Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3546: Tuscany Now, Villa Cignano
3bed/3bath house near Vagliagli, Tuscany Chianti
May 24 - May 31 2008, 7 nights
Villa Cignano is located just 'up the road' from the quaint small town of Vagliagli. We rented the villa through TuscanyNow, and I'll start by saying the pictures on the site simply don't do this villa's spectacular views and impeccable landscaping justice.
Upon arrival, our jaws dropped as we rounded the back of the villa to see the expansive views of the hillside, vineyards, and the tiny village of Vagliagli below us. The yard is quite large, with the infinity pool at the end of the yard. Although there were other homes adjacent to us, it was completely private - separated by olive and cypress trees as well as a small (family-owned?) vineyard.
Villa Cignano was a perfect location for our day trips: ours included Cortona, Siena, Gaiole in Chianti, and Florence (we hopped the train from Siena for ease).
You could walk to Vagligali from the villa. Tuscany Now said it was a 20 minute walk and at first we could not fathom how they figured this. However, if you forget walking the roads and take a shortcut through the vineyards down the hill, it's a brisk 20 minute walk. Taking the actual streets I assume would be a bit longer. Who knows if we were ALLOWED to walk through these vineyards, but we did. Once you walk through the vineyard, it opens to a dirt road that leads right to town.
The nearest grocery store we found (and our caretaker also confirmed) was in Siena ... about a 30 minute drive. The first day, we stumbled upon a SMA, a small grocery store tucked away in Siena ... our GPS found it for us, otherwise, we would've never known it was there. Our next trip we then hit the jackpot when we discovered the COOP, an almost US-size supermarket.
The interior of the house was very quaint and very true to our expectations of a Tuscan villa. It was also very clean and well-equipped: a refreshing welcome from our previously-departed apartment in Rome (I won't even bother to go into that one in this post).
My husband and I travelled with our best friends and their 10.5 month old baby, and my friend's parents. The house was perfect for this party size. My husband and I stayed in the lower bedroom, which is only accessible from outside, in order to have the quiet from the baby and her late night/early morning activities (we never heard a thing).
Mornings were spent outside on the porch, coffee in hand, overlooking 180 degrees of incredible views- the only sounds of birds chirping and the tower bells of Vagliagli tolling on the hours. We had officially cleansed Rome off of us and were fully immersed into the peace and relaxation that is Tuscany.
You can view the property directly: Villa Cignano.
The patio outside the back door was where we spent most of our time. The views were just too nice NOT to. There was a charcoal fireplace nearby where we also cooked a few dinners.
The pool was beautiful and also had nice views, although the weather during our stay didn't warrant much pool-time, not to mention the water temperature was cold.
The furniture in the living room, I'll admit, left a little to be desired comfort-wise. I was actually sick on the last day of my stay (you'd think being sick in Tuscany would beat being sick at home...?!) and craved a more comfortable couch to rest on. It was rock solid and leaned you forward, almost rolling you off. Pillows seemed to help a little, but some more comfortable couches/chairs would be a welcome addition.
Otherwise, the furniture was fine. Rustic and seemingly appropriate for where you are.
The first time I got into bed I couldn't believe how hard our bed was. However, I slept like a rock every night and my husband and I both agreed it was actually really comfortable. We had a nice down comforter, so leaving the windows open at night was refreshing but not too cold. Of course, I think nothing beats your own bed, but I was pleasantly surprised.
There were three full bathrooms, which was great for three couples (one bathroom doesn't have a shower, rather a tub with handheld shower-wand). The only 'odd' thing, at least for us, was the need to throw away your toilet paper (ANYTHING) into a trash bin and NOT the toilet. It was a bit of a nuisance at first, but we got used to it. We had to do the same in Rome as well and other countries we've visited.
Kitchen was well equipped. It was a fairly small kitchen with minimal counter-space, but we managed just fine to cook full dinners with 2+ people in the room at the same time.
The dishwasher worked okay, and the oven cooked very well and very fast.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Tuscany Now was very helpful and thorough. The only thing that was difficult was that the caretaker barely spoke any English, therefore, communication was difficult. Luckily, we had someone in the group that could get us by the basic questions we had for her.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Definitely. The views alone are worth it.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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