Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4252: Owner, Villa Le Rondini (#11922)
8bed/8bath house near Lucignano, Tuscany East
August 2009, 2 weeks
Location was calm and secluded, in the countryside near to Lucignano - the only drawback was the villa's proximity to the A1 highway (500 meters down the valley), which we could hear from some of the bedrooms at nighttime.
The nearest village was Croce, within walking distance (2 km.) of the house, with a good grocery store and bar. Lucignano itself was 5 km. away, and a lovely walk from the house (some of the more serious walkers among us got into the habit of walking there in the morning for a cup of coffee). Lucignano and Sinalunga (also 5 km. away) both had plenty of good restaurants.
The rental was made up of two buildings, originally farm buildings dating back to the 18th century, with a number of original details still intact. The owner, who was often there, told us some of the history of the area and the house, which was fascinating and certainly added to our pleasure staying there. The complex was very spacious, and although our party was big - 14 people - none of us ever had the feeling of being cramped. In fact, there were so many extra living rooms that the house could comfortably have slept more than the 16 it officially does. The house was a slight bit run-down though, although I must add that the furnishings were authentic (no IKEA!).
The pool was lovely, large and with a big part shallow enough for our five-year-old to stand in. There was plenty of space to sit outside, and plenty of shade-giving trees, so despite the heat, we never felt it was oppressive.
Furniture somewhat run-down, and (as in virtually all vacation rentals) hardly any good reading lights. The house was reasonably clean, and there were definitely enough chairs/sitting space for everyone, perhaps even too many (there wasn't really one obvious central living area, but a number of separate areas). The loggia for dining outside was lovely.
Opinions were mixed on the beds: most of our party found them comfortable, a few less so. The bedrooms were spacious and adequate. All of them but one had their own bathroom. I should add that one of the bedrooms, though, had an internal staircase running through it (which we could avoid using, but still...)
The kitchen was adequate, with plenty of pots and pans and dishes but, mysteriously, only a single frying-pan. More than sufficient for cooking full meals.
Problems or Bonuses
Nice surprise: the kitty that came with the property (a most sociable stray who had attached himself to the house).
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented direct from the owner, which saved us about $500 as compared to renting through an agency (several carry the villa). We were somewhat nervous initially because, although the owner was very informative and honest by e-mail, he didn't send us a contract and sometimes took some prodding to follow up on our inquiries. Once there, however, he was at the property almost every day checking up on the pool.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this property, with the qualification that you get what you pay for, i.e. given the property's relatively affordable price (€3700 per week in the high season, or about €450 per bedroom), it probably doesn't have some of the luxuries you could find elsewhere.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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