Tuscany Apt /House Help Please!

Nov 13th, 2007, 05:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 418

If you do Burgundy, please let me know! A friend did it last year and loved it, especially Beaune. I like the Dordogne a lot, particularly Rocamador and Sarlat with it's fantastic market!
kathrynj is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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We are just back from Italy. Spent a week in an apartment at Tenuta la Cipresseta. The have 4 apartments however each has only 2 bedrooms. Some sleep up to 6 people using the livingroom as the 3rd.
It was absolutely fantastic and quite inexpensive (420 Euro/week). Rosita is a lovely host and very helpful. You can find their info at www.tuscany.net/cipresseta. I definitely recommend it.
Bellini1 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Kathy. If we go to France we are definitely doing Burgundy and have already decided to spend a few days in Beaune as well as Dijon so any advice appreciated.

Also for the Dordogne we have been looking at Sarlat as a base so again any tips welcome.

Amboise right now is our choice for a base in the Loire.

As I said earlier it's going to be a tough decision.

Royal is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Just south of Beaune, we discovered a most attractive property to rent. There are 3 units, two of which are ideal for a couple -- the 3rd is larger.

The nearest town is Sennecy-le-Grand.

If you wish, I can provide details.

Brief overview:

If I said the main house was like a (large) wing of Versailles...and that the "gatehouse" ("Porterie")unit we stayed in cost 90 E per night for 3 storeys of utter opulence....would you be interested?
tedgale is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 05:17 AM
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Tedgale that property sounds interesting especially if they rent for less than a week. Do send your details.

I like the sound of "opulence".


Royal is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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The property is the Abbaye de la Ferte -- www.abbayeferte.com.

Don't be put off by the rather amateurish website.

On the photo gallery (galerie) you will find photos of the Gatehouse -- la Porterie.

Please take my word for it that these photos do NOT do justice to the unit in question. And they are somewhat dated. For example, they do not show the recent landscaping of the forecourt -- what shows as a barren patch of dirt is now handsomely landscaped, with a fine herbaceous border.

The furnishings of la Porterie are superlative. Moreover, you'll find every little "extra touch" that you might find in a luxury hotel.

For example: a red toile de Jouy fabric has been used throughout. The owners have used that fabric not only to cover the wastebaskets (!) but also for a custom-made "necessaire" -- a small pseudo-giftbox whose 4 sides, when you lift the top, open outward into a toile-de-Jouy-patterned sewing kit!

The other 2 units, the Dovecote and the Mill, which I have only seen in photos, do not look nearly as well decorated, however.

tedgale is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Thanks Tedgale. The place does indeed look lovely.

The only negative I could see is that the bathroom doesn't have a shower just a bathtub. However, I could overlook that especially as it appears to have such great ambience and the price is definitely right.

Thanks again.
Royal is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Like so many places in France, it has a hand-held shower. I don't like them -- but it seemed a small fault in an otherwise faultless place.

BTW: that bathroom measures about 15 x 15, including a small separate room for the toilet. The basin is plumbed into a 19th C washstand and that tub is an antique...Wonderful beams overhead, too -- as in the other rooms.

The bedroom is one of the more romantic we've stayed in....

And those rather nondescript-looking daybeds in the salon are actually valuable mahogany Empire/ Restoration (1820-30) pieces -- I could get $4000 apiece for the pair, here in Canada.
tedgale is offline  
Nov 17th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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You're right Tedgale it is a very small fault.

Thanks for the details on the bathroom it does indeed sound charming. Have bookmarked the site.

Going back to the original thread re Il Poggiolo did you find the apartments dark? When I look at the website I am getting that impression. Maybe because they don't open directly onto a terrace or balcony but appear to be on the second or third floors. Can you elaborate a bit please? Which apartment did you rent?

Thanks again for your advice.

Royal is offline  
Nov 18th, 2007, 02:24 PM
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We rented apartment 4.

I have seen 1 or 2 of the other apartments in that 4-unit building -- we talked our way past a workman repairing one vacant unit and we were asked for a drink, I recall, by 2 ladies from Mississippi in another unit.

No, ours was not dark. Our apartment did not have much southern exposure -- it had easterly views over the Val di Chiana. But it certainly was not hemmed in or overhung in any way.

As we were out SO much of the day, I really did not spend too many daylight hours there, I realize....But I do recall basking in the sun, one solitary afternoon, in the garden (the owners have spent a fortune on stone retaining walls, stone terrace etc.)
tedgale is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 04:26 AM
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Thanks Tedgale. I will check the website again as I didn't see the apartments were numbered but rather had names. Maybe I am looking at a different Il Poggiolo as I have noticed there are a couple in Tuscany with that name.

Noticed from your previous post that you are a fellow Canadian. Planning to get out of the upcoming winter?
Royal is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Hi again Royal,

Yes, there are several Il Pogglio (sp?) places in Tuscany---I had been looking at one and saw the reviews were for another. One is in Montepulciano and another nearer to Pienza I believe. I think there is a review on Rick Steves site you may want to check. Have you checked slowtrav too?

Thanks for Tedgale and your info on the place in France---I will keep it for another trip!

kathrynj is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Thanks Kathy. The one I have been looking at is outside San Quirico. The bonus is you can walk into town.

Will check out Rick Steves. Didn't see anything on Slowtrav for Il Poggiolo. There are really good reviews for Cretaiole on Slowtrav so think you made a good decision there.

Still debating the Italy vs France decision.

Royal is offline  
Nov 19th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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The one in Montepulciano is where we stayed --


Yes, we do plan to escape the winter, thus:

Dec. 23, drive to NYC for Christmas

Drive to Savannah GA, arriving Dec. 31 -- spend 1 month at The Gallie House in Lafayette Square --


Return to Ottawa for February, then leave Mar. 4 for Paris, Rome and Tuscany (Al Poggiolo, I hope).

Return to Ottawa March 30 -- at which point I hope all snow will be gone!
tedgale is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 04:16 AM
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Tedgale - we have been talking about a different "Il Poggiolo". The one you stay at looks very nice and being right in Montepulciano makes it really convenient.

The one I have been looking at is an agriturismo at the edge of San Quirico. www.poggiolo.info

You have quite a busy winter itinerary but sounds wonderful. Thanks for the website in Savannah -may stay there enroute to Florida where we spend the winter in Naples.

By coincidence I am in Ottawa too.

Wishing you a great winter.

Royal is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 02:47 PM
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"Your" Poggiolo looks very chic.

I like the finishes and the look -- probably more attractive in a hot Tuscan summer than in a chilly wintertime, when the austerity of the decoration could just seem bleak.

"My" Poggiolo has just decided to hike their winter prices to summer levels, a 30 percent increase overnight.

Still good value but we may look around for something else for March 2008.

I like the Val d'Orcia but fear that S. Quirico could be too remote. We thought of La Foce (www.lafoce.com) but even that is a little remote.

Any views on the best places to stay in S. Tuscany -- and why?

PS: Snow showers last night: Appalling!

tedgale is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 03:01 PM
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BTW: RE the Dordogne, I have some heretical suggestions, based on about 5 visits.

Basically, I advocate the area upstream from the usual Dordogne sites - E of the N.20 axis, in other words.

We stayed 3 times in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, visiting St Cere, Martel, Figeac, Autoire and other exceptional spots quite unfrequented by NA tourists, though fairly well-known to European travellers.

Or stay further downstream: We also stayed at the Relais de Lavergne, south of the river and near the Abbaye de Cadouin, Belves and other less-visited sites.

Bottom line: Sarlat, Beynac-et-Cazenac, La Rocque-Gageac, Domme and the "big" destinations (for NA tourists) are NOT all there is to see! And if you hate crowds as I do, you might stay elsewhere.

(But visit the gardens of Marqueyssac and Eyrignac without fail!)
tedgale is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 05:16 AM
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Snow showers are now full snowstorm!

Re your question on S. Tuscany we really like the area around Montalcino, San Quirico and Pienza. We spent 5 days in Montalcino 2 years ago and liked the size of the town, larger than S.Quirico, Pienza etc but not overrun with tourists. Lots of good restaurants and wine producers in the area. For our next trip I thought I would like to try the apartment idea but didn't want to be in a remote location so looking at Il Poggiolo which is a short walk from the village of S.Quirico. The other one to check out is Cretaoile which gets raves from Slowtrav reviews.

These locations are under an hour from Siena if you want a change of pace. It is further from Florence than your location but we like the rural pace and the charm of these small towns.

On our first trip we stayed a few days the Chianti area and then a few in Cortona. Enjoyed both of these spots but they don't compare to the Val d'Orcia in my opinion.

Thanks for the ideas on the Dordogne. I had looked at Beaulieu sur Dordogne after seeing an episode on HGTV's Location,Location and it did look charming. It's true that most people concentrate on Sarlat, Beynac etc and often overlook other hidden treasures.

Let's hope this snow stops soon.
Royal is offline  

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