Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3663: Agriturismo Il Passo degli Ulivi, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Paganico, Grosseto, Tuscany West
June 2008, 1 week
Il Passo degli Ulivi is located about 10 minutes north of Paganico across the valley (and the SS223) from Civitella Marittima. In the larger setting, it's about 20 minutes south west of Montalcino and about 40 minutes south of Siena. It's a wonderfully isolated and private agriturismo.
You definitely need a car for your time at Il Passo degli Ulivi, although you likely need a car wherever you stay in Tuscany. The closest Coop is a 10 minute drive to Paganico. There are a couple of good restaurants in Paganico although the best local restaurant is located on the hill in Civitella about 15 minutes away - I'll post a separate review of the restaurant (sorry, the name escapes me and I'll have to track it down).
The building includes three individual one bedroom/one bathroom units with a futon to possibly sleep three or four in each unit. The building is new and so the entire space is modern and in excellent condition. Stone tile in the bathroom, modern shower, gas cooktop, etc.
The garden and patio was what really made this place a fantastic place to spend a week. The pool is situated with a fantastic view of the surrounding landscape, and there is a large outside patio adjacent to the pool. In fact, we had 40 people in the patio/pool area for a party one night during out stay. The gardens are spectacular - colourful, full of the wonderful hum of buzzing bees. Olive trees and grape vines surround the property.
As mentioned above, this agriturismo is new and so all the furniture, tables, chairs, beds etc are in new condition. There is an armoire in each bedroom. It's fully air conditioned as well.
The bedroom was a great place to have a rest in the afternoon and to sleep in during the mornings. Our unit had a fantastic view of the countryside from our window, which I will try to attach to this review. The bed was comfortable as you'd expect.
The kitchen was well-equipped with espresso pot, gas cooktop, pots, pans, cutlery, plates, glasses, wine glasses, etc. However, there was literally nothing in terms of staples (salt, pepper, spices, coffee) so we had to buy all of that when we arrived. On our kitchen table when we got there was a welcome basket with some home-made wine, a bottle of homemade olive oil, and a variety of local in season fruits and vegetables. There was also a jar of pasta sauce and a package of pasta. That was a nice surprise and provided dinner the first night there!
Problems or Bonuses
Probably the biggest surprise was just how scenic the location was. I had a vision of what Tuscany was when I was planning this trip and I was concerned that we would be disappointed because how in the world could reality measure up to what I was thinking about? But, I shouldn't have worried. It exceeded what I was expecting - every morning I woke up early (no sleeping in for me) and basked in the sunshine sitting at the pool writing in my journal while my wife slept in. It really was a postcard come to life. One important thing to mention also is that I had never been to Tuscany before and I have no experience with other agriturismos, so I don't have a comparison point. But I can't imagine Il Passo degli Ulivi wouldn't measure up to any Tuscan accommodation.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked this place through Gloria who helps manage this property for the owners who speak very little English. Gloria and Marcel are helpful and available for questions and concerns. The prices are on the website, but I believe they range from €350-650 per week depending on the season.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
My parents are planning a trip to Italy in the next two years and I've already told them that they must pick a week to spend here. From Il Passo degli Ulivi, Siena, St. Antimo, Montalcino, Montepulciano, the Maremma Park, the beach, hot springs at Petriolio are less than 45 minutes away. Florence is 90 minutes and Rome about two hours. So yes, I highly recommend Il Passo degli Ulivi.
Things to do in this area
I'll find out the name of the restaurant in Civitella, but it's worth a dinner for sure (and maybe two). And having a BBQ cookout hanging poolside is also a must!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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