I stayed at Podere during New Year's week, December 2012 - January 2012 with my husband and 2 small children. From the moment I contacted Nicola, he was attentive with answering my questions and providing extra information. His mother Paola (or Mamma Paola as we like to call her) also is an excellent hostess. The apartment we rented was very large and immaculately clean. The decor is simple Tuscan, but feels very welcoming. They even had the apartment decorated for the holidays, which was a nice touch when being away from home for Christmas and New Years.
If you stay, you MUST have Mamma Paola cook for you. Lots of thought went into the meal, from the table setting (beautiful table cloth, live plants and candles) to the delicious appetizers, pasta and roast chicken. You are also served a bottle of the wine from their vineyard and it was very good.
We loved how Nicola took the time to show us the other units for rent (all of which have AMAZING views of the nearby hilltop town of Montespertoli), and tell us the interesting history of his family's home.
The location is great as a homebase for exploring Tuscany. Pisa and Luca were an hour drive away, Florence an easy 20 minutes, San Gimignano about 40, and Siena about 50 minutes.
Do note that you are unable to do laundry yourself here (I think some of their literature says there is a laundry room to use, but Mamma Paola does the laundry for you). The laundry came back quickly and very nicely folded, however it did have a faint cigarette smoke smell to it. Additionally, we had some difficulty getting a comfortable heating temperature in the unit (it was either too hot or too cold, difficult to find the balance).
However, with those very minor complaints I would not hesitate to stay here again and really hope we can return in the future! (Preferably without our children so we can take advantage of the romantic setting and all the joys Tuscandy and Podere le Rodini have to offer!)
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