Submitted: 2 Sep 2007
May 19th to June 17th 2007, 1 month
Review by Jules S. from Canada
The apartment is situated above the owners’ home and is accessed through a separate door. The owners are into bio-culture of fruits and vegetables and also raise a few animals on their mini-farm.
The décor is typical of the Southern Tuscany panorama with incredible views and a sense of calm and serenity emanates from the beauty of the olive trees interlaced with numerous flower beds .
The premises are situated in Cetona, a little village with a rather lively piazza when the weather is nice. One will find all basic necessities in Cetona including a variety of boutiques that sell anything from meat, fruits, vegetables and sundries. We counted at least five restaurants in the village mostly frequented by locals. The Sports Bar at one end of the piazza is remembered for the conviviality of the staff.
Close by in Chiusi, you will find a train station and most of the amenities of a small Italian town with supermarkets and plenty of shops.
The house is just wonderful and quiet. Our quarters were located above the owner’s house and the general appearance was even better than we expected. There is a large bedroom with a king size bed, a well equipped kitchen and a large balcony with table and chairs offering a wonderful view of the Tuscan countryside. We found the place to be extremely clean and very private. We rarely saw the owners and they knew how to make us feel at home.
The surrounding gardens are also beautiful. We were welcomed to use the table and chairs in the garden to relax amongst the smell of roses and lavender. Olive trees are plenty and we enjoyed walking through the elaborate landscape of the garden.
Furniture is new and spotless. The apartment is very well appointed with all accessories that made our stay very enjoyable.
Both were large and offered the comfort we were looking for.
Though limited in size, the kitchen offered anything one would need to cook a dinner for two. There are plenty of pots, pans and dishes, even an espresso coffee maker.
All appliances were almost new and we did enjoy the wood stove (warmer) on a few evenings where the temperature was lower than normal. There is even firewood on the terrace for that purpose.
Problems or Bonuses
Problems: absolutely none.
Bonuses: the kindness of our hosts and their family. We were offered organic honey (the best we ever had), olive oil from the olive trees on the property, pasta sauce, wine, strawberries, raspberries and loganberries, not to forget the tomato sauce that we used for some of our pasta dinners. Moreover, the owners were even helpful in getting us to the Chiusi Avis agency and they had made arrangements for us to pick up our car a couple of days after our arrival. The service at this Avis agency is extraordinary.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We had reserved directly from the owner a few weeks before our scheduled arrival through email. Both owners speak English fluently (one is British) and we booked everything in the most pleasant manner.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely. It is a place we will recommend to anyone wishing for a home away from home. The apartment’s location allows for anyone to easily visit Southern Tuscany and Northern Umbria. The location calls for the use of a rented car but the train station is within a 10 minute drive from the house. Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi and many smaller towns are within 100 kms.
Things to do in this area
Having spent a full month at Casa degli Olivi in Cetona, we found great pleasure in discovering most of the suggested tourist destinations in Tuscany and Umbria: Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Rome, Perugia, Pienza, Arezzo, Colle di Val d’Elsa, the Chianti wine region and the Thermes of San Casciano dei Bagni found in the vicinity. However, we found even greater pleasure in discovering little towns or villages away from the tourists where the Italian lifestyle has been preserved from outside influences.
To name a few, we loved taking in the Saturday morning market activity found in Chiusi or Citta della Pieve, discovering villages like Monteleone (where the total absence of tourism allows for an unforgettable experience of calm and serenity), Piazze (for its Gentili vineyard) and Sarteano for an outstanding vantage point on the Tuscan countryside.
We both enjoyed the food, especially Pecorino cheese, pasta and *pizze*. The wine selection is awesome; we will never forget the rose trees flowering in the vineyards and the fields of sunflowers basking in the Tuscan and Umbrian sun. The weather was great between mid-May and mid-June with a mixture of hot days followed by more comfortable periods of cooler temperature.
The speed limit on the Italian autostradas is surprising to North Americans and the unending bends of national roads took some time to get used to. To summarize our experience, we can find only one way to express our satisfaction: we would do it again if the opportunity arises.