What a waste, it could be so much better.
For 1200 euro in high season one would expect something rather upscale, but it is not. Compared to other agriturismos I frequented in the region of about 800 euro per week, this is really not worth 400 euro extra.
The place is quite unique though on the top of a mountain with stunning views and a large pool but the place is not well taken care off. There is no grass but only small stoned pavements and a lot of bugs (ants, wasps, horseflies). At the pool you will not survive without 50% deet anti ansect repellant. Also the pool chairs are old and torn and limited to 5 pieces / compared to 6 and 8 person appartments. The pool itself is restaured with mosaic tiles (for teh first 20cm, who are alerady peeling off.
As to the quality of the place, the house is very comfortable, with ample space and amenities (dishwasher, laundry machine, musquito windows, satelite TV, ...) but the furniture in the living room is crap. In fact the sofa is a foldable bed and the sitting comfort is nill. So a relaxing night with a dvd (a portable one / car entertainment set of ourselves we connected to the available TV) on the TV set was quite uncomfortable.
PS : The digital convertor was broke, so satelite television was out although included in the price. The beds are also not very good, the pillows are hard as a rock and the matrasses are bollow instead of straight. The bathrooms are small and the equipment is old (shower head and tabs were full of chalk, which I cleaned myself). We arranged to have the bed linen and towels included in the price, otherwise you will need to pay extra for that as well, on top of the 1200 euro per week!
W stayed on the ground level and that is a mistake. The building consist of 4 appartments. 2 of 6 people on the ground floor and 2 of 8 people on the second floor. At the beginning I thought that the 8 person ones (4 rooms and 3 bedrooms) would be rented to larger families (with 4 children eg) but that is not the case. The owner rents to anyone who presents himself. When we stayed there the 8 person appartment above us was rented the first week to a family of 7 novegians + 2 babies and the second week to 7 french adolescent students. No need to tell you about peace and quiet ... The appartments are on top of very noisy, everything that happens upstairs you hear downstairs. So if you want a quiet and peaceful holiday rent the upstairs appartment! But who would spend 1500 euro on that as a family of 5?
The agriturismo is between Palaia and Forcoli. Both are little towns where there is no life at all after 9 PM. The gelateria are only attented by old men and the owners are not friendly. In the bar of palaia they even overcharge tourists : coffee is advertised as 0.9 euro on the price list I consulted while stepping out but on the bill they charged me 1.3 euro. Thiefs! As a result, only went there once.
It is said to be in the hearth of Tuscany, but that is not quite true either. Pisa, Volterra, Pistoia, Prato and Firenze are within reach but all other towns are really too far. Better move a bit to the east. Volterra is really nice though and still likes tourists. Something I experienced in other towns is not really the case anymore. Italian staff is very unfriendly and rude and I think it will stain the tourist income soon, right now when they could certainly use it!
It has a nice big pool, but the chemical system is not automated so there is too much chlorine (tablets) in the pool water.
The owner (a helpful young man I guess) doesn't live on the premises. His oncle does, but that one speaks only the local italian dialect. So if you have any question or complaint, you'll have to wait till next saturday when the appartement switches owners.
Also dogs are allowed and yes when I was there two of the appartements had dogs in them and yes they really were quite noisy. It has to be said that dog owners do not respect others. The dogs were allowed around the pool side and barked at every visitor, nice!. Also they ran loose on the estate and that bothered me as well.
Lastly, do not go for the "ceve d'estate" (summer evening) organised by the owner. It will cost you 18 euro a head (also for the children who do not drink wine (house wine of only 4 euro a bottle) or vin santo (too bitter though) and limoncella). For the 18 euro you will drink out of plastic cups and eat on plastic plates with plastic forks and knives. A total rip off, just like all the rest I'm affraid.
Alltogether, disappointing stay and too expensive for what we got.
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- Also Known As:
- Agriturismo Montemari Palaia, Tuscany, Italy