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Property Details

Sleeps:
10
Single Bedrooms:
0
Double Bedrooms:
5
Bathrooms:
5
Type:
Villa
Property #:
21028
Nearest Town:
San Gimignano

Featured Property

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Reviews of Villa on Large Estate Near San Gimignano

Villa Dora

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Customer Reviews

Overall:
Fantastic - Sandro and Nelson were excellent hosts.
Enjoyed Most:
The fact that we had food stocked for us to eat upon arrival. Nelson was great and lit a fire for us one night while at the property. Grounds were lovely and walk to San Gimignano was nice.
Enjoyed Least:
The distance to a grocery store as we did not rent a car.
Surrounding Area:
Loved the vineyards and olive grove and all of the beautiful plants on the property.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was 3.5 miles away - quite a hike.
Tips or Restaurants:
All of the restaurants were good. Bring layers of clothes as evenings were cool during this time of year (October).
Directions:
The drivers we hired were great and figured out how to get to the property

Peggy, October

Overall:
We absolutely LOVED our stay at Villa Dora! Every room was stunning, and the villa beautifully appointed. Every detail was perfect. The views, and outdoor spaces were beautiful, too! The garden was like something from a dream, and even though it was already October, a few of us took a dip in the pool.
Enjoyed Most:
We loved EVERYTHING! We even cooked meals with the wonderful food, AND wine(!) that our Property Manager left for us. We had wonderful linens, comfortable beds, beautiful bathrooms, and even fresh flowers in almost all the rooms. There were so many nice touches. This is a luxurious villa!
Enjoyed Least:
We loved everything about the property, but the turnoff to the villa was a little rough.
Surrounding Area:
We had beautiful weather, and loved the stunning countryside of the villa. The vistas, the vineyard, and olive groves made for a magical Italian setting. In addition, it was somewhat close to surrounding beautiful towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was our nearest small town, and we loved it. We walked into town three times, for shopping, a walking tour, and a few meals. The walk is about 45 minutes, and half of it is on the Francigena Historic Pilgrimage Path. It is stunning, but you need to be in decent shape, a lot of it is uphill, and wear comfortable walking shoes. San Gimignano has several great restaurants(Vecchia Mura), one of the best gelato places I've ever tried(Gelateria Dondoli), and some really fun shopping establishments. We also did a wine tasting at La Rocca. It was really fun, and we had delicious antipasti, and wonderful wines, including the San Gimignano Vernaccia wine.
Tips or Restaurants:
Ask a lot of questions. The staff from Villa Dora, and RentVillas are really helpful, and can make great suggestions. The villa is really well equipped with a washer and dryer, and everything you could ever need, but take comfortable walking shoes, so you can walk the beautiful countryside. Also, splurge, and hire a driver if you have a large group. It's worth it!
Directions:
A detailed Francigena trail map would be helpful for people that want to walk into San Gimignano, or for just enjoying walks along the trails.
Check In Out:
Nelson was proactive in making sure our check in was smooth, and that we felt right at home, and happy. He was great!

Patti, October

Overall:
Our overall experience at Villa Dora was excellent. It is a remarkable property located just outside San Gimignano with spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside.
Enjoyed Most:
The authentic Italian and architectural feel of the home and guest house was amazing. The home was very comfortable and was made even more welcoming by the supplies and provisions the property owner stock for our use during our stay. There was a large fruit basket, local wine, cheese and ingredients for several snacks and meals that help us settle in after a long travel day. A personalized note and magnum of champagne was left to enjoy during a family dinner and celebration scheduled for later in the week. The grounds were wonderful and the pool area was a great place to relax.
Enjoyed Least:
The drive to the property was the least favorite experience of the stay. The dirt and gravel road are extremely narrow, have steep inclines and support two way traffic. There are sections that are white knuckle worthy.
Surrounding Area:
I love the centralized location of the Villa, once you are on the main roadways, it was a very easy drive to San Gimignano. It was also an easy to drive to Siena, Volterra and Poggibonsi. We drove to Poggibinsi to catch the train to Florence for the day.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was within two mile, you could walk it, however the pilgrimage train is extremely hilly. I would recommend driving.
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything we needed for a wonderful stay and experience was provided. On-site washer and dryer, steam iron and extra power converters were a big plus.
Directions:
We had requested a "never lost" GOS navigation in our rental vehicle (Hertz), regrettably in was not functioning, however we were able to use google maps on our phone which brought us close to the property. However, once of the main road, it got a little challenging. I would strong recommend more signage that clearly directs to to the villa.
Check In Out:
The arrival checking process was very helpful and informative. Beyond the villa itself, the owners representative Nelson provided excellent information about the surround area and local points of interest, food market, wine shops and restaurants. The check out need to occur at 5am to allow for adequate travel time to drive to Florence, return the rental vehicle a meet departing flight schedules. Nelson met us at that early hour and conducted a very painless check-out and departure process.

Phillip, October

Overall:
We fell in love with the property from the minute we arrived.
Enjoyed Most:
The kitchen was perfect for cooking and we all loved the pool.
Enjoyed Least:
The towels in the bathrooms were a little small!
Surrounding Area:
Visiting San Gimignano in the evening for dinner was wonderful. My husband and son thoroughly enjoyed the walk into town. We loved having the vines and olive trees surrounding the property.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was the nearest town. It took about an hour to walk. It was quite a hard walk.
Tips or Restaurants:
We thought the only thing to improve the stay would be bigger towels! We enjoyed a lovely meal at a restaurant in a San Gimignano called Chiribiri.
Directions:
We used GPS and didn't have any problems.
Check In Out:
No. This went very well.

Virginia, September

Overall:
A very happy and memorable family holiday. Age range 15 and 17 year old boys their parents and grandparents in their 70s. Blissfully and peacefully happy.
Enjoyed Most:
The young ones loved the pool with the ubiquitous flamingo which managed to appear in many photos. We all felt the house blended age and beauty perfectly and the countryside was tranquil and beautiful
Enjoyed Least:
The bathroom towels could have been a little bigger and more absorbent
Surrounding Area:
We liked being surrounded by a working farm. Grape harvest was underway. I did some painting. I'm an amateur water colourist. The air smelt wonderfully clean and fresh We liked San Gimignano at night and very much enjoyed Volterra
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was close enough for the fit and young to walk to. We liked seeing the pilgrims walking through the farm
Tips or Restaurants:
No
Directions:
Good directions. We did have a GPS also
Check In Out:
No it was very good. And the provisions supplied were generous and delicious

Margaret, September

Overall:
We had a wonderful time. It was well taken care of by Nelson and the ladies. Sandro was very helpful when we had a problem with our driver and he found us someone else.
Enjoyed Most:
How clean it was and how helpful everyone was. The chef Alessio whom we had for two meals and a cooking class was the best. I would highly recommend him.
Surrounding Area:
The view was fantastic, and they just started picking the grapes the last two days, I would have loved to join in.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano, it was not within walking distance and not safe on the narrow roads. We were so glad we had arranged to have a driver to take us into town and for our winery visits which we loved.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bug spray for outside. Very good walking shoes. In San Gimignano in the main square look for the hotel with a wonderful restaurant on the top with a fantastic view. Great food.
Directions:
Our husbands are very good drivers and the first thing they said was they were very glad we were not driving. It would not be easy to find and very narrow. I would absolutely suggest a driver, especially if you were going to the wineries. You have to take into account our ages between 70 and 81. For young people it might not be a problem.
Check In Out:
The check in and check out process was great. No problem at all and Sandro was just a phone call away if there was any problem, as was Nelson the caretaker. I already have people interested in coming to Villa Dora. I told them book early!

Dorothy, September

Overall:
Villa Dora exceeded our expectations in every way! We were a family of 6 adults and every one of us fell in love with the villa!
Enjoyed Most:
The views were spectacular and the hiking trail right off the back of the villa was fantastic!
Enjoyed Least:
The pool wasn't heated, which the women in our group would have really appreciated. Also, the clothes dryer didn't work.
Surrounding Area:
We had as much privacy as we wanted but could be to San Gimignano in 10 minutes. We especially loved the hiking.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Giminagno...yes, it's walkable but you need to be in good shape as there are many hills.
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything was supplied at the villa. We really didn't need to bring anything. The villa was supplied with enough food to get us through the first night and next morning until we were able to get to the grocery store
Directions:
We used GPS...it would be difficult to find without it.
Check In Out:
Nelson was fabulous. He was waiting for us when we arrived and came back to check us out at 5:30 am!

Lynn, September

Overall:
Our time at Villa Dora was a fantastic experience for all of my family. It was also an excellent place to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Nelson did an excellent orientation to property.
Enjoyed Most:
The outside look and amenities are what sell the place especially the big pool that everyone but especially the grandkids enjoyed.
Enjoyed Least:
We wished there had been a set of ratan seating area near the house for enjoying the morning sun plus a spice rack. And we would have preferred a propane BBQ. All small issues, however!
Surrounding Area:
Close to everything.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Yes, San Gimignano.
Check In Out:
All good!

Bill, September

Overall:
We had a wonderful week. Our family was able to relax or choose to hike or shop or enjoy the beautiful pool. There was something for all ages to enjoy!
Enjoyed Most:
We loved the privacy and the beauty of the old with the conveniences of modern life.
Enjoyed Least:
The tiny bathroom in the out building and the cramped bedroom area there. This building could be reconfigured for more comfort.
Surrounding Area:
San Gimignano was amazing. The many trails were great.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was not within walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
We enjoyed Chef Alessio and using the villa facilities to make some fabulous meals, using what we had learned.
Directions:
The coordinates and the GPS were good tools.

Katja, August

Overall:
Lovely! It was a perfect setting for our adult family to gather for our wedding to be held in Volterra.
Enjoyed Most:
Location was close to many Tuscany destinations. The indoor-outdoor spaces were beautiful. We spent most of our time in the evening, outside. Each room was private with its own bathroom.
Enjoyed Least:
WiFi never worked well or many times not at all however, but that kept us focused on each other!
Surrounding Area:
Easy drive to San Gimignano. We also toured wine country, Siena, Volterra, and Florence.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. No, it was not walkable.
Tips or Restaurants:
Don't count on WiFi service. Everything we needed was provided! We brought bug spray, just in case, but never needed it.
Directions:
iPhone GPS does not work with the provided address...use Google maps.
Check In Out:
Nelson was wonderful from start to finish. Easy processes.

Jeff, June

Overall:
Excellent, we enjoyed all of spaciousness and the bedrooms with bathrooms.
Enjoyed Most:
The fireplace and the dining room! We had a fire every night.
Enjoyed Least:
The drive down to the Villa.
Surrounding Area:
We were busy all of the time! San Gimignano, Assisi, Sienna, Volterra, Lucca, Rome, Florence! Loved it!

Leslie, June

Overall:
Villa Dora was AMAZING. I must begin by saying that writing a review for this property is next to impossible because it is hard to speak when a place takes your breath away. We arrived for a 10 day stay at this incredible villa and it far exceeded expectations. Sandro was incredible at helping set up private chef lessons with Alessio and dinner cooked at the villa. We also had a private day tour around Montepulciano and wineries with a driver he recommended. Nelson was flawless as the villa coordinator and the communication and provisions were excellent. We had maid service and they place was SO clean. When we first arrived Sandro was there waiting with wine and a wonderfully stocked kitchen. The home was sparkling clean and each bedroom was beautifully appointed. We even had robes and slippers!!! No one fought over any bedrooms because they are all equally beautiful and well appointed. Everyone had their own bathroom. The water pressure is amazing and everyone agrees that the best shower they have ever had in their life was here. The sheets are so soft, the mattresses are amazing. We all slept like rocks. My morning hike to the town was my favorite part of the day (it is a serious walk though and you should be in shape as it is very steep hills and takes about 55 minutes). The coffee in the mornings looking out over the vineyards is priceless. The afternoons by the pool were peaceful and relaxing. Dining on the veranda was incredible. Everywhere you look there is beauty. You always wonder when you book a place sight unseen if it will really be what it is advertised as. This place is WAY beyond what is advertised. Everything is truly flawless. My only complaint is that we had to leave. It was a fantasy. Like living in a dream to stay in this incredible home. We will forever be grateful for the priceless memories we made at Villa Dora.
Enjoyed Most:
EVERYTHING.
Enjoyed Least:
NOTHING.
Surrounding Area:
EVERYTHING.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimiganano was the closest town and it was walkable, took us about an hour and we are in very good shape. It is only 3 miles away, but it is SERIOUS hike and hill roads. I only walked it once, and I am an avid exerciser in good shape. But by car it was super easy to get to and only takes 5 minutes to drive there.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring a desire to relax and have the time of your life. EVERY restaurant we found was absolute perfection. You can't go wrong with any choice.
Directions:
It is hard to find the first time. GPS was necessary.
Check In Out:
Nelson, the property manager could not have made things easier. I truly have not a single complaint.

Rachel, May

Overall:
Villa Dora is an extraordinary villa. Our experience was fantastic in every way.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and country setting, very peaceful and relaxing.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing
Surrounding Area:
The easy drive to San Gimignano and Voltera and hiking around the countryside
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano not really walking distance but could be walked.
Tips or Restaurants:
Best restaurant - Cum Quibus in San Gimignano. Fantastic.
Directions:
Directions were fine just keep driving on the gravel road through Montauto until the end of the road where Villa Dora is.
Check In Out:
Everything associated with the Villa is great.

Rick, April

Overall:
Wonderful stay at the property.
Enjoyed Most:
Character of the property. Villa is 300 to 400 years old. Truly like stepping back in time however with all of the modern conveniences. The grounds were impeccable and beautifully maintained. The gardener appeared every other day very early in the morning so as not to disturb the guests.
Enjoyed Least:
The comfort of the outdoor furniture. We would have enjoyed more comfortable sitting furniture out on the patio. There was a lack of good interior lighting.
Surrounding Area:
San Gimignano!
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano - it would be a bit of a hike but yes it is walking distance. The Via Frangicena passes right in front of the villa. Our adult children hiked it to a few towns over - said it was spectacular!
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring bug spray for outdoors. Il Travatore had excellent pizza and grilled meats. There is a guide in the villa with restaurant recommendations that was very helpful.
Directions:
Directions were very good.
Check In Out:
Check out process was very easy. Nelson was very accommodating to our time requirements.

Robin, October

Overall:
It was a wonderful stay. The scenery was stunning, and the owners were very thoughtful and accommodating. We loved all the space, which made it easy for our group to enjoy dinners together in the evening. I would recommend to anyone!
Enjoyed Most:
The pool and surrounding scenery made us feel like we were at the edge of the world. We were also fortunate to have lovely weather during our stay. I would like to come back someday!
Enjoyed Least:
Personally, I do not have any complaints. Some of our group members found the beds to be "short" but I loved everything about Villa Dora. It's a Tuscan paradise!
Surrounding Area:
It felt secluded and quiet, but San Gimignano was only a short drive away. The best of both worlds )
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was the nearest town and we drove, but probably could have taken a long walk instead.
Tips or Restaurants:
We loved Cum Quibus in San Gimignano! Very good food, well worth the cost.
Directions:
The directions given were very good, and had an easy time using Google maps.
Check In Out:
No, it was very smooth and efficient.

Nicole, September

Overall:
It was amazing. The scenery was gorgeous and the inside was beautiful and very comfortable. The location was also convienent to smaller towns.
Enjoyed Most:
The view and the bedrooms.
Enjoyed Least:
The rocky road leading to the property.
Surrounding Area:
I loved visiting San Gimignano and Volterra. Both towns were great for day visits and getting unique suveniors.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. Not really.
Tips or Restaurants:
Cum Quibus was an awsome restaraunt and experience to have.
Directions:
We used a GPS and it took us right to the property with no problems.

Amelia, September

Overall:
We had an absolutely amazing time. Everything was just perfect.
Enjoyed Most:
It was completely secluded and felt like a home away from home.
Enjoyed Least:
The stairs to the second floor were quite harrowing after a few glasses of wine.
Surrounding Area:
The villa was secluded, but still close enough to drive to many other towns in Tuscany with ease.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano, but it was not walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Cum Quibus in San Gimignano is a wonderful Michelin star restaurant.
Directions:
I used google maps and had no problems getting to the property

Dan, September

Overall:
It was lovely staying in such an old villa, exploring each room and taking in the beautiful view.
Enjoyed Most:
The spacious home, the outdoor seating areas, the pool...
Enjoyed Least:
Getting to the house was a little difficult as the road is steep and unpaved.
Tips or Restaurants:
We didn't want for anything, there were plenty of local maps, guide books and brochures for local places at the house. There were even umbrellas, and pool floats for us to use. Plus, lots of great food and drink upon arrival.
Directions:
We used GPS - basically you have to keep driving until the road dead-ends on the map.

Kelsey, September

Overall:
Above expectations, a week in a Tuscan paradise.
Enjoyed Most:
The view from the pool, the view from the terrace, the bottles of wine offered by our host, the comfort of the rooms, peace and silence throughout the day.
Enjoyed Least:
The road to Montauto village is a bit challenging in the dark.
Surrounding Area:
San Gimignano, Volterra, Certaldo Alto, Siena, Ceramics in Montelupo (off the expensive beaten path), Greve in Chianti, Da Pode restaurant and the Bistecca Fiorentina, Vernaccia tasting... everything in this Tuscan area.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano is the nearest town and it is within walking distance. It's a nice hike but not at midday in summer, and only for the ones is if you're in good health. It's a bout a 3 km walk through the hills. A car is needed.
Tips or Restaurants:
Take the mosquitoes seriously and wear long pants, long sleeves at dinner and use repellent. With that, bear in mind that this is not a villa-specific issue, you cannot avoid mosquitoes in Tuscany during summer.
Directions:
We successfully used GPS, actually at Montauto village there is a single road. Not an issue to find the property; the Montauto church bell tower can be seen from San Gimignano.
Check In Out:
Nelson took care of our check in and out and he is perfectly fluent in English.

Pierre, August

Overall:
Excellent.
Enjoyed Most:
Air-conditioned bedrooms.
Enjoyed Least:
Lack of air-conditioning downstairs, but we were prepared for this.
Surrounding Area:
Views and swimming pool.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano and it's not walking distance.
Tips or Restaurants:
Everything was great.
Directions:
Use GPS.
Check In Out:
Everything was excellent.

Barbara, August

Overall:
Amazing. Pool was great for hot days and the view was priceless. Beautiful garden and very well kept. Loved coming back to the villa after a long day.
Enjoyed Most:
We loved every aspect of it. From Tuscan interior design to multiple areas of outdoor sitting. Specious and unique bathrooms and well designed gathering areas.
Enjoyed Least:
At first it was a challenging drive especially for my sister but after a few times it became part of fun.
Surrounding Area:
Being so close to San Gimignano, I walked few times early in the morning from villa to San Gimignano using nearby Via Francigena, great walk, you can be in town before all the tourists arrive!
Nearby Events or Locales:
It is within walking distance but would only advise it to those who are physically fit.
Tips or Restaurants:
The World's Best Gelato" in Sań Gimignano is truly the best.
Directions:
We did use GPS google maps has property well marked, directions we received were clear as well.
Check In Out:
We greatly appreciated the welcoming gift with fresh fruit, wine, pasta and well stocked fridge. My mother was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the property and surroundings, she started to cry from happiness!

Artur, August

Overall:
We were living in paradise for one month - immersed in the total beauty of the vineyards, olive trees, cypress tress...
Enjoyed Most:
The peace, quiet - you are away from it all.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing - loved everything but you must have a car and be comfortable driving.
Surrounding Area:
It was convenient to many wonderful cities - San Gimignano, Siena, Florence, Voltera, Poggibonsi, Pisa.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Well, it's a long walk - but yes, you could walk - we did not.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring wash cloths - also we brought Cromecast for our grandchildren to watch a little TV - ice cubes were small - and you can't buy ice at the supermarket .
Directions:
Perfect.
Check In Out:
No, it was perfect - the host welcomed us with open arms and fully stocked kitchen - wine, flowers, bread, fruit, milk, water, OJ, cookies, Nutello, pasta, cheese, etc.

Maria, July

Overall:
We had a wonderful time at the villa. Everything about the villa and property exceeded our expectations. The grounds at this time of the year were breathtaking with flowers in full bloom. Every detail in the house was welcoming, all of our needs were anticipated. As we were making our plans before arrival, the owner was most responsive. Once there, the villa manager catered to our every need. We cannot wait to return.
Enjoyed Most:
The pictures cannot capture the serenity and beauty of the property. There are welcoming places around the villa to sit and absorb the views. Though only a few members of our party used the pool, we all enjoyed sitting there. The large fully equipped kitchen was the heart of the villa for us. It was hard to choose whether to eat outside or in the dining room. Each bedroom is unique and furnished exquisitely with an adjoining bath. Each bedroom is private. We felt welcomed and at home.
Enjoyed Least:
I don't think there was anything we did not like about the property. You will be best served if a member of your party enjoys driving as the road at night is a bit daunting. To our three sons, it was an enjoyable part of the experience.
Surrounding Area:
We loved the proximity to so many wonderful towns and Florence. Which ever way you went from the Villa, the drive was incredible.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The Villa was a short distance to San Gimignano. For more adventurous types, it would be walking distance. And forget Rick Steves. This was our favorite small town. Just beautiful and so enjoyable.
Tips or Restaurants:
You don't need to worry about bringing anything. The villa is fully equipped with everything. Too many great restaurants to write about.
Directions:
Directions to the Villa that were provided were excellent. And of course Google Maps on your phone takes you every where now.
Check In Out:
Nelson made the check-in and check-out process very easy. We were surprised by all of the wonderful items stocked in the kitchen to make our first evening/breakfast enjoyable. My husband particularly enjoyed the Nespresso machine and abundant cups. Just were sad to leave after a week.

Eileen, June

Overall:
Staying at Villa Dora feels like you have been entrusted with the keys to a dear friend's home who has invited you to stay while he is away. The property, the home, the furnishings are all exquisite. No detail has been forgotten. The home is elegant, timeless, peaceful and welcoming. When we left, we each held hopes of returning.
Enjoyed Most:
I liked how all the elements of the property combined perfectly. Everything flowed and balanced and pulled you in to enjoyment of a very special place. Members of our family could be inside the home, down by the pool, sitting around the patio table or enjoying the gardens while still feeling happily connected.
Surrounding Area:
This was my first visit to Tuscany and I really enjoyed the beauty of the countryside, the ancient hilltop towns and the friendliness of the Italian people.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest town was San Gimingao. Technically it is within walking distance but not for me a good use of time.
Tips or Restaurants:
If you have the opportunity to stay at this villa, don't miss it. The owners have thought of everything you might want. He is also very helpful with advice and suggestions before you even arrive. His local representative is also very personable and available.
Directions:
Follow the directions the owner provides and you will have no difficulty finding the villa. Maps on your smart phone are very helpful for traveling around Tuscany.

Kathleen, June

Overall:
The caretaker was fantastic upon our arrival! He provided an excellent tour and answered all of our questions. The villa exceeded my expectations and I have already recommended it to several of my friends.
Enjoyed Most:
Every bedroom had its own sitting room and bathroom. And lots of space for all of us to hang out and not be on top of each other.
Enjoyed Least:
Not really a complaint, but the dryer took forever to dry.
Surrounding Area:
Very serene and peaceful. Also, our group can get quite loud, especially with wine, so it was great not to have anyone super close by. )
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. Technically it was in walking distance (about 2 miles away), but very hilly, so we didn't walk.
Tips or Restaurants:
Great restaurants in San Gimignano and Cesani winery in Volterra - wine tasting at Podere Marcampo and dinner at Ristorante Enoteca 'Del Duca'.
Directions:
We used GPS so it was super easy.
Check In Out:
It was efficient and excellent!

Brandi, October

Overall:
This trip to Italy was the "destination" celebration of a milestone birthday and our stay at Villa Dora did not disappoint! The grounds were gorgeous as we found ourselves surrounded by vineyards and olive groves stretching down into a beautiful valley. The house was spacious and immaculate. There were ten in our party and each couple had their own bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. The pool and surrounding terrace were beautiful, fully outfitted with loungers and umbrellas. We visited in October and the water was a bit cold. Regardless, we had two brave souls jump in and take advantage of the pool because we had perfect weather (in the mid-70's all week). The dining room was a treat with seating for 10. We did book a chef to come in and cook for us one evening it was an absolutely wonderful dining experience! I highly recommend this to everyone! After dinner, we spent most of our evenings out on the terrace (featuring a dining table and chairs for 10) enjoying our surroundings over bottles of Tuscan wine.
Enjoyed Most:
We loved the gorgeous vistas and the very peaceful location. We also loved the fact that we were close enough to visit San Gimignano, Florence, Volterra and many wineries with ease. The other wonderful discovery was that the owners had stocked the cupboards and refrigerator with enough items to get us through dinner and breakfast before we had time to get to the grocery store.
Enjoyed Least:
I would say that our WiFi Internet connections were poor. We rented TEP Wireless devices but, they had poor cell reception.
Surrounding Area:
The serenity and beauty of the valley.
Nearby Events or Locales:
The nearest town was San Gimignano and it is very close by car. We had rented cars in Florence and we drove to town rather than walk. There were plenty of parking lots outside of the town (you are not allowed to drive into the city walls).
Tips or Restaurants:
We had a great dinner at Olivieri Bistrot, Via S. Matteo, 55, 53037, San Gimignano, SI, Italy. +39 0577 940790. There is also a PAM Superstore (groceries) which is about a 20 minute drive from the villa. We purchased most of our groceries and wine there. It was fun to go through their wine department and purchase wines that we had no idea about!
Directions:
We used Google Maps to find the property with only a slight amount of difficulty. We were driving in from Florence. I think anyone driving to the property needs to be aware that once you leave the paved road, it is quite a narrow, twisty dirt road to the villa (which is at the end of said road). I think it may have been a couple of kilometers. It wasn't a problem but, I think people just need to be aware of that fact.
Check In Out:
Check in and Check Out were seamless. The property manager was fabulous and made us feel at home immediately.

Valerie, October

Overall:
An incredible location. The historic charm was awesome and the finishings were incredible. We love the pool. It was such a nice surprise to find the kitchen stocked with goodies. Nelson, the caretaker, was extremely helpful and quick to handle any of our needs.
Enjoyed Most:
Nelson was extremely helpful and quick to handle any of our needs. Location was great close to the little town Pool was awesome. The gardener always kept the surrounding area in excellent condition. Excellent kitchen. We had a chef come in and it was very handy to have all the pots and pans and dishes. Everything was excellent.
Surrounding Area:
Only thing I wasn't sure about with the property was part of the road, since we had a van and it was pretty narrow in parts.
Nearby Events or Locales:
No, the smallest town was a short drive away.
Tips or Restaurants:
Can't remember the names of the restaurants.
Directions:
Directions were great we just needed to go a little further on the road and Nelson was there right away to show us the rest of the way
Check In Out:
Check in was absolutely a breeze and Nelson made it so easy and showed us where everything was and how everything worked. Then just had a check out at the end to make sure everything was in great shape still; refund was automatic.

Terry, August

Overall:
Outstanding. This is a beautiful, luxuriously appointed property. Beautiful outside area and pool with spectacular views.
Enjoyed Most:
Sorry to be so general but really everything - all rooms were spectacular, pool area was terrific. linens, furnishings, kitchen were all excellent. There was one very cool surprise - the Via Francia (the ancient road) literally travels through the vineyard on the edge of the property, so it was interesting, particulary for our children, to think about pilgrims walking along this ancient road and helped them better understand how and why towns along the road like San Gimignano developed.
Surrounding Area:
Terrific location. Easy and short drive into San Gimignano, easy access to Siena, Florence, Volterra.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. Not really walkable (60 minute walk).
Tips or Restaurants:
Volterra is a short trip away and considerably less crowded with tourists than San Gimignano and Florence and Siena. It was a very nice and easy morning trip and there are some great restaurants on the way back to the villa from Volterra.
Directions:
No, all very clear.
Check In Out:
A few mornings there were some problems with the water system (so no showers) but the on-site representative was extraordinarily responsive and is working on fixing the problem. He was terrific - friendly, helpful and could not have been more helpful. One last thing - having the kitchen stocked with some basics and food for the first night was superb, just a really nice and unexpected touch.

John, June

Overall:
Fabulous!
Enjoyed Most:
The ambiance, both indoors and outdoors.
Enjoyed Least:
The property was absolutely amazing. We could have used more explicit instructions on using the washer/dryer.
Surrounding Area:
Convenience.
Tips or Restaurants:
Really, everything at the villa is provided. I would recommend zip locks, "to go" cups for coffee or beverage of choice and food items. EVERYTHING else was provided.

R, March

Overall:
Absolutely perfect.
Enjoyed Most:
View, size, quiet.
Surrounding Area:
Village of San Gimignano.
Tips or Restaurants:
Go to Siena, Cortona, & Greve and soak up the culture of the area.
Check In Out:
Rent this property!

Cindy, March

Overall:
It was the most beautiful and peaceful area I have ever stayed in. The house is absolutely beautiful. The way it is presented and photos online was exactly all we expected and more.
Enjoyed Most:
Hard to choose. Just everything!
Surrounding Area:
The natural beauty of the area.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano
Tips or Restaurants:
We visited lots of cities close by. Easy to go with using GPS. Comfortable shoes.
Directions:
I didn't do any of the driving myself. But no one seemed to have any problems. Just getting use to the turn abouts and being familiar with the car seemed to be the most important thing.
Check In Out:
Unfortunately, my husband and I were late getting there, but no one complained about check in process.

Estella, March

Overall:
Excellent.
Enjoyed Most:
The villa was very large and beautiful with excellent furnishings. Everything we needed was there.
Enjoyed Least:
The stove controls were not very clear.
Surrounding Area:
The views, the grape vines and olive trees, and also the historic road to San Gimignano - "Via Francigena"
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano - yes, it was a good walk away.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring comfortable shoes.
Directions:
Used Google maps.

Dan, March

Overall:
Eight guests had the best vacation of their lives.
Enjoyed Most:
The view. Seclusion. Ample space to relax.
Enjoyed Least:
Only a minor point, but the narrow road to property.
Surrounding Area:
San Gimignano is a great little village. Easy access to surrounding areas.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. Yes,you can walk but it will take 30 minutes.
Tips or Restaurants:
Best restaurant in area is Nona Gina's in Siena.
Directions:
Using a GPS or cell phone GPS is a must.
Check In Out:
Owner and contact person were very helpful and responsive.

Kim, March

Overall:
Staying at Villa Dora was a beautiful experience.... the farmhouse was spacious and immaculate and oh so comfortable. We were awed by the fabulous views of the vineyards and olive groves and started our days with a hike around the property.
Enjoyed Most:
The peaceful and beautiful landscape... every view was a painting.
Enjoyed Least:
The slow internet but we worked around that by hotspotting to our cell phone which we placed at a higher point.
Surrounding Area:
The landscape... fabulous!
Nearby Events or Locales:
We didn't walk to the nearest town. We found the long narrow road intimidating. We hired a car service (Miraco)...recommended by the owner.
Tips or Restaurants:
Bring a bathing suit... the pool is lovely. And a sun hat... the Tuscan sun is hot!
Directions:
We had a driver, arranged through RentVillas, pick us up at the airport. He knew exactly where the villa is located. If you rent a car, rent it ahead.

Lynne, October

Overall:
An absolute paradise! The pictures on the website are spot on, the villa and surroundings are just as beautiful in person. Every detail was provided in the villa on our arrival, including a homebaked cake! Couldn't have asked for a nicer villa, a more attentive property manager and owner, and ideal location.
Enjoyed Most:
The beauty of the villa and its surroundings. Set in the middle of a vineyard, with no other house nearby, it was perfectly peaceful.
Enjoyed Least:
Nothing!
Surrounding Area:
Centrally located to Siena, Florence, Volterra and the Chianti Classico region. Of course, San Gimignano was right up the road. Very idyllic countryside with beautiful views all around.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano was about 3 kilometers away, but we didn't walk it.
Tips or Restaurants:
Ristorante Da Pode at Hotel Sovestro just a couple kilometers outside San Gimignano was outstanding. For gelato, don't miss Gelateria Dondoli and Caffetteria Gelateria dell'Olmo in San Gimignano. Both are excellent, and served the best gelato in Italy during our two week trip.
Directions:
The directions were fine, and we did use a GPS.
Check In Out:
No, all went well.

Chuck, September

Overall:
This was the vacation of a lifetime. We had to keep pinching ourselves. The villa was gorgeous, unbelievably luxurious. The house and grounds were impeccably kept. The landscaping was breathtaking. We were surrounded by flowers, a vineyard, and an olive grove. The pool was sparkling and clean. There were nine of us and the house accommodated us all with ease. There were plenty of spaces for chatting, reading, napping, eating, watching movies, playing cards, swimming, etc. We loved every moment!
Enjoyed Most:
It was beautiful inside and out. The inside was gorgeous and comfortable. The house is full of artwork - a feast for the eyes. Just looking out any window was a breathtaking view. Sitting by the pool filled one with a deep sense of peace surrounded by the vineyards and hills.
Enjoyed Least:
The road in/out was a bit tricky.
Surrounding Area:
We were so enamored of our villa, we didn't feel the need to leave. We did enjoy going into the ancient walled city of San Gimignano to shop and see the sights. Some members of our family went to Siena and Volterra. We were also close to Firenze. The villa is centrally located.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano is the nearest town. Yes, you could walk into town. It is a challenging walk, but my daughter did it. As a matter of fact, the estate is on the Francigena Pilgrim Trail.
Tips or Restaurants:
The villa met our every need. The kitchen was well appointed - it had everything. In fact, we only ate out twice. No one wanted to leave our luxurious villa home. There were lovely bath soaps, shampoos, creams supplied in each bath. We found a delicious little restaurant called Osteria delle Catene on a little side street in San Gimignano. The people were so warm and friendly. I had made advance reservations online. We had 9 people. We also ate at Vecchiemura - it was overrated.
Directions:
Your directions were fine. We did use GPS. Tell people not to give up when they hit the dirt road. When you make that last hairpin turn and see the pool below, you feel like you have reached the Emerald City! It's breathtaking!
Check In Out:
Check In was wonderful. The owner was there along with his estate agent and they gave us the grand tour. It was very welcoming and exciting. They had stocked the kitchen with food and wine - unbelievably kind and thoughtful.

Ed And Jo, September

Overall:
We really enjoyed our stay at Villa Dora. The property is in a beautiful private setting and the villa is very well equipped. All 5 bedrooms are great.
Enjoyed Most:
The setting on the vineyard; the welcome from the owner; the well equipped kitchen; the fact that it was stocked with groceries for dinner (including wine) and breakfast when we arrived; being able to walk into San Gimignano (1 hour roundtrip); the pool; the large outdoor dining area; and the BBQ.
Enjoyed Least:
The drive into the property was interesting as I had a 9-seater van. The trees at the side of the road could use a trim. But this is very minor.
Surrounding Area:
Being able to walk into San Gimignano (1 hour). Complete isolation in a beautiful setting surrounded by grape vines and olive groves Close to all of the main Tuscany towns.
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano (1 hour roundtrip).
Tips or Restaurants:
Bug spray. The mosquitos do come out at dusk.
Directions:
Google maps worked perfectly with the co-ordinates provided.
Check In Out:
Could not have been better.

Andrew, September

Overall:
We were a group of 10 friends in need of suitable housing in Tuscany. We reveiwed the RentVillas offerings and rerceived some great feedback from our Travel Advisor. The property (2 miles outside San Gimignano) was better than the pictures. It is a fantastic point from which to explore Tuscany and still come home to an oasis with a pool area surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Special note to the owner, Sandro, who was absolutely great in working with us to arrange transport from Florence airport for one couple, arranged our group to have an in-house cooking experience (thanks to Maria Teresa Burlotti and her granddaughter Beatrice), to providingg us with a well-stocked kitchen to get us started. I can't say enough about how much Sandro made the whole arrangement work so well
Enjoyed Most:
Everything about the property, inside and out, was given great consideration by Sandro and his wife Bruna, and nothing was overlooked. The day to day property manager, Antonella, was friendly support and worked to keep the gardens picture perfect. All the bedbath rooms were comparable in comfort (no one gets shorted while others get spacious). The pool area is to die for. Greatest challenege is to pull yourself away from the property to sightsee and not just recline in the pool area
Enjoyed Least:
It is located a the end of an access road (approx. 1.5 miles) which while providing privacy may be a bit daunting when you first drive in
Surrounding Area:
The country side is gorgeous while being in close proximity to Florence, Pisa or Siena (all about 90 minutes away) AND having San Gimignano to go to in the evening to walk and ahve dinner after all the tourists are gone (except you)
Nearby Events or Locales:
San Gimignano. An ambitious 2 mile walk with elevation change
Tips or Restaurants:
Restaurant recommendations - for great pasta, Olivieri Bistrot for great grilled meats, Il Trovatore both in San Gimignano
Directions:
The directions provided were good. They had to be followed to the end. Some of our group "blinked" in thinking they had made a mistake
Check In Out:
The owner made it very simple. We had plenty of time to go around the property to understand how it all worked.

Jan, June