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Review 3750: Doorways, Al Bosco

www.villavacations.com

Recommended
Review by tuscanme from US

5bed/5bath house near San Donato, Tuscany Chianti


When

Aug. 9-16 2008, 1 week

Location

Al Bosco (also called Podere Erica by owners) is a beautiful restored farmhouse surrounded by vineyards and olive trees in the small village of San Donato in Poggio. Located in the breathtaking Chianti area, this charming village is an exit right off the Superstrada, and only a 20 minute drive to Florence or a 30 minute drive to Siena!

The view from the pool and loggia is so peaceful, rolling green hills covered in vineyards or trees, and a tower from an abandoned village on a hilltop. Perfect for morning cappuccino! Flowers and flowerpots, herbs, and rabbits are included in the view!

Nearby Amenities

It is a 15 minute walk (two minutes by car) to the small village of San Donato in Poggio, where you can find staples, or have a delicious meal. We had no cars for two days due to mix-up, and just walked to eat at restaurants or buy groceries.

The House/Apartment

The newly renovated farmhouse was perfect for our group of seven, five bed and five bath. Very nice layout: all bedrooms are private and quiet, and loud areas like den and kitchen are together. Also, there is a separate apartment across driveway we did not use. There is a wonderful laundry room/pantry.

Most importantly, the American owners put in air conditioning in all the main rooms!

You can view the property directly: Al Bosco.

Garden

Absolutely stunning views from all outside areas! Total privacy on this gated property! There are two grape-arbored sitting areas ... choose pool/hill vistas, or farmhouse/flower view loggia.

The photos do not do it justice. Great property!

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Perfectly furnished in every room, it is a very comfortable home ... Very clean on arrival, and midweek cleaning/linen change included.

Due to the wonderful way the house is supplied, we did not have to buy any house staples (no laundry detergent, no toilet paper, no soap, etc.) during our stay!

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds are very comfortable ... quality linens and mattresses. Every bedroom has a beautifully tiled bathroom with shower.

Kitchen

We used the kitchen and cooked every day. It is well equipped and well organized! There are excellent espresso pots ... important because the villa wine is so good! New gas stove/electric oven is great! Dishwasher, double sink, knives, cheese graters, wine corks, colanders, pots, etc. all present! Amazing organization using antique cupboards! Serving platters, dishes, ceramics and baskets ... anything you would require is there.

The kitchen is stocked with staples: salt, dried herbs (fresh herbs are growing outside), the delicious villa olive oil, wonderful vinegars, sugar, etc.

The villa wine is offered for nominal amount and stocked in the kitchen. It is a very pleasing Chianti!

Problems or Bonuses

Huge and wonderful villa book includes: "how-to" instructions on all appliances; brochures/ideas/tips for day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, etc.; recommendations on area restaurants; information on everything! Our favorite bit of info was the exact directions for parking in Florence! Worked great!

Super owners/managers: Major airline difficulties caused itinerary and luggage problems - all expertly handled by the rental agency and the owners. Our daughter, stranded at a train station, was rescued by Heather, the manager. The power went out after a storm, but one phone call to the owner/manager, who resided in Florence, and problem resolved!

The only surprise is that the advertised Internet at the villa will only support PCs and we brought Mac laptops, so the most capable Heather (manager) brought over an old computer, so we could access email.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Doorways is wonderful! Due to Continental Airlines delaying flight for five hours, we missed our connection, luggage was lost, rental car office was closed, etc. Total disruption of plans ... but I cannot express how expertly Marta at Doorways handled our emergencies for us. She had booked villa, a driver from Rome airport to Tuscany, and rental cars for us. She called everyone to rearrange, notified villa owner, called our daughter in Europe who was traveling to join us, and then the owner incredibly rescued our daughter, stranded because we had no rental cars. Heather (owner/manager) then took her to grocery shop before meeting us at villa. The next day, Heather brought swimwear and clothes to us, knowing we had no luggage!

Marta at Doorways, will always be a hero to us! Such friendly competency!

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

YES! We wanted to stay there! Perfect for touring countryside, going to Florence/Siena, or having down time at the pool!

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

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