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Rated Excellent By Trip Advisor

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Property Details

Sleeps:
6 - 7
Single Bedrooms:
0
Double Bedrooms:
3
Bathrooms:
2
Type:
Farmhouse
Property #:
15152
Nearest Town:
Certaldo (Chianti Area)

Featured Property

This property is featured in the categories: Contact Us

Reviews of Farmhouse Rental Near Certaldo, Tuscany

Donatella

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Customer Reviews

Overall:
Donatella was perfect for two couples travelling together. The villa was spacious, clean and the kitchen well-stocked before our arrival. There was maid service daily that also included doing our laundry! The grounds are well maintained and quite scenic. The views of surrounding Tuscany really are spectacular. Don't miss watching the sunset! The pool is wonderful. Emma, Giancarlo and Matteo could not have been better hosts! Their knowledge of the surrounding towns and restaurants was invaluable. Emma is a fabulous cook!
Enjoyed Most:
The warmth and helpfulness of our hosts cannot be overstated. We were spoiled! And, you cannot beat those Tuscan views. Most of all, we have the villa to ourselves... no other guests sharing common areas.
Enjoyed Least:
Centrally located, Donatella is ideal for day trips all around Tuscany. But, you are at least an hour from Florence or Sienna... and towns spread out from there. We relied on the knowledge of our hosts to guide us to the best locales and the best restaurants, shops, wineries. They have a bookcase filled with travel guides and maps, plus they have put there own little notebook together with information about surrounding towns, including Florence. You do need a GPS to get around and the roads can be a challenge, particularly at night. Only other problem is the WiFi is not terribly fast because the connection to the Internet is not particularly speedy. A problem beyond the control of the villa.
Surrounding Area:
The best art is in the churches of these small Tuscan towns and villages. Amazing sculptures, frescoes, architecture, paintings and altar pieces. We enjoyed the history, culture and friendliness of the people. Wines, cheese, olive oils, pastas, prosciutto and salami... the best.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The closest small town is the once small area called Semiforte in Barberino Val d'Elsa. Here is the beautiful Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo whose dome is identical to that of the Duomo in Florence, but five times smaller. There is a really lovely restaurant within walking distance just down the road. A bit further but not within walking distance is Certaldo.
Tips or Restaurants:
Pack light! There is daily maid service (except on weekends) and she does your laundry. Know, however, that there is no clothes dryer. Your laundry is air dried. You do not need to bring any laundry detergent or any items to clean the villa. Our hosts stocked the kitchen and refrigerator with enough of the items you need to get through the first few days. There is a COOP nearby where you can get anything else you'll need to prepare meals for yourself.
Directions:
Google maps worked quite well. Best to use the lattitude/longitude numbers for the villa if you use a GPS. There is some disagreement on the street names. While Google maps gets you to the villa, regular GPS systems that use Navteq data (virtually all GPS systems) will send you to the wrong location.
Check In Out:
Both were a breeze. Check-in was a warm welcome with wine and cheese. When you said farewell, you were saying goodbye to friends.

Randy, June

Overall:
It was our second year to stay in this beautiful home. Everything about it is the ultimate in truly living in Tuscany.
Enjoyed Most:
The views are like those on a postcard and take your breath away. The owners treat you as family from the time that you arrive until your departure.
Surrounding Area:
The chapel in St Apiano, the wonderful trip to Certaldo Alto, great walking and picking wild flowers.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino is a lovely walked city about two miles away. It would be quite a walk on the winding road however, doable
Tips or Restaurants:
Julios pizzeria in Barbareno is great for lunch or dinner. Local owner and specials every day. Campinellis in Petriano is wonderful and the owners delightful as well. A favorite.
Directions:
Directions good.
Check In Out:
Painless.

Katherine, May

Overall:
Wonderful time. Villa was very comfortable and clean. Everything was amazing !
Enjoyed Most:
Beautiful views and quiet.
Surrounding Area:
Countryside lovely, especially in early morning.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Electrical adapters for appliances are very useful.
Directions:
Use a GPS downloaded for Europe!
Check In Out:
The owners made everything quite easy. Lovely family!

Regina, October

Overall:
Exceptionally comfortable and enticing.
Enjoyed Most:
View, comfort.
Surrounding Area:
Walk to vineyard and small town.
Tips or Restaurants:
Donatella was our "restaurant". We made our own late night meals after returning from a day of exploration. Did get some excellent soup and boar kabobs at a street fair in Certaldo.
Directions:
Not sure. We didn't find it at first but that led to an unforgettable experience at a winery. Our tour guide, Francesco, was wonderful and we bought our first Italian wines there.
Check In Out:
We loved our hosts, and the process was effortless. Thanks so much!

Joan, October

Overall:
Perfect! Our stay at Donatella exceeded all of our expectations and Emma, Giancarlo and Matteo where in large part why. The owners were so welcoming and gracious. Giancarlo gave us a binder of information about the history of the area, places to visit, directions etc. Emma gave us a tour of the villa with instructions on how to use everything. Very helpful.
Enjoyed Most:
The pictures on the website do not do it justice. The views are beautiful and the infinity pool was such a treat. Such a peaceful residence with several different decks or sitting areas to enjoy the outdoor space.
Surrounding Area:
I felt very safe going for a morning jog up to the old ruins or down the road to neighboring vineyards. We did a lot of exploring into nearby towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo. No, I think it was about 10 miles away.
Tips or Restaurants:
The owners started us out with staples of coffee, milk, wine, water, juice... It was so thoughtful. And they were very helpful directing us to nearby grocery stores and restaurants, even helping us with reservations.
Directions:
We used a GPS and it worked great. I recommend getting a GPS if you plan to explore the surrounding towns as the roads are not always marked too clearly.
Check In Out:
It was effortless. We showed up earlier than the designated check in time due to our flight arrival. We thought we would find the place and then come back a little later but Matteo, the owner's son, welcomed us and had us relax by the pool until they were ready for us. So nice!

Chris, September

Overall:
We all plan to go back, fabulous time, totally amazing. There were six of us that stayed at Donatella. The owners of Donatella, Emma, Giancarlo, and Mateo were wonderful, their hospitality cannot be matched. Be sure to have Emma and Mateo prepare a meal for you, well worth it! Very relaxing, beautiful view, everything you would want is right there! Thank you!
Enjoyed Most:
The location, the owners the facility, we loved it all.
Enjoyed Least:
We were 100 percent satisfied!
Surrounding Area:
Farm land, hills, views, everyone was pleasant, just beautiful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
No towns within walking distance
Check In Out:
Check in and Check out were easy! Wonderful owners!

LORIANN, August

Overall:
Amazing. The owners are warm and welcoming.
Enjoyed Most:
The location. The villa was itself was spotless and fully stocked. Plenty of room for 3 couples.
Enjoyed Least:
There wasn't anything I didn't like about the property.
Surrounding Area:
The beauty of the countryside and the local people. It was nice to be in an area that wasn't full of tourists.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo. No, it wasn't within walking distance
Tips or Restaurants:
Schedule a few meals with the owners. Emma and Mateo are extraordinary chefs.
Directions:
GPS didn't work well.
Check In Out:
It was delightful, enjoyed a glass of wine with the owner while she told us about the villa.

Sharon, August

Overall:
Awesome!
Enjoyed Most:
The setting and wonderful owners. Near all towns and great dinner.
Surrounding Area:
Towns and great restaurants.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa. Yes--it's walkable.
Tips or Restaurants:
Owners made wonderful suggestions.
Directions:
GPS is necessary.
Check In Out:
Went smoothly!

Ina, August

Overall:
Exceptional! Wonderful hosts who were extremely helpful with directions, suggested sites to visit and were very friendly.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, views, pool and the host! A/C at night perfect.
Surrounding Area:
The views and good food.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Approximately 8k--not walkable.
Directions:
Host was very good at providing directions in English. Hand-drawn maps were drafted in our presence. Bring a GPS that has been calibrated for Italy. Repeat, calibrated.
Check In Out:
I would go back in a heartbeat.

Philip, July

Overall:
Our experience was everything we imagined it would be. It is a spacious, comfortable and very attractive home. It was a perfect base from which we travelled extensively throughout the area (Assissi, Siena, Cinque Terre, and more). The meals prepared by Emma and her son, Mateo, rivaled anything we had from fine restaurants and included dishes one would have great difficulty finding anywhere else.
Enjoyed Most:
That it was rural yet accessible to anywhere in Italy you might want go. Access to major highways and the train system was a significant 'plus'.
Enjoyed Least:
It is in a working agriculture area which is great, but, sometimes being awakened at the break of dawn by the sounds of tractors, trucks and various other farm equipment was initially unnerving. But, once our bodies adjusted to the local time zone, it was a minor nuisance.
Surrounding Area:
The ability to meet and interact with neighbors. The best pizza is at a place seemingly in the middle of nowhere, however it is around the corner from the villa. And, it is across the street from the local dance hall. Both are a 'must do' for anyone staying here. Then, there is the ability to see so many villages and towns perched on surrounding hilltops. Finally, even here, you cannot take a step without encountering some bit of meaningful history.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino and, yes, it can be reached on foot. But, be advised, it is not a short stroll.
Tips or Restaurants:
Laundry is provided, so do not over pack. Also, you will need a car, to be sure. But, use it primarily for the local grocer and the Certaldo train station. (Parking is cheap on an intra-day basis and free for overnight.) Be very careful driving in Firenze, but once you reach the highway, reaching the villa is very straightforward.
Directions:
First, GPS is useless within Firenze. We had three going and all had problems finding satellites. Local street names are hard to see while driving. There has to be a better way to drive out or into Firenze.
Check In Out:
Check-in and check-out could not have more easy. Actually, the way Emma and Giancarlo do it, it's more "greeting" and, sadly, "parting". Nope, I can't imagine anything I could add to it or take from it that would improve the experience. It's not like a hotel (when is the last time a desk clerk hugged you?).

Tony, June

Overall:
Incredible. We visited this villa six years ago with our adult children and returned alone this visit. The property was perfect six years ago and they have continued to improve on perfection! The new infinity pool was amazing , garden area stunning and of course Emma, Giancarlo and Mateo are amazing hosts. We felt like we were returning home to spend time with family.
Enjoyed Most:
The stunning views, the family room with a 360 view of the area, Emma's cooking, dinner with our gracious hosts, the peaceful location, an expansive home and the easy access to the train station.
Enjoyed Least:
After five weeks over a six year span I can not list one negative about this beautiful property.
Surrounding Area:
Easy access to dining, train and of course Certaldo Alto.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano, probably a 15 or 20 minute walk.
Tips or Restaurants:
Our hosts provided an abundance of recommendations and provide two books of information on best areas to dine, shop and visit. They even made reservations for us.
Directions:
Current directions worked well.
Check In Out:
Went very smoothly.

Dorothy, June

Overall:
Excellent.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, view, hospitality of hosts and history. Hosts truly enriched the experience...delightful people. Great directions, great in-house notebook, interesting additional side trips, additional fellowship.
Surrounding Area:
Everything. Great proximity to awesome towns, views and history.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrignano, yes--walkable.
Tips or Restaurants:
Maroni's in Sciano is off the charts.
Directions:
Getting out of Florence airport was the trickiest.
Check In Out:
Wonderful hosts who made us feel so very welcome.

Rosie And Tom, October

Overall:
We had a brilliant time.
Enjoyed Most:
Peace and tranquility, views of Tuscan countryside, friendly and helpful/knowledgable hosts, infinity pool.
Enjoyed Least:
Not much ... iron could do with an upgrade (old, a bit difficult to operate), power connections were a little problematic but no 'show-stopper'..
Surrounding Area:
Florence, Siena, San Giminago, Volterra.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Too far to comfortably walk - 5-10 minute drive.
Tips or Restaurants:
Emma is the expert on the local restaurants and she also cooks!
Directions:
Arrive in daylight, after dark is something of a challenge.
Check In Out:
All very easy.

Jenny, August

Overall:
Wonderful - we could have easily stayed for another week!
Enjoyed Most:
The beautiful views and totally peaceful feeling.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing about the property itself--it was more that we could not find it! Once we did, we were fine. The place where we rented our car did not offer to rent us a GPS and we thought one came with the car so we got very lost trying to find the house!
Surrounding Area:
Everything - it was beautiful!
Tips or Restaurants:
The restaurant in the nearest town that was not within walking was very good. Just ask the owners - they are incredibly nice and very helpful. If you can arrange for them to make dinner for you - that was one of our best evenings.
Directions:
Yes, absolutely use a GPS!
Check In Out:
No - both check in and out were quick and easy.

Maureen, July

Overall:
Perfect. I wouldn't change a single thing. The house is very well maintained and very comfortable, the view was beautiful, the owners are charming, and the food was divine.
Enjoyed Most:
The views and the pool.
Enjoyed Least:
It was a perfect experience. There was nothing to improve on.
Surrounding Area:
Beautiful scenery close to Florence, Siena, Volterra, the Chianti area. We could see the city of Towers from the villa.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo, I think. We didn't walk to it but I'm sure it could be done.
Tips or Restaurants:
Have Emma and Matteo cook for you.
Directions:
We didn't use a GPS. The directions provided were excellent.
Check In Out:
Our flight getting there was delayed and we had to leave at 4:00 AM; the owners accommodated both deviations from the published schedule.

Margaret, June

Overall:
Outstanding.
Enjoyed Most:
Food, view, location.
Enjoyed Least:
Shower, small but very clean.
Surrounding Area:
Close to several good day trips.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo.
Check In Out:
We loved everything about our experience.

Bob, June

Overall:
An excellent vacation experiene.
Enjoyed Most:
The villa itself and the amazing view.
Surrounding Area:
Fields to walk in and a historic dome just up the road.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa. No.
Tips or Restaurants:
WiFi is good so it fun to post pictures on Facebook even if your cellphones don't work elsewhere.
Directions:
We found it to be faster to go through Siena instead of Florence on our way back to Rome. It saved an hour on the return trip. We did not use a GPS. Bought a road map for local driving and then used Google maps to plan our route back to Rome.
Check In Out:
They were very accommodating and allowed us to check out the night before so we could depart early in the morning.

Prudence, June

Overall:
Villa Donatella was a delightful experience. The owners were very gracious and helpful. The villa was well maintained and clean. The maid service was an extra that we did not expect and it was nice to have someone doing the laundry for us. The location was just right, a peaceful setting in the countryside but close to towns for shopping and site seeing. There is one great restaurant that you could walk to in the town of Petrognano. To me it was a must to have a rental car so you could see the area at your own schedule. I would highly recommend this villa as a place to enjoy the Tuscan area.
Enjoyed Most:
The country setting and the views. Peace and quiet.
Enjoyed Least:
Everything was great.
Surrounding Area:
very scenic, places to walk
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano, yes, it's walkable.
Directions:
We used a map and Google maps on my iPad, plus the directions from RentVillas.

Richard, June

Overall:
We enjoyed beautiful views and ease of driving in the area. Our hosts, Giancarlo and Emma, were wonderful and always helpful. Emma and her son are fabulous chefs and we had two outstanding meals prepared by them. The home is very comfortable and private with lovely balcony and side yards for enjoying the views. Great swimming pool, but we did not get to use since the weather was a little chilly.
Enjoyed Most:
The views from the large living room were amazing. Large windows looking in 3 directions from top of hill. Great sunsets.
Enjoyed Least:
Shower in second bathroom was a little small, but this was a minor detail compared to the rest of the home.
Surrounding Area:
Beautiful countryside full of vineyards and olive trees. Close proximity to larger cities.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa was 3 - 4 km. Walkable, but you need a little time.
Tips or Restaurants:
Great restaurant just 5 minute drive from house. Giancarlo will provide name. Lovely stone house with seating inside and out.
Directions:
We used Google maps on iPad and followed directions we were given. No problem finding the place.
Check In Out:
Both were painless and relaxing. Owners are very helpful in describing the area and things to do.

Carolyn, May

Overall:
Excellent. Emma and Giancarlo were the very best hosts possible. It was warm, friendly but not burdensome
Enjoyed Most:
The stunning views of the countryside. The information for this property does not do it justice. It is far better than advertised. Fabulous meals prepared by Emma and Matteo. Also, very easy to get to other villages/towns for sightseeing.
Surrounding Area:
Very easy walking with lovely sights at every turn.
Nearby Events or Locales:
It may have been walkable but not for me.
Tips or Restaurants:
The local village has a wonderful restaurant - we ate there three times.
Directions:
We had excellent luck with the written instructions from RentVillas combined with the GPS and Google Maps on our iPad.
Check In Out:
Very, very easy. The owners are on site but are not at all intrusive. Rather, they are very supportive and informative if you inquire.

Barbara, May

Overall:
This was our first time renting a villa in Europe. Donatella has raised the bar in our expectations for any future villas we may rent. We felt the location was perfect, the accommodations perfect, and our hosts could not have been more pleasant and helpful. The views from this hill top location are spectacular and the surrounding countryside perfect for walking, hiking, or biking. There is a large infinity pool with oversize umbrella shade. Refreshing in the hotter weather, although renting in May gave us superb weather everyday, not too hot or cold.
Enjoyed Most:
We all liked the location. It was somewhat remote, but that was part of its charm. Medieval villages were within walking distance and the villa shared the land with an organic olive orchard maintained by the owners. We were within easy driving distance of various points of interest. I also must mentioned how immaculately kept this villa was kept. Everything in good, order, clean and fresh.
Enjoyed Least:
That is difficult to question because it was nearly perfect in every way and we all have discerning tastes and high standards. I mention this because I want it known that we were not easy to please. If I had to say what I like least about the property would be that the outdoor balcony did not take in that magnificent view.
Surrounding Area:
The countryside, the olive orchard, the medieval town of nearby Alto Certaldo, the gentle winding roads that took you easily to various points of interest.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest town was Certaldo, about 15 minute drive from the hilltop villa.
Tips or Restaurants:
Restaurants...L'Antica Fonte in Alto Certaldo and La Saletta Osteria in Certaldo Be sure to ask Emma, the villa owner to prepare a meal for you...even two. We did and were not disappointed. The villa owners can be very helpful with your travel plans. Take advantage of thei knowledge about the area and what to see. Favorite winery tour was in Chianti...Castello di Verraazzano, food and wine experience. Need to make reservations in advance. Bring binoculars!
Directions:
Even with a GPS, the first time arriving to the villa confusing. After that, it was easy to find our our way.
Check In Out:
The homeowners are there to meet you and give you a thorough orientation to the property and more, if you wish of the area.

Robert, May

Overall:
Perfect.
Enjoyed Most:
Beautiful property and home; congenial, generous, available and helpful owners; stunning location and views. Great fireplace. Good WiFi.
Enjoyed Least:
Google maps couldn't find it.
Surrounding Area:
One of the most beautiful locations and views in the world.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Nothing in easy walking distance, but several small towns 5-10 min by car, and San Gimignano about 20 minutes away.
Tips or Restaurants:
Plan to cook. Great pizza place down the hill - Moroni's - recommended by owner's son Matteo. We didn't go out locally otherwise.
Directions:
Google maps is not reliable for this property. Exact GPS coordinates are helpful.
Check In Out:
Painless, pleasant.

Jeffrey, March

Overall:
We spent an amazing month at Donatella. The villa was everything we hoped for and more. Well furnished and equipped. Housekeeping was an added bonus, as was the laundry. We were able to relax and enjoy all that bella Tuscany has to offer.
Enjoyed Most:
The location was beautiful, atop a hill with views of the olive groves and surrounding hill towns. Our hosts were wonderful. Both Emma and Giancarlo went out of their way to make us feel welcome. They provided suggestions and maps on places to visit. Suggestions for restaurants included calling for reservations when asked. They were always available but unobtrusive . They took the hapless and sometimes helpless Americans under their wing. We were included in a game dinner with friends and a Halloween party, Italian style. We will never forget their kindness.
Enjoyed Least:
My husband would say the winding roads and sharp curves, but it is Tuscany, right? There was nothing about the property to dislike.
Surrounding Area:
Easy access to train stations and roads to take us to cities and towns. The area around Certaldo is quiet and beautiful. Shop keepers and locals friendly and helpful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
I would say Certaldo and it is a fifteen minute drive from the villa. Convenient as it has the train station and a well-stocked COOP.
Tips or Restaurants:
I would suggest warm clothes if you go in October as we had some rainy and cold days and the heat was not on yet. This was taken care of by Giancarlo. Also internet and cell phone service was spotty and disrupted for several days. The villa itself is well equipped. Especially loved the American coffee maker. There are several good restaurants nearby. Any suggestions made by Emma and Giancarlo are to be taken seriously. We had several great dinners at Il Campianello.
Directions:
We used our GPS from Florence and found the villa by the round about way. It was pouring rain and we had very poor visibility but we found it. Emma and Giancarlo were waiting with wine and cheese. I would use the directions given rather than a GPS next time as they gave a more direct route using major roads. Our biggest problem was getting out of Florence.
Check In Out:
Check in and out was a breeze. All paperwork in order and more wine and cheese.

Denise, November

Overall:
Wonderful. Emma and Giancarlo made our stay very special.
Enjoyed Most:
The scenery was breathtaking and Emma's cooking was 5-star.
Surrounding Area:
The hills, the towns, the beauty.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo. Not in walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Best food was cooked by Emma. There was 1 nearby good restaurant but can't remember name. Emma will recommend it.
Directions:
Used GPS which was extremely helpful. Directions were pretty good, but still had to ask a local for help.
Check In Out:
Easy as pie. The hosts made it so easy and gave us a lot of recommendations.

Bob, September

Overall:
Excellent. Hands down.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, once we found it.
Enjoyed Least:
Getting to the property from the Rome airport.
Surrounding Area:
Small towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Not sure, but too far to walk.
Directions:
Used GPS but it did not coincide with map provided.
Check In Out:
Very easy.

Mike, September

Overall:
Our overall experience was amazing. We found nothing about the property that we did not like.
Enjoyed Most:
The view is amazing and the living space was large enough to provide opportunities to relax in quiet if you wanted to or to all gather around in one large group.
Enjoyed Least:
I would have preferred a larger shower. However, the showers were large enough, it is just a personal preference. It is not something that was a problem.
Surrounding Area:
We liked to take walks around the area - it is very scenic. The vineyards and olive groves were beautiful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We were in San Donnino, and we were close enough to walk to the other nearby towns. We were 15 minutes driving distance away from Certaldo.
Tips or Restaurants:
We had everything we needed at the villa. The owners, Emma and Giancarlo, were wonderful. They were very gracious hosts and were ready to respond to any of our questions, or provide us with detailed information. We found a restaurant we loved in San Gimignano called Le Vecchie Mure.
Directions:
We used a GPS and did not have any problems getting to the property. The directions were clear.
Check In Out:
The check in check out process was fine; we did not have any problems with it.

Gail, August

Overall:
We had a wonderful time at the villa, young and old alike. The property is beautiful and very well kept. The welcome from the owners was very nice and they were on hand throughout our stay to offer advice and recommendations.
Enjoyed Most:
Emma cooked us a beautiful dinner on our last night and Giancarlo led the wine tasting expertly. I fully recommend that renters do this on at least one night.
Surrounding Area:
The villa was centrally located and within reach of most major sites. Beautiful views.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Nearest small town is Barberino Val d'Elsa and not within walking distance but only 10 mins by car.
Tips or Restaurants:
There is a lovely restaurant in the village of Petrognano which can be reached on foot from from the villa or 5 mins by car. It has tables set in a stunning rose garden by the vineyard (weather permitting) and excellent food. Bring plenty of bug spray as there are quite a few around!
Directions:
Directions were fine - did not use a GPS and found the property easily.
Check In Out:
Check-in and out process was very smooth. We were welcomed with cold cuts and a bottle of local wine which was a lovely touch.

Vanessa, August

Overall:
Fantastic. The pool was gorgeous and a wonderful thing to come home to after touring during the day. Our hosts were exceptional.
Enjoyed Most:
The location and the pool.
Enjoyed Least:
The gate is very tight and maneuvering the car was tricky, but not a big deal. A/C was additonal cost; we did not end up using it even though it was very hot.
Surrounding Area:
Donnatella is close to so many things - we went to Siena, San Gimignano, several other Tuscan towns, we took a bike tour and took the train to Florence.
Nearby Events or Locales:
There was really nothing within walking distance as far as a town goes, but we did take some nice walks in the area.
Tips or Restaurants:
The best meal we had was hands down at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, which we learned about from our hosts. This multicourse dinner with all the wine you could drink was served family-style. It was a fantastic find and delicious.
Directions:
I don't think we would have found it if we had not had our GPS. We found the GPS coordinates before we left home, and that is how we got there.

Laureen, August

Overall:
Superb! We would return again to the same location and we have recommended it to our many friends. Great location and within a short drive to most towns. Beautiful!
Enjoyed Most:
The location, the serenity, the views and most of all the welcoming and very friendly owners. Thanks Emma, Giancarlo, and Matteo.
Surrounding Area:
We loved walking along the roads and looking at the fabulous views and discovering small grottos off the main roads.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo was the nearest town where we could pick up our supplies but it was not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
I would tell everyone to visit old Certaldo, Barberino, and San Gimignano which are very old towns that have great history and all have several beautiful restaurants.
Directions:
Fortunately we were picked up at the railway station by friends so we had no problem getting to our accommodation. I would recommend the train ride from Florence to Certaldo. Beautiful scenery, sunflower fields. It was great having the station at Certaldo because we took a few trips to Florence,Siena and Venice.

Vicki, July

Overall:
We had a wonderful time.
Enjoyed Most:
The setting and the view. The owners were wonderful.
Enjoyed Least:
Kitchen, very small.
Surrounding Area:
Walks, olive groves, the overall beauty.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo.

Gail, July

Overall:
Words cannot adequately describe the beautiful scenery, ambiance and coziness of this villa. Upon our arrival, we were given an overview of how everything works and instantly felt that this was the perfect place for us to spend our week in Tuscany. Emma, the owner, had stocked the frig with milk, eggs, juice, butter, water and beer. She also had a basket of coffee, cookies, pasta, olive oil and a bottle of wine. We had everything we needed to make it through the next day or so. In addition, there was wine for purchase (5 euro each). We tried a bottle of red and white which were both excellent. Each room had an AC that was adequate. Italians do not use AC so it is just for us Americans who rely on it. We used the AC every night because it was unseasonably hot (June) and it cost us an extra 10 euro per day, but it was well worth it to sleep in comfort. There is a small COOP in Barberino Val D'Elsa where you can buy basic necessities. There is a bigger COOP in Tavernelle Val Di Pesa where there is a bigger assortment of cheeses and pastas. Laundry is done for you daily and hung to dry. This is included in the general housekeeping charge. The villa is organic so they also provide organic shampoo and body wash. The kitchen is stocked with dishwasher detergent and dish soap, as well as organic paper products. Several reviewers mentioned that they should have had Emma cook more for them. We could not agree more!! Emma cooked 2 fabulous meals for us and we were blown away! The pool was wonderful after long, hot days of touring. The porch and different sitting areas on the property were wonderful for relaxing. The amazing outdoor areas made us feel truly a part of Tuscany. Emma and Giancarlo were the most amazing hosts from the minute we arrived until the moment we departed. They went completely out of their way to make our stay a fantastic adventure, helped us with providing directions for our day trips when needed and made restaurant reservations for us.
Enjoyed Most:
Views were extraordinary. Property is well equipped and well maintained. Daily maid service (including laundry) was a real plus. Hosts were extremely helpful and responsive to any needs.
Enjoyed Least:
Can't think of a single thing! Previous reviews talked about mosquitoes but this was not a problem.
Surrounding Area:
The villa was a great home base for exploring the nearby cities of Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, and the Chianti region--all a must. In hindsight, we should have planned a day to do nothing and just relax around the villa. Or just walked around nearby Barberino Val D'Elsa or Certaldo. But, this just means we have to return to Tuscany.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano was the nearest small town which had a couple of restaurants but nothing else. I would not recommend walking.
Tips or Restaurants:
Giancarlo and Emma can recommend good restaurants in the area. Make sure you call ahead. Even if you show up at a restaurant and they are not busy, they appreciate a call ahead of time to know you are coming. We quickly realized that not calling was the equivalent of showing up at a friend's house unannounced.
Directions:
Use GPS coordinates. Until you are acclimated to driving in Tuscany, you will be very frustrated trying to follow maps. We got lost and we called Giancarlo. He told us to stay where we were and sent his son Matteo to get us. Once we followed Matteo back to the property, we got our bearings and didn't have a problem after that. We are glad we rented a car because you really need one. Just remember to be patient!
Check In Out:
The check-in and check-out procedures were very simple. We left the villa very early on Saturday morning so Giancarlo checked us out on Friday night.

Jane, June

Overall:
Wonderful.
Enjoyed Most:
View.
Enjoyed Least:
Hard to find.
Surrounding Area:
Great view.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino; not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
I Latini - great restaurant.

Michelle, June

Overall:
Very lovely and relaxing.
Enjoyed Most:
Views and pool.
Enjoyed Least:
Property owners live on site. They were lovely, helpful people but we like our privacy on vacation. Editor's Note: The owners live in Florence, but visit occasionally and use a small apartment for check-in and check-out days.
Surrounding Area:
All the little hill towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa; it's not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring wash cloths and your favorite spices. Many good restaurants in Certaldo Alto.
Directions:
We did use GPS, though we still got lost. But hey, you're in Italy so who cares if you get lost a little!
Check In Out:
All good. Emma is very quick and efficient.

Susan, June

Overall:
This was a wonderful place for family to meet up and enjoy the views, day trips to Certaldo, Siena and San Gimignano while having a home base. Emma and Giancarlo were gracious hosts who were welcoming and helpful with arranging a trip to a local ceramic store and a crystal store. Could not have asked for any better view - loved walking into the family/dining room every morning and seeing the hills of Tuscany!
Enjoyed Most:
The views and the quiet serenity were the top of the list for the 5 of us that stayed for the week. And the dinner that Emma cooked for us one evening was some of the best food we ate while in Italy! If you stay here, you must absolutely have her cook for you one evening.
Surrounding Area:
Staying here allowed you to take easy day trips to the various towns/villages. We did day trips to Siena, Certaldo, and San Gimignano just to name a few.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town was Petrognano and was within walking distance for me. There is a restaurant there, but we did not have an opportunity to try it. We did most of our shopping at the larger Coop store in Tavarnelle. It has everything you could need.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring a good book to curl up and read either outside or in the room with the beautiful views! I could have done that all week long!! For restaurants, I can't remember all of the names, but Emma and Giancarlo can give you wonderful suggestions and they have a binder with several listed. When we went to the crystal store (Emma can call for you to see if they are open), the person who assisted us gave us a suggestion of a cafe in La Speranza to eat. Local place - we were the only tourists in there and the food was excellent!
Directions:
We took our own GPS and had purchased the Italy maps - worth every penny!!! I would highly suggest having one. The directions to the villa were excellent and then once we plugged it in as our "home", we never had any difficulty finding it again.
Check In Out:
Both the check in and check out process were smoothly done. For the check in, our hosts greeted us with umbrellas since it was raining and once we got our luggage inside, they welcomed us with wine, cheese, and salami. Was a very nice treat and they both made us feel very welcomed!

Sheila, June

Overall:
Absolutely wonderful.
Enjoyed Most:
The amazing outdoor areas made us feel truly a part of Tuscany. This was only exceeded by the interior functionality; the villa accommodates two couples perfectly, with a bedroom to spare.
Surrounding Area:
The variety of historical towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo and Barberino Val d'Elsa; neither are within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Emma and Giancarlo provided everything down to on-site laundry that was done for us. By far the best restaurant was to have Emma prepare a meal. We did it twice and wish we had arranged more--simply unbelievable food.
Check In Out:
Emma and Giancarlo were the most amazing hosts from the minute we arrived until the moment we departed. They went completely out of their way to make our stay a fantastic adventure, helped us with all of our day trips, arranged numerous outings, and made calls for us when our Italian did not suffice

Trevor, May

Overall:
Wonderful experience. Property is well maintained and hosts are charming and most helpful. Perfect location close to many interesting and beautiful places to visit. Also, their is a train station in Certaldo (20 minutes away) that is a gateway to many other places to visit.
Enjoyed Most:
Views were extraordinary. Property is well equipped and well maintained. Daily maid service (including laundry) was a real plus. Hosts were extremely helpful and responsive to any needs.
Enjoyed Least:
Difficult to find the first time. Early in the season, the owners were preparing the property and there was sometimes noise from power equipment in the late afternoon and evening.
Surrounding Area:
Beautiful setting. Within an hour's drive there were many good places to visit.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano was within walking distance, but it was very small and only a restaurant there (which, by the way, was excellent).
Tips or Restaurants:
The villa is very well furnished, including the kitchen. If you use wash cloths, you must bring them. Also, while there is an initial supply of TP and other paper products, you must replace yourself. House wine and olive oil are excellent. Too many great restaurants in the Chianti area to mention. There are binders in the villa that provide very useful recommendations and information and the owners also make excellent suggestions and are eager to make reservations for you as needed.
Directions:
The coordinates are helpful if using GPS. GPS helps, but is not foolproof. We attempted to avoid the autostrada and take local highways, but that is much longer and confusing. It is a challenge, but Emma, the host, is very helpful if you call her and will even drive to a nearby town to meet you.
Check In Out:
Easy, quick and understandable. No surprises. Emma accommodated an early departure by check-out the night before.

Susan , May

Overall:
Looking forward to going back. A memorable experience.
Enjoyed Most:
Delightful owners. Gorgeous views. Plenty of space.
Enjoyed Least:
We did not anticipate that heating and/or air conditioning would cost an extra 18 Euros/day.
Surrounding Area:
The beauty.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano, not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Olive oil is provided. Bring cards or other games. They have an extensive library with English books. Many books are left by other renters. Having an Italy-compatible GSM cell phone is essential.
Directions:
We had trouble finding it; the owners finally came to our rescue, met us, and lead us to our destination.

Laurence, October

Overall:
We had a wonderful week at our Tuscany retreat. After spending 4 days rushing about Rome and seeing the sights, it was a perfect contrast--very calming, and beautiful. Our hosts were friendly and very hospitable and spoke English fluently. They went above and beyond their host duties. Emma cooked us a special and very delicious Tuscan meal and then sat with us visiting and telling us about their life. Giancarlo went out of his way to drive us to a nearby glass factory, where we watched the artisans making various crystal wine glasses and beautiful pieces of glass sculpture. He provided an informative tour about how the glass was produced. It was one of the highlights of our entire trip.
Enjoyed Most:
The best thing about staying here was that it was a home base from which to explore the hill towns nearby, and all the wonderful sights. Emma and Giancarlo were very helpful, but not intrusive. It was quiet and if some of us wanted to take a break from sightseeing, they enjoyed a wonderful rejuvenating day at the villa. The accommodations were exemplary, with maid service provided daily for our convenience. The bathrooms were clean and modern, as was the kitchen, which was equipped with all convenient appliances. The new pool on the premises was great when the weather allowed. We loved it all!
Enjoyed Least:
The only thing that was a slight concern, was the presence of mosquitoes and small black bugs that got into the house at night. We managed nicely with insect repellent.
Surrounding Area:
We loved the beauty and serenity. It was great to be able to take day trips to the hill towns nearby. Using our GPS we were able to navigate easily. The roads and nearby towns were picturesque and fun to drive to and visit.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino di Val d'Elsa was about 4 kilometers away. Not really walkable, but there was a small grocery store there, which was great. Certaldo was 10 kilometers away with a train and bus station to travel further afield--we took the train to Florence for a day trip.
Tips or Restaurants:
We would suggest you bring insect repellent, swimsuits in season (beach towels were provided), and a good book to read for relaxing. For a wonderful dining experience, there is a quiet country trattoria about 1 kilometer away. Service and food were excellent. I don't have the name, but Emma could tell you. It was second only to Emma's home cooked meal!
Directions:
We used a GPS to go back and forth to the property. Once we were at the property, our GPS recorded the coordinates, and always made it easy to return 'home'. It was very helpful to have.
Check In Out:
Emma and Giancarlo were waiting for us and made us at home. Emma sat down with us, provided local wine and their own homegrown figs and cheese for refreshments, and gave us all the info we needed to make our stay enjoyable. She patiently answered all our questions.

Judith, September

Overall:
A very nice property which worked very well for our extended family: 11-year old twins, parents, and grandfather. Would recommend strongly to renters looking for a taste of rural Tuscany, but providing good access also to the main towns (Florence, Siena, etc).
Enjoyed Most:
Spectacular views from a spacious living room across the valley to San Gimignano. Very nice pool for cooling off at the end of the day. High standard of decor and upkeep to the house, as well as very friendly owners.
Surrounding Area:
A fantastic location up in the hills, so peaceful and quiet. But also ready driving (or train) access to Florence and Siena.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Could walk to Petrognano (about 1km) but apart from a restaurant, there is not much there (except farm houses).
Directions:
No problems with the map or directions.
Check In Out:
Very friendly and informative reception from the owners.

Peter, September

Overall:
Our experience was as we expected: Living in a postcard for 7 great days.
Enjoyed Most:
The view of the valley and the nearby villages. Like a postcard of an exquisite sunset.
Enjoyed Least:
The villa was under repair on some of the days we were there.
Surrounding Area:
Everything. The wine tasting at Greve was unforgetable.
Nearby Events or Locales:
No village was within walking distance and the roads were not conducive to walking, anyway.
Directions:
GPS was essential; we would have struggled to find the villa without it.

Darcy, August

Overall:
Donatella was an amazing experience. We loved everything about it - the views, the pool, the warm and knowlegable owners, the well cared for and spacious home. Emma's meal was a memorable experience and a trip highglight. Little touches like the home made olive oil and ability to pick tomatoes and herbs added to the experience. It exceeded our expectations. We pinched ourselves every day in disbelief.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We had two meals in Barberino Val D'Elsa and really enjoyed it. The town wasn't touristy, had great food and is an authentic walled village. It wasn't within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
The pictures on the web site do not do the property justice. The views and little nooks, pool are out of a movie set and you can't see that in the pictures.
Directions:
I think better maps (Google maps--not handmade) would be in order. While we found the house initially it was likely through use of our GPS. However, we really liked the location. It was near all the major sites yet appropriately removed to make you feel relaxed.

Sue, August

Overall:
Amazing. Emma and Giancarlo are terrific and made the entire experience. Their English is impeccable, so that helps anyone who is nervous about language. The location is superb if you want peace and quiet and do not mind traveling a little to get into town.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and serenity.
Enjoyed Least:
It was hot but there is nothing one can do about that!
Surrounding Area:
Lovely restaurants, beautiful vistas, great pool, great location.
Nearby Events or Locales:
There are three towns to choose from that are within driving distance. There are two good restaurants one mile from the house.
Tips or Restaurants:
It is good to know that if you are arriving on Saturday afternoon there is a store open nearby for basics until 7. Also, stores are open on a limited basis on Sunday so you do not have to shop in Certaldo on the way up. You can arrive and then get basics. Giancarlo draws excellent maps, so get him to give you directions. Roads are not numbered but go by direction names like Siena and Firenze and it can be confusing. We spent days getting lost! Take Emma and Giancarlo's suggestion about restaurants. Be prepared to drive to see things. You do not walk outside and down the road for your morning cappuccino which was fine with us, but good to know.
Check In Out:
Emma does a great job.

Martha, August

Overall:
One of the most enjoyable and relaxing vacations we have taken. The hosts were wonderful.
Enjoyed Most:
The views were amazing, the owners were fantastic, the meals made by Emma were delicious, and the accommodations were clean and spacious. Have Emma cook a meal for you and take a cooking class with her. Also, the pool was terrific.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing. Just a suggestion - maybe have ceiling fans so you don't use the air-conditioning all the time.
Surrounding Area:
The peace and quiet, the hills and the views, driving the winding roads and the lovely Italian countryside. Many historical and interesting small towns nearby and many outdoor markets.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano was the nearest town but would take a 20-25 minute walk. We usually drove to the small towns.
Tips or Restaurants:
The owners provide everything you could want. There are two books which describe restaurants, interesting things to see, operating the air-conditioning etc. There are good restaurants in San Gimignano and an elegant restaurant "Il Paese dei Campanelli" just up the road from the villa.
Directions:
Did not use GPS. If you follow the map given and the town signs, you should have no problem finding the villa.

Jim, July

Overall:
My family and I loved this villa so much and would go back again. Emma and Giancarlo and Mateo, the owners of the property, were warm, welcoming, and made our experience a delight. I know we will plan another trip to Tuscany and stay at Donatella.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and having the property owners accessible for any needs that arose.
Surrounding Area:
The surrounding area was very accessible if we needed groceries or to use the train.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We were on the outskirts of Certaldo and we all loved Certaldo Alto! Very quaint town with all the appeal of the neighboring hilltop towns. This is not in walking distance but very close by car. There were many neighboring towns that were nearby via car.
Tips or Restaurants:
This villa was so well equipped you don't need to bring anything extra as it did not lack in anything! Emma and Giancarlo suggested two magnificent restaurants--one down the road and one close by. Giancarlo called ahead for my family and we all were so pleased.
Directions:
Once we adjusted to Italian roads the directions were clear.
Check In Out:
Again, Emma and Giancarlo run a top notch operation and provided us with alot of information about the surrounding area; there were no surprises at time of check out.

Teri, June

Overall:
The overal experience was enhanced by the owners, Giancarlo and Emma, who were wonderful. Emma's meal was the hightlight of our trip and is highly recommended.
Enjoyed Most:
The new swimming pool was the most peacful seeting imaginable and best part of the propoerty, next to the specatacular views.
Surrounding Area:
The restaurant in Barberino Val d'Este was terrific.
Tips or Restaurants:
Engage with Giancarlo and Emma, and take her cooking lessons.
Directions:
Followed our noses and RentVillas' directions. There was a minor hiccup, but we got there ok.

Beverly, June

Overall:
Very nice. Emma and Giancarlo were excellent hosts.
Enjoyed Most:
The view.
Enjoyed Least:
Owners were on the property for the entire stay. Little privacy.
Surrounding Area:
Great restaurants.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo is the nearest town but it is not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring wash cloths, they are not furnished.
Directions:
A GPS would be helpful.

Susan, June

Overall:
One of the best vacation experiences we've had as a family. Beautiful setting, wonderful hosts. The cooking class was fabulous and also the dinner we made(under Emma's careful guidance) ended up being delicious. The location was convenient to so many other venues.
Enjoyed Most:
The pastoral setting--so peaceful and beautiful. As my children said--everywhere you looked was like a postcard! And Emma and Giancarlo--they were wonderful.
Surrounding Area:
It was Tuscany - what's not to enjoy!
Nearby Events or Locales:
We went in to Certaldo frequently to catch the train to other areas. The trains were great--easy to use and got us to where we wanted to go conveniently and easily.
Tips or Restaurants:
Definitely do the cooking class. Consider having some phone calling ability. We bought an inexpensive phone in Rome that allowed us to call Emma when we got lost and also when we had to move back our cooking class time a bit. It was just convenient.
Directions:
We used the GPS from Florence--got lost but quickly got back on track after calling Emma.

Carol, June

Overall:
We enjoyed the property and our Tuscany visit very much, although we could have used warmer weather and a little less rain. Emma and her husband and son were all very gracious, pleasant and informative. One night Emma prepared an excellent multi-course dinner for the six of us.
Enjoyed Most:
The view from the family room. The villa is perched high on a hillside overlooking mile upon mile of Tuscan olive groves and beautiful scenery. The place was very clean and the beds were comfortable.
Enjoyed Least:
The only good way to see the great view is by standing at the windows or sitting at the long table in the family room, which served as our main dining table. There is a more limited but still striking view from a pair of benches outside the villa.
Surrounding Area:
We took day trips to Pisa, Lucca, Certaldo, Florence, San Gimignano,and Siena as well as several small towns scattered around the Chianti region. Loved the wine and the gelato.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo was the nearest major town, about 30 minutes away. It had good restaurants and was where we caught the train to Florence one day. (Florence itself was disappointing and unattractive. Having visited the Uffizi and Accademia museums and seen the Ponte Vecchio, we would never return there.)
Tips or Restaurants:
Depending on the season, it may be cool in the evening. Be prepared to dress in layers for all temperature conditions. We had a delicious dinner at L'Antica Fonte in Certaldo Alto (up the funicular from the lower town).
Directions:
Might be harder to find and drive to for the first time after dark. We did not use a GPS.

Dennis, May

Overall:
The overall experience was fabulous. Driving on the roads in Tuscany was something we were not prepared for in a fairly big car. (we were 5 adults). You soon get used to the hair-raising curves. The owners give great directions that you definitely need when your GPS(essential)doesn't work very well.
Enjoyed Most:
Just about everything! The hospitality, the views were amazing, the location was central to seeing a lot of Tuscany. The home was comfortable and the meals cooked by Emma were sensational.
Enjoyed Least:
Until you get used to the drive up to the property (takes 1 or 2 times), it is a little confusing. Just be prepared and have Emma's phone number!
Surrounding Area:
Every town in Tuscany has it's special feeling. You just have to explore and talk to local people, and enjoy the magnificent surroundings. Visiting the local vineyards and tasting is lots of fun.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo is the closest town with a train station, and it was easy to get to. You can take the train to florence, which was a pleasure. Visiting Certaldo Alto(the old town) was fabulous and charming. The owners suggested that and it was great. We ate lunch there.
Tips or Restaurants:
First, must have comfortable walking shoes. Must have a GPS. I would suggest local restaurants, since you can't get a bad meal anywhere. The owners have great suggestions. If i return, Emma would be cooking 3 or more meals!! She is the best.

Linda, May

Overall:
Overall we had a wonderful time.
Enjoyed Most:
The views from the property were breathtaking.
Enjoyed Least:
The evenings were quite cool and we had to pay extra for heat. Even though the owners were wonderful we didn't realize they would be on the property so often.
Surrounding Area:
The small towns and villages surrounding the property were wonderful. Some of the smaller roads getting to the property were quite "adventurous" at night.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano was the closest town althogh there wasn't much. The nearest town that had stores was Barberino Val d'Elsa, and you had to drive there.
Tips or Restaurants:
There is a gate to the property that the owners tend to leave closed. Having to stop in the road to open the gate each time was a little bothersome. Also the fit through the gate with our car was quite tight. You must be very careful upon entering.
Directions:
The actual address of the property was not found by the GPS but the driving directions that were sent to us were very good. Once we got to the property and entered "home" the GPS unit got us back to the property very nicely.
Check In Out:
We arranged a dinner on the property that the owner cooked for us which was wonderful. We would suggest that you have the meal prepared on Monday, since many area restaurants are closed and you can have leftovers. We took care of all the closing costs after dinner.

Karen, May

Overall:
We had a wonderful time at Donatella. Our hosts went out of their way to be helpful and never seemed to tire of our questions and requests. The views were spectacular. On a clear day we could see the Italian Alps. Close proximity to train travel was very convenient. Nearby restaurant in Bagnano was very good. The highest compliment would be to say we would do it again!
Enjoyed Most:
Quiet, restful setting was relaxing after each day of touring. We loved the coo-coo bird singing in the trees and smelling the lemon blossoms as we relaxed in the yard. It was a very comfortable home away from home. Being pampered by the maid who washed our clothes was very nice, too! Emma's cooking was superb -highly recommend planning at least one meal prepared by her.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing.
Surrounding Area:
The Tuscan couuntryside was breathtakingly beautiful--mountains and vineyards. The people in all of the towns were so friendly and anxious to help us find our way. As others have said, we recommend traveling with a GPS. It will save a lot of time and frustration. If you are a history buff you are in for a treat--lots of ancient stories.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino is the closest town. It would be a long walk but could be done. Another nearby town is Certaldo but it's not within walking distance. It was great, though, to be able to catch the train from Certaldo into Florence from there. A car, though, is a must for the immediate area.
Tips or Restaurants:
Certaldo Alto has a nice view and Il Castello is a great place to eat. It's the first restaurant after getting off the venacular. If you can make it to Lucca, go to the evening Puccini concert. It's best to arrive at the villa your first day while it is still daylight. It might be difficult to find otherwise. If you have multiple cars be sure to have phones for each. Take the train from Certaldo to Siena as it is especially crowded there and hard to find parking.
Directions:
We did not use a GPS to arrive at the villa but a few days later bought one at the TRONY electronics store after getting lost in some of the surrounding areas. Just get to the property during the day. The Dome just before the turn is a great landmark.
Check In Out:
Nice to be greeted with wine and cheese as we took care of the logistics with our hosts. This was a great touch.

Virginia, May

Overall:
Exceeded our expectations. Great location and very clean.
Enjoyed Most:
The views.
Surrounding Area:
The area was perfect. Small villages, hills, winding roads.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We walked to a nearby restaurant that was very nice.
Tips or Restaurants:
The folks we rented from live in the apartment downstairs and they were very helpful for recommendations.
Directions:
Difficult to find even with GPS but worth it.

Joe, April

Overall:
We had a great time at Donatella. The house is beautiful and comfortable. The owners were great and gave us the best suggestions for places to eat and tour the countryside. We took the train into Florence which was easy. It was wonderful to retire to the house after a busy day in the city. The house red wine and olive oil are great.
Enjoyed Most:
We loved having fires in the large fireplace. We went shopping at the Certaldo Coop and ate breakfast each morning at the house. We also did an olive oil tasting with Giancarlo which our teenage girls loved. Emma's dinner that followed the olive oil tasting was amazing! Our girls also loved the authentic pool table.
Surrounding Area:
We loved the location and the views. We could see the towers of San Gimignano on a clear day from the house. We also had a great time one evening in Certaldo Alto and ate at a cozy restaurant recommended by the owners.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We walked into the nearest small town on Easter Sunday. Quiet and peaceful walk.
Tips or Restaurants:
Take the owners' recommendations. All were spot on!
Directions:
We didn't use GPS. Emma's emailed directions were perfect.

Tricia, April

Overall:
Wonderful. Would love to go again.
Enjoyed Most:
Everything.
Directions:
Could have used clearer directions from Certaldo.

Barbara, October

Overall:
Overall we had a wonderful time and the villa provided a perfect place to relax. The owners Emma and Giancarlo were awesome and provided us great service when we needed additional services from them. As an example, the local power company cut power and water from the area and the owners went above and beyond to find us an alternate solution for power/water. This was very much appreciated as we were getting ready for a wedding that day!
Enjoyed Most:
Views, owners, central location, peace and quiet, space it provided, pretty much everything!
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing comes to mind. Everyone loved the place and the experience it provided.
Surrounding Area:
Views from the villa. It sits on top of a hill and one can see miles and miles of ideal Tuscan country side. It felt like someone had painted a picture and you were looking at it instead of real scenery.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petrognano is about 1km and has an EXCELLENT restaurant. This is well within walking distance. Poggibonsi has the biggest grocery store--a PAM which is a 10-min drive.
Tips or Restaurants:
The restaurant in Petrognano is well worth it! The owners make fantastic food!!! Also, we recommend taking Emma's cooking course!
Directions:
We used the directions given by RentVillas to find the villa.
Check In Out:
No problems. The owners had a good process for this and everything was easy!

Juha, October

Overall:
The stay at Donatella was wonderful. Emma and Giancarlo couldn't have been more hospitable or accommodating. The villa/farmhouse was very spacious and allowed the four of us to spread out. The views were unbelievable and the farmhouse is perched on a hillside with Tuscany spread out in front of you. The location is great for exploring west Tuscany. The grounds are covered with olive orchards.
Enjoyed Most:
The spaciousness of the facility. Giancarlo has installed a pool on the premises this past year and we were able to take a dip while there. He is working on getting the heating installed, which will make this a nice addition to the farmhouse. Was definitely "refreshing". The options of having cooking classes and dinners prepared by the owners are great. We did both and really enjoyed both. In both instances, there was plenty of leftovers for the next night. Emma was particularly aware of special dietary needs, not necessarily for the immediate group, but also for families back home. One of the traveler's husband requires gluten-free meals dinner, so she prepared a flourless chocolate cake and gave us tips on adapting our cooking class recipes to gluten-free.
Enjoyed Least:
The remoteness of the location and the drive to the location from Certaldo; those last four hairpin turns right before you get to the property keep you on your toes! Once you figure out where the place is, it is easy to get to. But it is about 12k from Certaldo, where you could catch a train into Siena or Florence or you could pick up the highway between Florence and Siena. Also small showers, which seems to be the norm. Bathrooms are fairly good sized, but showers don't leave much elbow room.
Surrounding Area:
The views. Peace and quiet of the facility. Aside from an occasional car going by, there was hardly any noise. This farmhouse has sitting rooms, terraces, and patios from which to enjoy the views. If there weren't so many other places to visit during a stay in Tuscany, one could be perfectly content to sit and read a book and just enjoy the peace and serenity of the environs.
Nearby Events or Locales:
There is a small town, San Dommino, that is about 2k from the facility. Not much there, but it's walkable. On the way to Certaldo, there are a couple of little towns, Sciano is one and both have restaurants/pizzerias. Certaldo has a train station and would highly recommend using it for day trips into both Siena and Florence. Also, if you have a chance, take the funicular in Certaldo up to Certaldo Alto. It is the old mediviel town and is nice for a half day trip to have lunch and explore.
Tips or Restaurants:
Emma and Giancarlo provided a welcome basket and a few refrigerated items to get you started milk, eggs, butter. If you get a chance, stop at the Coop in Tavernelle before you get to the farmhouse. Suggest getting your veggies, fruits, cereals, cheeses, salamis, and bread. That should get you through the first couple of days. Also, they provide some red and white "house" wines. They are really good and run about 5 Euros per bottle. Bring a few rolls of TP and maybe a roll of paper towels; that will leave you room in your suitcase for the treasures you will buy during your stay. All in all, a very well stocked facility.
Directions:
The instructions sent by RentVillas were perfect. Had no problems. However, it would be a little more difficult in the dark. We were lucky to arrive around 6pm, when it was still light.
Check In Out:
Emma and Giancarlo provided a thorough walk-through upon arrival. They then provided us with a glass of wine with appetizers on the outside patio to go over rules of the facility, surrounding wineries, restaurants and day trips they recommended.

Bev, October

Overall:
This was one of our best trips ever.
Enjoyed Most:
The views were beautiful from all aspects of the Villa, whether you were inside looking out any of the many windows, or outside on the grounds looking at the well-kept property.
Enjoyed Least:
There was nothing that we did not like about Donatella.
Surrounding Area:
We were very pleased with the location and visited many of the small and large towns in the area.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Personally, I would not consider any of the Towns within walking distance but access by car is great.
Tips or Restaurants:
The house is fully loaded but I always pack rubber gloves and a dish sponge. The CO-OP has anything that you may want to fill in so there is really no need to over pack.
Directions:
We always travel with our GPS and paper maps. The directions were fine and we arrived without too much trouble.
Check In Out:
There could not be two nicer people than Giancarlo and Emma. We felt like treasured friends rather than "renters". From the warm welcome to the property to the home cooked dinner, everthing was splendid.

Sari, October

Overall:
Absolutely wonderful! Giancarlo and Emma, our hosts, could not have been any more accommodating.
Enjoyed Most:
The view, the air-conditioning in the bedrooms, the atmosphere, the location, the dinner!
Enjoyed Least:
It was a little disappointing that we were not able to use the pool. It was quite hot in August.
Surrounding Area:
It was easy to get to other locations. San Gimignano was beautful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Nothing is really in walking distance.
Directions:
The GPS coordinates are extremely useful. They brought us directly to the place better than directions. We were driving from Amalfi.
Check In Out:
They greeted us with wine, cheese, and olives - What could be better?

Kate, September

Overall:
We loved our stay at Donatella. It was perfect for our family of 3 adults and two children. The house and the surrounding area was stunning and the pictures on the RentVillas web site, although nice, do not really do it justice. The views from nearly every room were some of the best in all of Tuscany. This villa was a very nice change of pace from our first three days spent in Rome. We used the time on Sunday to just relax and drive around a bit. Emma and Giancarlo were perfect hosts; they really made this stay truly memorable. Their welcome on Saturday night was wonderful. We also had a great experience with them on Thursday discovering how olive oil is made and tasting olive oil produced from their own olives! Our children loved learning about how ice cream is made with Emma. They were perfect hosts for our time in Tuscany. We are very curious to see how the new swimming pool turns out!
Enjoyed Least:
I would recommend getting a very detailed map Michelin Map of the area showing every road possible as my GPS did not capture every small road. We had a somewhat exciting journey on the way through the nearby village of Vico that I would not recommend unless you feel very confident with a manual transmission on steep hills!
Surrounding Area:
We loved everything that we could do here! We traveled to Pisa, Luca, and Siena by car and took a train to Florence; the drive to the Certaldo train station was 20 minutes. Italy is even more beautiful than I imagined.

Robert, August

Overall:
We loved our experience at Donatella. The property is lovely and well cared for. I just loved the house and the area. We hope to return in the future. The owners, Giancarlo and Emma were amazing! They were welcoming and always available to help, yet always gave us our privacy. They are interesting and fun, along with being very hospitable. Emma is an amazing chef!
Enjoyed Most:
The space and the views.
Enjoyed Least:
It was a bit difficult to find.
Nearby Events or Locales:
I think Certaldo was the closest. It was not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
I wish I had more time to take a cooking lesson from Emma. Arranging for her to cook a meal for you is a must. The house had everything we needed.

Gayle, July

Overall:
Great. Beautiful landscape and very accommodating house...with great amenities. We really enjoyed the owners who were around quite often..very kind and informative.
Enjoyed Most:
The natural beauty was exquisite and there was plenty of space for five of us.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing we really didn't like. The kitchen was stocked well though not a highlight of the house.
Surrounding Area:
Lots to do and easy to get to. Must have a car obviously. It was hard to find the place. You should add very specific directions from the Florence airport...We had quite a few missteps and miscommunications at the end of a long journey. Otherwise, all was good and we loved touring villages, churches, museums. Very easy to do day trips in Florence etc.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo...must drive there but less than 15 minutes.
Tips or Restaurants:
If you like having interaction with the hosts, these were supreme folks. If you want to be totally on your own, you might need to mention that. For us, it was perfect combination of rest and relaxation and exploring. Perfect weather and food. Thanks very much. We loved our interaction with RentVillas, particularly with Cami.

Rory, June

Overall:
It was everything we had hoped for and more. The hosts were friendly, well-organized, and very helpful.
Enjoyed Most:
The views were spectacular and the house was spacious and comfortable. The kitchen was well-equipped.
Enjoyed Least:
Everything was great except that the shared pool was awkward to access.
Surrounding Area:
No matter where we looked there were wonderful views of olive groves, grapevines, flowers, pastel-painted buildings and lovely winding roads. It was fresh and clean feeling. The nearby towns were charming and we had terrific meals everywhere!
Nearby Events or Locales:
I'm not sure if it was San Donnino or maybe Petrognano. Neither was really within walking distance
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything was provided--even beach towels and a computer. The only thing we didn't bring and needed just once was an alarm clock.
Directions:
We did not use a GPS. The map was a little unfriendly, but the written directions were OK. We were traveling from Rome and went all the way to the Firenze-Certosa exit. It seemed as though we were backtracking a little to get to the villa.
Check In Out:
The hosts were wonderful! We arrived at around 5:00 p.m. and they gave us drinks and h'ors d'ouvres along with a very well organized presentation about the property and surrounding area. They also had two books prepared describing local attractions, restaurants, train schedules, and much more.

Les, June

Overall:
It was a vacation of a lifetime. I can't say enough about our hosts, Emma and Giancarlo It helped that both spoke English fluently. Their graciousness, generosity, and hospitality made our stay at the casa very special. They provided a wealth of information about surrounding points of interest and restaurants. The olive oil tasting and a trip to an olive oil pressing operation was fantastic. We also opted for a gourmet meal prepared by Emma. This, too, was unforgettable. We wanted to stay forever.
Enjoyed Most:
The casa itself was perfect - spacious, clean, beautifully furnished and decorated. There was a veranda, a patio, and a terrace. Perfect for relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine. The beds were comfortable and the kitchen well supplied and appointed.
Enjoyed Least:
We loved everything!
Surrounding Area:
The views from almost any window of the casa were breathtaking. It helped that the weather was perfect. Every day was clear, sunny, and warm The gardens surrounding the casa and the views of distant hill towns, vineyards, and olive groves were beautiful. It reminded me of some lines from Yeats' Lake Isle of Innisfree: And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings There midnight's all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet's wings.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Donnino was the nearest "town." Very picturesque and only a few minutes walk. Barberino Val d'Elsa was the next nearest town, also beautiful and a five minute drive. There were plenty of good cafes and restaurants and shopping there,
Directions:
We used a GPS which guided us to the door of the property.
Check In Out:
Emma and Giancarlo, after we had unpacked and rested, formally greeted us with local wine and cheese.

glenn , May

Overall:
Fantastic! Villa was perfect. The owners were incredibly accommodating. Every day they wanted to ensure our experiences were perfect. They continually wanted feedback in an effort to be the best tour guides and hosts possible.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, location, location. We were given free reign to take advantage of all amenities including a billiard room,BBQ and all the outdoor furniture and patios.
Enjoyed Least:
No down side at all. Others might be taken aback by the 10 minute drive to the top of the mountain but it was exactly what we were looking for.
Surrounding Area:
The views were breathtaking.
Tips or Restaurants:
Take advantage of the owners. We found them invaluable in helping us with directions and recommendations. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that we had daily housekeeping including laundry service. We tried three recommended restaurants. Each one was unique with great service and food.
Check In Out:
We were provided an orientation to all the amenities and a thorough walk through of the property--flawless.

Chuck, May

Overall:
We had a wonderful experience. Emma and Giancarlo are wonderful hosts and provided us with a lot of great information and suggestions. The property was lovely and the location was spectacular.
Enjoyed Most:
Beautiful views over the valley and the seemingly remote location even though the property was located right in the middle of all of our destinations.
Enjoyed Least:
Kitchen was small but it had everything that we needed.
Surrounding Area:
Wonderful small towns and wineries and quick drive to Certaldo to catch the train to Florence. Great walks and views.
Tips or Restaurants:
Strongly suggest having the owner cook a meal or two for your group. She is a fabulous cook and she and Giancarlo also provided us with some delicious wines. Could not beat the setting either - watching the sunset from the table in the garden while being served a 6 course meal with wine!
Directions:
We used GPS and the directions. Very easy to find.
Check In Out:
Giancarlo and Emma provided us with a book full of information regarding the surrounding areas - including suggested day tours, where to buy certain gifts and which museums to see. They sat down with us at check in and went through the book with us and answered questions and made suggestions throughout the week on places to see and things to do. Their help was very much appreciated!

Kerry, April

Overall:
A relaxing experience. The owners were wonderful hosts full of info and helpful hints.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, peaceful and quiet but not too far from places we wanted to visit.
Enjoyed Least:
Lack of heat in mid-October. 18 euros a day was too much to pay, but the fireplace and wood helped.
Surrounding Area:
Very accessible, very typical Tuscan towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Nearest town with something you would want - grocery, gas, restaurants - was Barberino, about 4km away.
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything was there. Emma provided a basket and refrigerator with the things you need to get started. eggs, milk, coffee,etc. They even lent us a cell phone. There was a book full of restaurant suggestions.

Sharon, October

Overall:
The best of Tuscany. Every expectation was exceeded by the property and our gracious hosts.
Enjoyed Most:
Its incomparable view.
Enjoyed Least:
A bit off the "beaten path."
Surrounding Area:
The warm, wonderful, accepting people.
Tips or Restaurants:
You will need very little extras at this inviting villa. One of the best restaurants we experienced was one of the closest to the villa, Pizzeria Maroni in the village of Sciano, Certaldo. This place was amazing because of its outside seating, wonderful service-staff, and amazingly affordable prices...mangia!
Directions:
GPS was intermittent because of satellite reception, but the written directions were spot on.
Check In Out:
Could not have been easier or more pleasant. We were even greeted with complimentary Chianti...how sweet is that!

John, August

Overall:
We had a pleasant two weeks at Donatella. The view surrounding the villa was spectacular.
Enjoyed Most:
The views.
Surrounding Area:
That it was rural and peaceful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa. No.
Tips or Restaurants:
Nothing to bring.
Directions:
Did not use GPS.
Check In Out:
The hosts were very gracious and accommodating.

Solvita, August

Overall:
It was a beautiful villa, we were there with family members and it was a wonderful place to be together. The accommodations were spotless and very comfortable. Our hosts were so hospitable and very knowledgeable about the area. They were there to greet us - not hovering at all - and they left the next morning for their home in Florence.
Enjoyed Most:
It was very quiet and had a magnificent 360 degree view of the countryside. The owners left a basket of fresh coffee, olive oil, which is made right there, and bread, milk etc. which was so nice. You could go on walks from the house to enjoy the country.The home was very well equipped and very comfortable, much like someone actually lived there. The air conditioning worked very well. The yard as well as house was immaculate.
Enjoyed Least:
It was very hot while we were there and although the air conditioning was great, the pool was too far away for my Mom to use, about 2 blocks down a pretty steep road then up some brick steps. We could have driven I guess, but not very convenient. It was also 6 feet deep everywhere and you have to enter down a ladder.
Surrounding Area:
It was a beautiful area, Certaldo has both a new town, not too interesting. But also an old town, walled on the hill. It was very nice and I would recommend a visit, a few shops, museum, restaurants and fabulous view. It is very easy to drive to many towns, San Gimignano was 30 mins, as was Siena and Chianti, Florence, great location.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino Val d'Elsa was about 5 miles away and was quite charming with a small Coop, local grocery store, great pastry and cappuccino shop and meat store. Cute little town. The Catholic church was beautiful in a closer town, ask owner, and a fabulous restaurant right next door. Great pizza and pasta and beautiful setting outdoors.
Tips or Restaurants:
Be ready to relax and definitely take a cooking class, it was very fun and right there. I would also arrange for some food to be made ahead by owner, for a relaxing evening at home. They do have a BBQ which we did use, beautiful patio area. They have bug spray there, we used and did not have a problem.
Directions:
We did use GPS, which brought us in a different way, use their directions, and do not attempt to drive there at night for first visit. Typical dark and windy roads especially at night.
Check In Out:
The owners are very sweet and accommodating, they gave us their cell number if we were to encounter any problems. We did not.

Carole , July

Overall:
It was an absolutely fantastic experience. It was loved by everyone in our group.
Enjoyed Most:
The indoor space was amazing, we didn't feel too cramped and there was plenty of room for everyone to spread out and even get some peace and quiet when desired.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing
Surrounding Area:
The view was incredible, the villa is on a beautiful olive orchard with wine orchards in the nearby surrounding area. Other villa was relatively close others so you didn't feel too isolated, but not so close that there were any noise or privacy issues.
Directions:
We didn't use a GPS, but simply a detailed map of Tuscany combined with the directions to the property provided by the Rentvillas.
Check In Out:
Check in was easy, and the owners provided a very in-depth overview of the area, the villa, and the surrounding area including restaurant suggestions and walking tours of nearby towns.

Margot , July

Overall:
Great!
Enjoyed Most:
The gracious hosts were so helpful. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and at home. The property is big enough that you could always find a quiet spot to get away to read or just enjoy the views.
Enjoyed Least:
The drive up the hill was stressful with the narrow roads and hairpin curves.
Surrounding Area:
San Gimignano was one of our favorite spots to visit.

Linda, June

Overall:
The property was everything it was described to be. The view is indescribable!! 360 panoramic view of Tuscany cannot be described other than to say it was breath-taking!
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the spaciousness of the rooms. Two families sharing the property, it was great because each family had their own 'side'.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing not to like.
Surrounding Area:
The property's proximity to other hill towns as well as being situated in the heart of the Chianti area was great.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarina val d'Elsa. Not within walking distance, but worth the short drive.
Tips or Restaurants:
The property was stocked with everything we needed. I would suggest folks take washcloths and a dish-pot scrubber. All 3 of the restaurants in Barbarina val d'Elsa were fabulous. Atmosphere, service, and food was wonderful.
Directions:
We used a GPS. However, before leaving home we had studied the area on Google Earth, which turned out to be very helpful. I strongly recommend using a GPS.

Susan, June

Overall:
The greatest treasure is to arrive at a place and have exactly what was described. No surprises except it is more beautiful than anyone can picture. I give tribute to your agency as everything was just like it was described in the pictures and reviews. We had just come off of a very good but extremely tiring road tour of Italy and this was the perfect retreat.
Enjoyed Most:
The peacefulness and quiet without road noises from vehicles except the occasional passing of a local. The sounds of the birds chirping all day long, the roosters crowing throughout the day as well as the beautiful chimes from all the churches. We even loved the sounds of the rolling thunder in the area which happened only one day as we were sitting on the porch playing cards and having our cheese and wine. We also enjoyed the owners of the property as they were only there when needed and gave us so many insightful ideas about the area plus the wonderful meal she prepared for us which is a must if you stay there.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing - its everything you could ever dream of for a Tuscany villa.
Surrounding Area:
The area were the villa was located was very rural and you had the peacefulness of the surroundings and some very wonderful local people that we met along the way. The views were spectacular with the local olive vineyards and grape vineyards along all the roads and this time of year the wisteria was in full bloom along with the spring flowers which all the locals had already put out for show.
Nearby Events or Locales:
There were several small towns in the areas depending on which roads you were traveling. We found that we were centrally located making it easy to travel to many towns. None within walking distance. We spent a lot of time in Certaldo and found the people extremely polite, helpful and charming. Most of the small towns have beautiful views and charming town piazzas.
Tips or Restaurants:
I would recommend this villa to anyone that wants a lovely place to stay in Tuscany. The owners were charming and helpful and very interesting. The villa had anything that you could want including free use of the Internet which was extremely helpful. We frequented many restaurants in the area but the closest one was on the road to Certaldo about a third of the distance there and was frequented by all the locals.
Directions:
We found the map which was provided was excellent and we had no problems finding the church at the turn to the villa. We did not use a GPS but found the maps given to us by the owners were sufficient.
Check In Out:
Owners were there when we left and of course all we had to do was pay for our dinner that they prepared.

Robert, May

Overall:
Sublime! It was 2 weeks of sheer bliss. The villa and the location exceeded our expectations. Our best recommendation is that we didn't want to leave.
Enjoyed Most:
The views and the peace and quiet were amazing. After a day, we felt completely at home, and, after making day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, Tignano, Colle, Florence, it was wonderful to return to the villa to relax.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing, really. We were so happy there. One little thing....some comfortable cushions would be nice on the wooden benches on the porch.
Surrounding Area:
Everything! The location was spectacular, well located for many interesting day trips. The views, priceless. The quiet, the morning mist, the church bells ringing, the little towns nearby. The air was so clean and delicious!
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town was Barberino Val D'Elsa, which was very charming and a place where we were able to shop at the supermarket. There was even a full service gas station.
Tips or Restaurants:
Villa Donatella was fully equipped. Emma and Giancarlo left a counter top full of edibles for us, including a bottle of wine, a can of their own olive oil, milk, orange juice, cookies, coffee, etc. The cupboards were full of condiments and every kind of pot and pan and kitchen utensil. We did bring two wine bottle stoppers which came in very handy, but there was one in the kitchen. We found some wonderful restaurants...Borgo Basso in Certaldo, a few doors from the funicular. Wonderful pastas, friendly and casual. In Certaldo in the main square, a great gelateria, which would give Vivoli a run for the money. In Florence, Ristorante Antellese...again great pasta, friendly, a place where locals go.
Directions:
Directions were given coming from Florence. We came from the west and it took a few tries to find the villa, but it was a beautiful day and the ride was so enjoyable, we didn't mind being "lost" for a while.

Joanna, October

Overall:
Sometimes a house or villa is not a home without its owners. In our case, the owners were excellent hosts! They invited us to their dinner table on our first night and even waited up with us for our friends whom were VERY late.The villa was well equipped and centrally located to many day trip opportunities.
Enjoyed Most:
The fig trees and olive groves. There's no bigger decadence than picking ripe figs off the tree and having it for breakfast...and lunch and dinner.
Enjoyed Least:
There was AC available, but we would have preferred ceiling fans. We're not "those Americans" that need it constantly 70 degrees.
Surrounding Area:
It's in the middle of Tuscany, what's NOT enjoyable?! The scenery is surreal and there were plenty of conveniences within a 10 mile radius.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo is an 8 minute car ride away and while I wouldn't walk that, it's certainly doable on bike.
Tips or Restaurants:
Mosquito repellent is highly recommended. The best restaurants are always filled with locals so wander around and get lost.
Directions:
We DID use a GPS but got lost anyway. I think it was more human error than electronic malfunction, in our case. Our friends followed directions as per the owners but they got lost too - the town is a small one in the middle of bigger, well marked ones and that seems to be the issue. We kept "over shooting" our town and the roads are not well marked until you're within the vicinity, which isn't helpful once you're lost.
Check In Out:
Again, they were there to greet us. Very gracious and helpful!

Ping, August

Overall:
The owners were wonderful hosts and their home is beautiful. We loved it and have recommended it to our friends.
Enjoyed Most:
The area, view, and perfect size for our family.
Enjoyed Least:
The pool area.
Surrounding Area:
The view.

Annemarie , August

Overall:
We had an amazing time at Casa Donatella. Our two weeks flew by, and I did not want to leave!
Enjoyed Most:
The views were incredible. The peace and quiet was intoxicating. The nine pm chimes from the neighboring chapel was a treat I enjoyed every evening. My family particularly enjoyed watching the sunsets from the outdoor swing, cooling off with a late afternoon swim, and practicing our pool game after dinner! The house was well stocked, comfortable, and felt like home. The owners were gracious and generous with their time and excellent suggestions. The dinner Emma cooked for us was the best meal we had in Tuscany and she managed to suit a complicated set of dietary restrictions!
Enjoyed Least:
I can't think of a thing.
Surrounding Area:
It was a short drive to all the sights-towns I wanted to see: San Gimignano, Siena, Chianti, Monteriggioni, Volterra. And a very easy train ride into Florence.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We did most of our shopping at the Coop in Barbarino, a 10-minute drive and Tavarnelle, a 15-minute drive. There wasn't a town within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
The house book provided by the villa owners has an extensive list of sightseeing trips, restaurants, and practical information about shopping, etc. Everything you need to know is in the book!
Check In Out:
The owners greeted us with wine and snacks, and went over everything with us. It was greatly appreciated!

Sarah, August

Overall:
Very good.
Enjoyed Most:
The outside area, the pool, Internet, laundry service and daily cleaning.
Enjoyed Least:
Dhowers too small, kitchen not great, only one English channel.

Joanne, July

Overall:
Our month at Donatella was incredible and magnificent. Our family will treasure the time we spent in Tuscany. The owners of this home are people you would love to have as friends. They are amazing hosts. The panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside and sunsets were amazing. The meals prepared by the owners were delicious. The location is perfect to use as a home base to see Italy, especially the Tuscany area.
Enjoyed Most:
The views are beautiful, perched up on the hills in Tuscany. The home is decorated beautifully, has all the comforts we expected and more. Our hosts were very professional and being able to interact with them enhanced our Tuscan experience.
Enjoyed Least:
The property exceeded our expectations. When staying for one month we expected to have minor issues....but there were none! This is a beautiful property and an incredible location.
Surrounding Area:
We were able to take short trips or day trips to all the major areas Florence multiple times, Lucca, Pisa, San Gimignano you can see this beautiful medieval city from the home!, Siena, Volterra, the coast, Certaldo Alto only 15 minutes away, Venice etc. Be sure to visit the WWII American Cemetery on Route 2.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petragnano with a wonderful restaurant - Trattoria I Campienella. Certaldo is a quick drive as is Barbarino
Tips or Restaurants:
The home had everything we needed! The owners provide an excellent book with local restaurants - we used many of their suggestions. Most important, be sure to have them fix a meal - it was an incredible experience for our family each time. Take advantage of the nice kitchen. We cooked often and used the fresh sage and rosemary from the garden.
Directions:
We used GPS to find the property via the street name and to find most of our destinations.
Check In Out:
The owners were very professional. They covered, in detail, the area, events, restaurants, and made themselves available to provide any assistance needed. They have a house book that is a great reference. They were an incredible resource.

Dorothy, June

Overall:
Fantastic. The farmhouse is is well furnished. The view from the living room has to be among the best in Tuscany. The owners are extremely nice people and excellent hosts.
Enjoyed Most:
The view will not be forgotten. And the dinner that the owner prepared.
Enjoyed Least:
There is nothing that we did not like about the property.
Surrounding Area:
The property is in a central location--Florence, Siena, Certaldo, Chianti, etc. The immediate area is great for long walks or runs
Nearby Events or Locales:
The town is not within close walking distance, but it is not a problem with a car.
Tips or Restaurants:
There is a restaurant near the property that we enjoyed, but I cannot remember the name.
Directions:
We made one wrong turn, but that was not due to the directions. We had a GPS, but never turned it on. The maps we had and the ones provided by the owner were more than adequate.

John, April

Overall:
Our experience was wonderful and everything that we expected.
Enjoyed Most:
The location of the property was very good and the surroundings were picturesque and peaceful. The owners were incredibly friendly and helpful with their advice and hospitality. The lunch that they had prepared for our arrival was a wonderful surprise and very memorable.
Enjoyed Least:
There was nothing that we did not like about the property.
Surrounding Area:
The rural feel and the views.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town was Barbarino Val d'Elsa. It was not within walking distance but just a short drive away. We particularly enjoyed our daily coffee in the old walled part of the town. The view from the bathroom of the cafe was so good that I made a visit every time.
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything was supplied so there was no need to bring anything. Good restaurant at San Apiano but can't recall the name. It was a recommendation by the owners of Donatella.

Rosemary, September

Overall:
Absolutely delightful visit. Arranging the "Tuscan Dinner" the night of arrival was very special. Emma and Giancarlo were delightful and so very helpful.
Enjoyed Most:
The location and the view were excellent. Very quiet and peaceful, but within relatively short distances to key sites. The living room was so enjoyable - with windows on 3 sides looking out over the beautiful Tuscan countryside. There was also a "computer room" with internet connection.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing - thoroughly enjoyed it all.
Surrounding Area:
A number of beautiful hillside towns within reasonable driving distance. Siena, Florence, San Gimignano, etc.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Barberino was within a short driving distance.

Kay, September

Overall:
The villa exceeded our expectations. Very comfortable and relaxing. Couldn't have asked for a better vacation location!
Enjoyed Most:
Everything was superb! Gracious, helpful hosts, splendid views, quiet location, overall a wonderful home with comfortable beds and quality towels!.
Surrounding Area:
Everything! It was ideally situated for day trips to the many wonderful hill towns and historic 'sights', for groceries and restaurants, and to get to the Certaldo train station for a day trip to Firenze, all while peacefully being 'away from it all'.
Tips or Restaurants:
The villa was fully equipped. There was nothing that we needed that wasn't already in the house.
Directions:
The hosts provided perfect directions.

Rebecca, August

Overall:
We had a wonderful relaxing break for all three generations of the family at Donatella. The owners were gracious hosts and made our stay memorable
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the peace and quiet.
Enjoyed Least:
It was a bit of a hike to the pool, but this meant the pool was well shaded.
Surrounding Area:
There were lots of quaint places to visit that were close to the villa. My particular favourite was San Gimignano, which was beautiful.
Nearby Events or Locales:
No town within walking distance, 5-10 minutes by car
Tips or Restaurants:
We invested in an electric kettle and donated it to the villa!
Check In Out:
We left very early in the morning and the owner did get up to see us off.

Eleanor, August

Overall:
Fantastic! The villa is very comfortable and fitted out very well - just what we needed!
Enjoyed Most:
The views from the villa living room are stunning - there was nothing better than watching the sunset over the hills from this room with the church bells at 9pm chiming in the background. The dinner we arranged to have cooked for us by Emma the owner was delicious and thoroughly recommended. The owners were also very helpful with recommendations for things to see, restaurants to eat at. They also provided added touches to make our stay comfortable - providing Internet access and a prepaid mobile phone to make bookings etc.
Enjoyed Least:
While there were many nice roads to walk around there was no town with a cafe shop within a short distance. This was only a minor point for us though. The pool (the neighbor's pool down the hill) was unsuitable for children - too deep for adults to stand for the whole length so no way to even hold children up.
Surrounding Area:
The views, the walks we could do in the early morning and the proximity to towns such as San Gimignano, Siena and Certaldo were all great. Having a church nearby with chimes on the hour was also lovely!
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town with any shops was Barberino val d'Elsa. It wasn't within walking distance
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring mosquito repellent - there are fly screens on most windows but not all - you wouldn't want to destroy the living room view!
Directions:
We actually came from Rome rather than Florence - and the directions were from Florence. Some directions from Rome would have been useful. Didn't use GPS. The map provided by Rentvillas was very useful.

Liz, July

Overall:
Magnificent! Superb! A panoramic view to die for. The owners are unbelievable - warm, helpful, treated us like family. Her dinner was a gourmet delight and we had leftovers for 3 days. Internet access was available, even a pool table. Cool evenings after a hot day. Can you tell we loved the place?
Enjoyed Most:
Great view of Tuscany hills. Good location for access to Siena, Florence and Chianti wine country. Villa had Tuscan charm with modern conveniences. Hosts were wonderful. It was like being at home.
Surrounding Area:
Pretty scenery, close to San Gimignano. not far from Vinci, Pinocchio Park Collodi or wine tasting vineyards nearby.
Tips or Restaurants:
Arrange for one of the owner's meals.

Edward, July

Overall:
Very positive.
Enjoyed Most:
The view. It was a very nicely decorated and well functioning house. The owners created a nice and caring atmosphere.
Enjoyed Least:
The location and quality of the swimming pool. It was not on the site and had such deep stairs that my mother could not use it.
Surrounding Area:
The view and privacy.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa was close by, but you need a car.
Tips or Restaurants:
The owners gave very nice tips for surrounding places for eating and sightseeing - you can trust them!

Mikko, July

Overall:
We enjoyed our time at Donatella very much. Our hosts were kind and helpful and the property was well equipped and beautifully positioned.
Enjoyed Most:
The views were outstanding.
Enjoyed Least:
The construction site that started at 5.30-6 am! And the wasps in and around the pool.
Surrounding Area:
The villa was perfectly located for access to many beautiful small towns as well as great tourist spots like Florence, Pisa and Siena.
Tips or Restaurants:
This villa has everything that you need and the hosts are very helpful in providing information on the local area and best of everything that you could wish to do.
Directions:
Use the instructions provided by the owners, they offer the most direct and convenient route.

Rebekah , June

Overall:
Our experience at Donatello was wonderful. The villa exceeded our expectations! The owners were gracious hosts. We would love to go back and stay longer! The property had a natural beauty, and the villa was exceptional in every category. The views from the villa of the Tuscan hillside are incredible, and it is spacious and beautifully furnished. An intangible bonus for your clients renting this villa are the wonderful owners. They couldn’t have been more gracious (this is a huge compliment from a Southerner). He provided great advice on helping us refine our daily itinerary. and she is an incredible cook (as good as any restaurant), and we enjoyed very interesting conversations with them over after dinner drinks. I also want to commend Rentvillas for the information provided prior to our trip. We were well prepared and that made our vacation go very smoothly. I am recommending Rentvillas to all my friends and business associates planning a visit to Tuscany - and I will definitely be a repeat customer.
Enjoyed Most:
The beds were comfortable, the bathrooms great and the living room and terrace views were spectacular. The furniture was lovely. The property was well equipped with everything for our stay and the house book was very helpful. You don't need to bring a thing for the house. The use of the cell phone was so nice and the maid service well appreciated....she even washed our clothes! The gifts of olive oil and wine were used up with thanks. We arranged for the owner to cook for us two nights and I highly recommend it. She is a fabulous cook! Wonderful places to eat inside and out.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing really. It was a little hard to find the first day, but we had no trouble after that. And, being out in the country was quiet and beautiful.
Surrounding Area:
The property is centrally located between Florence and Siena, making each easily reachable as well as the wine areas we wanted to explore. Easy day trips to a lot of interesting places.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino val d'Elsa. It was not within walking distance. Certaldo was about 15 minutes away and it has restaurants and a large COOP. We had a GPS that was very helpful.
Tips or Restaurants:
Come to this house....it was wonderful! The owners are a helpful and interesting couple and talking to them enriched our stay
Check In Out:
Everything went well even though we were late arriving by 2 days due to flight cancellations. The owners were there. No problems.

Sharon, June

Overall:
I've done a lot of traveling, and this was my favorite week of all, ever. The owners were the most gracious hosts, including coming from Florence at 11:30 at night when we blew the circuit breaker! He was there within a half an hour and immediately solved the problem. They gave us a transformer for our hair appliances when ours didn't work. She us the best meal we had in Italy, and that's saying something! The house was so beautiful and peaceful, I wish I had had more time to spend there. With the nightingales singing morning and night and the flowers blooming and the sunset to watch from the outdoor tables, I would recommend this villa and its owners to everyone I know.
Enjoyed Most:
The peacefulness of the location and the way it was decorated for comfort and beauty.
Enjoyed Least:
The circuit breaker blowing in the middle of the night!
Surrounding Area:
All the little towns.
Tips or Restaurants:
The house was so well furnished, they even had coffee and cheese and wine for us when we arrived. They made reservations for us for dinner our first night and gave us directions for everywhere we wanted to go. We ate at two close places, but I can't remember the names of them!
Directions:
Let future renters know that the church where you make the last turn to the property is totally hidden in trees. You can barely see the church spire. It is lit at night, but we came during the day and whizzed past it.
Check In Out:
What was special was the time the owners took to familiarize us with the house and the restaurants and tickets we would need for different sights -and days to find markets in the towns. Check-out was a breeze.

Nancy, May

Overall:
Fantastic.
Enjoyed Most:
We loved the location in the countryside and the excellent views.
Enjoyed Least:
There wasn't anything we did not like about the property.
Surrounding Area:
We loved the views and the small towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town was not really within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
The owners supplied everything that we needed.

Wendy, May

Overall:
Spectacular views. Attention to detail in the home. The owners were wonderful hosts. For less than the cost at a restaurant, Emma prepared an elaborate meal for us one evening, as Giancarlo introduced us to local wines. A long and happy eating and drinking evening!
Enjoyed Most:
Lovely and high quality furniture comfortable beds! linens, books, art. Mosquito nets over each bed, although we didn't need them in September. Acres of olive orchards for morning walks. Several indoor and outdoor dining areas. The home was immaculate; the housekeeper comes daily to clean up. Well-equipped kitchen. Friendly, welcoming and informative hosts They provided a delicious lunch as well as information regarding day trips, food shopping, restaurants, etc.... and welcome gifts of wine and olive oil!
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing I can think of that was unpleasant.
Surrounding Area:
Easy day trips to all the popular hilltop medieval towns. Good restaurants nearby. Tuscan landscape at its best.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino...no town is within walking distance. Car is a must. There is a wonderful market, COOP, 10 -15 minutes away in Tavarnelle where we purchased everything we needed for meals in.
Tips or Restaurants:
Because this rental is so remarkably well equipped, there is nothing to bring. We revisited our favorite restaurant that we found by accident two years ago. Located in Rignana, about 8 km on a winding dirt road from Greve in Chianti. La Cantinetta di Rignana is situated in the middle of lush vineyards with excellent and unusual dishes it is pricey but worth it!
Check In Out:
Hosts were there upon arrival and departure. Easy and no problems.

Tania, September

Overall:
The countryside is beautiful and the owners are wonderful. The accommodations were very comfortable and we had everything we needed for a great stay.
Enjoyed Most:
The villa is air conditioned so if the night was very hot one could close the windows and not worry about mosquitoes.
Enjoyed Least:
There was nothing we didn't like about the villa!
Surrounding Area:
The natural beauty and peace and quiet.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest small town was Tavernelle. Too far to walk. About 7 kilometers from the villa. It had a Coop grocery store as do most small towns in the area.
Tips or Restaurants:
Most everything one would need was provided at the villa. Bring a good road map of the area ahead of time. The kitchen was fully equipped but we did need one good sharp knife. There is a wonderful restaurant in Sciano on the way to Certaldo. Also a first rate one in Semifonte right up the road from the villa. Walk around the area. Many fine walks and so picturesque! Use the mosquito nets at night.
Directions:
We called the owner when we got to Tavernelle and he graciously came and escorted us to the villa.
Check In Out:
What a relief to have such kind and generous hosts. After we arrived they did everything they could to assure us a good stay. Even providing us with a cell phone.

Gayle, August

Overall:
It exceeded our expectations. We arranged for the owners to prepare dinner for us the night we arrived and it was wonderful - a great way to begin our stay. They also furnished us with a bottle of locally made wine and a bottle of their own olive oil. Both were very good. They joined us for dessert and spent time providing us with valuable information about this area of Tuscany and suggested several routes for touring the area.
Enjoyed Most:
The property is situated on a hill and has excellent views of the surrounding countryside on three sides. It is quite beautiful.
Enjoyed Least:
There was nothing that we disliked about the property.
Surrounding Area:
The owners provided a very helpful book that they prepared regarding places to visit, restaurants, wineries, ceramics and a lot more. Their suggestions were very helpful and gave us a tool to appreciate what the area has to offer.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The closest small town was Petrognano which was approximately 1 km away. Also, San Donnino was the same distance. They were both picturesque.
Tips or Restaurants:
Donatella is wonderfully furnished. There was nothing that we needed to provide. The owners made certain that we had everything we needed including a computer and a cell phone. We especially enjoyed Osteria L'Antica Quercia in San Appiano. This was one of the owners' suggestions.
Check In Out:
We left at 5:30 in the morning and the owners made certain that they were there to say goodbye and answer questions about our drive back to the airport.

Gary, June

Overall:
The photos and descriptions don't do the property justice - everything was better than I thought it would be.
Enjoyed Most:
The incredible views, peace quiet, birdsong, local church bells, sunsets from the terrace Hmm...which terrace should we pick today?, our hosts' wonderful hospitality.
Enjoyed Least:
What's not to like?
Surrounding Area:
Great variety of easy day trips, market day in Certaldo.
Nearby Events or Locales:
We preferred walking the property, San Donnino area, and saving the real walking for our day trips.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring your appetite and have Emma and Giancarlo do dinner for you on the first night - what a cordial, delicious way to start our stay!
Check In Out:
Our hosts were there to greet us on arrival and provided a complete orientation about the house and area. The "house book" of information and suggestions was so helpful. And, our hosts were there for check out as well. No worries.

Anne-catherine, June

Enjoyed Most:
The owners of this property were extremely gracious and hospitable. She created an amazing dinner for us on our last night which was a wonderful blend of Tuscan traditional dishes and innovative touches. Also, the views from the villa were wonderful.
Enjoyed Least:
The shower stalls were a little small, but this is a minor issue.
Surrounding Area:
The easy accessibility to both large and small Tuscany towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo, but it wasn't within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
The owners provided ample suggestions for restaurants, etc. They even provided a cell phone for our use. So, can't think of anything that someone would need to bring.

Julia, June

Overall:
So tranquil. It was accessible to many parts of Tuscany.
Enjoyed Most:
The views..magnificent; our hosts, Emma and Giancarlo.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing not to like..it was wonderful
Surrounding Area:
EMPHATICALLY EVERYTHING!!
Tips or Restaurants:
The owner gives every detail possible on check-in
Check In Out:
They made us most welcome

Patricia, May

Overall:
The owners were exceptionally hospitable and attentive.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the peacefulness.
Enjoyed Least:
The boys wished they could hook up a play station as there was not a lot for kids to do.
Surrounding Area:
The quaint towns, the beautiful landscape and the proximity to Florence and Siena.
Tips or Restaurants:
All the restaurants the owners recommended were excellent. Bring a good book, good walking shoes and relax. Book the dinner cooked by Emma, the owner - it was excellent.

Mary, April

Overall:
The house is very well equipped. The hosts were wonderful and attentive.
Enjoyed Most:
We found the views to be breathtaking from every window. The garden and surrounding properties were beautiful and more than we expected.
Enjoyed Least:
It was unseasonably hot and sometimes it was difficult to get comfortable.
Surrounding Area:
All the towns we visited were charming and fascinating.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barberino Val d'Elsa was 6 kilometers away and too far to walk.
Tips or Restaurants:
There were no bad restaurants. Anything recommended by Giancarlo and Emma were great. Use the Michelin Guide for Italy if you want to find 1 star restaurants.

Jeanne, July

Overall:
We had perfect weather in early October and enjoyed helping in a small way to harvest grapes! .
Enjoyed Most:
View, particularly from living room. And the herbs in the garden, fig trees and the cleanliness of villa.
Enjoyed Least:
Showers with their folding doors bit hard to master. That is it!
Surrounding Area:
Many fine restaurants and near-by grocery store in Barbarino val d'Elsa.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino val d'Elsa but bit too far to walk particularly on the narrow roads. While we did not go, Certaldo should be checked for shops.
Tips or Restaurants:
Hard to find, but worth the effort for an informal meal is one inside old town walls - L'Archobuggio. Pizza was great along with the house wine. Also try Ristorante Quericia. American Cemetery on route 2 is just 30 minutes away toward Florence - World War II memorial burial ground for over 4000 US service men. Well worth visit.
Directions:
Best travelled during daylight.

Rinaldo, October

Enjoyed Most:
Location, view and privacy.
Enjoyed Least:
Problem with shower in main bath which four people used. The water is not contained properly and makes the tile floor wet and very slick and dangerous. That certainly needs attention. Needed more towels.
Surrounding Area:
Great location that allowed us to enjoy the Tuscany region with little drive time.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Barbarino, which was not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
It is a great property after the shower is improved. Two restaurants on the hill which sit on either side of the church in Barbarino were very good. In San Donato the restaurant Pietra Cupa was great - had lunch there one day and returned for dinner one other evening

Al, September

Overall:
Landlord was great. Prince of a fellow who immediately came to the villa from Florence when our water went out one morning. The problem was transient, and did not affect our stay. The owner also helped us arrange for horseback riding on our middle daughter's birthday and made restaurant reservations at a great nearby restaurant the day we arrived.
Enjoyed Most:
The incredible views and peaceful surroundings.
Enjoyed Least:
Can't think of anything.
Surrounding Area:
Proximity to so many great cities Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Certaldo Alto
Nearby Events or Locales:
Can't remember the name it's so small, but it was in walking distance for people who really like to walk. Has a restaurant and houses.
Tips or Restaurants:
Surprising number of very good restaurants. The landlords were incredibly helpful with finding restaurants, etc.

Greg, July

Enjoyed Most:
Everything about the property suited our family perfectly, but if I had to choose one thing - okay, two things - it would be the beautiful setting and the very helpful, welcoming hosts.
Enjoyed Least:
Can't think of a thing.
Surrounding Area:
The property is ideally situated for a stay of a week or more - trips to traditional must-see towns Florence, Siena, San Gimignano are easy to manage, and there are dozens of lesser known but really interesting destinations within range too. And for those days when you don't want to go and be a tourist anywhere, the house and its lovely grounds are just right.
Tips or Restaurants:
The hosts have now provided mosquito netting, which worked nicely for everyone except our three-year-old, who couldn't stop playing peek-a-boo with it. . . .As for restaurant finds, the hosts' recommendations, in their extremely helpful information binder, are spot on - and they cover everything from casual outings to wonderful splurges.

Janet , July

Overall:
All in all, it was great--the owners were great and it was a very comfortable and relaxing week. We even had some stormy weather, but it was no problem. It was wonderful to sit and watch the bolts of lightning and hear the thunder roll through the hills. We liked everything about our stay!
Enjoyed Most:
The hosts were very welcoming and cordial. They provided a prepaid cell phone which could even be used to call the US. The property was very spacious and we had access to walk in the olive grove and vineyard. There were herbs growing around the house and lemons which we could pick. It was very quiet and that was nice.
Enjoyed Least:
We definitely needed more towels. A maid would have come serveral times during the week, but we asked that she come only once and we wished she had washed or re-supplied the towels at that time. As to minor things to note--house could use sharp knives and a decent cheese grater. Also the windows kept blowing open and banging. To prevent breakage, they really should have some sort of latches to fasten them open. Be aware that there are no screens and so mosquitoes were a problem. We expected this and had brought some net fabric and masking tape to seal the bedroom window.
Surrounding Area:
Very beautiful, many picturesque little towns. Lovely people and great dining. Many places are close together but takes a long time to get to because of the winding roads. We considered this fine since we enjoyed the gorgeous drives and photo ops. A car is essential.
Nearby Events or Locales:
No towns within walking distance. Nearest was Barberino val D'elsa but it had very limited groceries. Had a great pizzeria though. The nearest more sizeable town with a Coop Supermercato was Certaldo. It has the train station and a wonderful old town, Certaldo Alto with great dining. Certaldo is difficult to find your way in, with many one-way streets. Take the time to figure out the town first or you'll probably get lost!
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring net fabric of some sort and masking tape to hang it up and bring mosquito bite cream--you'll need it! Trattoria del Campanelli in Semifonte was great. The pizzaria in Barberino at the top of the stairs leading to the church had the best salad of our trip. Believe it or not, we found the best prices for souveniers in San Gimignano. Try to catch market day in Greve and also check for a great artists market which is held occasionally in Greve.
Directions:
We had no problem. They were very clear.

Carolyn, June

Overall:
The house and its owners were exceptional. We'd go back in a heart beat.
Enjoyed Most:
Beautiful views and great places to sit and enjoy them. The house was comfortable and welcoming. The kitchen was well equipped. Our hosts went way above and beyond, from a welcoming gift of olive oil and wine from their own groves and vineyard to wonderful suggestions of day trips.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing not to like.
Surrounding Area:
The immediate area around the house provided ample opportunities for short hikes and beautiful vistas. The house was also ideally situated for a number of day trips to enchanting hill-top towns and a number of great dining destinations.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Petragano was an easy hike, though there wasn't much there but interesting architecture and views. S. Antipano was a more challenging walk but still quite doable and the Osteria Antigua located in S. Antipano was an excellent destination - by foot or car. Certaldo was the nearest largest town with an Internet access point and charming hill town above. Poggibonsi has a great market the PAM off rt. 426 but not much else.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring good appetites and the ability to relax and enjoy. Osteria Antigua in near by S. Antipano was a real treat.

Melinda, June

Enjoyed Most:
The living room had a spectacular view of Tuscany and the amazing sunsets.
Enjoyed Least:
Although we enjoyed meeting the owners who hosted a dinner for us when we arrived, we were not informed that they would be on the property so often, which compromised our privacy a bit.
Surrounding Area:
There were beautiful wineries close by as well as lovely areas to walk to.
Nearby Events or Locales:
There were a few small towns nearby, although they were not within walking distance. They were about a 15 minute drive.
Tips or Restaurants:
The roads are very windy leading to the house, so if you suffer motion sickness, bring Dramamine. The kitchen is very stocked with glassware and dishes. The Antinori winery and restaurant is amazing and within a 20 min drive.
Directions:
We actually took a different route from the directions which lead us up the coastal area versus the more direct route on the major highways.

Paula, June

Enjoyed Most:
The house was spacious and airy and much larger than expected.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing at all
Surrounding Area:
The quietude and space and the nearby excellant restaurants.Certaldo
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo and Certaldo-Alto.

Eugene, October

Overall:
Very comfortable in a well-worn jeans kind of way. The hosts are fun, friendly, knowledgeable and speak fluent English. We enjoyed the maid service. The wine and olive oil from the property are wonderful.
Enjoyed Most:
The views are outstanding; the sunsets are incredible. You experience the Tuscan hills and fields from a wonderful perch.
Enjoyed Least:
Winding roads - our carsick types consummed a lot of dramamine.
Surrounding Area:
Beautiful area; most people we tried to communicate with were very friendly; we ate in mostly and shopped at the Coops (large grocery stores).
Nearby Events or Locales:
The small towns of Sienna, San Gimignano and Certaldo Alto were wonderful. An easy drive to Florence (45 minutes - an hour in early morning).
Tips or Restaurants:
The hosts are excellent cooks and the wine from the property is great. We very much liked the Rentvillas service and the little white booklet about Italy Italian style that was sent to us - great advice about what things to bring like a plastic cutting board and bug spray.

Angelea, June

Overall:
This property was set in an absolutely beautiful location. Nearby towns of Semifonte and Certaldo had wonderful restaurants.
Enjoyed Most:
The views of the surrounding countryside and the gardens. Very peaceful and relaxing.
Enjoyed Least:
The beds were very soft.
Surrounding Area:
Views and quaintness of the towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Certaldo Alto was a great village to visit. A medieval walled city about 20 minutes away.
Tips or Restaurants:
La Saletta in Certaldo is a fabulous restaurant with great food and wine. Very small with personal service from the owner.

Deborah, June

Overall:
I don't believe in perfect, but this property certainly comes close.
Enjoyed Most:
Location, beauty, convenience, views, and the wonderful owners/landlords.
Enjoyed Least:
There was nothing not to like.
Surrounding Area:
The beauty of Tuscany and the countryside, contrasted with the immediate availability of cities with art, culture, museums, etc. Florence & Sienna are very convenient, and the small hill towns are "right there".
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano is within sight across the hills. The friendly people at the markets and the fun of trying to communicate.
Tips or Restaurants:
Trattoria Il Campienella (sp?) in Petragnano nearly next door is one of the finest dining experiences you can find. Also, Chiribiri in San Gimignano. Il Latini in Florence. Il Falconiere near Cortona (not exactly in the neighborhood)(also is recommended by Frances Mayes).

Nancy, April

Overall:
Overall, very good. Excellent location and view, nice furnishings, and extremely friendly owner. Very clean (a huge plus).
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the rooms - very spacious.
Enjoyed Least:
A little remote - closest store 2km away. Expected to be able to use the laundry machine - was locked up.
Surrounding Area:
Chianti region. Barberino only a few minutes away.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Great local pizzarias and wineries.
Tips or Restaurants:
Sciano local restaurant is very good and inexpensive.

Mark, June

Overall:
Property is lovely! The villa is much nicer than it appears in the photos. I felt that the views were the best we found anywhere in Tuscany.
Enjoyed Most:
The views and the wonderful restaurant that was nearby. Also, the owner was extremely gracious and shared his knowledge of the area.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing.
Surrounding Area:
Villa is private but very close to Florence. There are several fine restaurants close to the villa. We enjoyed our day trips, but also enjoyed peaceful days spent at the villa. There are some quaint wineries in the area. The Semifonte wine was very good too!
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimingnano is very close and very beautiful. I don't recommend visiting on the weekend..it can get very crowded. Enjoyed the inexpensive watercolors of the local area that can be found in many of the town squares throughout Tuscany.
Tips or Restaurants:
Great resaurant close to Seminfonte: Il Paese dei Campanelli. The owner recommended this to us. He has a journal in the villa that has much info.

Alison, May

Overall:
This property was everything we had hoped. A rural setting, rolling hills and a comfortable villa for the seven of us within reasonable driving distance of all of Tuscany.
Enjoyed Most:
The owner was very gracious and a pleasure to deal with and we appreciated the gift of wine and olive oil from the estate. We would return without hesitation.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing.
Surrounding Area:
The property is within reasonable driving distance of Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, Certaldo Alto and even Pisa and Lucca, all the places we wanted to visit.

Tom, December

Overall:
The house was more amazing than anything I'd ever expected. The views are spectacular! The owner was wonderful to deal with. He had wine, grapes & figs waiting upon our arrival. The beds are comfortable, baths well equipped, as well as the kitchen. Did I mention the views?
Enjoyed Most:
Without a doubt, the views!
Enjoyed Least:
It was hunting season, so the hunters were shooting in the vineyards & fields next to the house two of the mornings we were there.
Surrounding Area:
The home is perfectly located - very central to all of the Chianti region & much closer to Florence than we thought we'd be (about 40 minutes). Take day trips to Lucca, Siena & San Gimignano if you get the chance.

Trina, September

Overall:
This was quite a pretty villa in a good location for visiting the surrounding towns. The property was in good condition as expected, clean and well-maintained. Very nice and helpful hosts. Plenty of space for 4 people. Extraordinary views.
Enjoyed Most:
The views and the charming old quality, with modern restorations. Our party took advantage of the billiards room, enjoyed walks in the surrounding countryside. It is remote but not too remote for touring.
Enjoyed Least:
No screens, but it might matter less in a different season. The narrow folding showers take some getting used to. Don't drop your soap.
Surrounding Area:
Proximity for day trips, the villa is located within range of the highway for quicker trips. Best day trip - unanimous - was San Giminagno. The nearest small town was Barberino Val D'Elsa - you have to drive to it. Has good coffee shop/bars, a small pizzeria. Nearest market is in Tavernelle, a small Coop, but you're better off to drive down to the huge Coop at Poggibonsi. Great selection and quality there.

August

Overall:
Very nice. The owner was especially helpful. He provided us with great restaurant recommendations and made reservations for us the night we arrived. He told us how to commute to downtown Florence and he pointed us to a nice private beach.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the location - i.e.,very easy to make day trips to Florence, Siena, Pisa, the beach, etc.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing major. The kids would have liked more english speaking channels on the satellite tv.
Surrounding Area:
Scenic views everywhere, good restaurants.

Frank, July

Overall:
The owner was very helpful in showing us the “ropes.” He has a journal of all necessities and phone numbers. He even had his personal restaurant review list. I think his careful indoctrination ensured our successful, problem free stay! The olive oil and wine were a great finishing touch.
Enjoyed Most:
The view, the pool table, the location.
Enjoyed Least:
We never could work the TV, but didn’t really have time. Also, I was initially attracted to the property because of the optional meals served, but the price went up greatly from the time I booked it to when I arrived.
Surrounding Area:
Besides the beautiful countryside, the location couldn’t be beat! Perfect for day trips.

June

Overall:
This property could not have been better. It is in a perfect location for touring and sightseeing everywhere in Tuscany, and it offers exceptional views of the surrounding area. The owner, Giancarlo and his wife Emma, prepared an exceptional dinner for our group on Sunday evening (at a very reasonable charge of 40,000ITL/$20 per person, plus wine). They are very nice people and were helpful in every way. The house was spotless and had anything we needed, including a large stone fireplace. I would highly recommend this property to anyone. My one suggestion is to include a better photo in your catalog.
Enjoyed Most:
The rooms are large and well furnished. The showers were excellent-plenty of hot water and clean towels! We did not have to contact the Property Representative, but we had a problem opening the damper in the fireplace. We asked the cleaning lady if she could assist, but she was also unable to open it. Later that afternoon, the wife of the owner called and told us how to open the damper.This was service above our expectations!
Enjoyed Least:
I cannot think of anything I did not like about the property.
Surrounding Area:
The house is an a very rural location surrounded by vineyards and olive trees with a spectacular view of the surrounding area.

April

Overall:
We found it to be WONDERFUL! We were their first guests of the year and arrived early in the day to find the owner and his crew working feverishly to ready the house for our stay. We felt overwhelmed by its beauty and its setting, not to mention our welcome in spite of early arrival. The owner gladly allowed us to unburden our cars of our luggage and advised he would await us later that day for our "official welcome." When we did arrive for that welcome, we found a beautiful house, impeccably clean and met a VERY warm welcome. In fact, the owner met us with an unlabeled bottle of wine produced by his own vineyards surrounding the house! EXTRAORDINARY HOSPITALITY!!!! He gave us explicit instructions for all of the house's idiosyncrasies as well as a small notebook with a wealth of useful local information.
Enjoyed Most:
The setting was absolutely beautiful!!!
Enjoyed Least:
I can only reply that I found a total absence of things NOT to like. The house met our needs extremely well.

March

Overall:
The house is an a very rural location surrounded by vineyards and olive trees with a spectacular view of the surrounding area. The rooms are large and well furnished. The showers were excellent-plenty of hot water and clean towels!
Enjoyed Least:
I had to leave!
Surrounding Area:
Beautiful scenery and everything that comes to mind when you think of Tuscany. Restaurants, shopping, and several major tourist sites were in close proximity.

March

Overall:

Enjoyed Most:
Its quietness and beauty. It was good to "come home" after spending the day in Florence and the other small towns.
Enjoyed Least:
The septic tank needed some repairs. The smell was aparent from the outside.
Surrounding Area:
Enjoyed the vineyards, groves and feeling of spaciousness.

March

Overall:
Our home exceeded expectations. It was gorgeous, well-maintained, and well-located for driving into Florence. The property was beautiful, much better than the pictures on the Net. There is no way that they can do it justice and capture the soft, fragrant air and the intoxicating views. The house was well maintained. Our only suggestion is that the kitchen could use a salad spinner.
Enjoyed Most:
Intoxicating views! The owner had a list of restaurants in a book of useful local information.
Enjoyed Least:
We would suggest a better bed in the second bedroom that has a double bed. The bed there was short and the mattress was too soft.
Tips or Restaurants:
Our favorite restaurant was the La Fattoria. Put yourself in the hands of the manager, who speaks excellent English, and enjoy. It's a casual family restaurant.

November

Overall:
Because of the hill top location of this property the view is awesome. The property was very nice. The directions to the property were very clear to us because we were familiar with the area, but for a first time visitor they might be a little difficult.
Enjoyed Most:
The view!
Enjoyed Least:
Future renters need to be sure to shop for provisions early and stock up. It was adequately equipped. but they needed a coffee pot and a toaster. I brought my own coffee pot, and we bought a toaster. There never seemed to be any hot water for showering, only lukewarm water now and then. We spoke to the owner about this problem and he said that he would fix it.
Surrounding Area:
The surrounding area was isolated but beautiful, and it was easy to find our way around. As far as shopping for provisions, there was no local store. We shopped about twenty minutes away. There is no public transportation near by. There are many good restaurant but you have to be willing to drive in the dark.

November

Overall:
This was one of the most delightful weeks I've ever spent. The owner was a wonderfully thoughtful landlord: he provided us with a list of local restaurants, hospitals, groceries and other amenities. And, to top it off, left a bottle of the local wine (vinted from the property itself).
Enjoyed Most:
Wonderful landlord and house!
Enjoyed Least:
None.
Surrounding Area:
A well appointed house with wonderful views and extremely convenient to the sights of Tuscany: 1/2 hour to the center of Siena, about 45 minutes drive to the central railway station in Florence, and equally short drives to towns on the Black Rooster Trail (Classic Chianti country), Pisa, San Gimignano, etc.

November

Overall:
Property was very nice. Located on a rural road just past a castle, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. It was on a hill giving you a wonderful view of Tuscany. Fairly new. Located on the 2nd floor of a two story home. Very comfortable, clean and well furnished. . People were quite friendly and helpful. The property is very private, which we wanteds. Neighbors were very nice. View was wonderful. The house contained most essentials. Kitchen had necessary items except for a toaster. The owners provide a book listing restaurants nearby. The owners were very nice people - very interested in our comfort. We had a wonderful time. We will most likely use you again in future. We were very pleased.
Enjoyed Most:
Surroundings were lovely. View of the distant mountains and a walled city
Enjoyed Least:
House does not provide screens or air conditioning. It was very hot (100+ degrees). The mosquitoes and bees were a nuisance. A major annoyance was no laundry facilities available to renters or a bi-weekly change of sheets and towels. The housekeeper did laundry if asked. Very expensive. No local banks to change money.
Surrounding Area:
Town had small pastry, bread shop. Main shopping was about 10 miles further along. Property well located for day trips to many cities. Not far from main roads.

November

Overall:
Very comfortable house, fabulous view, excellent location for visiting Tuscan sites.
Enjoyed Most:
The view.
Enjoyed Least:
Heat and bugs.
Surrounding Area:
The close proximity to lots of towns, cities, good restaurants, good wine, good food.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano, Siena, Volterra, Certaldo, San Appiano, Florence.
Tips or Restaurants:
Gramola in Tavernelle is excellent. Campaniello's in Semifonte is truly outstanding.

November

Overall:
It was great! The landlord was wonderful and gave us a really great introduction to the area. The farmhouse was beautiful, comfortable, and significantly better than we expected. The views were fabulous, the location was ideal, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. And like I said, the landlord gave us a great intro to the area and really helped us find some out of the way shops and restaurants that were wonderful. What a special place. The house was very adequately equipped and we had a great time cooking for ourselves, as well as going out to dinner. I can't think of anything negative. More like PLEASANT surprises. If you rent this place, you'll want to rent a car. It is a little too out of the way if you don't.
Enjoyed Most:
The views were amazing!
Surrounding Area:
It was a great location. Close to Siena and Florence but with a real country feeling. We loved it!
Tips or Restaurants:
Go to Certaldo Alto and have dinner at the restaurant near the castle (it's in the little book of recommendations in the house)! And if Giancarlo recommends anything to you, listen to him. He never led us astray. Also, in the little towns near the house you will want to make dinner reservations. We found we couldn't get a table without them.

November