Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 342: TuscanHouse, Fitto
6 bedroom farmhouse near Palazzone, Tuscany South
May 11 - June 1, 2002, 3 weeks
The plan was to have my sister, her family and her friends from Australia join me in Italy, but that contingent had to cancel and so, aside from two friends from Atlanta the first week, I had Fitto to myself except for long weekend visits from a Swiss family and about a dozen Italian friends from near Urbino and a comune near Siena. All these great people have been my hosts many, many times in the last twelve years and it was time to reciprocate.
Fitto was a magical place for all of us. A medieval farmhouse up a steep unpaved road just out of Palazzone between Cetona and Fabro. The silence was total if you don't count the cuckoos and nightengales. The views from two bedrooms, the living room, kitchen, terrace and pool was spectacular. From here the lower Val di Chiana and the mountains to the east give a new meaning to the word panoramic. The sunrise was worth getting up for, but I could see it from bed. Nightfall blended the stars with the twinkle of lights across the valley where the hilltowns of Citta della Pieve and Monteleone d'Orvieto were the centerpieces. Swallows dipped for drinks in the pool just before the fireflies came out in the evening.
I have resisted writing this review, as Zak and Gary at Tuscan House well know, because I would love to keep Fitto a secret forever so that I could have it, with its olive trees, roses, fruit trees, lavender, rosemary and cypresses, on demand.
I always took the car down to Palazzone, but someone in great shape could walk it. The restaurant Il Pozzo was a great place to dine on nights you didn't cook. Rita and her daughter, Michela, were ever helpful and even cooked take out duck by prearrangement for a birthday party I had for one of the guys from the comune over at Sovicille. There's a small grocery across the street if you find it open. A big grocery shop could be done at Il Centro Commerciale Etrusco outside Chiusi half an hour away. The drive over the white road passing Fighine castle brings you to San Casciano dei Bagni, an elegant spa town with a balcony piazza looking toward the Crete, which provides good dining, the occassional porchetta truck, a good cafe and shopping for small things.
This medieval stone farmhouse has the original central sala padronale with fireplace upstairs, and very tasteful restoration of this older part of the house with its tower room, TV room and most of the bedrooms (bathrooms en suite in two). The downstairs restoration of half the hugh stall and storage spaces include another great fireplace (though not for sitting in like the one above), airy rooms for lounging and dining, a brand new wonderfully spacious kitchen and a room with a half bath specifially suited to a disabled person. There are three sets of french doors leading outside.
The terrace with its view, the pool area, lawns and a pergola near the entry are all inviting. We found all manner of herbs growing to use in the kitchen. The pool isn't heated, but we didn't even flinch at using it in May.
I loved Fitto for the tastefulness of its furnishings. I hate all the clutter of cutsey items in so many vacation houses and everyone seemed to find places to be comfortable. Everything was very clean.
Upon arrival I felt like Goldilocks with first pick before all my guests arrived, and my bed was wonderfully comfortable and no one complained of the others. The bathrooms were great.
I found everything I needed in the kitchen, but I'll bet more has been added since I was its first occupant. My friends and I cooked up a storm!
Problems or Bonuses
Fitto is even prettier than the websites photos.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I can't imagine dealing with anyone other that Gary and Zak at TuscanHouse when renting in Italy. They're the best! Their onsite rep was simple to deal with and spoke enough English to get by quite well. The landlady was often around to care for the pool and garden and supervise any work that needed to be done, such as the plowing around the olive trees one day. Angela was totally unintrusive and turned into a hospitable informant whom I hope to see again.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Frankly, I want everyone to stay away so that I can have Fitto whenever I want it. But in a spirit of friendship, I have to admit that I recommend it without reservation!
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