Our 4 weeks at Villa Brunello were everything we could have dreamed and more! The PERFECT Tuscan experience in every way!
Nearly every person that stayed with us used the word "magical" to describe it. From the patio views at sunset, to the neighborhood horse that would wander into the yard every evening to eat clover, the property was like something out of a fairytale. Postcard worthy in every single way.
The directions to the property need to be written by people who speak the same language as the folks reading them. I absolutely LOVE Italians and the Italian language (I learned it prior to our trip), but nearly all of our guests (including us!) were unable to find the villa until I, myself, re-wrote the directions in a very detailed manner. Also, the bathroom tub/showers were not the greatest, but we happily obliged, knowing we were in such a historic home! -)
The location was PERFECT. Just a 10 minute drive from the beautiful town of Montalcino, and easily drivable to surrounding hilltop towns (Montepulciano, Siena, Arezzo, Piensa, etc.)
Nearby Events or Locales:
It was Sant' Angello, which was about a 5 minute drive. (Not within walking distance)
Tips or Restaurants:
1.) Make sure to bring adapters for the outlets. If you can bring 3 prong adapters, even better, as most of the outlets in the house are of this nature.
2.) The fridge is relatively small, so you'll probably have to grocery shop every other day or so. Make sure to plan accordingly, as the COOP in Montalcino closes between 1pm and 4 pm daily.
3.) The clothes washing machine works (although it is VERY small), but its dial instructions are all in Italian, and it is very sensitive (it broke 3 times during our stay), so make sure to ONLY use the "delicati" setting when washing clothes.
4.) The pool is not heated...just FYI. -)
5.) None of the windows have screens on them, and there is no air conditioning. We were fine leaving the windows open all throughout June, but by the end of the month, it started to get really hot, and the flies invaded the house. I would highly recommend that the owner (Piero) invest in screens for the windows.
6.) Several of the furniture pieces are antiques and very delicate. Take caution when allowing children to run free.
7.) There are wild boars that roam the area at night (we spotted several), so take caution with children after dark.
8.) Tiziana, the housekeeper, is a total sweetheart, but she doesn't speak a word of English, so if you don't have anyone with you who speaks Italian, make sure to have a translator app handy on your phone that she can speak into (I showed her how it works, so she is familiar with the app.)
9.) All of the bathrooms in every suite (except for the one above the outdoor dining terrace) are bathtub only with 'sprayers.' Not idea for people who like taking stand-up showers, so probably best to make your guests aware prior to their stay.
10.) If more than one (two at most) shower sprayers are going at one time, the water pressure gets very lowweak, so plan shower times accordingly.
11.) The outside grounds are covered in clover, which attracts bees, so best to not walk around in bare feet. -)
12.) The pillows on the beds are all fairly flat, so if you need thicker or more comfortable pillows, you'll need to bring them with you.
Nearly everyone who tried to use GPS was directed to an incorrect location, so we made a point to tell everyone, "DO NOT TRY TO USE GPS TO GET HERE!" The exception would be if you want to use GPS to get to the town of Montalcino, because that worked. From there, though, you'll need better directions.
Check In Out:
Check in and Check out were easy. Just make sure to have 1300 in cash (EURO) with you upon Check in to give to Tiziana for the deposit. Even after 4 weeks with over 50 guests, we were able to get all of our deposit back at the end of our stay.
All of us are seasoned travelers, some having traveled to Europe over 25 times. We agree that this was as close to perfect as any accommodation any of us have ever had. The building, furnishings, pool, and grounds were exceptionally beautiful. As much as we enjoyed traveling to medieval towns and wineries, we equally enjoyed just sitting in the villa or on one of its patios and enjoying the serenity and each other's company. When I pay a premium price, I expected premium product. Honestly, in every way, my expectations were more than met.
Most of us had traveled to Tuscany several times. Consequently, we had very high expectations for our accommodations. Perhaps the best indication of how much we enjoyed the property can be seen in the fact that when we returned home and discussed a trip with friends, much of the discussion centered around the positive experience we had at the villa. The view from each window was a Tuscan postcard.
There is a beautiful winery within walking distance of our villa. Within an hour drive there were many many medieval cities and wineries to explore. It is only an hour drive to Siena and a 2- hour drive to Florence.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Montepulciano is a medieval hill town that is about five kilometers from the villa. In addition to many find restaurants and other interesting sites, there was a co-op where we were able to buy all the provisions we needed.
Tips or Restaurants:
Although there are many interesting restaurants within driving distance of the Villa, we highly recommend that future renters consider engaging the services of Cinzia's Group of Chefs. Through Rentvillas we contracted for a meal to be prepared in the villa. Three chefs arrived and prepared an amazing authentic meal. Several afternoons later they returned to conduct a cooking class for five members of our group. Our friends prepared a five course meal for all ten of us that was delicious.
All four cars as well as the chef had difficulty locating the villa. Perhaps adding the actual GPS coordinates would be of help.
Check In Out:
The check-in and checkout process went smoothly.