Special for April and October:
Special packages available for April and October 2006 except the week of Easter. This residence opens April 8, 2006.
For bookings of one week minimum we offer you the following alternatives:
Cookery course with certificate: 3 lessons for one person per occupied room (value Euro 200,00) or Relaxing massages: 4 massages for one person per occupied room (value Euro 200,00) or Family Special (minimum 4 people): 1 dinner with tasting menu for 4 people, beverages included (value Euro 200,00).
Original stone buildings
This historic 14th century hamlet is situated a few kilometers from Siena and San Gimignano amid the gently rolling Sienese hills, one of the most enchanting landscapes of Tuscany and culturally one of Italy's richest regions. This hamlet has been completely restored while retaining its original architectural features; stone buildings, cobblestone paths, and wood beam ceilings. The complex offers 16 four star apartments, a fine restaurant, cooking classes, as well as language classes. The hamlet also offers a Package with 3 special soirees consisting of a classic concert or theater spectacle with gala dinner, soiree with buffet of Tuscan specialties with live music and dance, and a romantic piano bar -dinner (see prices for details).
Sample of interior style
Each of the 16 apartments is architecturally unique. Most of them have a fireplace in the living-room and all of them have a well-equipped kitchen. They have been furnished and decorated with care. Excellent place for a large group of friends, multiple families, corporate getaway, conferences or wedding ceremonies. Here you have the nice option to rent several of the apartments, Type B thru F. You will have the privacy of your own apartment where you can cook or let the professional staff take care of your every food need at the fine restaurant.
Please note: the pictures are a sample of the style of the apartments.
Salmon & Morels
Fillet of Salmon with Morel Sauce
This French Mediterranean recipe uses local harvest of salmon and the rare and hearty spring mushroom called Morel.
1.5 lb fillet of salmon
2 sprigs of parsley
3.5 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
5 oz fresh morel mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp shallots, chopped
3.5 Tbsp cognac
6 oz chicken stock
3 oz cream
juice of half lemon
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
half garlic clove
salt and fresh ground pepper
7-8 oz trompette mushrooms
7-8 oz peas
Clean, bone and cut salmon into portion sizes. Make small incisions in flesh andiInsert fresh parsley. Set aside until sauce and garnish is almost ready. Cook fish in olive oil and garlic until flakey, only on skin side.
For the garnish, trim artichokes and remove hearts. Sprinkle with lemon juice and slice very finely. Saute the artichokes in olive oil and season with finely chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Set aside until needed. Clean and dry the trompette mushrooms. Saute In olive oil, season and set aside. Cook peas In boiling salted water. Reheat peas just before serving In 3.5 Tbsp water and olive oil.
For the sauce, sweat the minced shallots in butter, add three fourths of the morel mushrooms, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flambe with cognac and cover with chicken stock. Heat for another 5 minutes, remove from the heat, add the cream, and blend or process the sauce. Check the seasoning and consistency (should not be too thick). Reheat the remaining whole morels In the sauce just before serving.
Spoon a portion of the sauce into the center of your serving plate and arrange the vegetables around the plate. Place the salmon, skin side up, in the center of the plate and decorate with a few of the whole morel mushrooms.
Emmanuel and family
Dear Travelers and Friends,
Our goal is to make your villa rental experience more fun and enriching than ever. That's why, in collaboration with many owners, we can enhance your villa rental experience by providing not only the accomodation but also a number of extra services such as cooking classes, wine tasting, winery tours, language classes, massages etc. In fact, anything is possible. Just let us know what you want and we'll arrange it for you. In order to promote this new villa rental spirit, we have decided with one of our Tuscan owners to provide you with more services at the same price! Check out Borgo Type C.
Spring is right around the corner and the best properties are now getting booked fast. So, for those of you who have not yet made arrangements, now is the time! We'll see you on www.RentaVilla.com. Drop us a line via email or give us a call at (800) 964-1891. We love hearing from you!
On behalf of the Rentavilla.com staff I wish you a happy month of March.
All the Best,
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
A Cost Comparison Between Hotel Stays and Villa Rentals
Our marketing director Chris did a fascinating research project and the results are so amazing I'd like to share them with you. We've always known that renting a villa or apartment with RentaVilla.com was a cost-effective choice, but this chart shows just how much savings you can expect when you go with us, and yet have a better, richer experience!
Parameters: Chris took the mid-season price per week of some of our nicest properties and compared them with an average of seven 3 & 4 star hotel accommodations in the same area. Then he compared purchasing groceries and wine to prepare an evening meal at that same villa or apartment, with eating out at a nice restaurant. This is a full three course meal, including wine. The costs are based on only the one dinner a day, not including breakfast or lunch.
See graph below for comparisons.
Provence, Land of Many Personalities
When Emmanuel and I spoke briefly about the Travelogue for this month, we both got excited thinking about Provence. When I remember my personal times there, I feel a special nostalgia. Whether one prefers medieval villages with narrow cobblestone walks, vast plains of agricultural crops, hillsides of vineyards, fields of lavender and herbs, bands of sheep on green slopes, or the bustle of cities offering a peak at historical landmarks, museums and famous works of art, there really is something for everybody here. So it's hard to know where to begin to describe this exquisite land.
As is common in Europe, Provence's past is ancient and tumultuous. Those into its wealth of history will find it fascinating to go back and study the effect of various conquerors and rulers that have left behind landmarks and designs that still stand today. But the overall mood of the land seems to be less hurried, more relaxed and content than other ports of call. There is a rustic charm found nowhere else, and the people are proud, yet humble. I fondly remember driving from Toulon, which borders the sophisticated and exclusive French Riviera, up into the laid-back Provencal countryside. Even the Luberons were graciously rounded, offering a gentle climb. Strolling through the medieval village of Viens with its high walls, narrow cobbled streets and beautiful vistas will always be a cherished memory. Lee and I had lunch at a little café overlooking the vineyards of Oppede, visiting with an owner that we work closely with in that area. Makes me want to go back…right now!!
Avignon is an inland town of 85,000 and a real gem. It is ancient, full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity. It's not so large as to feel like a city, and yet there's so much to do and see you may want to spend more than a day here. It offers a great shopping area with "pedestrian only" streets and a myriad of shops of all kinds. Wonderful cafes and restaurants for all tastes and pocketbooks await you. Six major museums exhibit everything from rich art collections to porcelain, tapestries, and an excellent natural history library. Many stop here for the Festival d'Avignon, when the town comes alive with minstrels, street vendors, and shows staged around historical monuments and in the streets.
Marseilles is a marvelous 2600 year old seaport with a dynamic downtown, big parks, a medieval neighborhood, renowned shopping and wonderful seafood. This city of 800,000 is full of history. Originally inhabited by the Ligurians, it was developed by Phoenicians around 600 BC, then taken over by the Greeks in 540 BC, and conquered by the Romans 2000 years ago. So historical monuments and sites are everywhere you turn. Being the second largest city in France, it has a modern metro system and has been divided into "arrondissements" just like Paris. The personality of Marseilles exudes antiquity, the sea, museums, history, and seafood. Their most famous seafood dish is bouillabaisse, a world renowned soup/stew that offers as many as 6 different types of fish. It's delicious and highly recommended. Another local specialty is the "navette", a small Marseilles pastry baked in the shape of a boat. And don't miss the well known and well respected "Cassis" white wine, produced in the Cassis region just a few kilometers to the east.
Aix-en-Provence is a town known for its art. With a population of 124,000, its moderate size includes several universities and an art school, making the town vibrant and youthful. The old walled part of the town is at the center, ringed by a circle of boulevards and squares. It's fun to explore on foot, and you'll even find one of the 39 ancient towers still standing. The Cours Mirabeau is in the heart of Aix. It's a beautiful tree-lined avenue, and along one side are numerous terrace cafes and bookshops. The town offers so much - there's of course a flower market, lots of fountains, a wonderful array of shops, open markets, museums, and religious, architectural, and historical sites to explore. Cezanne was born in Aix in 1838 so you'll see and read references to him all over town.
Apt is a town of 11,000 and is entered through a fabulous stone gateway. It's a famous market town and its special charm and beauty are displayed at its best in the old part of the town (vieille ville) where the 11th century Cathedral was once on an island between two branches of the river. Here you find long, narrow streets winding between the houses, with several fountains and interesting little nooks here and there waiting for discovery. On market day, the squares are filled outside the old gateway and inside the town, and there are kilometers of streets packed with market stalls and lined with shops. Apt is known for its basket and wicker work, hat production, and candied fruits. Here also is the gateway to the best lavender fields. Its most famous museum is the Roman Theatre Museum in the Nassau mansion.
RentaVilla.com offers many apartments and villas within easy reach of these particular communities. Just give us a ring to get help in your selection, and when you go you'll have the time of your life!
Christian Dior Chateau
This elegant old Chateau in Montauroux is the ideal getaway for a private, peaceful vacation with all the advantages of a resort nearby The property is a short drive to many quaint medieval villages that provide a unique opportunity for a pleasant day of exploring, and only one kilometer away from the lake of Lac St. Cassien which is the perfect place for a day of swimming, water sports, and even a picnic by the water. The property is also an easy drive to the beach or other water pursuits at Mandelieu la Napoule. Closer to home, the grounds include a heated swimming pool, a private tennis court, a small, 15th century, ivy covered chapel ideal for weddings or other ceremonies and spacious, beautiful grounds filled with exquisite gardens, a wonderful place for a quiet, early morning walk.
"Our stay last year at Christian Dior was great, as well as our trip to Italy this year where we stayed in the villa La Tenuta in Tuscany. Emmanuel of RentaVilla does an exceptional job matching his clients with outstanding international vacation properties."
- C B, New York, New York
"My family just returned from our trip to France to celebrate my wife's 60th birthday. Your reservations helped us plan the trip, and the results were spectacular! Know that RentaVilla was an integral part in the planning of our family celebration!"
-R H, Houston, Texas
"Our experience was delightful. The Chateau is extraordinary and the owner was helpful and lovely. The location is convenient".
- S B, Barrington, Illinois
There is no psychiatrist in the world like
a puppy licking your face.
- Ben Williams
For a little laugh
When you were born, you were crying and
everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end you're the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.
Newsletter Editor: Kathy Hayes