Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 775: La Crociona, Apartment
apartments on an estate near Montalcino, Tuscany South
April 2003, 7 days
The farm (vineyard that produces Brunello)is about 3 km south of Montalcino on the road to Sant'Antimo. It sits in the village of la Croce (population of about 25). There are 7 apartments in three buildings (along with the wine cellars this is almost half the village). The place is so quiet I think you can hear the grapes grow (they are right next to the buildings).
There is a very good restaurant in the village but we drove into Montalcino for most of our meals. You could walk it (I have) but mostly I'm lazy and drive the 3km. Montalcino has almost everything you need: coop(supermarket), cleaners, internet point, bakery, tourist office, castle, take away pizza, lots of restaurants and wine bars and gift shops, museums and churches.
The apartments are in a building constructed in the 1400ís (walls are over a meter thick). The furniture is a couple hundred years old (armoire is hand carved, doors inches thick). It is comfortable but not elegant. The dining table is a five-foot slab of marble (so you can roll your pasta). The kitchen is equipped with everything you need except food (there are even spices and kitchen tools). The bathroom is modern. Everything is very clean.
One apartment has its own patio but there is a very large patio with sitting area for everyone. There is a pool (fenced in),and a barbecue.
All the furniture was in good shape and everything was very clean. There was enough seating for everyone.
The bedrooms were large and well furnished, dresser, armiore and night stands. The bathrooms were modern and clean. The bathrooms were larger than most of the hotels in Italy (that I've been in) but the showere was just a bit larger. The beds were very comfortable.
The kitchen is fully equiped with everything to make as big a meal as you would like. Stove has an oven, four burners. The refrigerator is only half size. there were plenty of dishes and silverware and pots and pans and gadgets (corkscrews, garlic presses,etc.)
Problems or Bonuses
Every thing was a surprise. Barbara, Roberto, and thier mother Fiorella and her mother (nonna) made sure everyone was happy. If you want to buy some wine they take you on a tour of the cellar and let you try the different products and tell you about each one. It's not a scheduled tour, you ask, they take care of you. There is a washer (no dryer) you can use. Each apartment has a little drying rack. The website does not do the place justice. There is Satellite TV.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
This was rented through the owners. Barbara and Roberto live on the farm both speak English. Fiorella and her mother are usually at the farm. Fiorella's english is excellent and her mother's is non-existant, but she has a big smile and says good day to you and asks how everything is going.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes I would recommend La Crociona to my friends, in fact, I have returned many times bringing my children and my friends. After the first visit they remember me and usally leave a bottle of wine on the kitchen table so I can start relaxing as soon as I get there. I have been in all the apartments on the farm and have toured the apartments they have in a villa about 10km away.
Things to do in this area
There are many little towns very close (within a half hour): Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano, Bagno Vignoni, Sant Antimo, Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Buonconvento, Murlo.
Taverna del Grappolo Blu Via Scale di Moglio, 1, Montalcino This is a good restaurant with typical Tuscan menu. About $20 per person for a full meal.
Osteria di Porta al Cassero Via della LibertŠ 9 / Via Ricasoli 32, Montalcino This is my favorite place for wild boar and white beans. About $15 per person for a full meal.
Pizzeria Il Dado Via Mazzini 18 Great pizza. Pizzas are about $6 or $7.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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