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Review 47: Giovanna’s Italy Vacation Homes, La Sorgente


Review by Dan from US

4bed/4bath house near Cortona, Tuscany East


summer 1999, 1 week


My family rented this lovely Tuscan farmhouse in early summer 1999 for one week. I found the house by stumbling upon a web site maintained by the owner, Giovanna, who lives in Berkeley, CA. The web site gave a very detailed description and photos of the house. The house is located about 4-5 km. southeast of the very pleasant town of Cortona in southern Tuscany. The house and grounds were very attractive, with a large stone patio overlooking miles of countryside, ancient walls, olive groves. On a clear day we could see Montepulciano to the west. We did walk to Cortona one day, but it was a long, difficult walk, partly through wooded and sloping land, and unmarked. The long bumpy driveway to the house was also quite unpleasant, although we gradually got used to it. These last two features were the only negatives for La Sorgente.

The house is situated partway up a long hillside, very private and quiet, in a very unspoiled natural setting. The house is an old Tuscan farmhouse, with lovely stone features, and vestiges of its original design (manger in the kitchen, outside stone stairs -- the ground floor was originally for the farm animals). However it has been lovingly restored and modernized, and was in excellent condition. The cheery kitchen has nice modern appliances, and a large round dining table. An inside staircase has been added. The patio was partly covered by grapevines, and was a large, lovely sitting area. The gorgeous pool was above and a little behind the house, with breath taking views and complete privacy. It was serviced twice in the week we were there. The bedrooms were roomy and comfortable. There were 4 modern bathrooms, one for each bedroom as I recall! ...also a small room for a crib. The on-site managers were very friendly and helpful. Weeks in advance they sent us a detailed e-mail as a shopping, restaurant and sightseeing guide. On short notice they provided a wonderful cook for our last evening's dinner at the house, a memorable experience. The agents are well known to Frances Mayes, the author of "Bella Tuscany," etc. (whose house is visible in the distance from La Sorgente), and are mentioned in her book. We rented from Giovanna, which saved us 5-10% off the agency rental fee, but I can't imagine being treated better than we were.

Next time, for a short rental we would probably choose a house within walking distance of town, but for a longer period it would be fine. We have only fond memories of our time there.

Note from SlowTrav: We have another good review of this house. It can also be rented through Classic Tuscan Homes. www.classictuscanhomes.com

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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