Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 353: Colle Lungo, Apartment
apartments on estate near Castellina, Tuscany Chianti
10/02, 6 nights
Short drive outside Castellina in Chianti, or a 30-minute walk through the vineyards & woods. There are several buildings together, with several apartments. It's surrounded by forests, olive groves and vineyards and is very beautiful. You're smack in the middle of Chianti Classico.
1/2 hour walk to Castellina. 2 different paths, 1 through the woods and 1 a combination of vineyards, woods, & road. But you do need a car. Castellina's cute but if that was the only place you could go for a whole week it would get old. It has a decent Coop supermarket and several restaurants (none were fabulous).
It's a historic farm village. I think there are 9 apartments? All named for Siena's contrada (neighborhoods). We were in Aquila (the Eagle).
Everything was in good shape. There's a laundry area with washer (they charge $7.50/load and it takes 2 hours) & ironing board (no dryer or clothesline but plenty of hangers in your closet). There's a bar/lounge area where you can drink Collelungo's red wines, Vernaccia from San Gimignano (white) or beer on the honor system, watch TV (CNN!) or read, or meet other lodgers.
Each apartment has a little terrace somewhere. Our apartment was upstairs and we had to go downstairs and across the path to our terrace.
There's a beautiful pool, surrounded by vineyards and with a view over to Castellina. There's also a BBQ somewhere near the pool, but we didn't use it so I don't know what it's like.
The whole place is beautifully landscaped; they've done some wonderful gardens around the buildings. There are things like lavender and rosemary growing, so it smells wonderful.
Everything was in fine shape. Living room furniture consisted of 2 loveseats, so was a little cramped for 4 people. Dining table is in the same room with living room & kitchen & is small though attractive. Again, slightly cramped for 4. Everything was spotless & very nicely decorated (except we thought the couches were ugly).
Beds were OK not great. Bedrooms were lovely and large.
Bedroom 1 had a king bed - actually 2 twins shoved together & they weren't a well-matched pair so it was a bit awkward. There's a large dresser, armoire & 2 nightstands. The bathroom is ensuite, an old-fashioned clawfoot tub & shower - it's very hard to avoid getting water on the floor, toilet & bidet in a separate closet.
Bedroom 2 had 2 twins, armoire & dresser. Bath was separate with an enclosed shower stall, toilet & bidet. This wasn't a great shower, only because the showerhead was less than spectacular and prevented you from getting good water pressure.
Gas cooktop (4 burners), sink, fridge & electric oven. About the usual amount of utensils and pots as you'd find in a ski condo (not much). But lots of glasses - I guess when you're in Chianti they expect you to drink! Virtually no counter space, so if you're going to cook you have to use the table, and even that is small.
Problems or Bonuses
The kitchen/dining/living room was smaller than I expected, but fine. Hot water is only available from 7-10am and 4 or 5-10pm.
We were pretty isolated our first week in Italy, so when we got here and they were full it was nice because we could meet the other travelers. I think it's a real bonus to be able to walk into town.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly through the owners, contacting them via their website. There are now new owners, Monica & Lorenzo, who seem to be very nice. Monica was very helpful in securing reservations for Florence museums. She speaks great English (I never did meet Lorenzo).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes. It's beautiful and peaceful, without being too isolated. I do have to say that there are other, less expensive places to be had, but to find one this nice might take some effort.
We met a couple from Belgium who was there for their 6th visit!
Things to do in this area
Castellina in Chianti is the closest, and is a very nice village with several restaurants and nice shops. We didn't have any outstanding meals though. We did have excellent pizza at the place on the edge of town right at the intersection where you can go left into the center, right to Poggibonsi, or straight on to Monteriggioni. Also at that intersection around the corner from the pizza place is Antica Delizia, which I thought had the best gelato anywhere.
Radda is the next town to the east, and another cute village. Monteriggioni is just to the west (by the autostrada) and we heard it is a lovely village but never got around to visiting. Panzano is just to the north and also nice. Siena is just 30 minutes south, just a wonderful place to visit. San Gimignano is 30-45 minutes away, and I thought highly overrated - way too full of tourists. Florence is less than an hour north.
There are tons of wineries all around you, but unlike California in most of them you have to make an appointment to tour or taste the wines.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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