Escaping to Italy, check out my hotel review of Terra Antica Resort.
Recently we had some sad family news but it meant that we managed to execute our great escape from Singapore. A few other things worked in our favour and we were able to tag on a hastily planned but much needed trip to Italy. I’ve been yearning for Tuscany for the past three years, whilst the pandemic consumed us in Singapore. Maybe it was the dreaming of the wine, the people, the space, the nature, and oh so many more things unique to Italy.
I love to plan ahead but also I love a bit of spontaneity, and when we arrived in Italy we only had a few locations booked. We wanted to do a bit of a tour from Florence down to Rome and see where the road took us. We did however somehow manage to snag a five night stay at a gorgeous holiday let, just a short drive from Montepulciano, namely the stunning Terra Antica Resort.
How they had availability at such short notice, I don’t know, but the universe was looking out for us with this stay. This was to be our last stop before Rome and a chance to spend a few nights in one spot and squeezing in some much needed relaxation time.
Terra Antica was a convenient two-hour-drive from our previous stop near Sienna, and a relaxing drive that took us on windy roads through vineyards, past cyclists, olive groves, sunflower fields and cute hilltop Italian villages (where we may have refuelled on some fresh croissants and pastries).
We pulled up at the entrance where we were met with some fancy black wrought iron gates and then drove down the dusty driveway through their organic vines to their reception, where Mario met us with huge warm smile upon arrival.
The villa is split up into apartments, some in the main house, some in converted outbuildings. But each has a private entrance and only a short stroll to the communal pool. Our apartment was above the reception. Just outside our room was a hot tub, just for us, a few loungers, table for outside dining and a good strip of lawn, which we used for playing badminton.
Now I should mention that whoever owns the complex has high standards, which makes a lot of sense when you step inside and see the attention to detail paid throughout. Our apartment (Villa Bianco) you step into a spacious lounge area with vaulted beams. A sofa-bed was centre to the room, which was made up into two good sized beds for our kids, with mattress toppers, they were very comfortable.
To the right was a kitchenette with everything you could want in a holiday kitchen including state of the art appliances and a good sized fridge. Albeit I can’t imagine many people cooking with so many amazing food options on the doorstep.
The bathroom had double sinks, eco-friendly amenities, and a nice hot powerful shower (this is something you might take for granted but not everywhere in Italy has this). The master bedroom was a great size with beautiful open wardrobes, which are perfect for a holiday stay. Double doors lead onto a balcony which overlooked the rolling tuscan hillside and plenty of room to store all our suitcases. I was surprised to hear that Terra Anitca was 10 years old as everything was immaculate and looked new.
I should mention that we had air-conditioning throughout the apartment in Terra Antica, a big win in Italy in the summer, as we’ve learnt the hard way that air con isn’t a standard feature.Top Tip
Ah the food where to start… when we arrived the kids were hungry for lunch but we couldn’t persuade them to get back into the car for love nor money once they’d set eyes on the pool. So Mario arranged for lunch to be brought to the pool along with a couple of Aperol Spritzs’ to ease us into the afternoon. No menu… we simple told him what our tummies were craving and I don’t know howhe magicked it up from the kitchen, but we had pizza, salad and nibbles it was the best.
Every morning we walked across the lawn, past the fig tree with fresh figs ripe for picking, to breakfast. Served in the cellar in a sunken yet surprisingly bright room painted with beautiful murals of tuscan vistas. Anything you could wish for to eat is laid out in a buffet style fresh each day. Plus the option for freshly made eggs anyway you want. My favourite touch was the Bioteaque tea station with loose leaf tea.
The crowning moment for food at Terra Anitca has to be a Friday night in the summer months, which is when the team put on a BBQ for all the guests. Yes to free-flow wine, yes from the organic vineyard, and food cooked on the open grill, all whilst you sit back, chill and watch the sun set over the hillside. A great opportunity to be sociable, or not. We randomly met a lovely couple who’d been at the same university as me in my gap year abroad. Go Hoosiers!
If you want to get fancy and level-up your wine knowledge, the team run wine tasting daily, so you can sample their home-grown organic wine (their white that they’ve just bottled is particularly nice) and olive oil.
What to do at Terra Anitca, Montepulciano, Tuscany
Terra Anitca is a short five min drive from Montepulciano and this is where we spent a lot of our time wandering around this hilltop tuscan village, with err a lot of steep roads. There is so much choice for eating here, I can personally recommend La Dolce Vita, Montepulciano, La Briciola Ristorante (book an outside table) and Salamoia Gelateria Naturale for the most amazing ice cream after dinner. The wine in the local restaurants is incredible, as is the fresh local tuscan food.
You must try deep fried artichoke if you get the chance, it’s a local speciality.Top tip
To change it up we spent a day at lake Trasimeno and had a nice lunch overlooking the lake in a town called Passignano sul Trasimeno. There are lots of nice restaurants overlooking the lake near the main carpark, so you can take your pick. You can take a ferry to the island in the middle but we didn’t manage to do this as we didn’t have the correct covid masks with us on this occasion.
Do save yourself some time to head down to the pottery shops and pick yourself up a hand painted bowl or two. There were much more reasonable here than other places we spotted them. We’ve used our salad bowl daily since getting it home and it sparks so much joy. Totally worth hand carrying it on three flights and half way around the world!
In summary if you’re looking for a genuine tuscan experience amongst the vineyards then Terra Anitca Resort could be just the tonic you’re looking for. It delivers on laid back vibes, with effortless charm, good wine, great food, enough to keep the whole family entertained with a pool, hot tub, playground and a certain something that I can only describe as magic.
It certainly ticked all our boxes and we’re already planning on returning with friends for my husband’s next big birthday. Until then I’ll be sipping on Montepulciano wine and eating figs whilst reminiscing of our time spent here.
Terra Antica https://terra-antica.com/en/
Via Sanguineto, 3 – Frazione Acquaviva
53045 Montepulciano (SI) – Italia
Tel. +39 0578 768132