Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5163: Sant' Antonio, Corso Apartment
2bed/2bath apartment in Montepulciano, Tuscany South
October 2011, 2 Weeks
The Corso apartment is part of the SantíAntonio resort, much loved by Slow Travelers, but unlike the country resort that many of us know and love, this one of three newly renovated apartments located a couple of kilometers away in the town of Montepulciano. Itís located in an old palazzo on the main street of Montepulciano, Via di Voltaia nel Corso. For anyone familiar with Montepulciano, itís about a third of the way up the hill that leads to Piazza Grande, on the main shopping street.
Most of the necessities are within easy walking distance Ė two bars (including the well-known Cafť Poliziano), a gelateria, a couple of alimentari for simple grocery needs, and several restaurants. Itís also close to most of the prime tourist shops, including art galleries, leather and ceramic shops, and several good places to taste and buy wine, pecorino, etc. There is a pay parking garage very close by and another area with free parking slightly farther away (5-10 minutes walk). There is a larger supermarket in the lower town and plenty of restaurants, shops, and sights to see within walking distance.
Itís located on the first floor (second floor U.S.) of an old palazzo. There are about a dozen steps to get up to the front door of the apartment and a few more steps once youíre inside as you move between the various rooms. The basic layout is entry hall, living room, kitchen/dining area, and two bedrooms each with en-suite bath. The rooms all overlook the street, so there is some noise from vehicles and pedestrians during the day, but it is quiet at night. The apartment is finished to a high standard throughout, with tile floors, beamed ceilings, and very nice furnishings.
There was no garden or other outside facility in town, but we had full access to the gardens and pool at Sant' Antonio.
The living room is large and has two sofas and a large coffee table which make a nice seating area. There are also a couple of large antique cabinets which contain the dishes, glassware, and the perpetual supply of Montepulciano wines. The wines are charged on the honor system and are replenished as you use them. Thereís also a computer desk with a touch-screen computer and high speed Internet (with WiFi access as well) in one corner. Thereís a flat screen TV on one wall, but we never even turned it on. Everything was very clean and well maintained. Susanna and/or Antoinella from Santí Antonio visited almost daily to remove trash and recycling, restock wine, and make sure everything was in good repair. They also did a mid-week cleaning which included fresh linens.
Both bedrooms are large and have queen beds. There is a lot of storage in both rooms (three or four wardrobes each) and also a variety of extra blankets and pillows. The bed we used was a little on the firm side for our taste, but we grew accustomed to it and slept very well (of course the hill towns we were climbing may have had something to do with that!). Both bedrooms have air conditioning, though we didnít need it in October. Both bathrooms are large and very well finished with colorful tile floors, excellent lighting, and plenty of towels. Both had large walk-in showers, and the hot water and water pressure were excellent.
The kitchen is small but contained everything we needed. There is a table with seating for four, a fridge and freezer, gas stove, and dishwasher. There was no oven or microwave, though - primarily I think due to limited space and power. I think there was a toaster somewhere and of course there was an espresso pot. There was a decent selection of pots and pans and utensils. We donít usually cook a lot on holiday, but with fresh porcini and truffles for ingredients, we actually did cook a few meals here and found everything we needed to do so. A few bottles of beer, water, and soft drinks were provided and there was a bottle of olive oil but nothing else in the way of staples.
Problems or Bonuses
Not really any of either. Having dealt with Nico in the past, we werenít expecting problems or surprises. Being in town instead of out at the country resort was something of a bonus for us, since we could walk to many of our evening meals, but also meant that we missed being out in the countryside.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Dealing with Nico and his team at Santí Antonio is always easy and straightforward. This was sort of a last-minute trip, and when we initially inquired via the web site it turned out that many of the apartments at the country resort were booked. When we called Nico, he told us about the in-town apartments which turned out to be a great choice for us. Shortly afterwards, the web site was updated to include these apartments, so now everything can be booked online. All of the details were handled via email and the deposit was paid by credit card. The balance is due when you check out, and was also paid by credit card. This is so convenient Ė no need to worry about obtaining and carrying large quantities of cash like so many other rentals require. During our stay, Nico was always available for advice about things to do, help with restaurant reservations, etc. Heís really great to work with and is the biggest reason we will continue to return.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Highly. This is a great apartment in one of the best hill towns in Tuscany. The only hard part is deciding whether to stay at the Santí Antonio country resort or at one of the in-town apartments!
Things to do in this area
Montepulciano is worth at least a day in itself, and it makes a great base for day trips in southern Tuscany. We especially enjoy the Val díOrcia and surrounding areas Ė Pienza, San Quirico, Bagno Vignoni, Montalcino, and the many smaller villages in the region. Itís also easy to reach Siena, Cortona, and Arezzo Ė all in an hour or less Ė and for that matter most of western Umbria and Florence.
For restaurants, we enjoyed Quatro Venti, Diva e Maceo, and Osteria Conte in Montepulciano, Latte di Luna and Fiorella (outstanding) in Pienza, La Porta in Montechiello, Osteria Vecchia (also outstanding) in Cetona, and Trattoria al Vecchio Forno in San Quirico.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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