Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 949: La Bella Toscana, Il Vecchio Fienile
2bed/2bath house near San Gimignano, Tuscany West
May 15 - 22, 2004, one week
In the country, 2-3 km from San Gimignano. Stunning views of the Tuscany countryside and San Gimignano. Although the property is just off the road, traffic is modest and the location is very peaceful. Next door to a large farmhouse, but still quite private. We loved the area -- convenient to San Gimignano, but nice to be in the country.
Closest amenities are in San Gimignano, about 2-3 km away. We had intended to walk back and forth, but abandoned that idea for safety reasons -- no shoulders on the road, and the road is winding and hilly. But it really was no problem. Plenty of parking near the grocery and the walls of San Gimignano. (Of course, we were there at a good time, too, in May; parking may be more difficult at other times of the year.)
The home is a recently renovated farmhouse. It is in wonderful shape -- like new. It is on three levels, all with wonderful views of the countryside. It is a completely detached home, with no other apartments, so privacy was very nice. Both bedrooms are on the same floor (upper level), adjacent to each other. Full baths with showers are on two separate floors.
Nice outside sitting area/patio, where we enjoyed breakfast and views every morning. Very private (not shared). There is no pool, but we were there just before pools began to open in the area. At certain times of the year, it certainly would be nice to have a pool, but we didn't miss one.
Very good shape -- well furnished and very comfortable. Very clean.
The beds were very comfortable, and the bedrooms were very nice. Two bathrooms, which was certainly nice for two couples staying in the home. One couple had to go to a lower level from the bedrooms to use a private bath, but that was no problem.
Nice, usable kitchen with plenty of pots, pans, and dishes -- all of which were of good quality. We did not cook any full meals in the kitchen, but it looked like it would have served our needs well if we had chosen to do so.
Problems or Bonuses
The entire property was nicer than we had expected -- very well-kept and well-appointed. And the location is excellent.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency is terrific. Terese and Gaynor at La Bella Toscana were very helpful throughout the process, particularly in helping us to choose a specific property. We had tentatively selected some other properties from their website, but after telling them about our wishes, they were very helpful in recommending alternative properties that might suit our needs better. The entire transaction went very smoothly, and I would use La Bella Toscana again in a heartbeat. We all felt the price (under 1,000 euros for the week) was very good, too.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We recommend this property, and this agency, very highly and without qualifications. I would definitely send my best friend to La Bella Toscana.
Things to do in this area
Just wandering the medieval towns -- San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra, etc. -- is the biggest treat. We ate at superb restaurants all over the region, including a wonderful place (I'm sorry I don't recall the name) near the train station in Poggibonsi. One special treat was a trip to the coast and a wonderful meal in Cecina.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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