My wife and I stayed here for 7 nights in September 2011 as part of a 2-month driving trip around Europe. We got a good last minute rate enquiring through Terretrusche.com.
Firstly, the area. The property is near the town of Cortona, which is a very picturesque area in Tuscany. It is a few kilometers away from the main town, so you really need a car to stay here ... but you probably need one to get the most out of the area anyway. The benefit of being a bit out of town is that it's a quiet area, a peaceful place to relax. It also meant we had some lovely running routes into town and beyond for our morning runs - and for the runners out there, there's a choice of hills and relatively flat areas. It is mostly along roads, but we didn't feel unsafe. Plenty of people seem to walk along the roadside around the area, so cars generally move around you.
We stayed in I Pagliai Sotto, which is located on ground level, beneath a top-floor apartment and comprises an entry hall, bedroom, bathroom & kitchen / living area. Adjoining the property is a dining area they use for cooking class nights, but we barely heard any noise from that on the night we were there, and it finished early enough to not disturb our sleep. It also opens out to a large private grassy area, which we would have used more but for an active bee hive nearby. There is also a fabulous pool area which we lay beside many an afternoon – the area was big enough that guests did not have to interact or be in each others’ way if they didn’t want to; the pool itself was good to cool down in the warm weather. All in all, a good set up & layout.
Other things to note:
* easy to book
* we recommend a GPS or good, detailed map if you don't know the area well
* good facilities, easy to self cater which we like to do, with access to laundry facilities (washing machine in shared area, drying rack provided)
Most of all, the thing we liked about this place was the generosity of spirit from the owner – full service and care about our enjoyment despite getting a discounted rate; for example, we were invited to join a cooking class on our first night (they seem to happen once a week) and when we declined, were later offered pizza they were making in the pizza oven to have in our apartment.
The one downside, and the only thing that prevented a 5-star rating, was sleep quality. For the first few nights there was no one staying in the apartment above us and we slept soundly. However in the few nights people were in that apartment (or when the cleaner came through one other morning), every step or noise echoed through our bedroom, woke us up and kept us awake (even with earplugs). We also heard the sound effects every time they used the toilet – not ideal!
Overall we recommend staying here, but check if the apartment is upstairs or downstairs if you like sleeping in and are bothered by (any) noise.