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Review 3516: La Montalla, Apartment


Review by swamimama from FL

apartments on farm near Radicofani, Tuscany South


April 2008, 1 week


This was our second visit to the agriturismo of La Montalla near Contignano in the Val d'Orcia. The whole area of the Val d'Orcia is breathtaking and panoramic. The hill towns are easy to reach: Montichiello, Chiusi, Chianchiano Terme, Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Sinalunga, Siena, etc. We were there first in 1999 and wrote a review. Since then, the farm has been renovated and is charmingly furnished. They have added a pool and a small playground.

La Montalla is a working farm and we had a view of olive trees and grapevines right outside our windows. La Montalla has three apartments on the first floor (2nd floor to Americans) and a number of B&B rooms and a charming breakfast room on the ground floor. There is wireless Internet access. It is about a 1/2 mile walk up to the small village of Contignano, with a grocery, butcher, two small cafe/bars, one church, and a population of 300.

We went up to the little alimentari (grocery store) run by Maria and Salvatore, and, much to our amazement, found that Maria remembered us from our previous visit nine years before. We remembered a great restaurant, Fattoria Benandi, from our first visit, but learned it has closed but may reopen this summer. Other than two little cafes for caffe or gelato, there is no restaurant in town. This was not a problem for us.

We were six people: two seniors, two adults, two children, 8 and 13. My husband and I had a one room studio apartment with a kitchen corner and my daughter's family had a two bed, one bath apartment with a living room, kitchen, and large dining area. That is where we ate breakfast and a few dinners.

The area around the farmhouse is redolent with large rosemary, sage, mint, night-blooming jasmine bushes, and geraniums. The children loved seeing sheep coming over the hills in the morning and they enjoyed hanging clothes out on the clothesline - talk about culture shock! While we were there, six horseback riders came from Siena to stay overnight at La Montalla. They were riding on the back roads from Siena to the sea over a four-day holiday weekend. Their horses spent the night in the olive tree grove right outside our windows. Needless to say, our city-slicker grandchildren were enthralled.

La Montalla was a restful respite after having spent time sightseeing in Venice, Rome and Orvieto. The owners are graceful and courteous hosts and are very helpful and welcoming. We look forward to returning at another time with other family members.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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