Tuscany - La Manzanaie


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A drive to Barcelona and the overnight boat to Civitavecchia, the port of Roma. Not the most salubrious trip on Grimaldi Lines, but nevertheless a very quick way of getting to Italy. The trip takes over 20 hours by sea, so it was dark when we arrived, and therefore a difficlt drice to Manzanaie via small roads. We had to buy a phone card to use the public phote to let the hotel know that we would be late - it was after midnight when we finally arrived

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Podre le Manzinaie on TripAdvisor and hotels own web site The property is composed of 4 apartments in the main house and one independent villa. In the course of the extensive renovations, the traditional Tuscan architecture has been maintained, with brick structures, soaring ceilings and arches, tiled floors and striking decor.All the accommodations have their own private entrance with outside area in the garden with gazebo, tables and chairs. Each one is provided with fully equipped kitchens complete with a 4-burner gas stove top, microwave oven, refrigerator, North-American style coffee maker, toaster and all the utensils to cook. They are furnished in rustic style and they have every comfort: satellite TV, safe, hairdryers in the bathrooms, Wireless connection, independent heating, screens on windows, ceiling fan.

This is genuine Italian hospitality from the owners. The parents and Alice the daughter run the place. They go further than one would even hope in terms of making you feel welcome. If you want to go to Rome or Sienna on the train, they will book your tickets for you online, and arm you with driving instructions and parking instruction to get to the correct stations. We did a day trip to Rome and another to Sienna by train.

We arrived at 1am, the ferry from Spain was late, and we were greeted by Alice without any hassle. If you are sitting in the garden, you will be offered a cup of cappuccino (free I ought to add), and the weekly dinner (also free) was a high point for us with about 12 guests and the 3 family members enjoying a home cooked Italian dinner.

They have a vegetable garden and invite you to help yourself - it was tomato, bean and courgette season when we were there.

The building is an old farm house that they bought as a ruin and converted it themselves (ask to see the photo album of the restoration) . And all is now done. The building is well out of Montepulciano so you will have to take the car to get to a restaurant.

All in all me enjoyed our stay, and not only is La Manzanaie a great place to stay, but this area of Tuscany is one unspoilt medieval village after another. Whilst in the area we were able to cover most of the small towns over a wide area.

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Then there was a day trip to Rome by train - not without its adventure. And our next hotel Sant Antonio

Tuscan Holiday