Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4010: Summer's Leases, Podere La Rota
1bed/1bath attached cottage near Montevarchi, Tuscany Chianti
September 2007, 3 weeks
On the edge of the tiny village of Moncioni approximtely 4km from Montevarchi this property was exceptional both in price and general ambiance. The cottage is a converted building on the owner's property and although they live next door they never intruded on our privacy , while at the same time they were available for any queries we had. The views from the huge terrace were spectacular and the sunsets were a joy. The whole area was very easy to negotiate and near to some interesting places and scenery.
There was a small alimentari and a bar in the village but we especially enjoyed the trip to the excellent market in Montevarchi each Thursday morning. In Montevarchi there is a huge co-op for supplies but as everything you could possibly need was either in the house or in the village we only paid one visit. The owners provided a wonderful welcome pack of delicious food and enough staples to provide our evening meal on the first night and breakfast the next day. Cold meats and salads, bread, milk, coffee and tea and some treats.
The building was beautifully restored and on the ground floor there was a fully equipped kitchen together with a small dining area and comfortable sitting-room with TV and music centre and books galore from travel to fiction. Upstairs there was a large bedroom, traditionally furnished, and a huge bathroom with a fabulous shower and bathtub. The only sounds we heard were the birds and occasionally the owners' dog which was re-assuring and did not disturb us at all.
There was a huge terrace with a gigantic parasol and two loungers , and a small table and chairs for morning coffee or a glass of wine after dinner. At one end of the terrace a door led from the kitchen to a dining area which we used almost every evening. No pool in the property but it wasn't needed. The views over the olive groves were superb.
The furnishings were spotless and very comfortable and the crockery and kitchen utensils were plentiful and very nice quality. The sitting-room has two sofas, which means that each person can fully relax and a desk and coffee table in front of a large open fireplace. The owners have now installed a wood-burning stove.
The double bed was very comfortable and the antique linens and bed mat were delightful. As for the bathroom it was pure luxury with a larger than usual bathtub and a powerful shower.
The kitchen was brilliant and we cooked almost every evening because it was so easy. Lots of counter space and every conceivable utensil and oils and condiments were also provided. There was also a wine cantinetta stocked by the owners and re-stocked if required - obviously there was a charge for the wine.
Problems or Bonuses
The owners brought us Sunday cakes - a tradition in Italy and delicious. They also took us to Montevarchi to catch a train to Rome so that we did not have to leave our car there for three days. Wonderful. Oh and a bottle of prosecco in the fridge when we arrived.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was very professional and all the contact was by e-mail although their website does provide contact telephone details and a late arrival number, which is very handy. The agency is British-owned and could not be better. The current prices have been held for several years and considering the overall quality of the property it is a total steal.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would love to stay again. We have been previously for one week in 2006 and this visit was so enjoyable that we re-booked for three weeks in 2007. I would not hesitate to recommend this agency and the property to anyone. They are superb.
Things to do in this area
Montevarchi is on the main rail line between Florence and Rome and trains stop at Arezzo and Cortona and many stations between. There are well-known designer outlets nearby and several lovely Chianti towns. Our favourite restaurant was Osteria di Starda and we drove there by a lesser known back road which is reached from the house.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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