Ann invited me to stay with her last July for a couple of nights. I hired a car from Pisa airport and getting to Montisi with the assistance of a sat nav couldn't have been easier. It literally took me to the front door.
The small front door off the cobblestones leads you into a beautiful and deceiving tardis of a property. The house is beautifully apportioned and tastefully appointed in keeping with its surroundings. It is cosy with all modern conveniences.
The first night I arrived Ann took me with some friends to a nearby Monticchiello, where we ate a lovely meal on an outdoor terrace followed by a wander round the historic village.
The following day Ann took me to Pienza where we had a relaxing couple of hours shopping. I bought a beautiful pair of unique earrings in a local shop which I will treasure forever and which remind me of our gorgeous afternoon. This was followed by a very relaxing lunch in the town and a bit more shopping. The best bit was that unlike many tourist destinations there was not a chain store in sight – it was all unusual Italian wares. On the drive back to Montisi we passed fields of sunflowers, which were just sensational.
During the couple of days I stayed with Ann I met a number of the Montisi villagers, all of whom were charming. I met Antonella, whom we enjoyed a lovely hour drinking wine with in the garden at Casa Valerio and who is Ann's guide and although I did not do a trip with her, I can imagine from just spending time with her that she would make a very intelligent and amusing guide. Antonella and her husband also run the wine cellars in Montisi where I bought some fabulous Italian wine to bring home. At breakfast one morning I met Liz Cochrane a local artist who does painting trips for Ann's guests.
We ate in a restaurant in Montisi where I seem to recall there was no menu but the food was cooked with all local ingredients and was the best pasta I have ever eaten.
On my last night I helped Ann cook dinner for some American guests whom we entertained on the terrace at Casa Valerio. Ann is an amazing host and anyone who books a holiday through her will be well looked after and will not be disappointed.
We stayed at Casa Valerio for five days in July 2015. The house is fabulous in a medieval village perched on top of a hill in the middle of the most beautiful Tuscan countryside. The bedrooms are large, with incredible views and good ensuites. The kitchen is top quality - if you want to cook. It's better appointed than most kitchens. But you don't have to cook if you don't want to, because the restaurants and cafes in the village and nearby are fabulous. Reading a book sitting in the pool with the amazing Italian countryside laid out beside you is an incomparable experience. The countryside is punctuated with the Cypress trees reaching for the skies - I felt like I was on the set of so many films! The owner, Ann, is so knowledgeable about the area so she is a great resource, but it is such a beautiful area of Italy that, even without her help, I think you cannot fail to have a wonderful holiday here. There is wine, there is cheese, there are mountains, there are lakes and there are the most delightful towns and cities within easy reach by car. As I write this review I am wearing the shoes I bought in Pienza, and I drink from the glasses and we use the table linen (in uniquely vibrant colours) we bought nearby; so there is shopping, too. Sienna is a great day btrip from here. I was lucky enough to drive through Sienna at the same time as the Mille Miglia went through on a previous visit. If you are a family, or a bunch of friends, young or old, you will find everything you need. If this review seems a bit over the top, then you should be getting about the right idea about this property! I can't praise it highly enough.
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