Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5610: Politian Apartments, Apartment
apartments in Montepulciano, Tuscany South
6 October 2012, 4 nights
Three story, four unit apartment building (with owner rooms on the ground floor) on Via del Poliziano, just below the Fortezza on the south side of the Montepulciano hill (southwest part of the town). The building faces southwest toward the Tuscan country side (trees but no buildings on the opposite side of the street).
The apartment was toward the SW end of the town but still close enough to walk to the main part of Montepulciano (which we did), as well as close enough to reach in the event of a surprise downpour (which we also did!). There are several excellent restaurants in Montepulciano, as well as a number of wine cellars, and we found a couple of markets on the main street (Via dell'Opio Nel Corso, which is an extension of Via Poliziano) for our food and supplies, along with pretty much everything else we needed or wanted during our stay (pharmacy, vinotecas, clothing and shoe stores, etc).
The apartment is one of four located in the historic home of the family and is managed by Giacomo and his sister Maria. There are four apartments - two on the second (US third) floor and two more, recently renovated, on the first (US second) floor. We stayed in apartment #3 on the first floor (on the SW corner of the building), which was very large - two large bedrooms, a large bathroom with shower and a washer in an attached alcove, a living room/kitchen and a patio in the rear of the apartment. The apartment building faces south, and has commanding views of the countryside below the Montepulciano hill (view from the first floor apartments is somewhat blocked by the trees across the street). The location was very quiet, despite both bedrooms having windows facing the street; the street gets very little traffic (much less than most everywhere else in Montepulciano that has vehicle traffic), and we heard very little pedestrian noise.
There is a sitting are directly behind the apartment, which is part of a larger garden and solarium, which were in the process of being renovated during our stay (no work on the apartments or the gardens occurred while we were there).
The apartment has high ceilings and is tastefully furnished with antique furniture. Many of the items were originally owned by Giacomo and Maria's ancestors (including some of the bed linens, which we found very interesting since they were so comfortable). The living room and kitchen were located together in a large room, and the living room part had a couch, armchairs, a fireplace (we did not use it), a small balcony, china cabinet and a few other items. There was a good WiFi signal in the living room area (I didn't test the signal strength in the bedrooms, but Giacomo assured me that WiFi was available throughout the apartment).
The bed in the main bedroom was very comfortable and had some original linen sheets that Maria and Giacomo found when they first began renovations on the apartments; we did not know this until checkout day when we remarked on the thickness of the sheets. The bed in the second bedroom (corner location) appeared to be the same type, but we did not use it during our stay. The bathroom was large and included a shower, sink.
The kitchen was modern and basic but had everything we needed (stove-top, microwave, decent complement of utensils, dishwasher, tables and four chairs, sink) - we cooked dinner one of our evenings and had no issues with that.
Problems or Bonuses
The drive to the apartment was up the hill on very curvy, switchback style roads, which we were prepared for courtesy of Giacomo's incredibly detailed instructions, and we were able to park directly in front of the apartment to unload our luggage. Once we made the first trip up and down the hill, it was very straightforward getting to and from the apartment. The drive is outside the ZTL as long as one follows Giacomo's directions (it is easy to avoid the ZTL in Montepulciano, unlike other cities and towns, such as Florence). Most evenings there was parking on the street, but a few nights we had to park a bit farther away (I found a lot at the top of the hill north of the Fortezza that was free). Since we only used our car for trips out of Montepulciano (don't need or want a car in the town), parking was a non-issue.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented directly from Giacomo, and he and/or his sister were readily accessible (either on-site or with a phone call). Responsiveness and assistance with questions, etc., was superb, one of the best experiences we have for any apartment rental at any price. Speaking of price, the apartment was €90 per night, which is an incredible bargain given the plethora of amenities and its optimal location.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
As you can tell, we were extremely happy with our rental experience at the Politian and would return (and plan to do so) in a heartbeat. I recommend the Politian apartments to others without hesitation, as long as you leave some free time on the rental calendar for us!
Things to do in this area
Activities in town included the Fortezza, Duomo, Chiesa di San Biagio (which is apparently now closed for renovations but still worth the walk down the hill), several good enotecas, shopping, and countless day trip opportunities. Our four nights were not nearly enough for us to do and see everything on our wish list, so we will be returning to work off a few more. We took two day trips - one to Pienza (much flatter topography but many more tourists) and the other to Montechiello (a tiny hill town SW of Montepulciano) and spent the other two days in the town.
Three restaurants of note we visited (twice each) were: A Gambi di Gatto (Via dell'Opio nel Corso 34 - great wine list), the Osteria del Conti (across the street from the entrance to the Fortezza - sublime ragu sauce!), and the Osteria Aquacheta (for lunch only - we missed the gargantuan bistecca for which they are famous - Via del Teatro 2), but we saw several others that looked as nice (and came with recommendations from Giacomo, TA, ST and elsewhere)- you will not go hungry or thirsty in Montepulciano!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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