Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3510: Le Maribelle, Le Maribelle 3
2bed/2bath apartment in Monticchiello, Tuscany South
17-21 Sept 2007, 4 days
We rented Maribelle 3 for four days. It is a beautifully preserved house (two levels) dating back to the eighth century, located in the tiny medieval village of Monticchiello, a stone walled village under UNESCO World Heritage protection. All the streets and houses look stopped in time. There are other rentals in the village, as well as old family homes and shops, a bank, library, and fabulous restaurant. We loved the village, the old church bells ringing daily, the locals going about their daily routines. Our apartment was furnished with local antiques dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. It has a furnished kitchen and laundry, and a nice little back yard. We showered in the downstairs apartment which was part of the rental. Our hostess, Barbara, is the personification of Tuscan hospitality, and I think we became lifelong friends.
We walked to Osteria La Porta, a restaurant/wine bar with wonderful Tuscan meals and extensive wine list. We shopped for groceries at Pienza, a five-minute drive from Monticchiello. We had arrived by train at Chiusi where we rented a car. It was a short drive to Monticchiello through the rolling Tuscan countryside. We took wonderful, relaxed day trips to Siena and Montepulciano (both highly recommended) and spent some time looking about the Monticchiello village, too.
The building is required to be preserved in the medieval style, and from the outside looks like the rest of the thousand year old buildings. Inside, it has plumbing and electricity, but installed in such a way that wires and plumbing are hidden in thick walls. I believe the owner has two other rentals in this village. We looked at one briefly and it was quite reasonable in size and beautiful. And we loved our apartment, too.
The back yard was small and not developed much, just a small patio, lawn and clothes line. It met our requirements and we did use the clothes line. The neighborhood was very quiet.
All furniture was in very good shape, the beds were comfortable and clean. The kitchen was well furnished and quite user friendly. Although there were only two of us, we could have seated four or five people at dinner easily.
The bed was comfortable (we didn't use the bed in the downstairs room). The bathrooms were clean and we used the shower in the lower room.
There were plenty of pots and pans, dishes, etc. We didn't cook dinner, but did fix breakfast and lunches without any inconvenience.
Problems or Bonuses
We enjoyed some of the books, maps, tour guides, Tuscan wine guides, and many art books which we found in the apartment.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, Barbara, met us at the local osteria and gave us the warmest welcome we got anywhere in Italy. She was wonderful, helped with directions, joined us for coffee and a nice long chat. We felt like family -- really. Her English is pretty good, no problems communicating.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would definitely stay here again. We would recommend this place to anyone who would have some appreciation for the feeling of history and peace that you get in this wonderful little village. I think four days would be our minimum recommended length of stay -- a week would be better.
Things to do in this area
Osteria La Porta -- wonderful friendly knowledgeable owner Daria is the greatest hostess. Reservations are a must -- this place is quite popular despite the small village, and La Porta is not that large.
We recommend Siena and Montepulciano for day trips. There are also wineries and olive oil producers in the area, and many tasting rooms in the cities. The piazza in Siena is a "must see", as well as the churches there. Montepulciano is a great shopping area, as is Siena.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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