Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 625: TuscanHouse, Fitto
6 bedroom farmhouse near Palazzone, Tuscany South
July 2003, 1 week
The road. First, I must talk about the road up to Fitto. Take the steepest country lane you can imagine, stretching up and twisting through the vineyards, olive groves, and an elderly gentleman's poultry yard. Cover it with gravel-- but wash away much of the gravel to reveal deep ruts and jagged rock. Beware of wandering ducks near the bottom. We found driving it a fun experience, but others in our party found it frightening. Once you get to the top, Fitto is a sprawling house with a fabulous view over the countryside. You hear sheep, birdsong, the occasional neighbor battling the road, and early morning tractors. A real country house in a untouristed corner of southern Tuscany.
The drive down to Palazzone is 5 minutes. The tiny town has two alimenteries, and a very good restaurant and caffe. An additional 5-10 minutes brings you to Piazze, with more restaurants, and a small Coop. Ten minutes further is Cetona with even more choices. Big supermarkets 15-20 minutes away in Chiusi.
Fitto is a rambling old farmhouse, and has been restored in stages. The second floor was renovated and furnished some time ago; the ground floor was done very recently. More simple charm than fancy frill; and very much a comfortable family farmhouse to enjoy. The site is very breezy, and we slept comfortably even in the July heat.
Outside the kitchen is a stone patio with table and chairs, simple plantings of lavender and rosemary, and a beautiful view over the hills. Basil had been freshly planted, and sage leaves flavored our ravioli. The pool area is beginning to show its age, with crumbling tile that flakes when you touch the pool edging. This didn't interfere with our enjoying lovely swims. The pool is around 4 1/2 feet deep. On the other side of the house is a stone shaded sitting area with tables and chairs, perfect for hot afternoons.
Everything was clean and in good shape. The ground floor has simple, comfortable furnishings, with plenty of room for a large group. Furniture on the bedroom level was obviously older, but still in fine condition.
All beds were comfortable, with the possible exception of the twin beds in one of the bedrooms. Flowered bedspreads and curtains, dark furniture, a few pictures and knicknacks. One of the double rooms has its own bathroom; one of the twin bedrooms has its own bathroom; and close to another double bedroom is the third bathroom which can be shared by the other bedrooms. There is a single bedroom downstairs with its own half bath. Bathrooms have simple white tile and typically italian showers-- either the small enclosed shower, or a tub shower. Not fancy, but nice. The usual Italian towels.
The kitchen is great, with new stove, dishwasher, midsize fridge, stone countertops. Plenty of pots, pans, and dishware, but it could use more cooking utensils. We had no problem cooking full meals, and I enjoyed doing a lot of the prep work outside on the terrace.
Problems or Bonuses
I think the road was the only surprise.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Zak and Gary at Tuscan house were a joy to work with. They cheerfully and promptly answered my many e-mails and questions. A lovely woman from a local agency came to answer questions and show us how things work. We also met the charming owner on our last day.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! Only qualifications would be the road; and the hope that the pool area would get some repair and the kitchen a few more doodads. This house is an excellent value for the money!
Things to do in this area
This is a great, untouristed area. We explored the immediate area, enjoying Cetona, Chiusi, Radicofane, San Casciano, Montepulciano. We also took longer trips to Pitigliano and Siena which were well worth doing. Favorite area restaurants were Osteria Veccia in Cetona where I had a vegetable lasagnette I am still daydreaming about, La Vigna in Piazze for fabulous seafood; and Il Pozzo in Palazzone where we had gorgeous mixed crostini, and a lovely pork roast with prunes.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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