This was our second time visiting with Paola and Valerio. Since our last visit, they have welcomed a darling little girl named Viola. Both visits have been outstanding. The location is a perfect base for sightseeing if you have a car. There is plenty of room for parking the car at the Villa and it is a flat parking area as opposed to being perched on the side of hill praying that the emergency brake will hold as was our experience in some other areas. The paved roads around the villa are good but Americans used to driving larger cars would be well advised to rent smaller European models as the roads are hilly and winding and can narrow. You do have to drive a short distance into one of the nearby towns if you want a restaurant or grocery store but the views are so stunning, breath taking, and magnificent that this is a plus. You will feel like you are driving in a movie scene. In fact driving and just viewing the country side was a major pleasure during both trips. We would bring fruit, bottled water, Italian chocolate, and fresh homemade bread from one of many of the farmer's markets and stop by the side of the road to snack as we admired the bright red poppies and newly emerging grapevines. Traffic around the immediate vicinity of the villa is very light. Volterra, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Luca, Pisa, Monteriggioni are just a few of the interesting places in reasonable driving distance. This area just outside of Volterra is too far for the tour ship crowd to visit so it is particularly quiet and peaceful compared to some of the interesting historical sites that have more tourists than Italians. Be aware of the tour ship schedules and organize your side trips around when the tourists are returning to their ships if you want to avoid crowds. If you are history buffs like we are, you will be very impressed with the wealth of opportunity to explore Etruscan, Roman, and medieval sites.
Our hosts welcomed us back and made us feel like friends returning.They are always very helpful when you need them and yet very careful not to invade your privacy. Don't hesitate to ask their advice as they are very knowledgeable about the area and delight in pleasing their guests. We love their Sunflower suite. In the mornings, you can make your own Italian breakfasts in your private kitchen and watch the sun come up between the Italian cypress trees. During the day, you can go to the markets and bring back the ingredients to make a feast of fresh pasta, olives, and antipasto as the sun sets on the gorgeous Tuscan hills . For an even closer view, take advantage of picnicking on the wooden table at the back of the villa.
Even though the villa dates from the 17th century, the apartments are remodeled with all the luxuries of a modern day home. The bathroom and shower are first class and spacious. Plenty of hot water is available and the kitchen is well stocked with the normal items needed to cook and feed a family. Our apartment was spotless and in immaculate shape on both visits. We like having all of the historical atmosphere without having to sacrifice comfort.
On our first trip, we accidentally scheduled this as our last stay before departing back to the states. This time, we scheduled it last on purpose because we remembered the peaceful, quiet relaxed experience that let us return to our Iowa home feeling refreshed rather than drained. After our stay at Villa Le Ginepraie, we again returned rested and relaxed. As senior citizens who like to travel, we have had the opportunity to stay in many settings. This is our all time favorite. We will definitely return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villa Le Ginepraie, a typical 17th century Tuscan farmhouse, with private chef and private restaurant only for the guest, stands on a knoll surrounded by hills, offering a superb panorama. Even though the location enjoys total tranquillity, it is in a strategic position between San Gimignano, Volterra, Colle Val d'Elsa, Siena, Florence and the sea, which can all be reached easily. The private swimming pool and large garden encourage relaxation, sunbathing and reading, while the surrounding countryside offers a number of pleasant walks. In other words, Villa Ginepraie offers itself as a unique place to spend a restful holiday with your friends and family, only a short distance from Tuscany's art, history and entertainment.The three roomy apartments and the two bedrooms that make up the Villa are elegant, but warm and welcoming at the same time. ... more less