Trip Advisor reviews

Posted on

Ripertoli is now listed on Trip Advisor’s website and its “FlipKey” subsidiary, which has increased our number of USA-based guests. Trip Advisor does an excellent job of collecting guest reviews; to save you the trouble of going to the Trip Advisor site, here are copies of some recent reviews. All our reviews so far have been 5-star, the maximum rating.

2016

A piece of Tuscan heaven

VALerie E, London, United Kingdom

fivestars

Review left on Aug 8, 2016 for a stay in Jun 2016.

This holiday was a birthday celebration with family members of all ages. The accommodation surpassed all our expectations – not only a family home with personal touches – but also having modern bathrooms and facilities. The surroundings and views were typically unspoilt Tuscan scenery – all viewed from a wonderful terrace at the rear of the property. The gardens, with tubs of geraniums, and the olive groves below, all contributed to the idyllic surroundings. We spent most of our time by the swimming pool, beautifully kept clean – complete with loungers and loggia for shade. Marisa, the Housekeeper, was a delight and provided us with typical Tuscan home cooked meals when needed. I cannot find fault with any part of our holiday, only the fact that it was too short and we will certainly return again in the future. I must also stress the importance of the excellent communication and help from Nigel Tully, whose in depth knowledge of the area, was invaluable.

Bliss beyond imagination!

Sara G, Scotland

fivestars
Look no further if you want to rent a large house, Ripertoli has it all! The location is so quiet & simply could not be bettered, the accommodation has been lovingly restored & the views are sensational. The large swimming pool and grounds are beautifully maintained, nothing appears to be too much trouble for Nigel, and Marisa really is a treasure & her cooking skills must be sampled! Birds, butterflies, lizards, fire flies & deer abound, and even a large group of wild boar visited us in the wee small hours on at least one night. In short, book it now you won’t regret it!

2015

Stunning – a must have if you are going to Tuscany

Neighbour J, Hamilton, Canada

fivestars

We were a group of 8 (3 couples and two singles) from Canada and took 5 rooms. Each room was it’s owe paradise. The views from the villa are stunning. We had Marisa (local lady that prepares the rooms) make a dinner for us which was ready when we arrived at the villa. She had two kinds of lasagna, salad, antipasto, and fruit for 8 of us, which we were still eating well into the next day. Everything about Ripertoli is welcoming and relaxing. It is everything you would expect a Tuscan villa to be and more. There is so much to do in the Tuscany area, yet we spent two days just relaxing at the villa cause it was such a wonderful place to unwind and enjoy the scenery. Part of the group walked to Greve one day which took about an hour and a half, along the trail. We arrived on a Saturday and were lucky enough to hit the Panzano wine festival on the Sunday, which was a 10 min drive away. The location of the villa is a great spot to hit so many wonderful locations within an hour or less. Florence was 40 min. Antinori winery was 25 min. Casalosta winery was 10 min. Siena 60 min. We found ourselves getting out early and going to specific locations and then returning early afternoon so we could enjoy the property. This is a must see and experience property; we will definitely be back one day.

A little piece of Paradise

UKDOC49, London, United Kingdom

fivestars
We return to Ripertoli time and again. The peaceful old Tuscan farmhouse has fantastic views. We have had many holidays here with family and friends – a home from home, and providing every possible facility. The accommodation is perfect. All bedrooms have bathrooms and there is a wonderful swimming pool, terraces for quiet siestas and olive groves to wander through. Within easy driving distance of many local restaurants, wineries and small villages and only 45 minutes from Florence. The owners could not be more efficient and helpful and Marisa, their housekeeper, is a real Italian gem.

Our week was simply amazing Ripertoli is magic

Judepettitt

fivestars

We were a group of twelve. Five birthdays to be celebrated from 50s to 60’s and we also had 4 20 or 30 something’s as well . The accommodation allowed for everyone to be together every night for dinner but to have space for themselves when needed. The weather was perfect so most afternoons ended by the pool and some birthday mornings started there with a glass of prosecco !! We took advantage of every suggestion that Nigel made ( he was unbelievabltpy helpful – answers were spot on and always within hours ). Marisa , their housekeeper/ cook provided great meals mostly eaten on the terrace as the sun went down and the huge full moon rose over the hills. We took advantage of a cooking class from Mimmo ( identified as a highlight for many ) and we did a bit of touring always happy to return to the Ripertoli for something with ice in it. The quality of the accommodation – bedrooms, ensuite and communal areas was great and we had everything you could possibly need. We will be back……

Charming Stay, Perfect Wedding

sreitz2015, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

fivestars
My husband and I chose Ripertoli as both the venue and residence for the week of our wedding. Our 15 guests stayed with us the days leading up to the event, and all were blown away by the beauty of this little corner of the world. We can say, without hesitation, that it was the perfect location for our intimate wedding and the perfect vacation home for the week. The photos of Ripertoli are great, but they can’t do the property justice. The view from the property is expansive, the landscaping is gorgeous, and buildings possess a unique charm that combine to create a truly fairytale-like experience. It is necessary to negotiate some hills and gravel, but having spent a week on the narrow roads of Chianti, we know now that this is not a feature unique to Ripertoli. Our ceremony was outdoors, and the most difficult dilemma of the day (if I can even call it that) was deciding where on the picturesque grounds to have it. For the reception the choice was obvious: the property has a perfect flat space in front of one Cappane’s arched door. It is flanked by flowers and several old-timey streetlights. We’ll cherish our trip because of our wedding, but it would have been an amazing week regardless. We visited local wineries, rented mopeds in Greve, arranged for a cooking class at Ripertoli, and spent time in Greve’s markets (outside of the hustle-and-bustle of Florence). Marisa, the property’s caretaker, is wonderful. She greeted us the first day with a delicious Tuscan meal. And while she spoke no English, her affection was unmistakeable. She stayed for the wedding day to make sure it went off without a hitch. She even came the day before to give us each wedding gifts and a bouquet of pink roses from her own garden. Throughout the week she was willing to come by and cook dinners or breakfasts — we just had to arrange that with her when we got there. The property’s owners, Nigel and Deborah, have also clearly devoted a lot of time to improving the property and spending much of their own time there. Their website (and a bulletin board at Ripertoli) is full of suggestions for restaurants and activities — I think mostly from Nigel’s and Deborah’s own experiences. Also, Nigel (our primary contact) was very communicative and extremely professional in both arranging for the week ahead of time and in concluding our business after the fact. When we first approached them about the possibility of hosting a wedding at Ripertoli, the couple offered to Skype with us to ensure that every need was met and question answered. It was largely this conversation that convinced us to have our wedding at Ripertoli. They took time out of their own trip to Ripertoli the week before we arrived to show our caterer (Preludio catering out of Cortona) around the property, and helped advise us where to have our ceremony and reception. During our time in Italy, we had no trouble getting ahold of Nigel quickly. Nigel’s transaction process and communication were very professional and made the business aspects of the rental smooth and easy. Our only point of concern going into the rental was the property’s handicap accessibility (my husband’s grandmother has trouble walking up and down stairs in particular, making most of Tuscany a bit of an obstacle). We voiced this to Nigel and Deborah during our initial conversation, and they were very straightforward with us: Some stairs were going to be inevitable, but certain rooms were fairly accessible without many stairs. We had his grandmother stay in the main building (which has several stairs at the entrance) — once we’d helped her inside, she could get around fine in the living and kitchen area with only a couple of short stairs down to her bedroom. One of the out buildings also had bedrooms accessible without stairs — it just depends where you plan to spend the bulk of your time. With Nigel and Deborah’s warning and advice, we were able to prepare, and it worked out fine for us. In sum, we give Ripertoli our highest recommendation.

Ripertoli is not just in Tuscany; it is Tuscany.

geese14, Pell City, Alabama, USA

fivestars

In June, my extended family, numbering 17, spent two weeks living the Tuscan dream at Ripertoli. The 1000 year-old farmhouse, beautifully restored, is set among olive groves and rolling hills. The view is stunning. We were actually reluctant to leave on our pre-planned (“quickly tours” as our guide put it) visits to Rome and Venice and delighted to come home to the tranquility of the loggia. The charming villages of Greve and Panzano are close by; Florence is an hour away, as is Sienna, Cinque Terra two hours north. Marisa, the housekeeper, is delightful and a marvelous, generous Tuscan cook. Her family came and went, keeping the place in order. Grazie, Nigel, for your help and quick responses and your obvious love for Ripertoli.

2014

Wonderful place to explore Chianti

Ottawa, Canada

fivestars
8 of us stayed for the last week of September and the first week of October. The location is great, the bedrooms are spacious, the bathrooms are up-to-date, the housekeeper is helpful and the views are tops. The owner was very responsive and there were no surprises. I highly recommend Ripertoli.

Wish I could give Ripertoli a 10!

MJCollins, Greenville, South Carolina, USA

fivestars
A perfect vacation of a lifetime. 3 generations – 17 in all and everything worked at Ripertoli.

Great location with a wonderful picturesque setting. Very well maintained and perfectly clean and orderly. The owner Nigel is a wonderful host – he resides in the UK but is a terrific communicator – even when we had to call him with a question during our stay. Marisa the housekeeper/cook is a treasure. Be certain to have her prepare dinner for you with wonderful service in the veranda overlooking the valley and olive groves.

Loved Our Stay, Hated to Leave

James V, Annandale, Virginia , USA

fivestars
We stayed at Ripertoli in Mid-April of 2014. Everything was as stated on the web site, www.ripertoli.com. The only surprises were pleasant ones. We had a couple issues arise and they were dealt with swiftly to our satisfaction by Nigel, the owner, and his network of local support personnel. If you ask Nigel, he will hook you up with people in the area who will take good care of you… tour guides, restaurants, etc. This was a great way to have a pleasant Tuscany country experience and simultaneously visit Florence and Pisa. The meals we had the resident cook prepare were excellent. The facilities are a pleasant blend of original buildings with modern improvements/upgrades. I would love to go back and spend another week and a half there!

Wonderful Easter at Ripertoli

Marie V, Aesch, Switzerland

fivestars
We were a party of 17 (3 generations family and friends) that spent 10 days at Ripertoli over Easter 2014. From the moment we drove in Ripertoli exceeded our expectations. The villa is in a wonderful, secluded location with beautiful vistas. We woke up every morning to singing birds and barking deer. We spent a few days exploring Florence and Pisa as well as the charming nearby villages of Chianti. On a sunny day, some of us hiked down to Greve while the kids splashed in the pool and played ping pong.

Marisa cooked 2 fantastic meals for us and we also enjoyed dinner at the fabulous restaurant in Lamole as recommended by Nigel. We took advantage of the grill to BBQ Italian style with meat from the famous butcher in Panzano.

For us the house was perfect: Rustic charm with all the modern conveniences. This is a home and not your typical rental property. The bedrooms are all very comfortable and have well appointed, modern bathrooms, The kitchen has everything including a lovely view, an open fire place and a dining table with seating for big groups.
Nigel himself is the icing on the cake. He is easy and pleasant to deal with and quick to react if a problem arises. The neighbours indadvertedly cut off the water supply to the house and Nigel had a temporary fix within 2 hours and a permanent one the next day! (from the UK!)
If you get the urge to dance, hidden away in Nigels Jazz and classical collection, you will find a DarkBlue (Nigels band) CD which made a party of a few of our evenings!

2013

Fantastic stay at Ripertoli

London, United Kingdom

fivestars
We arrived at Ripertoli for a lovely week in August and had the pleasure of Marisa making a lasagne for our arrival. The property is beautiful. It’s comfortable and homely and has everything that you could possibly need. We would highly recommend the house to anyone looking for somewhere special to stay even if there is only two people like ourselves.
We had a fabulous time lying by the pool and looking at the views some days and other days following Nigel and Deborah’s detailed directions into Florence and Sienna.
We cannot fault Ripertoli in anyway at all and hope to return soon.

Fantastic!

Karen, Sahuarita, Arizona, United States

fivestars
The place is so beautiful and peaceful off the beaten path in the Chianti region of Italy. It is close enough to a small village and within 30mins of Florence. It is restful and quite lovely. I really appreciated the way the modern features complimented the ancient architecture to create an enchanting setting.

Second visit as great as the first!

Steve L., Denver, CO, USA

fivestars
We have rented the Ripertoli property twice in the past three years. We spent a wonderful week there in 2010 and then two weeks in October of 2013.

The location is exceptional, both for it’s proximity to the heart of Chianti Classico, and for the sheer beauty of the area. Great cycling, hiking, and relaxing. As a professional caterer, I particularly enjoy the great availability of local foods and the well equipped kitchen that Deborah has put together.

The home is large, plently of privacy as well as wonderful common area with a great kitchen and sitting area. The grounds are great as well.

There are a plethora of great restaurants in the area, varying in price and style. Greve has plenty of local grocers including a wonderful local butcher shop run by Paulo and his mother, and a great green grocer as well as two bakeries, excellent gelato, and all of the other typical but essential shops.

An experience of a lifetime

Nancy B., Alameda, CA, USA

fivestars
Just returned from a week-long stay at Ripertoli in Greve in Chianti hosted by dear friends, one of whom was celebrating a very round birthday. There were 16 of us and Ripertoli proved to be the ideal location for relaxation, stimulating conversation, great meals cooked by the group or by the wonderful caretaker, Marisa, iconic Tuscan views, wine and olive oil, and myriad day trips to Tuscan locales, well-known or otherwise. Oh, and romance. Everything was perfection.

Owner Nigel went far, far out of his way to accommodate a special request and we could not have asked for a more special week long celebration of friendship, laughter, life and love. The accommodations were lovely – each couple’s room had a modernized ensuite bath, plenty of privacy, good books, music, good lighting, and comfortable beds. The open floor plan allowed the cooks among us to enjoy the company of the rest of the group while we prepared fabulous meals from the local market and butcher.

We could spend as much or as little time together as we wanted and looked forward to sharing our day’s activities over wine and a beautiful meal each evening. We could not have asked for a better experience and it is one we will remember forever, thanks to our dear friends and the Ripertoli host and staff.

We would come once a year if we could – it was a lifetime famiy holiday

Nina and Scott McCampbell, Norwich, VT, USA

fivestars
Although we were expecting something wonderful, Ripertoli was the best!! Nigel couldn’t have been more accommodating as we planned our stay and we felt honored that the Tullys shared their special home with us. When we drove up to their beautiful estate, it took our breath away-spectacular is an understatement. We were greeted by Marisa who cares for the place as if it were her own. Her cooking was spectacular and with the help of her granddaughter alice we were treated to the best of Italian home cooking, abundant and delicious. She was so caring of the 4 little grandchildren and treated us to a surprise lavish dessert when she found out it was our 45th wedding anniversary.Our 4 children and their spouses,4 grandchildren,AuPair, & a nephew were thrilled with the special bedrooms in the main house and 2 capannas, pool, movies/games, hiking, nearby villages and markets.It was easy to travel to Florence, Siena, Pisa, hilltowns and lesser known castles and forts. We loved the location in the rural countryside, close to Panzano and Greve, but truly in “the country”. We kept finding nearby hidden treasures. We also loved that the Tully’s share what’s in their house-from olive oil to whatever happens to be in the larder to travel books-we really felt at home! After long days exploring and traveling around, it couldn’t have been better to come “home” in the afternoon to the pool and to Marisa’s creative cooking. We could eat outside enjoying the incredible views or inside in the expansive living room/kitchen-it was great no matter where. And there were always delicious leftovers for snacking! We loved the separate “capannas” each with their own small kitchen and allowing for extra peace and quiet for their inhabitants! And, we also loved that the main house has the separate “tower room” and “terrace room”; even with a bunch of 17 people, we could all have separate spaces-and more bathrooms than bedrooms! We give huge thanks to the Tullys and highly recommend their place!

To spend a week or 2 at Ripertoli is a spectacular experience

Anthony & Ann Marie Sterling, Massachusetts, USA

fivestars
What a beautiful, warm, accommodating and relaxing home you have. We would love to come back some time in the near future!!!

I want you to know how wonderful & sweet Marisa truly is! She is such a wonderful cook and better yet, such a special woman to get to know! She was precious!

Ripertoli will have a special place in our hearts for ever. I would truly recommend this beautiful home to everyone who wants to experience the true culture, food & beauty of the Chianti area… We loved it here!!!

Exceeded all (very high) expectations!

The Hancocks, E Sussex, England

fivestars
We spent 3 magical weeks at Ripertoli with many friends and relations coming and going during this period. The owners were extremely helpful before, during and after the stay. It really was like staying with friends, except they couldn’t be there with you. The housekeeper, Marisa, is a Tuscan treasure. She cooked and served many wonderful meals for us. The dining terrace is the most stunning feature of this very comfortable house, with views forever and sunrises and sunsets to make you weep. The pool is very large and also has spectacular views over the valley. There are all the charms of Ripertoli and then there is Chianti all around you. We recommend Elenatours (Elena Pietrunti) for very well organised private tours of olive oil producers, wineries, and the area in general. We learned so much. We unhesitatingly recommend a stay at Ripertoli – and probably in any season.

2012

The perfect villa in Tuscany

Pat, Anchorage, Alaska

fivestars

We were a little apprehensive renting a place, sight unseen, over the internet but it was the best decision we could have made. The place is exactly as advertised – quiet and secluded with only a couple of distant villas in view. Nigel, the owner, quickly returned emails and we became very comfortable working with him. Marissa, the housekeeper and cook, welcomed us and quickly got us settled. We hired her to cook for us the first evening and it was one of the best meals we had that week – 4 courses with enough leftovers to feed us another entire meal. There are many excellent restaurants and wineries in the area and plenty do to (or not to do in our case). Sitting on the deck sipping Chianti was our preferred activity versus seeing the many tourist highlights in the area. There were five in our group and we had plenty of room and could easily added several others and not got in each other’s way. The bedrooms were large and separated and each had it’s own bath. If you have a group looking for quiet and privacy I doubt you could do better than this place.

Stunning stay in Tuscany

C Rees, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

fivestars

Ripertoli is a lovely old Villa in the heart of the Tuscan countryside near Gereve and Panzano. The views from the back of the house are truly amazing over rolling hills and the cycling locally is wonderful. There were 10 of us (5 couples) and all were accommodated in nice rooms with en-suite bathrooms. The local maid/housekeeper/cleaner/cook was also available to cook us some wonderful local cuisine in the evenings. Visits to local Vineyars were also amazing.

I only have ten minutes to write a review, but I could easily write more

P. Massa, Atlanta, GA, USA

fivestars

First of all, you have an extremely accomodating owner you will work with Nigel Tully. When you are helping to plan a week in Tuscany for a group of ten, there are many details to be worked out and Nigel answers any and every question that may arise. Secondly, the accommodations are second to none. The design of the main house is such that no bedroom backs up to another, no bedroom is above or below another bedroom. You will have total peace and quiet. The kitchen is awesome and I cooked for 10 and enjoyed every minute of it. There are multiple refrigerators, dishwashers and washers and dryers. Next the views-because you have no neighbors you have beautiful views over the Tuscany hillside. At night it is totally quiet and you and your group can sit at the large table with multiple chairs and enjoy wonderful views of the stars. All in all this was the best setup we have enjoyed in our four visits to Italy. I would highly recommend staying at Ripertoli and we plan to return in the near future.

Can’t wait to return!

Tim Garland, London, UK

fivestars

Our family have been to Ripertoli twice now. This is a true retreat from urban life high up in the sunny hills. Now you might wonder if the peace of it all might not be so suitable for active kids, but the pool is a really good size and serves as a great centre piece for all ages, also the table-tennis room allows for a great teenage hang-out.

Add to this that Florence is 40 mins drive away(other great places like Lucca and Siena are also wonderful if a little further) and you don’t feel isolated! The farmhouse is stylish, spacious and easy to keep cool in the heat. The owners are very caring and use the place regularly themselves, it is beautifully kept.

I feel boring putting 5 stars down like the others but it deserves them! As a musician I found the place an inspiration, there is a good electric piano there, my daughter was singing and playing quite a bit also.

The nearest town is Greve and it’s stylish but pricey for touristy things. Its Co-op is easily big enough to stock up however, and you might well feel inspired to try Tuscan cooking in the spacious traditional-style kitchen. Tip – don’t hire a tiny car, it is hilly and you’ll be glad of a decent size engine. Another tip – leave enough space in your packing for a couple of bottles of great (&cheap;) Chianti. We travelled around a bit but if you stayed put the whole time you’d easily be happy. Hmmm…whats that availability spreadsheet look like?…

Delightful villa, fabulous views, excellent service with attention to detail

Gillian, Hampshire, UK

fivestars

17 had a fabulous week – our only disappointment was it couldn’t have been longer.

We ate to delightful meals cooked to the housekeeper and ate out at so many wonderful restaurants close by.

The villa is brilliantly situated to visit all the major Tuscan towns as easy day trips. When back at the villa it is peace and quiet in truly fantastic scenery. Swimming or relaxing by the pool or wandering in the olive groves.

Nigel has thought of everything over the years and is really helpful during the whole booking process – and on hand by email or phone to ensure you are making the most of your time at Ripertoli.

Heaven

Jim, Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

fivestars

Ripertoli was everything we were looking for. We were 4 couples and every bedroom was on a different level with ensuite baths which allowed privacy. I have spent my career in the Hospitality Business and the owners and staff could not have been more hospitable exceeding our expectations. Some of us are in high stress jobs and this was the place to unwind. The views from the patio where we ate dinner cooked by Marisa were breathtaking. We never wanted to leave the grounds. We took walks every morning (be in shape before you attempt) and would run into deer or a charming village and discover a restaurant where we would go back to for lunch, never disappointed. We would sit on the patio of the restaurant overlooking the vineyards and point to a vine and the waiter would bring us a wine from there. I have been visiting Italy twice a year for the past 15 years and this by far has been my best experience. We took a day trip to Florence and I couldn’t wait to get back to Ripertoli. Thank you Deborah, Nigel, Marisa and Roberto for sharing this part of heaven with us. We will be back.

A memorable property of character and comfort for our special family

Blow-in, Mitchelstown, USA

fivestars

We were a large family group with ages ranging from 70 to 9 months. We took the whole property and were spaciously accommodated. Reading material, music, games, TV and wi-fi catered for all indoors. The swimming pool mocked us because weather was mixed and we were early in the year but Ripertoli is at the heart of Tuscany, with fine walks, wine, restaurants and artistic and architectural treasures in all directions. Meals can be arranged: we had an excellent dinner in the house on the day of our arrival.

The house is the owners’ home, restored, equipped and furnished for their use and not as a business. In welcoming guests to share it in their absences, they are warm, businesslike and helpful and we discovered that their name is a password for special treatment in many local establishments. Their website is first class and gave an accurate impression of what we found.

2011

Even more magical 5th time around

Kathy Troidle Jackson, Ghent, NY, USA

fivestars

I have been coming to Ripertoli since 1998. I loved it so much I have brought 4 more groups of family and friends through, this last time in October 2011 when we were able to catch the tail end of the grape harvest. Somehow each trip turns out to be more magical than the previous ones as owners Nigel and Deb have added new special touches each time I come. The villa itself is charming, spotless, and comfortable with vistas looking our over the “valley of gold” acres and acres of Chianti Classico vineyards. Each bedroom is beautifully appointed with antiques and newly renovated en suite bathrooms. The gorgeous stone floors, exposed beams, huge fireplace and comfortable furniture make the first floor kitchen/dining room a perfect gathering spot at the beginning and end of the day to laugh, eat, and plan activities. The beautiful, well kept in ground pool is refreshing after a hot day of sightseeing and on this past trip we used it almost every day. It is surreal as you look out at the valley you are swimming! Some of our best nights are when Marisa sets up a home cooked Tuscan feast on the villa’s terrace.

But the best part about Ripertoli is it’s location in the heart of the Chianti Classico region making it a perfect spot from which to tour all of Tuscany or just hang out in the delightful local towns like Greve-In-Chianti and Panzano. Every trip we add new experiences – this time it was Tuscan cooking classes and a few new wineries. Some of the best family run wineries and restaurants are within 15 minutes of Ripertoli so you don’t have to go far for these adventures. Many of the proprietors have become friends and we feel like VIPs as they greet us in their hospitable Tuscan style. Even Montalcino, Siena, San Giminagno and Pisa are all within 60-90 minutes making easy day trips. Florence is only about 30 minutes and always a highlight on my visits.

I highly recommend a visit to Ripertoli but be advised – it is addictive!

A little piece of Heaven in the Tuscan hills!

The Meadows Family, Hemel Hempstead, UK

fivestars

We have just returned from one of the best holiday experiences we have ever had! Ripertoli is a beautifully restored Tuscan farmhouse set within an olive grove and overlooking hills and forests, which in the autumn are a myriad of colours. Our party consisted of parents, grandparents and teenagers and Ripertoli catered for us all.

Upon arriving we were greeted by a very friendly Marisa who showed us around our accommodation. The house is tastefully decorated but also warm and welcoming. Pictures on the walls, numerous books and a selection of Dvds and CDs make you feel this is a home. The owners, Nigel and Deborah, had also supplied a very helpful folder containing everything you needed to know about the house and the local area. There are also phone numbers to contact Nigel and Deborah should there be a problem – there wasn’t! The kitchen was well-stocked with every kind of appliance possible and the most wonderful view over the olive grove and hills (even the most reluctant chef would be hard-pressed not to enjoy cooking in these surroundings!). Because we went in the autumn and the evenings were a little chilly, we made good use of the log fire and central heating – both worked very well and warmed up the house quickly and efficiently.

If you can manage to drag yourself away from Ripertoli, Florence and Siena are well worth a visit. The local town of Greve in Chianti is closer and postcard pretty with a selection of good quality shops and restaurants (all reasonably priced). Rome is a two-hour drive away but we opted for a second visit to Florence as we felt we hadn’t done it justice in one visit. Nigel and Deborah recommend several restaurants in the local area, but we chose to stay in during the evenings with a glass or two of red wine in front of the open fire and a game of Trivial Pursuit (one of many games provided). After all what’s the point of staying in such beautiful accommodation if you’re never there? Excellent!