Website holiday reviews are perfect to find out whether places are 'Great' to stay at, or dismal dumps... But I think there must be another category of holiday home which is just perfect. So perfect that you are in two minds whether to tell the world(wideweb) about it or just keep it is a secret place and only tell family and immediate friends. Podere Casarotta is one of those perfect places.
PC is an old farmhouse full of character that has been converted into five separate apartments (we had No5). There is another building alongside which used to be the hayloft and is now used as an occasional communal area, sun terrace, TV room or kitchen area when the site manager (Simone) visits and makes meals for guests (on request). Within a very short walk through the olive grove and rose garden there's a nice sized swimming pool to enjoy after a day's sight-seeing and each apartment has an individual secluded 'garden area' to sit in if you want to be on your own.
We went in the first week of June, so the start of Mid Season. We had the place all to ourselves which was just great! Set fairly high up in the Pratomagno hills overlooking the town of San Giovanni Valdarno it commands some great views and on one of the mornings we were there we woke to find we were basking in the sun actually above the clouds in the valley below! At height of summer it would be nice and cool up in the hills rather than the baking heat lower down, which is another good thing about the place.
The apartment we had was pretty big, the bed was comfortable, the shower (and water pressure) was good and warm and the kitchen was well enough equipped (although in truth we ate out every night so only used it for breakfast). The price was very good too (where else can you stay for £400 for a week with those views?) Apparently if you look for accommodation in that part of Tuscany to the west of the A1 motorway the prices are far higher.
And another thing, communication with Simone was first class. Good emails, a few phone calls when we arrived in country and were on our way up from Rome so he was on site to greet us (he has to come over from Florence) and I'm sure any problem would have been sorted if we had any! Great service.
If you're visiting, you'll soon get used to driving along very winding roads (I thought the Romans built 'straight roads') which is great fun and it's a steep(ish) winding road up to the villa, probably about a mile off the main road. The villa is easily found though.
There are small shops for your groceries in the local towns (Loro Cuifenna) but I found it easier just going down to Montevarchi as there's a big Ipercoop supermarket and garage there.. Good local restaurant? La Continella.
All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this part of Tuscany and if we ever came back we'd be looking to stay at this villa.
And now I've gone and told you all about it, keep it to yourself won't you? Only let your family and friends know.....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Podere Casarotta is a XVIIIth century farmhouse in Tuscany which has been renovated in recent years, converted in holiday house with private swimming pool and divided into luxurious apartments for your holiday rentals. In the farmhouse there are six indipendent apartments for rent, each with one or two double bedrooms; the whole holiday house can sleep up to 20 persons. All the apartments are furnished in classic Tuscany style, and each apartment has its own kitchen (well equipped), bathroom and private garden outdoor. The whole property (Podere Casarotta farmhouse together with the Conca d'Oro farm) covers approximately 30 acres, mostly planted with olive groves that surround the farmhouse. The place was called from long ago the "Conca d'Oro" ("the Golden Basin") for its climate, particularly pleasant to people and beneficial to olive oil production. We still produce on the farm our high-quality, organic, tuscan extra-virgin olive oil! Podere Casarotta farmhouse, because of its privileged position in the very heart of Tuscany (and just 5km from the nearest town, Castelfranco di Sopra) offers a perfect balance between rest & relaxation and wandering around: the apartments of our villa will be your luxurious and comfortable starting point for visiting Tuscany! Whatever you are looking for: art, history, culture, parks and nature, wine and food routes, or just relax by the swimming pool in the silence of the Tuscany countryside, you will find them all at hand! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Podere Casarotta Italy/Tuscany - Loro Ciuffenna