Many times we have stayed in Barbara's lovely Maribelle apartments - the smaller, Maribelle 2 is our favourite, fine for a couple and with doors from the bedroom opening onto a patio on the edge of a lovely olive grove. Perfect spot for breakfast, or a glass of wine in the evening watching the sun go down. It's rustic but very comfortable, and we prefer a bit of character! The position is beautiful and quiet. Cars are not allowed in the village, though we generally drive in and unload, before parking in the free car park a 2-minute walk outside the village walls. The village is a gem, we notice more visitors during the day now - is used to be a real secret - but in the evenings it's yours to stroll about, and there are fabulous views over the surrounding Val D'Orcia.
There are three restaurants in the tiny village to choose from, all very good. La Porta is our favourite (you'll need to book, Daria is very accommodating and speaks excellent English) and you should ask for a table on the balcony if it's mild. La Cantina is good too, run by Daria's daughter, and a more modern take on the traditional Italian cooking. We still haven't eaten at the third one, but reviews are very good and menu always looks great - we simply tend to gravitate back to La Porta!
Pienza and Montepulciano are very close by, a few minutes by car, or a couple of hours' walking on quiet white roads through gorgeous landscapes. On our last visit, we walked to Montepulciano for a great lunch, got the bus to Pienza for a coffee and ice cream, then strolled home.
Barbara is a lovely accommodating host who will do all she can to make your stay a pleasant one. Don't expect 5-star luxury, but do expect a wonderful stay in a historic apartment in a most beautiful location. We hope to return soon, and would think of staying nowhere else if visiting the area!
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