Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3992: Drawbridge to Europe, Le Cannelle (# 1420)
3bed/3bath house near Radda in Chianti, Tuscany Chianti
September 2008, 1 week
The home we stayed in was nestled in the hills just outside of Radda in Chianti. It was surrounded by vineyards and grape trees. There were beautiful old stone homes within sight, but not too close. It was down a fairly steep trail from the main road and not far from a business, but neither were visible or disturbed us with noise. The town of Radda in Chianti had a modern grocery store that was full of American tourists stocking up on the Saturday we arrived. It also had several restaurants and many small shops. There were many small towns and vineyards surrounding it. The only drawback was that Radda is quite distant for the day trips that we wanted to take to Florence, Pisa and Cinque Terre. The roads to and from Radda are narrow and twisty even though the mileage is not great compared to American standards.
You could not walk to them easily, but the drive was only about five minutes. The stores and restaurants were all close together near the town center. We enjoyed the Pizza Pie and the grocery store that was marked on the main street, but was located down the hill off a side street. The pizzeria near the grocery store was frequented by the most locals and had delicious food with a friendly chef.
The house was in excellent condition and spotless in a quiet location with a beautiful stone terrace and swimming pool surrounded by flowers and fruit trees. In September, unfortunately, it was too cold to swim, but it was lighted at night and very inviting. The master bedroom had a connecting full bath and the other two bedrooms accessed their bathrooms from the hall. The kitchen was very well furnished with cooking equipment and dishes. The house had plenty of linens and toilet paper on our arrival, although we had been warned that not all do. There was a washer in the basement and drying racks in the same room. There were no other rentals, to our knowledge, within sight. They looked like private homes and gardens.
The outside sitting area was private, kept well maintained by the owner and very pleasant. It had a wood burning fireplace and tables with umbrellas overlooking the swimming pool. The flowers, lemon, olive and fruit trees were plentiful. The view of the grapevines was delightful and the proximity to others was not apparent.
The furniture and cleanliness was like a home away from home. The large kitchen table and living room had plenty of seating and was a welcome sight after our daily travels.
The three bedrooms were comfortable and had plenty of storage in dressers and armoires. The three baths were newly tiled and immaculate. The showers were small, but had plenty of hot water.
The kitchen had plenty of furnishings especially with dishes and glassware. You could cook full meals, but we did not since we were tired after touring around during the day and usually returned late.
Problems or Bonuses
The time it took to travel to and from other large towns (Pisa, Siena and Florence) was a surprise as the distances didn't look great on a map, but if you are truly a "slow traveler" you may not try to pack in as much as we did in one week.
The home itself was wonderful!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked through Karin at Drawbridge to Europe whom we had used previously for several rental locations in Germany. She worked with Tuscan Enterprises, the local company, and connected us with Anna Rita who is local. She was very helpful in answering questions and was flexible in arranging our arrival times as our flights to Rome changed after making the initial reservation. She recommended cooking classes and bike tours. The owner did not speak English well, but greeted us warmly on our arrival and checked in with us later in the week. She suggested restaurants and had tourist information available in the house.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend to my friends that they stay here as long as they are aware of the driving times and distances. If you want a quiet, relaxing location away from the hustle and bustle but close to many small Tuscan towns this is the place to be!
Things to do in this area
The Wine Festival in Greve, about 30 minutes north, was excellent. It is held yearly - even in the rain! (See Frommer's Florence, Tuscany and Umbria) There were representatives from well over 100 wineries sharing their wares. After purchasing for €10 a wine glass and punch card you could visit each booth and choose the wines you wanted to sample - I think at least 10-15. There were restaurants, an excellent butcher shop (don't miss the cheese room below it), pottery shops and booths sponsored by local clubs. There is usually a parade of men in medieval costumes and flag throwing in the square, but it and the fireworks were rained out this year. We took a free tour with a knowledgeable tour guide to Montefioralle, a ten minute ride by van. This was well worth the time as it was the least commercialized and quaintest town we saw in all of Tuscany. Radda has its own wine festival in May per Frommer.
San Gimignano, although touristy, is pretty. Castellina in Chianti and Volpaia (with an excellent restaurant) are also interesting. The tourist info in Radda wasn't very helpful in suggesting winery tours so do your research! The "Black Rooster roads - map of the Chianti Classico wine production zone" is valuable and available free from ChiantiClassico.com before you travel to help plan your trip. Happy traveling!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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