Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 808: Le Manzinaie, Apartment
apartments on estate near Montepulciano, Tuscany South
March 16 - 27, 2004, 11 days
The Villa was in an excellent location, in the country, but near to towns - Montepulciano and Montepulciano Stazione. There were neighbours in the distance, and towns and other villas on the hills to view, but it was a lovely private location. The apartments were located on the ground floor, and we heard very little from any other suites. There were no traffic sounds, only birds singing. The best part of the location was how central it was. Only an hour or less to so many wonderful sites and cities such as Cortona, Siena, Montepulciano, Assisi, San Gimignano, Arezzo, Citta della Pieve and Monticchielo to name only a few. Florence was just over an hour away by train -and the train station only a 5 minute car ride from the Villa. The owners have created a great book of suggestions, maps and directions for your use.
We did need to drive to get groceries, but the owners of the Villa had kindly provided lots of food and drink to start with, including coffee/tea, milk, water, biscuits, croissants, jams etc., and a bottle of wine. The best shopping was about 25 minutes away, but there was shopping for basic items available only 5 minutes away in Montepulciano Stazione. There were restaurants only 5 minutes from the Villa, and you could get pizza delivered. We ate at a twice restaurant called Il Poliziano which was only 3 minute drive away. Once we had delicious meal of pasta and beefsteak, and the other time we watched them make our pizzas in the wood flame oven. We enjoyed both meals tremendously.
This historic Villa was built in about 1868. It has been lovingly restored, and is in immaculate condition. There are four apartments of varying sizes on the ground floor, and an outbuilding with two more apartments and a common room. Between my family and myself we have had the opportunity of staying in all 6 units. They are have all been newly renovated and are very modern, yet they have vaulted ceilings, shutters, and many other beautiful features typical of the region.
There are beautiful outdoor common areas, with well kept grounds, a fishpond, huge pool, covered arbour, gardens, flowering trees and a roofed plasce for picnics. Patio furniture is provided. Hedges surround the property and there are quail, hares and pheasants about, especially if you step out at dusk or dawn.
The apartments were wonderfully furnished and decorated. The Villa owners have balanced beautiful and well appointed with homey and comfortable. Each unit has lovely painted details created by one of the owners who is a talented artist. The furniture suited our needs with armoire, lots of cupboard space, four kitchen chairs with table and two arm chairs. The apartment was very clean and the linens, towels and robes were changed twice during our stay of 11 days. All necessary cleaning supplies were made available in each unit in case they were needed.
It was such fun to have a canopy wrought iron bed. The bed was very comfortable. The bathrooms were luxurious. Ours had a jacuzzi whirlpool tub, a shower, bidet, toilet and two sinks. There were terry robes provided and toiletries such as soap, shampoo and shower caps. The bedroom had an overhead fan as well.
The kitchen had a small fridge, a four burner gas stove top, a new microwave, toaster, coffee maker and lots of items for preparing food. There was a sink and counter, and table and chairs, with a lovely view of the side garden. There was no oven, but I didn't need one, with the micro and burners. There were lots of cutlery, glassware plates, etc. The pots were plentiful and of good solid quality with proper lids.
Problems or Bonuses
I found this to be wonderful place. The ambiance was that of being in a lovely and gentle retreat with as much opportunity for adventure, just around the corner, as you would like to have. The owners speak enough English for easy and pleasant communication and their daughter speaks English well. Each trip their English is better and better - but alas my Italian is not. The best surprise was that we were invited for a homecooked Italian meal. It was magnificent - even my picky 10 yearold daughter ate and enjoyed the wonderful feast. The owners were very kind to my daughter letting her help feed the fish, play with their dogs (who were very well behaved) and giving her little gifts throughout the stay. The owners were also invaluable in arranging out trip to Florence, with train times, and prebooking ticket reservations for museums and art shows.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We did not use an agency.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Indeed! I would stay here again, and am already planning how to get back in a couple of years. I would recommend Podere Le Manzinaie, and have given out information about them at work. The owners treated us royally, but respected our privacy and were always professional and patient with our bumblings and continual questions.
Things to do in this area
A number of delightful cities are located in the area. There is art and culture in abundance, stunningly beautiful churches, ancient forts, old walled cities, fresco's, artisans, pottery and wine, wine, wine. My favouriate cities for shopping were Siena, San Gimignano and Montepulciano. We found parks, museums and statuary in abundance. It was great just to walk and gawk.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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