Friday, October 11, 2013

Travel :: Agriturismo La Sovana


Happy Friday dears!  Today I am very, very excited to tell you about our first day in Tuscany.  What started out as a terrible, nightmare of a day ended up as being pure magic.  The story:

We planned on spending six days driving through Tuscany, and had rented a car that we would drive from La Spezia {near the Cinque Terre} to the agriturismo we were staying in on our first night in Tuscany.  We took a train and taxi to the rental car location, and after being treated quite rudely by the manager were given our car.  I had booked the car about five months prior with AutoEurope due to the fact that neither of us drives stick, and it was very difficult to find an automatic rental car in Italy.  So imagine our surprise when we got to our car and saw that it was not automatic and was in fact manual {I know Mom, we really need to learn how to drive stick-shift}.

We went back into the rental car location but the woman was zero help and actually told us that we would have to just stay in La Spezia for 3-4 days until they could get us one {obviously NOT an option since we had hotels booked in Tuscany starting that night}.  I had a moment of horror in which I thought "Oh no, what if I accidentally clicked manual instead of automatic?!  The rental car company will have no liability and we will either have to pay thousands of dollars for a new car or just cancel our six days in Tuscany."  At this point my face was covered in tears, and I decided to call their customer service desk for help.  However, 30 seconds into the call my phone died we were back to square one, standing in the hot parking lot with our luggage and the car we couldn't drive.

A frantic 15 minutes later I finally found a grocery store with an outlet that let me stand around for 20 minutes while my phone charged.  Before calling AutoEurope back I checked my email confirmation and there in bold letters saw "AUTOMATIC" on the rental information.  Bingo!  Now I had written proof that I did in fact reserve an automatic, and the mistake was on their part not mine.  After a very long phone call the company agreed to cover all our travel expenses incurred due to their mistake.  So we hopped in a taxi, then three train rides and a 100 Euro taxi later finally made it to our agriturismo.  What should of taken three hours took ten, but we were just SO thankful to be there.  The next day AutoEurope found me a rental car and had it delivered to the villa we were staying at.  They will be reimbursing me for the taxis, train rides, phone bill, and delivery fee.  Ultimately their customer service made what could have been literally a vacation ruining mistake into a large bump in the road that we will be able to look back on and laugh about!  The biggest learning I had from this experience is to triple check all important travel documents and to have copies of all reservations and communications.  There are some things that are just out of your control, but if you have all your documentation organized and easily accessible it will allow you to be one step ahead of many potential issues that could pop up when you least expect.

Ok, so now back to Tuscany.  We initially were planning on staying for five nights, but decided to add an extra day which required me to book our room at the last minute.  I thought the photos of the place I booked looked nice, but I hadn't done a ton of research and didn't have too high of expectations.  However, the second we turned down the dirt road lined with cypress trees I knew that I had made the right decision.  Agriturismo La Sovana was pure heaven {FYI, an agriturismo is a working farm that offers B&B accommodations to travelers}.  We dropped off our bags and spent a few hours simply wandering the gorgeous property, inhaling the fresh country air and exhaling our stress from the day.  

Our room itself was stunning.  We were upgraded to a two-bedroom suite with the biggest marble bathroom I have ever had during my travels through Europe {Americans take a big shower for granted, but this is such a luxury}.  The high ceiling was supported by ancient wooden beams, and big windows and french doors overlooked the rolling hills of Tuscany.  I loved opening the french doors on our little balcony, surrounded by ivy, and feeling like we were right out of Romeo & Juliet.

The property itself absolutely took my breath away.  The agriturismo was an old stone farmhouse surrounded by flowers, olive trees, and fig trees.  A beautiful pool overlooking the vineyards was scattered with umbrellas, couches, and lounge chairs.  Two tennis courts were framed by cypress trees that looked as though they danced across the landscape.  Right down the hill were the vineyards with little paths around and through them that were perfect to explore with a glass of wine in hand.  I loved waking up at dawn and wandering down the country roads, gazing on at the farms and villas in the distance, just snapping away at the overwhelming beauty of the region.  Oh and the sunrise.  And the sunset.  They weren't bad either.

And how can I forget the food?  I knew there was a restaurant at the agriturismo but hadn't really read much about it so initially had plans to drive into town to another restuarant.  However, since at this point we were carless and exhausted we scratched that idea and decided just to eat at La Sovana.  And WOW, what a good decision this was!  Dinner was served in their small restuarant overlooking the Tuscan country side.  It was a pre-set four-course meal which consisted of duck with fresh berry sauce {since I don't eat duck they made me the most delicious burrata caprese I have ever eaten}, fresh spinach ravioli, turkey with orange sauce, and a delicate strawberry dessert.  Every course was perfection.  We drank a bottle of the house vino {amazing} then curled up on a couch by the pool to simply watch the stars.  In the morning we dined like kings at breakfast, devouring cheeses, meats, fruits, cakes, pastries, fresh juices, eggs, and cappucinos.  All in all Agriturismo La Sovana was absolute slice of Tuscan heaven and I can only hope I will be lucky enough to go back someday.

5 comments:

  1. How I love Italy!

    Thanks so much for your post!

    Have a wonderful weekend:

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.de/2013/10/have-wonderful-weekend_11.html

    Bambi

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  2. The villa is absolutely stunning! Nothing better than watching the sunset with a glass of wine!

    http://liveitinerantly.com

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  3. Short and Sweet BlogOctober 13, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Your photos just gave me a case of serious wanderlust! So beautiful!

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  4. Molly {Dreams in HD}October 15, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Thank you so much!

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  5. Molly {Dreams in HD}October 15, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Thank you Bambi!

    ReplyDelete