Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 384: Owner, Il Paglieto (#1094)
2bed/1bath apartment on farm near Saturnia, Tuscany South
October 2002, 5 days
Il Paglieto is on a farm located 3 km from the Strada Provinciale, 9 km from Manciano in the province of Grosetto. In a house with 2 or 3 other flats, but very quiet. We rented Flat Tania. In the middle of nowhere. No car noise except when one of the neighbors drove in or out. Incredibly peaceful and beautiful, although Manciano itself is light industrial. Huge amounts of wonderful stuff to do in the area.
Nearest grocery about 12 km in Manciano. Same for closest Caffe.
Building old and being renovated. Hot water plentiful if a little hard to control once you got it heated. Switch in bathroom controls hot water tank heater. Takes several hours to get a shower's worth of hot water. We had to use the space heaters provided which worked well, but they are putting in central heat which will be a wonder.
Kitchen garden right outside the door, complete with cat - Twiglet. Twiglet is very spoiled and will get underfoot all the time. Talkative cat. We harvested cauliflower, peppers, greens, chard, zucchini flowers and zucchini, fennel (tough but delicious) and carrots. Tomatoes over for year. Must be a wonder during the summer.
Furnishings funky but nice. Bed quite comfortable. Nice large dining room table could seat 8 or 10. Fire place but the wood was too green to burn well. Beautiful patio behind apartment but it was too cold to sit out. Lots of chaise longues etc. for sitting outside. The building itself is wonderful and in good shape. Lots of windows (with lots of shutters!).
Very comfortable bed in master room. Not sure about the others but our camera equipment seemed comfortable on the other bed. 2 twins in each room could be pushed toghether or separated. One large bathroom. Lot of water pressure and, if you turned on the water heater at least 2 hours in advance, a lot of hot water. Temperature control on the shower a bit fussy and uneven.
Great kitchen with an electric burner, 3 gas rings, oven, dishwasher and clothes washer. Small refrig but works well. Lots of plates, pots and pans. Loads of silverware provided. A real cooks kitchen but watch out for the dates on the food left there by the owners. We had a can of beans dated best by 12/2002 and it was 10/2002. The vinegar and oil provided were very commercial, bring your own. Loads of salt, dried beans, pasta etc on arrival. No wine glasses so if you must have Riedel you're on your own. Given the high quality of the wine in the area, you should have nicer glasses.
Problems or Bonuses
Bonuses - Twiglet the cat. Could also be a problem if you don't like cats or are alergic. He's very noisy and persistent in trying to get fed and petted. He got stepped on many a time.
Luisa Boesch the owner's sister-in-law who really was charming and helpful. Great restaurant reccomendations. She loved the fact we were drinking Morellino di Scansano, the local wines.
Surprise - A mouse and lots of bugs but you are way out in the country. The apartment was not infested apparently, but the mouse got in. There were no signs of nests etc.
Hot water took a long time to heat up. If you didn't plan properly you had a cold shower.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Dealt directly with the owner, great experience.
Note from SlowTrav: The apartment is Ref:#1094. Dean rented Flat Tania. This web site is a "rent from owner" site where owners pay to be listed. You rent directly from the owner.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Very definitely yes. Its not luxurious or grand, but its cheap (under $500 a week) and loaded with charm. Like crashing at someone's very clean college home, not a luxury hotel experience. The kitchen garden was wonderful and the setting incredibly peaceful.
Things to do in this area
Castro - a renaissance city smashed out of existence by an angry lord or pope in the 1700, in the middle of the woods. Incredible.
Pitigliano - wonderful vibrant city loaded with good food (try the lamb from the macceleria on the main street), a great restaurant - Il Tufo Allegro and the superb Palazzo Orsini, incredible wine shop Il Giotino right by Il Tufo Allegro.
Sovana - very quiant but alive little town with a Y shaped set of 2 streets. Incredible Duomo, wonderful ruins of castle. Superb handcrafted wool and linen and silk scarves etc. at Semplicemente, great wine shop, super restaurant Scilla. Incredible Etruscan tombs in the neighborhood, we only got to the Syren's tomb and Hildebrands tomb. We did not get to even a third of the sites.
Sorano - dark and ominous town perched on the side of a cliff (with some of it falling off). Great wine bar in the main part of the town. The Massa Ludovico is a really incredible place to view the town. Incredible view of wall tombs of the Etruscans.
Montemerano - lovely little town with good food but no artistic abilities at all.
The surroundings were superb - we did not get to Vulci, Roselle, Scansano, many Etruscan sites in the area, the museum in Manciano, etc etc etc. We will be back.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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