Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 990: Tuscanhouse, Fitto
6 bedroom farmhouse near Palazzone, Tuscany South
2004, one week
We've had the good fortune of seeing many beautiful spots in the world including Hawaii, Alaska and much of France. But this is the best place we've been to. I cannot say enough good things about Tuscany, the people who live there and this home in particular.
This old home is located on a hilltop in the country. It is very private and quiet. The views from the home are spectacular. It looks across a valley toward Umbria. In the distance is an ancient hilltown whose towers are visible. There is virtually no ambient light at night, so the stars are very bright -- the Milky Way was clearly visible. It makes for a very romantic evening to sit outside and simply look at the stars and the lights in the valley below while sipping some of Tuscany's best.
Access to the home was along a country road (translated: not paved) up the hill. The nearest town, Palazzone, is about a mile away. The town is pleasant, but we spent little time there. Although there is a small grocery store in Palazzone, we strongly recommend stocking up on groceries at a large american-style grocery store located in nearby Chiusi.
As with most buildings in this area, this stone house seemed ancient to us. The tower portion of the house apparently is said to be of medieval origin, and the "newer" portion of the house seemed to be several hundred years old. It was in great shape with large rooms. Plumbing fixtures in the bathrooms were modern and worked well.
A great place to sit and look at the countryside below. There are several olive groves nearby and a vinyard just down the hill. There are plenty of herbs, primarily rosemary and sage, growing around the house, and we took andvantage of them on those few times we cooked.
There is a secluded swimming pool which is cleaned and treated once a week. The water had not yet warmed up when we were there, so we didn't swim in it, but it made for a pleasant place to relax in the sun.
The furniture was in good shape and appropriate to the house. Although there were only four of us in a house with six bedrooms, it looked as if there was more than enough furniture to accomodate a much larger crowd. The house was very neat and clean.
The bedrooms were large. The beds were firm but comfortable. There is a bedroom and bath on the first floor which are handicapped accessible.
The kitchen is good sized with a dishwasher and the other usual amenities. The gas stove had six burners. Although the refrigerator was certainly not the largest we have ever seen, it had more than enough room to hold the food we brought with us. There are enough eating utensils for a large crowd, but we could have used a couple extra sharp cooking knives and another cutting board.
Problems or Bonuses
There were absolutely no problems with the house. Although the house is advertised as having panoramic views, that is a gross understatement. The views were truly specatular. We would have been content to stay at the house all week and not make any day trips.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Zak from Tuscanhouse could not have been more helpful. We were at first a little leary sending money to someone with whom we have not dealt before, but our worries were wholly unfounded. We heard frequently from Zak, who patiently answered all of our questions. Our security deposit was returned promptly with no hassles. We are certain we will return to Tuscany, and I will look no further than Tuscanhouse for our housing needs.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would highly recommend Fitto. If anything, the description of it on the website undersells this wonderful house. It was a pleasure dealing with Tuscanhouse.
Things to do in this area
Cetona is nearby as is a spa (we spent the day there) and Fighe castle. Hill towns such as Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino are an easy drive. We spent a day in Florence (be prepared for the crowds and call to get tickets to the major museums before you go). The best way to get there is to take the train from Chiusi; the tickets were not expensive and the station in Florence is only a few blocks from the main attractions.
This is a great place for picnics. One of us brought a nylon picnic bad as his carry-on on the flight over. It was used often to carry cheese, hame, bread, fruit and, of course, wine.
A fine restaurant located a few kilometers from Montalcino is Bassomondo, which owned by winemaker Vasco Sassetti. The food is made for the locals and is delicious. Be prepared to spend at least a couple of hours eating lunch there.
In Montepulciano we highly recommend Cafe Poliziano. Ask for a seat on the terrace which overlooks the valley below. The service was very friendly and helpful (there are menus -- with explanations -- in English) and the food was out of this world.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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