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Review 511: TuscanHouse, Benincasa

www.tuscanhouse.com

Recommended
Review by ZCH from San Francisco, CA

1bed/1bath apartment in Montepulciano, Tuscany South


When

last week in March 2003, one week

Location

Benincasa is located within the walls of the town of Montepulciano. The apartment has gorgeous views of the neighboring country side and the spectacular San Biagio church. We found it to be a wonderful base for exploring the hill towns and touring wineries (Montepulciano is known for its wines and is a half hour drive from Montalcino).

Nearby Amenities

Restaurants, cafes and a corner store for groceries are all 5 minutes away by foot (the apartment is a short walk from the town square). I was told that there is a bigger grocery store just outside the walls on the other side of the town (probably a 15 minute walk). Montepulciano is very small and quiet -- this is not the place to stay if you're looking for vibrant night life.

The House/Apartment

The apartment is located on the top floor of a historic building once owned by the Medici family. The building was bombed during WWII and the owner's stepfather, an architect, transformed the former attic into its current loft-like state. I think there are 4 or 5 other apartments but we only occasionally ran into neighbors.

Garden

No garden or sitting area, though we didn't miss either due to the gorgeous views. The owner did mention, however, that he plans to add a balcony.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The apartment is nicely decorated with contemporary/Scandinavian furniture that is in good shape. There is a small fireplace (make sure you ask for wood before you arrive) next to the TV. The owner had even left us a few english-language movies for the VCR! The apartment was spotless.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The bedroom is small, though not uncomfortably so. It has a king size bed with a down comforter and two nightstands. There was an empty closet/set of shelves for storage. The bathroom was also small (but I'm told this is not unusual for Europe), with a sink and a tiny shower. My sole complaint is that the temperature in the shower seemed to fluctuate pretty erratically; it always seemed a little too hot or too cold.

Kitchen

I will confess that we used the kitchen primarily for making espresso in the morning. However, it includes everything you need -- a full-size gas range, an oven, and a small refrigerator. The refrigerator didn't seem very cold, although it did manage to keep the contents fresh. The kitchen was stocked with pots & pans and as well as the basics (herbs & spices, oil, sugar, etc). The kitchen didn't have a huge amount of counterspace, which might make it difficult to prepare large meals (but there is a huge dining table you could use)

The kitchen also contained the laundry machine.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Zak at Tuscan House was fabulous! Before we left, he mailed us detailed directions, a driving map of Tuscany, travel info and a calling card. We communicated primarily via email.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We would definitely stay here again!

Things to do in this area

We loved the BioAquam (a bargain at 21 Euros for an hour) at the FonteVerde spa in San Casciano www.fonteverdeterme.com. BioAquam is a pool with a series of hydromassage filled with water from the hot springs. Half of the pool is outdoors and you can lie there in the pool and enjoy the view of the hills.

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

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