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“Authentic Tuscany -- with helpful hosts, like family!”
Review of Poderi Val Verde

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Poderi Val Verde
Certificate of Excellence
Sagle, Idaho
1 review
“Authentic Tuscany -- with helpful hosts, like family!”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

What a wonderful experience, on a Tuscan farm near the small town of Castellina in Chianti. Our hostess Ulrika welcomed us, and was full of information about the entire region. She helped us acquire transportation,
(this place is rural and you need a car to visit all the wonderful small towns in Tuscany ) no public transport. We were fortunate to have her son as a personal guide for two days. Our villa, with 4 bedrooms, and 4 bathrooms,
for the 8 of us (4 couples) was absolutely perfect --modern bathrooms, and fully equiped kitchen in a 300 year old building. Plus we really enjoyed the large terrace and relaxing by the pool after a day of "touring". Do sign up in advance for the breakfast -- for the week. Excellent local produce and delicious homemade items by Ulrike. She is flexible on times and makes it easy to depart early for your day of "touring". We also had a great time learning to cook "Italian" with Ulrike as our teacher. Sign up for her cooking class. My final comment is to consult Ulrike ( the owner, host) on whatever you are planning -- preferably before you arrive. She is full of info and gives great advice. Staying in the villa at her farm was central to visiting so many of the small towns in Tuscany -- a truly wonderful Italian experience. We
highly recommend this villa for a wonderful and comfortable vacation. And kudos to Ulrike for great food and her expert advice for all us tourists.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank barbashupe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
podvalv, Owner at Poderi Val Verde, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
to all my guests:
i take this opportunity to thank all my guests for their positive reviews. i also would like to thank all of them for the care and consideration they showed towards my property and the various accommodations. my small staff and myself have and will continue to try our utmost best to make this place special and worth remembering. we are aware that we cannot make everybody fully happy and meet comforts and standards tat you are used to in your private home or you might find in a much higher graded rental or hotel accommodation. after all this is a 350 year old working farm. but for the people that are looking for an authentic tuscan family run farm we promised the best.
hoping to see you again sometimes and looking forward to host friends and family of yours we remain with the best wishes for the future
ulrike, fabian, tiziana and christina - as well as toto and goia and all our aminals
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sandpoint
1 review
Reviewed October 14, 2013

8 of us from a small town in the US stayed for a week and loved every minute of the atmosphere. So relaxing and authentic. We had breakfast served to us every morning at the main farm and dinner a couple of nights.. The cooking class was great. Can't wait to fix the dinner at home. The 300 year old building we stayed in was so great with accomodations for all of us to have our own bathrooms.. The owner is very knowledgeable in things to do in the area and her son served as a tour guide one day..

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Terry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 10, 2013

For our first time to Italy and with our group of friends, 4 couples total, we wanted and found an authentic Tuscan villa to be our home away from home. When we arrived we found the house and the grounds as beautiful as imagined. It is what you could imagine a working Tuscan farm to be like, a large vegetable garden, goats, chickens, cats and dogs, even a peacock roaming the grounds. All very charming, to include the owner, Ulrike. She cooked us a welcome dinner, about 8 dishes, more food than we could eat but oh so very good. It was traditional style Italian farm country foods and many of the vegetables were harvested from her garden. The women of our group signed up for a cooking class and so enjoyed this. We made 6 dishes, appetizers to dessert, with our chef teacher Ulrike we prepared, cooked, and then with our husbands joining us, we ate our creations. We learned so much and enjoy the recipes Ulrike shared with us as well. I've already made the bruchetta. Bellisimo!! We did make a mistake in not having a car at our disposal and Ulrike helped us acquire a van for a couple days. Knowing we couldn't see everything in a week, Ulrike gave us great ideas and suggestions about seeing what interested us and fit into our time frame. We hired Ulrikes' son, Fabian, to be our tour guide for 2 days. He was such a pleasure and certainly knows the history of the country. We saw some of the beautiful region of Chianti/ Tuscany and learned so much. Such a great time!! You find yourself centrally oriented between Florence (Firenze) and Siena, Volterre and Assisi. It's a great get away place with easy access and warm and wonderful Tuscan charm. I strongly recommend this villa and the unique experience of meeting and working with Ulrike. You will consider yourself very lucky if you get to share a moment in her world. I will see her again someday.

(The fitness center is the great outdoors!)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Nicola Norton W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chico, Ca
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We were lucky to be part of the group celebrating the 30th anniversary of friends (see previous review) and stayed at Val Verde for 8 days.It is amazing that you can actually stay in such a picturesque place. Every time I walked to the villa from the parked car, I was shocked at how lovely the grounds, the rock walled buildings and the atmosphere were. It was such fun to have our "own" villa to cook in, relax in, stay up late drinking limoncello in.... and plan our next days' adventure. No, it wasn't a 5 star resort, and yes it was very tricky to find at first (especially in the dark) but that's not what we went there for. The vegie garden, the animals and Ulrike( the owner) all added to the charm of this lovely spot. It is quite centrally located to Florence and Sienna and a host of other small hill towns in Chianti. A car is a must to really see this part of the world. Ulrike was very helpful when my sister forgot her medication and arranged a speedy refill at the local pharmacy... quicker than any US pharmacy for sure! She also let us use her Co-Op grocery store discount card,attended a opera concert and after party with us, and took us on a wild, cross country drive to the sculpture park. (a must see!) As this was our first trip to Italy, we knew we would not be able to see it all. We concentrated on the Tuscany/Chianti area and after really living there (laundry,cooking, even a bit of sheep herding) we got a taste of what life is like in that area. We will just have to go back to see the rest on the next trip. I would not hesitate to recommend this spot for those who want a real taste of Tuscany.

Room Tip: Roads to many spots are gravel and it seems like you are lost all the time, but there at the end of...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ebande
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 30, 2013

My husband and I stayed in "Il Rifugio" for 5 nights as part of an Italian vacation. The location of the villa was perfect for traveling throughout the region. We easily made day trips to Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and Montepulciano. The Chianti region itself was beautiful and Ulrike was incredibly knowledgable about restaurants and vineyards in the area! Our apartment was quaint and clean. We had everything we needed and it truly felt like we were staying in a traditional Tuscan home. We were originally concerned that the apartment did not have air conditioning, but the room stayed very cool - it would not have been necessary anyway. The property is breathtaking and is a real, working farm complete with many animals - friendly dogs and cats and a funny peacock named Roberto! One of the highlights of the trip was the cooking class we took with Ulrike. As a "beginner" cook, Ulrike took special care of me and was very patient in teaching me to make chicken liver pate and panna cotta. We would highly recommend Poderi Val Verde for those travelers looking for an authentic Tuscan experience! :)

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Cynthia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fullerton, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

For our 30th anniversary, we decided to rent Casa Pineda within Poderi Val Verde's verdant grounds. Our plan was to have 3 other couples stay for a week in one of the 4 bedrooms, with our dearest friends coming and going each week. Each bedroom was different and we had fun picking out which room best suited each couple. Each time we had guests arrive, we watched their eyes widen and all remarked that it exceeded their expectations, as it has us! Our host Ulrike has been invaluable in her recommendations and her help with anything we asked about. If you tell her what your interests are, she will likely have something to direct you to. I'm a sculptor, so she suggested the sculpture garden in the middle of the forest in Viagliale, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. She is also great at recommendations for other non-tourist spots and all the best, most romantic restaurants. Another wonderful treat are the sweet animals she has that freely roam the grounds...especially welcome when you have left your furry "kids" at home. We bought several of the jams she has in her cellar from fruit trees on the grounds and ALL were wonderful. As we had a handful of great chefs staying with us, we only had a few meals that she offers, but what we did have that was cooked by her was delicious. If you are lucky enough to come and stay here, you might ouch out and get her wild boar in plum sauce! It was out of this world! We are already planning our return trip! Thanks, ULRIKE, Toto, Joilla, all the kitties (outdoors only, so no allergy fears), the goats (actually Cameroon sheep that look so much like goats even Ulrike calls em goats!), chickens, geese, and a peacock! Another favorite memory is a group of us trying to catch an errant ewe to reunite with its mama. Every day a new magical experience awaits! Treat yourself to a stay that is unparalleled by any other trip you could imagine!
The town of Castellina is picturesque and not usually overrun with tourists. 25-30 minutes west is the town of Poggibonsi, from which you can easily and inexpensively reach Sienna, Firenze Rome etc. A great central location. 2 hrs to Assisi is well worth the time and its an easy and well-marked road back to your home away from home! Ciao!

Room Tip: The rooms with the best views are 3&4. The best room for mobility impaired is either 3 or 2, alt...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SpaJunkiesRUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 12, 2013

As a retirement present to myself, I spent three weeks in Chianti with Ulrike and her farm "family" at Poderi Val Verde. I did a lot of research prior to selecting a place to stay, and what sold me on Poderi Val Verde was the fact that it was a working farm that was over 300 years old, complete with animals, extensive garden and a live-on owner. It sounded totally charming and authentic, just like the Tuscan experience I was looking for... and I was not disappointed at all by what I found when I arrived!

I stayed at Casa Acacia, which could actually be sub-divided into two smaller "casas" but since I was there for an extended stay, the extra room was nice. I loved the fact that it had been an old sheep/goat shed with a hayloft on the second floor. Ulrike and her son did an amazing job remodeling it while maintaining all the charm of the old beams, original steps, etc. Bedrooms were very comfortable and I enjoyed the different colors of the rainbow every week when they changed the linens! I also enjoyed the cats dropping by for a visit and a quick pet, and being greeted by Ulrike's two very friendly dogs when I returned from my walks.

But the best feature was the sun porch or "winter garden"... I spent many hours out there reading, listening to music and enjoying the landscape with a glass of wine. The kitchen was well equipped, I had everything I needed and Ulrike was kind enough to stock it with some basics prior to my arrival. She also graciously took me into town the first day to the grocery store so I could fill in the gaps, even lending me her Co-op card so that I got a discount.

Aside from enjoying the farm and the hikes in town, I also took two of Ulrike's cooking classes, which were a fantastic experience. Ulrike is a great cook, which I knew from the delicious welcome dinner I had the first night. I'm definitely not, so I was definitely looking forward to learning some of her secrets. I'm not sure which was better, learning to cook authentic Tuscan dishes or getting to eat them afterwards! Both groups were really fun, I met some wonderful people and Ulrike was incredibly organized... she had various "stations" with all the ingredients needed laid out ahead of time and we were all assigned different dishes depending on our skill levels, with Ulrike there to assist when needed. Somehow she managed to get it to all come together in a wonderful dinner which we then got to enjoy. I'm taking all the recipes home and I can't wait to make them for my friends and share the tasty dishes.

Ulrike and her son were always around to answer questions or help with anything I needed, which was important because I was there by myself with no car. They both went far, far out of their way to be helpful and even included me in an outing with them to Siena which I really appreciated. In fact, I had a problem with some grossly inaccurate directions I had been given for a villa I had rented in a neighboring town for the three weeks after my Poderi stay, and Ulrike and her son drove me around the countryside for more than an hour until we were able to find the villa... they did it by triangulating on the landscape based on the view shown on the internet!! Needless to say I was very impressed and incredibly grateful... I don't know what I would have done without their help.

By the end of the three weeks, I found myself leaving with a new friend and many, many wonderful memories... it truly was the experience of a lifetime!

Room Tip: I had a chance to see Casa Capannina while I was there, and it was very nice too.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susan9132013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Poderi Val Verde

Property: Poderi Val Verde
Address: Loc. Casanova di Ricavo, 53011, Castellina In Chianti, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Castellina In Chianti
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 38 Specialty Lodging in Castellina In Chianti
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Official site of the WBHC 2017 Ask us for links to detailed apartment and property videos Val Verde, privately owned by the German Ulrike Eder, is an authentic rustic and still active farm estate from the 15th century offering relaxing country-style vacation. Its located only 3 km from Castellina in Chianti, some 35 km from Florenz and 25 km from Siena and very central to most important sights. On extended grounds we offer carefully restored, well-equipped self-catering apartments and houses ("Casa Pineta" - 4BR/4BA farm house, "Casa Acacia" - 3BR/2BA farm house, "Casa Capanninna" - 2BR/2BA cottage, "La Tana" - 2BR/1BA ground floor apartment, "La Bellavista" 1BR/1BA loft apartment, "Il Rifugio" -1BR/1BA studio) all very private with terraces, bbq etc. Rates range from euro 75/day (1 bedroom unit) to euro 400/day (4 bedroom unit) - we prefer weekly rentals - only the studio rents on a 3 day minimum period 2 ha of park-like gardens with large community pool (May-Sept), use of covered, unheated pool for cooler seasons possible on request, leisure area with garden furniture and shaddy gazebos as well as playground with sandbox, swing, soccer field, volley- and basketball equipment and ping-pong table. Only privately owned demanding 3D Archery Range in Tuscany with 22 positions, following the WBHC2017 there will be a total of 4 ranges !!! We give archery lessons and may teach flint napping Our little "zoo" hosts many cats, 2 dogs, geese,ducks, free roaming peacocks, pigeons and chicken as well as a small herd of Cameroon sheep. Surrounded by olives, meadows, macchia and forests or pine and oaks this is a little lost paradise for nature and animal lovers.. Activities: Game, bird and butterfly watching, in spring and autumn hiking/trekking, mushroom "hunting" i, road and mountain biking, half-day hands-on cookery classes of local dishes , wine tastings, city guides, weddings, birthday and anniversary celebration for small groups . ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Poderi Val Verde Castellina In Chianti, Italy - Tuscany

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