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“Wonderful Christmas in Tuscany”

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Villa Montecastello
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 11 January 2014

A group of family and friends converged on Jens' place in mid-December for holiday. The villa is lovely: well decorated, plenty of bathrooms, nice kitchen for large family-style cooking, common rooms for socializing. The views from the villa are spectacular and the location is awesome for day trips around Tuscany especially Siena and San Gimignano . Jens offers cooking classes, wine tours, and olive oil tours/tastings. We availed ourselves of the olive oil tasting which was a special bonus - we all loved it - and Jens also showed us the production side. Overall, a great vacation location for relaxing or for exploring the country-side.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank CB201401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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19 - 25 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 15 November 2013

We had a big group of friends that basically took over the place in early October. We had a blast! Jens is the owner and has carefully rebuilt then 1,000 year old villa over the past 20 years. The highlights are the view, the food and the atmosphere. We had several meals there including amazing wood-fired oven pizza with (Villa Montecastello raised and butchered) prosciutto and a wide variety of other toppings. We also had a wild boar dinner (his father in law is a local who shared some of his hunt).

As you can see in the photos, this villa is perfectly restored and has a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside with San Gimignano in the distance. This is an agritourismo based villa - meaning it is a working farm. Jens has 1,200 olive trees and will proudly show you his olive oil making equipment (the output is amazing!). Vegetable garden, pigs, chickens. He shares some land with a local sheep farmer and you can follow the sheep out the pasture in the surrounding hills.

Our group had vans come and take us on various excursions each day - cooking class in Sienna, bike ride in Chianti, Wine tours, visits to Florence, Arezzo and of course San Gimignano.

As a first time visitor to Tuscany, I could not have imagined a better home base.

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice. There is a very large apartment with a kitchen, dining area, living room, be...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank mbbickel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

start to finish, a beautiful week. we visited with a group of friends, and this was our home for 7 days. a great location, easy to day trip to lovely Tuscan and Umbrian locations. comfortable, relaxing and the food was great. Jens makes a great Cappucino!
plan to return someday!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank MarieJim2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

This was my first trip to Italy and I know there will be many more to follow. We booked the trip because I was interested in taking a week long cooking class at the Villa with a chef from a large USA city. The chef was unable teach the class, however, I still wanted to take the class and inquired if anyone else could do it. I was very happy to learn that the owner, Jens, teaches cooking classes. It could not have turned out any better. I had the best time when I was in the kitchen learning to cook authentic Tuscan food.

Now a little bit about the place. Villa Montecastello is a castle that is over 1,000 years old that has been carefully restored. It is located on top of a mountain with the most amazing views from every direction. Once we arrived at the Villa, Jens, was the perfect host. Anything we needed we just had to ask for it. The food of course was fantastic (I did cook a lot of it with Jens) and the wine was equally superb. We had a very large room with a huge bathroom with the most comfortable bed. The view from the windows were spectacular. The weather was perfect the week we were there and we were able to take advantage of the outdoor pool.

This is one of the most relaxing vacations I have ever had and I can't wait to do it again.

Room Tip: 2nd floor a/c is good
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Stacy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

This place is magical! It is a short drive from Sienna (we used our GPS) and once making the turning onto the road of the Villa, it is the second castle, not the first that you arrive at. Talk about remote!! We only stayed here one night but we were upgraded on arrival to a larger room that was absolutely amazing! We had a huge kitchen supplied with everything you'd ever need, a living room, a gigantic bathroom and a large bedroom. It was beautifully decorated and has its own private sitting area outside. Jens was really friendly and showed us around whilst explaining the history of the 1000 year old fortress (!!) We made ourselves dinner in our huge kitchen using freshly picked eggplant, zucchini, basil, parsley and tomatoes from Jen's organic garden. What an experience!! In the morning we went swimming in the amazing swimming pool looking onto the stunning views of Tuscany. If you are looking for a beautiful, old villa enriched in history and stunning surroundings, this is the place! We did not want to leave and it was the perfect way to end our trip. Truly incredible!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Emma Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013

This was truly one of our best trips ever. We stayed at Villa Montecastello with a group of 11 adults and 2 children. I worked with Jens for many months planning our stay and he made the process simple. He responded to my emails quickly and was very accommodating to my many requests.

We took over the villa during our stay, the only room we did not occupy was the Pendolino apartment. The size was perfect. There is a kitchen in the middle of the Frantoio and Moraiolo rooms that was one of our favorite hangouts. We cooked, played games and sat by the fire. There is also a professional kitchen on the ground floor and the apartments have their own kitchens as well. Jens and Barbara include the special touches that make the villa first class such as extremely high quality linens and fresh cut flowers in every room.

The grounds are gorgeous, which you can see from the photos, but they really don't capture the complete sense of peace you feel when you are there in person. We didn't use the pool due to cool rainy weather but it has a great setup and I would love to come back when I can take full advantage. We enjoyed the fireplaces inside during the rain and they were quick to bring us additional firewood when we requested it.

Jens organized a wine tasting tour for the group and it was superb. We visited several small production wineries and toured their facilities. One of the winery owner's mother had prepared lunch for us and it was high on our list of great meals.

The central location of the villa makes exploring the Tuscan wine country easy. We also took a day trip to Florence (about an hour drive) and several into Siena (about 30 minutes) including a Wednesday market day which was crowded but super fun.

Jens also catered a formal dinner for us one night. He let me choose the menu from some suggestions and let me add an course. It included the best asparagus soup I have ever tasted, cured meats from their farm, ravioli, pork roast, cheese plate, berries and cream and birthday cake! The food was above excellent, Michelin star quality. The wines he chose to compliment the dishes were perfect and reasonably priced.

Most of our group also participated in the Avanti Tutti cooking class. Jens is a great instructor and I learned many things that day. Not to mention it was just fun!

I am trying to think of something critical to say, but the only thing I can think of was that the weather was not as warm as we had hoped. It was unseasonably cool for late May. Even so we still had a great time and enjoyed the villa. We came home with a case of their delicious olive oil and have been practically drinking it ever since.

If you are considering Villa Montecastello for your own trip I highly recommend it. You won't be sorry!

Room Tip: I slept in the Moraiolo master queen suite. It had a beautiful view out each window!
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank SF_sun_seaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We recently had a large group event at Villa Montecastello and everyone the entire time kept raving about the place. I had in mind that this might be an older place which was rough around the edges. Wow was I wrong. I am a physician by trade but do a lot of woodworking and home improvement projects. This venue was truly completed in very high end finishes. Tons of marble and elegant touches throughout the property. In addition we had a group dinner halfway through the week there which was catered by Jens and his staff featuring many products from their farm. It actually outshined the Michelin 2 star restaurant Arnolfo which we went to two days later. It was the perfect place. Just re-reading the reviews here and writing this makes me want to return. Absolutely perfect.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Emergent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa Montecastello

Address: Strada di Pieve a Castello 10, 53035, Monteriggioni, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Monteriggioni
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 27 Speciality Lodging in Monteriggioni
Price Range: £185 - £400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Montecastelli offers Villa accommodation for those seeking a hidden vacation rental. The Villa Montecastello has been restored with every attention to detail and history. Only an hour from the Florence airport and 20 minutes from Siena, Montecastelli nestles at the foot of the Montagnola nature reserve where you can hike or mountain bike, hunt for mushrooms or walk through the woods to the next village for lunch. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Montecastello Monteriggioni, Italy - Tuscany

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