Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3756: Villa Massimago, Apartment
aparmtents on an estate near Mezzo de Sotto, Veneto
Nestled among grapevines and olive trees, just off the Valpolicella wine and olive oil trail, and about 20 kms from Verona, Massimago stands by itself surrounded by gorgeous views of the terraced hills, vineyards and small towns of wine country. In the small town of Mezzane di Sotto, Massimago is a stunning oasis of Italian countryside at its most entrancing.
Generally, you must drive. You can check with the owner, who lives on the property, for local market days, and there are two small supermarkets in town within a 10 minute run. We did not find a close-by good bakery, but the supermarkets generally had good fresh bread in the mornings and opened early. There are three or four restaurants with a good range of type within 10 minutes walking distance. One, Bacce de Oro, on SS 16 which is the main wine trail in the direction of Verona, is a first-rate enoteca with a gorgeous country setting and a fine wine cellar. One, Trattoria Perestroika, is a rustic barbecue/grill place in the hills (be warned to order sparingly! Their mixed grill makes you feel they have just slaughtered the entire barn to feed you!)
The apartments, two good sized one bedrooms with fabulous bathrooms and well-thought out small kitchens, and one two bedroom, two bath unit, are beautifully appointed and housed in the extension to the main, gorgeous country villa where the owner resides and manages the production of her wine and olive oil.
A stunning pool, perched on the hillside with a view of the cities and countryside below, in its own garden, with wonderfully thought out sitting areas in both sun and shade, and plenty of privacy even though shared with the small number of other visitors. Sitting areas abound: hammocks, tables and chairs in lovely nooks, simply great thought given as to how to allow you to enjoy serenity, views, and privacy in comfort.
We always find the chairs in rental houses could be better, more light for reading in the living rooms would be appreciated, and the knives are never sharp enough for us! These are small quibbles: this place is furnished with taste and thought at an unusual level.
The bathrooms are among the best designed we have found anywhere in our travels. Safe and adequate showers, good hot water, everything you need supplied including "Ritz hotel" quality bathrobes and excellent towels and lovely soap that appears to be bottled on the premises and smelled to me of blueberry and myrtle. The bedroom was wonderful: air conditioned with you own climate control, flat screen TV, and an excellent bed.
I wouldn't try gourmet cooking for a crowd in this kitchen, which is small though efficient. No oven, just top burners and a microwave. Reasonably equipped though we would have liked an American coffee maker in addition to the espresso pot.
Problems or Bonuses
Excellent surprise for us: two lovely dogs who came to play, very well behaved and welcome (Brino, a shepherd, and Brio, an Irish setter). Excellent surprise: discovering wine, honey and apricot jam made on the property in our kitchen, along with the property's olive oil, tomatoes, a tin of good coffee, sugar, sea salt, and, as the week progressed, figs and eggs from the farm delivered to our kitchen. These would appear magically and were wonderful as was the services of a kind and attentive groundskeeper from Sri Lanka, named Rantnu and generally called Rodney.
Bad surprise that ended good: we had booked the two bedroom for two couples for the week of August 23rd. Our initial request had been for the week of August 16th. Through a mix-up probably of language, the change was never made and when we arrived we were offered the two one bedrooms as the two bedroom had been booked. The consequences might have been disastrous but they weren't and real good will and effort went into making the adjustment on both sides. Moral: make sure you reconfirm your calendar more than once before such a trip.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Camilla speaks very good English and Rantnu's is also helpful. This place far exceeds any expectations you may have: it is a rare location that combines beauty, serenity, luxury, and convenience to Verona, Lake Garda towns like Sirmione, Vicenza, Venice, etc., while providing you with a retreat after a day's museum-hopping. It is without a doubt the most beautiful of many lovely places we've had the pleasure of experiencing.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I'd come every year if I could! Just be sure to confirm your dates more than once!
Things to do in this area
Bacce de Oro was a special favorite. We love Verona and went to the opera in the arena, the museums and my favorite Romanesque church in Italy, San Zeno. We enjoyed the absurdity of the very good, over the top in quantity grilled meats we had at the Trattoria Perestroika in the hills above Massimago, and we enjoyed our day in elegant Sirmione.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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