Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 430: La Bella Toscana, La Doccia
2bed/3bath house near San Gimignano, Tuscany West
Sept. 28, 2002, 1 week
La Doccia is just 0.3 km from the walls of the beautiful town of San Gimignano (easy 5 minute uphill walk on a paved road). The owners villa is next door (at least 50 meters apart) so we had lots of privacy. The location was beautiful on a hill overlooking acres of grapevines and olive trees. The villa was gated and we had covered parking right next to our home - we felt very secure in leaving our valuables in our villa.
Restaurants, cafes and bars were all just a short walk to the walled town of San Gimignano. You could also buy some grocery items there. Also, there are many excellent restaurants in the area as well as several local wineries where you could sample and purchase wine and olive oil. The scenery is breathtaking and we spent a lovely afternoon just driving the back roads. There is a large super market in Poggibonsi which is only a 10-15 minute drive from the villa.
The villa owner is a contactor and this is a brand new home which is spotless inside. It has an automatic washing machine, good sized kitchen, ample living room, upstairs has 2 equal sized bedrooms (good size) each with bath with shower (also good size) and all fixtures were of excellent quality. Windows opened from both ends of each bedroom so you could always get a nice breeze and smell the fresh air. You can see all of the photos on the web site for La Bella Toscana.
The patio area was directly across from the door of our villa and was inside a hedge covered and fenced area. It overlooked acres of beautiful scenery and you can also see the town from here. The patio furniture was cheap plastic.
There was a separate new large pool in another fenced area (very close by) and we were welcome to use the pool but it was too cool at the end of September but would be great in the heat of the summer.
The home is new and spotless. There was just the right seating for 4 people in the home - no dining room. The home is not large (87 sq. meters) but was more than ample for 2 couples. The double beds were new and very comfortable. There are no closets and the wardrobe closets were a little small for our needs (we were travelling for 21 days in Italy) but no big problem. Furniture was of very good quality and maintained a "Tuscan" flavour.
Beds were new, large and very comfortable. They are the same as our "queen size" in North America. Bathrooms were also excellent and shower pressure was good and showers were large (compared to hotel showers we experienced in Venice or Rome). The 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms sleeps 2 couples very comfortably with privacy.
Kitchen was of adequate size with new appliances. The window opened fully to let in the breezes. We did not cook here but it could be slightly crowded if you got 3 or 4 pots out at once. We mainly ate breakfast there and had our morning espresso. The dishes and cutlery were of acceptable quality and the automatic washer was new and built right into the cabinets to the right of the sink.
Problems or Bonuses
Owners could speak no English and we could speak very little Italian but we got along very well. The daughter did all of the business and was very friendly and courteous.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The villa was exactly as described on the website of La Bella Toscana. As mentioned above, the onsite person (owners daughter who also lives in the main home) did not speak English but we had no problems.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I will definitely stay here again. The combination of the scenery, the town and the villa make for a wonderful, relaxed vacation.
Also, Gaynor Powell who runs La Bella Toscana was excellent to deal with and everything with the rental went so smoothly that you knew you were dealing with a very professional person. She allowed us to use her office number and email address as an emergency contact while we were at the villa due the language problems. I would highly recommend Gaynor and La Bella Toscana to anyone.
Things to do in this area
Great area. We drove to Florence two days, to Siena and to many other local towns. All of the restaurants were very good - we tried to look for the more rural ones whenever the opportunity arose. I cannot say that anyone was disappointed in their meals in the Tuscany area. I appreciated Siena but found it mainly a much larger San Gimignano and we all loved the smaller town flavour of San Gimignano.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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