We stayed for several nights this May (2012) at Il Molinello, using it as a base to explore Southern Tuscany. I have to say, it was a fantastic place to stay! It is a restored 700 (800?) year old farm house currently being run by 3 generations: Sandro and his wife Elise, their kids and the grandparents. It is located about 30K southeast of Siena, between the towns of Asciano and Serre di Rapolano. Very easy to find with Sandro's directions.
There is the main house, with several rooms. We stayed in Il Gelso (The Jasmine, presumably named for the jasmine vines leading the way up the stairs to the room). It was a very generous suite: a large living room (TV), dining area / kitchen area (full stove & fridge). Down the hallway were the bathroom and a large bedroom with a comfortable queen sized bed. Perfectly decorated and spotless. One of the common areas of the main house had a clear floor looking down to an excavation of the original mill that Sandro had traced back 700 years in the Siena town records (thus Il Molinello - the Mill).
Elsewhere on the grounds, Sandro and his father were putting the finishing touches on two new suites adjacent to the swimming pool. Although "new" they were building them to the local style, using their own hands. Warm, comfortable, spacious. In addition there were two other detached rooms across the drive, all on the same property. Thus, one can choose to either be in the main house, or in one of the adjacent rooms.
The property has an enormous play area, a nice playground and (as mentioned) a nice swimming pool. Chairs and hammocks are distributed under the trees for relaxing during the day. Breakfast was spectacular! And primarily sources from local products, including many items from their own garden.
Sandro was wonderfully knowledgeable about EVERYTHING in the area, especially wines, and was lots of help for planning daytrips to explore the region. One day they arranged that we join a group for a guided tour of Siena, which I highly recommend. I feel we did not make the most of what Sandro could offer, as other guests had planned multiple bicycle tours, wine tastings, etc. through him as well. The photos on the site are representative, however, I would say that it is more beautiful and peaceful than what those photos appear.
We used this as a base to explore on day trips to the Montepulciano, Montalcino, Siena, and just to explore the Val d'Orcia for great photography. Look at my attached photos to see examples of the site, as well as surrounding places in the Val d'Orcia to explore!
At the end of the day, Il Molinello was a wonderful place to return to! One night we cooked in the suite with local produce (there is a market Co-op nearby in Serre di Rapolano). On other nights we ate a restaurants that were recommended by the host, Sandro and all were great! (These included a great family pizza place in Serre di Rapolano, another night in Asciano at Ristorante La Mencia …more of a local upscale family restaurant, and a great restaurant in Serre di Rapolano called L'Ischieto).
All around, Il Molinello was a perfect place to base our explorations of southern Tuscany, and Sandro’s recommendations for places to explore and restaurants to eat at were spot-on. I can’t wait to stay there again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In 1996 we moved to the Crete Senesi and we fell in love with the Molinello: Etruscan origins, medieval mill, peace and tranquility. That's why we decided to share it with our guests. The farm keeps the whole family busy: Alessandro (biologist, nature guide and Sommelier), Elisa who looks after the administration, Mauro and Paola, retired but full time busy on the farm. And we hope that in the future even Emma, Guido and Bernardo will give us a helping hand. We produce vegetables and fruit, olive oil and truffles from organic agriculture.F or our guests we organize a rich program of initiatives discovering the colours and flavours of the Crete, organic homemade breakfast, wine tasting in our cosy winery, cooking lessons, olive oil tastings, wine tours, and excursions by bike guided by Alessandro who is fond of cycling. Only 4 km from our farm there are the thermal baths of Rapolano which grant special discounts to our guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Agriturismo Il Molinello Asciano, Italy - Tuscany