Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4137: Agriturismo San Gallo, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
May 2009, 3 nights
Agriturismo San Gallo is located just one mile from Montepulciano, very near the old Sanctuary of San Biagio. It's down a gravel road, but not far. Though it's very near the city, it's a real climb to get up to Montepulciano. A car is highly recommended. It's down its own road, so there's no outside traffic going by. Very private and peaceful. Plenty of parking.
It's just a five-minute drive to a nice market that has fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, bread, wine, all the basics. There's a large supermarket a few minutes farther away. It's possible to walk to Montepulciano, just a mile away, but it's up hill all the way. A car is highly recommended.
The old farm house (where the rental apartments are located) was built in the 14th century. The walls are about three feet thick, even thicker from the ground up to the bottom of the windows. Everything is in excellent condition.
Our little group of friends took apartments #'s 1, 2, and 3 on the ground floor. There's a fourth apartment on the ground floor, and two apartments on the second floor.
Each apartment has its own outside sitting area, with table and chairs. There's a nice pool and lounge chairs, and bicycles are available, free, for guests who want to ride around the area. The grounds have water sprinklers so the grass was green and cool. The house is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, and there's a path to a nice little lake on the property.
Everything in the apartments was in excellent condition. The furniture is mostly massive antiques. There's art on the walls. The place was spotlessly clean. They have satellite TV in each apartment, with hundreds of channels, including several in English. It was interesting to watch TV from such far off places as Oman, Serbia, India, and Somalia.
The beds were great and the large bedrooms unbelievable, with huge rustic beams 12 feet overhead, tile floors that were cool even with no air conditioning. The bathrooms were large with excellent fixtures and large showers. Everything was clean. They had thick American-style bath towels.
Our apartments all had kitchenettes with electric cook tops and small refrigerators. When we got there, each apartment had milk, butter and juice in the refrigerator and a basket of breads and jellies on the table. They even furnished coffee for the coffee maker!
They furnished plenty of glasses, dishes, silverware, pots, pans and cooking utensils.
We cooked breakfast daily, and ate it outside on the tables on the lawn. We also cooked full evening meals, and ate them outside also. It was really pleasant.
Problems or Bonuses
San Gallo was by far the nicest place we stayed in our 17 days in Italy. The owners speak good English and were very helpful in giving us directions to nearby sights, store, and area restaurants. Hired help was there daily, maintaining the grounds, and the owner, a lawyer, was there every morning and evening running the water sprinklers to keep the landscaping and nearby olive trees and grape vines happy. His wife and daughter (also a lawyer) are also there to help him.
The owners do not sleep on the property, so they left us their cell phone numbers in case we needed to call them about anything. Since they aren't there all the time, they had us pay our full balance when we arrived, so we could freely leave when we were ready on departure day without having to wait for them to arrive. They accepted our credit cards without question (some places require cash only, but this is not one of those places).
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly through their and they responded to e-mails within 24 hours. Their English is very good. Everything about the place was even better than it looked at their website.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend San Gallo to anybody, and I would definitely stay there again (and intend to, some day). The only qualification is that there is no Internet connection available, though I've ready other reviews that said they will let you use the connection in the office if you ask. The owners were unusually happy and friendly and helpful.
Things to do in this area
The Montepulciano area is full of interesting towns to visit, and every town has wonderful restaurants and shopping. We especially liked Pienza, Monticchiello, and Bagno Vignoni, since they are all small, uncrowded and it's easy to find parking. It's hard to go wrong in this part of Italy.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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