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Review 48: Giovanna’s Italy Vacation Homes, La Sorgente


Review by Rachel from TN

4bed/4bath house near Cortona, Tuscany East


Sept. 2000, 2 weeks


We rented La Sorgente, a house near Cortona, for two weeks in September 2000. The house is across the valley from Frances Mayes house, in Tuscany, but close to the Umbrian border. The house is off the main road, about 1km down a single-track dirt road. We had a van and a station wagon. There was no problem with the car but the van getting down the road was interesting but possible. We rented the house from the owner directly. We booked almost a year in advance using her web site and email.

This is a 4 bedroom / 4 bathroom house. Two of the bathrooms are ensuite and the others are accessed through a hallway. Two bedrooms are on the second floor; one on the first and the 4th is accessed from an outside private entrance. All the beds were comfortable but at first glance they did not look like they would be. There is a wardrobe for hanging clothes and a dresser in each room. Furnishings are a bit sparse but not uncomfortable. The kitchen is very well equipped. There is a grape arbor off the kitchen where we had breakfast and drinks. The view across the valley was wonderful. We were there during the full moon and the moon was visible through the windows of the bedrooms. Beautiful.

The house is located in the country. One could hike in the area but getting to any town or village requires a car. It took about 15 mins to drive to Cortona. There was a really good Coop which stayed open continually in Camucia, also about 15 mins away. There is a train station in Camucia.

The house was originally a farmhouse where the animals lived below and the people above. The original stone steps lead to an upstairs sitting room with a fireplace. There are also interior circular stairs between the floors. It is a nice renovation with appropriate furniture which is in good condition. In the kitchen there is a large round table in the center, gas stove, dishwasher, refrigerator. The only thing missing was a drip coffee pot large enough for the eight of us (there was a very small one), so we bought one and took it from house to house and left it at the 4th house which did not have one either. There was abundant glassware, plates, silverware, etc. Pots and pans were excellent. There were two ice cube trays. In really hot weather eight people would need more.

We had perfect weather for the two weeks we were there. In cold or rainy weather the sitting room could become small for eight people. It contained a small sofa, an easy chair, a wooden settee and some other chairs and tables. Also the road could be more of a problem in the rain. Bonuses: the caretakers will arrange for a cook. We had Francesca cook for us for three nights and the food was superb and plentiful There is a swimming pool which we did not use because of the time of year we were there (mid September). There are olive trees below the house and a fig tree. There were pots of herbs on the terrace; tomato plants with tomatoes, rose bushes, so you were really on a little farm. You were never aware of people nearby because there weren't any. I think that La Sorgente was pretty much as advertised. The road was the only surprise and the literature stated that it was located down such a road but that always seems to be a little worse than one visualizes.

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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