Antico Uliveto was one of the first places I found when looking at accommodation in Tuscany, however, as is normally the case I continued to look through the 100's of properties in the area, without ever really finding anything that looked as good for our budget.
During the process of finding somewhere I had sent off numerous e-mails with a real mixed bag of responses, in fact some did not even bother to reply. It has to be said though that Enza and Daniela at Antico Uliveto were by far the most efficient and professional in answering my questions.
The accommodation is easy to find, although do not rely on you're Sat Nav as the coverage in the Tuscany area is not as good as I expected (shame on you Tom Tom), a good map is advisible.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the lovely Enza, she prepared us some fresh bread and Olive Oil with some of their own wine for us to drink while we were filling out their paperwork. When this was done we were shown to our room.
We stayed in one of their double rooms (they also have a some apartments), it was large and decorated in a typical Tuscan style with a good sized bed, large wardrobe, chest of drawers and a dining table and chairs. It also had a full size fridge in the room, which came as a bit of a surprise but was a welcome addition for keeping our water cold. The bathroom contained a good-sized shower, toilet and Bidet; all of this looked like new and the shower was pleasingly powerful.
That night we went to a nearby restaurant as we did not want to venture too far until we found our bearings. I will list details of all the restaurants we went to at the end of the review as we found some great places to eat.
The next morning was our first breakfast; this was a buffet type affair with plenty of local produce. The quality and variety was great with the fresh Ricotta cheese and Honey being the highlights.
Throughout our stay all the staff were really friendly and helpful, although it was the lovely Enza who we had the most contact with. She was always happy to help and recommend things and for this she deserves a special mention, even if she couldn’t always understand what I was saying (must be my Northern accent).
In terms of location it is also ideal, with easy access to the North and South of Tuscany. You are definitely in the middle of the Tuscan countryside and yet Sienna is only about 20 - 25 Minutes away.
We will definitely consider going back there and have already recommended it to our friends.
Well done everyone at Antico Uliveto and keep up the good work.
In your room there will be a large local magazine for the Tuscany area, I suggest you read this before planning your week as it will give you info on what is happening in all the local towns, for example we found out about a Wine festival in Panzano which was a great experience.
Here is some info on places to eat in the Tuscany area:-
Antico Uliveto - You can eat here as long as you give them some notice, the price is 25 Euros per person, which includes wine. We did this one night, as it was nice not to have to worry about who was driving. There is no menu, just local food cooked in a traditional manner; it was all fantastic and compared to going to a restaurant, great value.
La Maggiore (I think that's what it's called) - this place is just up the road from Antico Uliveto, you can even walk it if you want. It was just a local place, great food and good prices.
Castellina in Chianti - Antica Trattoria "La Torre" - Enza recommended this place and we were not disappointed, great food and reasonable prices but make sure you book as it gets very busy, even mid-week. I had Pheasant soup, which was quite simply amazing. www.anticatrattorialatorre.com
There is also a Michelin Star Restaurant here but we could not find it.
Finally, there is a great Ice Cream shop at the North of the town, can't remember the name but it is signposted.
Montalcino - Never actually ate here but make sure you check out Caffe 1888 Fiaschetteria Italiana, the oldest Cafe in the area and the original home of the famous Brunello wine.
If you want to buy wine here check out the Cafe La Fortessa as their prices seem to be more competitive than the tourist shops that just sell wine, you can also grab a Coffee while you're browsing. www.apicolturacollesalera.com
Panzano in Chianti - Solociccia (Antica Macelleria Cecchini) We stumbled across this place purely by chance, only to find out that the guy who runs it is probably the most famous and best butcher in Italy, he has been mentioned by various famous Chef's including Jamie Oliver (UK). This place is an absolute must during your stay, great food and a great experience. I don't want to give too much away as it could spoil the experience; although it will be the best 30 Euro you spend during your trip, again no menu but just trust them. I think they only open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as doing Sunday lunch.
Monteriggioni - Il Piccolo Castello - Nice food, quite busy though so might be worth booking. This is one of two restaurants in the main square, we tried it because it looked nice but Enza said afterwards that the other one is better. We enjoyed it though and my wife said that this was the nicest pasta she had during our whole trip. www.ilpiccolocastello.com
Florence - Coco Lazone (I Think) - This place came recommended by a friend who had read about it in a magazine. It's a tiny place on a tiny street with a traditional interior, although the food is great. They have a menu but not everything is always available, I think they just have things based on what fresh produce they get each day. This was the only time I had Seafood on our whole trip and it was great, a spicy Squid and Spinach dish. Well worth seeking out, we had lunch though which was very quick service so not sure what the evenings are like.
We did not have a bad meal the whole trip but the ones listed above were definitely the highlights.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.