Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5381: Le Manzinaie, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
June 2012, 1 week
My wife, Hilary and I have visited Marzia, Fiore and Alice every year since we discovered this wonderful patch of heaven on earth in 2001. The two of us have enjoyed and savoured every minute of our stays here. Whether we've been walking through the magnificent gardens, drinking wine, swimming in the pool, talking to Rufus, eating good food in fantastic company, drinking wine, listening to the birds, putting the world to rights with Fiore, drinking wine, meeting the other guests, discussing university life with Alice, drinking wine, receiving a cheery greeting from Marcia everyday as she goes about her work, drinking wine or completely relaxing; Le Manzinaie has never been anything less than the absolute best place to unwind.
This year, though, was extra special. Hilary's birthday preparations were clothed in secrecy because all the family wanted to give her the best birthday ever by giving her the biggest surprise ever. Marcia, Fiore and Alice helped us to plan our surprise and even managed to keep the secret when Hilary and I were at Le Manzinaie last September. After much plotting and silent planning, Hilary and I arrived at Le Manzinaie on 2nd June 2012. We were greeted with all the usual warmth and friendship we have grown to know and love but with an added bonus of the most magnificent arrangement of roses and lilies created by Marzia from her garden with which to wish Hilary a happy birthday. We seemed to be the only ones there, so after we had gone through the formalities of registration we proceeded to unpack, fortified by a Fiore cappucino. After a short while there was a knock on the door and Marzia's voice saying: "Hilary, I have a little present for you." When Hilary answered Marcia was standing on the step, shortly followed by our two year-old granddaughter, Caitlin! With a gasp of delight and more than a few tears Hilary gently lifted Caitlin into her arms and stepped out of the apartment. To her utter amazement the whole of our family was there to greet her along with Marzia, Fiore and Alice, who was filming the whole wonderful surprise as it unfolded.
The week started in this fabulous way, and just got better and better. In all there were 10 of us - me and Hilary, Caitlin and her mum and dad, Hilary's other daughter and her partner and my three grown up sons. Accommodating everyone for the week was no problem at Le Manzinaie. We took over all the ground floor apartments, but there was still room for more guests in the other accommodation. In fact there was a family of three and another family of six from the USA also staying. This made for a great night when we were invited to share a meal cooked by Marzia, Fiore and Alice on the Tuesday of our stay. So, not only is Le Manzinaie a fantastic place for a quiet, relaxing and romantic holiday for two, it is obviously a great venue for families to get together. We were all in our own individual accommodation and this meant that we could be together whenever we wanted but we also had our own space when we felt the need. Local restaurants were more than happy to reserve a table for 10, and Caitlin was treated like the princess she truly is by everyone she met. However, nobody gasped and cried with excitement on seeing Caitlin quite like her Nana!
This was a truly memorable trip that everybody enjoyed and all our thanks and gratitude go to Marzia, Fiore and Alice for helping us to make it happen. Buon compleanno, Hilary ei verdremo Le Manzinaie ei nostri amici l'anno prossimo. Ciao. xxx
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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