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Review 809: Italian Vacation Villas, La Fonte and La Foresteria

www.villasitalia.com

Recommended
Review by ellens from NJ who is a SlowTrav Contributor

6bed/4bath house near Lucignano d'Asso, Tuscany South


When

March 20 - April 3, 2004, Two weeks

Location

Very rural location on a dirt road about five minutes from San Giovanni d'Asso and fifteen minutes from Pienza. Extremely quiet and peaceful with stunning views of rolling countryside. The hamlet of Lucignano d'Asso is a five minute walk up the road.

Nearby Amenities

There is a very small alienmentari in the hamlet of Lucignano d'Asso a five minute walk away. They sell all the basics. The nearest coop (a small one) is in San Giovanni d'Asso (five minutes by car). San Giovanni d'Asso also has a bar, pizzaria, restaurant, etc. The big coops are in Sinalunga (20 minutes to half hour by car) and at the Chiusi entrance to the A1 (forty five minutes by car). Other small nearby coops are in Torrenier (ten minutes by car) and Pienza (15 minutes by car).

The House/Apartment

Villa La Fonte is an old building renovated in the 1990's according to a plaque on the wall. It is in good shape but not quite as advertised.

The web site shows a picture of a pool table in the entrance hall. The table is still there but guests are not allowed to use it because previous tenents abused it. Similarly there is a fireplace, as advertised, but it is not usable. Finally, the write ups promise an outside wood oven for baking bread and pizza. We saw it but it was locked up and not usable.

The apartment La Foresteria is a duplex in a small building next to the villa. The entrance (upper) level has a one room living/dining/kitchen area and a spiral staircase down to the two bedrooms and bathroom on the lower level. The bedrooms on this level each have large windows and doors out onto a patio area.

Garden

There is a lovely sitting area outside the house that is shared by Villa La Fonte and the apartment La Foresteria. There is a pool but it is 2 km away at Salviano (another villa that they rent).

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The villa furniture was in okay, not great shape. The living room couches were particularly uncomfortable - old, overstuffed upholstered numbers that tried mightily to eject anyone who sat on them. The formal dining room has a table large enough to seat 15, which was important to us.

The apartment furniture was much the same as the villa; serviceable but nothing to write home about.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

Beds are comfortable, the five bedrooms serviceable (two double beds, three twin beds, one single bed). The main house, Villa La Fonte, has four bathrooms but only one stall shower. The other three have bathtubs with hand showers that our group had a hard time mastering. The apartment, La Foresteria, has two bedrooms (one double and one twin beds) and one bathroom with a stall shower.

Kitchen

The kitchen as usable; there were sufficient pots but the frying pans had seen better days a while ago. Part of the problem is that they are coated (teflon, silverstone) pans but there are no coated utensils so they were badly scratched. However, we managed to cook meals for 15 without much difficulty. The refrigerator is small but there is a second one (bar size) in the lower level living room.

Problems or Bonuses

Having two good sized living rooms is a bonus with a large group (15 in our case). There was plenty of space to spread out and feel comfortable.

We were disappointed that the pool table, fireplace and wood stove were not usable.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Martin Wenick from Italian Vacation Villas was very helpful throughout the process. On site, the manager/keyholder, Mario Machetti, speaks no English but was very helpful and anxious to ensure we had everything we needed. Other than the aforementioned pool table, pizza oven and fireplace, everything was as advertised.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay here again but understand that it is VERY rural and a long drive to almost anywhere. With that caveat, I do recommend Villa La Fonte. The apartment La Foresteria would be hard to take if you don't also have the Villa - I would not recommend it on its own merits.

Things to do in this area

Do not miss La Loncanda del Castello restaurant in San Giovanni d'Asso (review posted) only a five minute drive away. La Costa in Montefollonico is another wonderful restaurant about 20 minutes away. Pienza is lovely little town 15 minutes away, Montepulciano is 30 minutes. Siena is about 45 minutes away.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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