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“Villa beautiful, tour experience disappointing” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Vignamaggio

Villa Vignamaggio
Greve in Chianti, Italy
055 8546624
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Type: Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: Vignamaggio reached its maximum glory around the middle of the XVII century and belonged to the Gherardini family until the 1886. After being owned by the family of Gherardini it was purchased in 1925 by Countess Elena Sanminiatelli; her family restored the Italian gardens and the Villa. Since 1998 the new owners have started the restructuring of the vineyards and cellars, further improving the quality levels of the farm products.
Texas
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Villa beautiful, tour experience disappointing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

We were excited to tour the villa where one of our favorite movies, Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing," was filmed, but were very disappointed with Villa Vignamaggio's tour experience. Located about an hour outside of Florence, this lovely villa is in the hills of Tuscany and is the spot where Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. We booked a wine tasting tour for the day our cruise ship docked in Civitavecchia, which fit nicely into our schedule after a couple of hours in Sienna and before checking into our rented apartment in Florence.

Our first problem with Villa Vignamaggio occurred as soon as our driver delivered us to the entrance. We were on time, but the tour, we were informed for the first time, began on the other side of the villa. We had no cell reception to call for our driver's return and were told to walk along the road around the entire villa. We met people from another tour group and followed them up a very steep driveway where we arrived at "the meeting point." Here we joined with "our" group and the tour began. When the tours of the winery and gardens ended, everyone was seated in a dining room for the wine tasting. After much rearranging, half the group was told to leave! It seems they had paid for the tour only and should not have been seated.

After tasting only one of the wine selections, I checked the time and discovered that the tour/tasting was already running 45 minutes late! We apologized and said that we had to leave as we had a check-in time in Florence. The tour guide took offense and became quite rude, making us walk outside in the pouring rain rather than through the gift shop to exit! To make matters worse, I was given no chance to purchase a bottle of Chianti!

In spite of our bad experience, was the tour worth it? Yes, barely. The villa and gardens were beautiful, the tour of the winery was very interesting, the drive through Chianti country was breath-taking!

Tips: Wear mosquito repellent. Know that the tour can be long-winded and run over-time. If you are planning to go early in the season and will book online off-season, know that the office is closed and it may be a while before you receive a response.

Visited June 2013
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107 reviews from our community

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English first
Mountain View, CA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Mona Lisa's Home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Villa Vignamaggio is a great place to stay, swim, eat, buy wine and stroll the grounds. Wonderful views from our room. Very nice staff who took care of all of our needs.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Perfect Spot Near Greve”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

We stayed at the Villa Vignamaggio in early June 2013 after 7 days in Florence and Venice. What a perfect place to relax for three days. Our room was not in the main building which was good and bad. The good is that it was in the building that contains the breakfast (not included in room rate) and is next door to the spa and pool. The bad is that it is a hike up the hill to the main building that contains the front desk, winery, restaurant and store. If I were to stay here again, I would definitely stay in the main building where Mona Lisa allegedly grew up and sat for the famous Da Vinci painting.

Our room was rustic and very comfortable and roomy.There was a beautiful private sitting area just outside of the room with a table and chairs. I also like the fact that there was coffee and biscotti-type cookies around to snack on.

There are many varieties of wine to choose from and the tour with the apps is wonderful. I would not recommend the restaurant as there are many others in the area that are far superior to the meal we had here. All in all it was a wonderful stay that I would recommend to anyone.

Visited June 2013
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“A perfect afternoon”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

I made reservations for our tour and lunch about a week before. Mauro quickly and accurately made the plans, then he later gave the tour and served our lunch. What a great ambassador he is for the vineyard.

The tour was just right and as in depth as we wanted. The grounds are beautiful. Plus there's enough geeky wine-specific detail and a little medieval history thrown in to make it a learning experience for grown ups. You leave with a strong understanding of the history of Tuscany and the lifestyle from the Renaissance up to today, Nothing else we did on the vacation said "Italy" as clearly as this afternoon.

Lunch was amazing with fresh ingredients and careful pairings. This was not a chintzy offering and we thought the value exceptional. We were full and happy as we left. The wine, of course, is the star of this outing. What we learned at that luncheon and tasting has already served us well at home. We are actively trying to find the wine in Milwaukee.

If you only splurge on one thing in Italy, this should be it. It was my second time there in a few years. I'll be back.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Relaxing and Gorgeous Escape!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Driving up the hills to this stunning location built our anticipation.... and we were not disappointed! Our apartment was next to the spa and the pool (there are only a few rooms in the main house) and the villa and grounds were GORGEOUS! Literally breathtaking. Gardens, lovely house. EXCELLENT food. Relaxing at the pool an having our apt right there was a huge bonus - wonderful breakfast (costs a considerable extra amount per day, which should be included in the price at such a location) and the restaurant was not open the whole time - which would be fine if you have a car - it took some time to get a taxi on a Sunday night when the restaurant was closed, as we had planned to stay at VV the entire time to really relax. So many places to go nearby, including a great assortment of restaurants - wonderful wonderful views. We did have some mosquitos (we were by the pool) and should have taken greater care... The spa area is a great bonus (one of the pools, an infinity pool, is here along with a hot tub, showers, Turkish bath...) The service was good here, although other guests were upset with the dining limitations. As there was a wedding on Saturday night, the restaurant was closed - what a shame. That was 2 nights with no dining (one of the reasons we selected VV) and with no car, this was a problem. AI was lucky to be served at the terrace, but the other guests had to take theirs "to go" down to their rooms. I would recommend VV highly, but call ahead to ensure that you have dining covered if you don't have a car!!!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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