Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 607: Tenuta di Lupinari, Il Belvedere
apartments on an estate near Bucine, Tuscany Chianti
May 31, 2003 through June 7, 2003, one week
The property is located about 3 miles south of the town of Bucine in the province of Arezzo. In the 1890's, the owner of the property, who was in politics, decided to build a new, grander castle on his property. The property included a small borgo including a horse barn, stalls, etc. The property passed to his son who lost all of his money gambling and went bankrupt. The current owner, who was an engineer in Rome, and his family bought the property 35 years ago. The family continued to live in Rome while the father traveled to the property each week tending to the olives and grapes. About three years ago, the family restored the borgo into apartments, and a Bed and Breakfast. The area was very quiet with beautiful vistas and great landscaping.
There is a great Co-op (grocery store) in Bucine with fresh meats cut to order, cheeses, pasta, pesto, bread, and everything else you would need to live in the apartment. There are a number of restaurants within a five mile radius. The property also has a restaurant that serves meals (with reservations) four nights a week and on request the other nights for 8 or more people. Price was 30 euro per person including four courses, wine, and water (very good!!).
The buildings (including our apartment) are all recently renovated and in perfect condition. The rock/brick work on the outside is outstanding. All inside walls are white stucco, and floors are terracotta tile. Bathroom fixtures were black wrought iron - very stylish. There are a number of apartments in two separate buildings that are separate by a walkway. I saw nothing that needed attending to.
The surroundings on the property were beautiful. Large olive oil pots topped with flowers, lavender lining the walkways, climbing roses and jasmine, olive trees, etc. We had an outside patio and grass area that included a grill (which we used several nights), table and chairs with umbrella, and sitting bench. There is a beautiful pool shared by all who stay on the property (surrounded by blooming lavender and roses). Nice lounge chairs and umbrellas around the pool.
Furniture was in good shape including mattresses. Certainly enough seating for everyone. The apartment was spotless.
Beds were comfortable - wrought-iron beds with reading lamps on bed-side tables. Bathrooms were very nice - stand-up shower with strong, hot water. The smaller bedroom had a private bath and the other (larger) bedroom had a bath that opened into the hallway.
The kitchen included a cool work area that had a cover that could be put down to hide the sink, stovetop, and counter and be used as a work place. When up, you had access to sink, oven, stove, refridgerator, and cabinets. There was a side cabinet with glasses, dished, silverware, cooking utilsils, bowls, etc. We cooked three full dinners there and had everything we needed. There's also a table with four chairs but we ate outside.
Problems or Bonuses
It exceeded our expectations! The dinners they served were wonderful! Location was good so we had easy access to all the places we wanted to go. It's about 20 minutes to the autostada. We recommended that they add a laundry facility on site - we dropped off our laundry in Bucine which had a two-day turnaround time.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The family lives in the castle in front of the borgo. The parents are the hosts and were at dinner the nights we ate there. All but the father speak very good English, and all are very gracious. The property was better than I expected based on the website!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would highly recommend staying at this location and would love to go back today!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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