceilings, red brick floors, huge ceiling beams, and an enormous fireplace. There is only one small window, but the door has a separate glass door, so you can get light (but the apartment did feel dark). The kitchen is not well equipped (only few poor quality pots, no kitchen towels), but was very usable after we went out and bought ourselves a pot and some towels. The kitchen has one window that looks over the roof to the countryside. Two bedrooms, both with 1 small window and 2 single beds. Narrow but very nice bathroom. All the fixtures are modern and the furniture is in good shape with some antiques. There is a 10 foot dining table. The only problems with this apartment are that the outside area used for the apartment is very small - just a table and benches to the side of the entrance. And the bedroom window is right above the office, which is very noisy from 7am to 10am.
Lavanda is quieter and also nice. It is a one bedroom apartment. A smaller kitchen but with more counter space. No windows in the living room, but large french doors you can leave open with the glass doors closed (but the room felt dark). There are bigger windows in the kitchen and bedroom. All ceilings are high. A nice lawn with table and chairs outside your front door.
Complaints: It is hard to do your laundry. There is a laundry room shared by all the apartments, but the washing machine has no instructions and seemed to need attending between the wash and spin cycles and the dryer didn't work when we were there (The Parker Company tells me it works now). We gave up and took our laundry to a very nice place in Greve where they did it for us. Also, there is no town that you can walk to from here. The complex is located on the S222, the main road that goes through the Chianti region. The road is not so busy that you are disturbed by noise from it, but busy enough and narrow enough that you would not enjoy walking along it.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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