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Lucca: Villa Rinascimento

55058 Santa Maria del Giudice, Phone: 0583.378292; Fax: 0583.370238

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Reviewed by: Janet Zinn from NY, review #672

When: July 2004

We loved this hotel for its location, grounds, and its wonderful swimming pool! {3 stars}

Villa Rinascimento, photo by Janet Zinn

Hotel Villa Rinascimento is located about half-way between Lucca (10 minutes) and Pisa (15-20 minutes because of the mountain road and traffic). It's right down the road from the much more expensive Villa Principessa and is a great alternative if you prefer a quiet, countryside location rather than staying in the city. We like to be in nature and since we were planning several day trips, wanted easy come-and-go parking. Villa Rinascimento fulfilled all our requirements, and then some!

The hotel is set on a country road outside the small village of Santa Maria del Giudice. It has vineyards and fruit trees, gardens and a pretty patio outside the main villa for breakfast in nice weather. Breakfast was an ample buffet with meats, cheeses, eggs, pastries, cereals, and fresh fruits. They also have a restaurant which serves dinner, but we never ate there, as there were so many places in Lucca to try. However the restaurant seems popular with locals and on a Saturday night, seemed full.

There is a beautiful, large swimming pool, overlooking the vineyards, which was wonderfully clean and refreshing after a long day of sight-seeing. We spent every afternoon before dinner at the pool. The clientele was a mix of families and couples, mostly European.

There are rooms in the main Villa and the "annex". We opted for the less expensive annex, which was more like a line of motel rooms. There was nothing special about the room; it was simple, but clean, large enough, and with cable tv and excellent air conditioning. Our room had a small kitchenette area (stove, sink, fridge) which we didn't need, but the fridge is always handy for cold water and snacks.

My only "complaint", if you could call it that, was that the room was rather dark...and the bathroom was rather small and had no window. But, we weren't in it for anything much more than sleeping so we didn't care. If you prefer large, airy spaces you might prefer the Villa rooms.

We paid 109 a night for the annex room in high season. The staff was very friendly and helpful. We really loved the location and ambiance of this hotel and would happily stay there again.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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