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Review 5601: Residenza Il Poggiolo, Casa Liberty


Review by John Hughes from Canada

apartments in a residenza just outside San Quirico di Orcia, Tuscany South


July 2013, 2 weeks


Il Poggiolo was ideal accommodation for our two week (6 – 19 July 2013) cycling exploration of the Crete and Val d’Orcia. We enthusiastically recommend it for the location, service, facilities and ambiance. This was not our first stay in the area but was our first time at Il Poggiolo.

Our plan was to stay in one place and ride throughout the region returning every day to our accommodation, which we wanted to be in the countryside, near a quiet, charming, historic town with amenities – Il Poggiolo provided all that. Frankly, we are persnickety and experienced travelers and we have only praise for Il Poggiolo and its owners.

For those exploring the Val d’Orcia and Crete regions south of Siena by car, bicycle or foot and bus, the location is a convenient touring hub. Motorists have easy access to major motor vehicle routes like the SS2 and SR2 and quieter back roads. As cyclists, we were able to get to good paved roads that linked up to networks so we could tour the entire region untroubled by motor traffic. Il Poggiolo is near the mostly unpaved Via Francigena, a medieval pilgrimage route that can be walked, biked or driven. San Quirico, the small, beautiful neighbouring town is a short walk from Il Poggiolo. It was easy to buy provisions at the Coop or to stroll over to the town’s great selection of restaurants.

Leonardo, the owner, was our notion of a perfect host. He answered questions about bike routes (maps of the region are often misleading) and his advice was key to our successes. Helpfully, he made it possible for us to order cycling gear – express delivery -- from an Italian supplier and did so without question – even though the retailer was difficult to communicate with. All our requests and queries were responded to graciously. Because we only had bikes and there are no taxis in San Quirico, Leonardo helped us do our first large shop for provisions. With his 4X4 he met us, and our groceries, at the Coop and drove us back to Il Poggiolo. He also arranged for us to have a tour of a local winery where the owners did not speak English but we wanted to visit because we loved the wine.

Guests have the option of taking breakfast, for a modest fee. I highly recommend Leonardo’s superb cappuccinos and the food, including his mother’s plum tart. Having breakfast provided, but also the options of self-catering or strolling into San Quirico for a meal was a major bonus for us staying here.

Leonardo produces olive oil from his nearby orchard, which is available to buy, but there was no pressure to do so – but of course we brought some home.

Overall, Leonardo was a quietly attentive and not an intrusive presence, which we prefer. I enjoyed my conversations with him – and his wife -- and appreciate his helpfulness.

The building is a charmingly restored old coaching hostel. The renovations celebrate an authentic rural Tuscan feel rather than overly polish the place -- we liked that. We stayed in the three-room Casa Liberty, which suited our purposes. When we arrived it was immaculately clean. The kitchen allowed us to prepare meals easily. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was roomy. The views were great. We liked the grounds – olive groves all around – and the pool. There is a laundry available to guests.

During our stay, there were several other guests, some with families. One group had come from Austria every year for seven years. The layout of is such that we did not feel crowded or hear noise from them. The pool was clean and its patio was large and we had ample room when other guests used it.

Il Poggiolo was a great experience and we recommend it to those who want to savour the charms of the Val d’Orcia and the Crete.

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

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