Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3739: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
July 2008, 1 week
Great location in a small hill village, Civitella Marittima, about 30 minutes south of Siena. Very private (home on top floor, vacant storage/garage beneath) but right in the village so only five minutes walk to neat town stores (butcher, bakery, local grocery, florist) and restaurant. The village was amazing, unbelievable views, friendly people who patiently helped us with our Italian! We drove from the airport in Rome and had no trouble finding the village - just off the exit of a major road. The owners, Gloria and Marcel, met us just outside of town and we followed them five minutes into town to the house. Very steep uphill drive and small road with sharp turns and a manual transmission - very exciting. Not much room to park, but never had a problem finding a spot.
Short five minute walk downhill just outside of town to Da Dante for cafe, pastries, great sandwiches. The uphill return is steep (18% grade) but short. Also fresh pasta sold next door (yum!). In the village, two bakeries with wonderful breads, a great restaurant, Locanda dell Cassero I think, with best food in Tuscany and owner Alessandro is very nice and speaks English. Several other local shops/grocery, all within a five - 10 minute walk.
The house was absolutely perfect! I had read great reviews and honestly had very high expectations and it was even better than I imagined. Everything was very traditional Tuscan which we loved. It is a small stone house, built by Gloria's grandparents. The rooms are a little small and simple, but nice, comfortable and welcoming; we had an arrangement of freshly cut sunflowers waiting for us on our dresser! No air conditioning, but wonderful breezes kept us cool at night and we weren't there much during the day. Had washer, no dryer, but we felt like locals using the second level clothes line outside of the kitchen window! The kitchen was fully stocked and we ate in several nights.
Small private porch area at the top of the steps near the door. Very pretty flowers. We usually preferred to sit in a breezeway in the town, though. No pool.
The house is in great shape, especially considering its age. Very clean. The furniture is comfortable and very well kept. We had our teenage son with us and were a little cramped, but not uncomfortable at the kitchen table. I think it's probably best for two people.
Bed was comfortable, bath new and very clean, all linens provided.
Best stocked kitchen of any vacation home I have ever been in! We even had a welcome basket with local wine, pasta waiting on us.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Gloria and Marcel were wonderful. We traded many emails before our arrival and felt like we were friends by the time we met them. Both speak perfect English and were full of great suggestions of places to go, things to see/do. We loved the cooking class they set up with their friend Giovanna at a nearby farm house.
A great price for the house (€500 for the week I think) and no surprises with the payment, extra expenses, etc. Gloria sent us an info sheet explaining how to get there, where to meet them, payments, options for tours, wine tastings, etc and everything was exactly as she said.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would certainly stay here again and have already mentioned it to some friends who are planning a trip to Tuscany.
Things to do in this area
Be sure to do some of the many things suggested by Gloria and Marcel; we wish we had had time to do more, especially an olive oil farm tour with Carlos, Giovanna's father. He is wonderful to talk to! We drove to Siena one day and that was the only large Tuscan city we visited. Mostly we drove to some great wine towns, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Greve in Chianti region - abbeys like Sant'Antimo, other hill towns like Volterra, and San Gimignano.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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