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Review 389: La Bella Toscana, Il Girasole


Review by Bob from Illinois

2bed/1bath apartment on estate near San Gimignano, Tuscany West


October, 2002, one week


2 miles outside San Gimignano, on a wine and olive oil producing property. Vineyards all around. Very private and quiet, with a nice back area under the trees and overlooking the vineyards. This was a perfect place for us to use as a base while touring different Tuscan towns each day.

Nearby Amenities

Grocery stores were 2 to 6 miles away. Restaurants were in San Gimignano. We cooked dinner in several nights, though.

The House/Apartment

This was a 4 year old apartment on the second floor. (First floor was a similar apartment, but a little bigger.) There was only the one building. Owners lived in adjacent building, which was a 400 year old home.


There is a sitting area in the back of the building that was great for sitting out at the end of a day, or as a place to have that morning cup of coffee.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Furnishings were fine. We rearranged the reading chairs in the front room, so we could take advantage of the light over the dining room table to read more easliy. We think Italians are not familiar with any light bulbs larger than 40 watts.

The place was clean and comfortable, with no television. To us, that was a plus, because we came to get away from things, not to be CNN addicts.


The master bed was very comfortable, and there were lots of covers and blankets. The lights at the side of the bed were pretty dim, though.

The bathroom was wonderful, with lots of room, lots of towels, lots of hot water, and lots of water pressure.


The kitchen was small, but had everything was needed. Stove, oven, mini refrigerator, and sink.

Plenty of pots, pans, dishes, and utensils were available.

Problems or Bonuses

Washing machine in the unit was great, because we stayed there in the middle of our trip. So we were able to reload and start fresh with clean clothes once we got there.

The owner, Antonella Leoncini, runs Cappella Sant' Andrea, producing red and white wines, as well as olive oil. She was very nice ,and very helpful. She gave us a tour of her wine producing facility, and made us feel very welcome there.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The agency, La Bella Toscana, was very helpful as we went through the process fo chooosing a rental property. This was out first time, so I was a little concerned about committing a week of our vacation to a private property like this. They were patient and very cooperative. I recommend them.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I have already told my cousin to look at staying here when he goes to Italy in November. I would go back, and I think this was a terrific catch for us.

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

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