Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1015: Tuscany Net, La Terrazza
1bed/1bath apartment in Lucca, Tuscany North
June 2004, 4 nights
The apartment was in a great location on the Via S. Croce in Lucca.
You could walk to everything as Lucca is quite compact. The grocery store was a short walk, as were the post office and the main shopping roads.
Very old building that contained other apartments, it seemed to be a residential building, not holiday apartments. The building was a bit shabby but we didn't mind. Our little girl befriended some lovely children from an apartment upstairs.
The apartment itself has a private terrace, covered with shade cloth and it has a table and chairs and lots of pot plants. There is also a courtyard downstairs that is shared with other tennants.
The apartment has two rooms, with a bathroom off the kitchen. The room you enter into has a double bed and TV (which we couldn't work as you need a card) through this room is the large kitchen that has a cooking/sink area and a table with chairs and a couch. Doors lead to the outside terrace.
The bed was comfortable enough and the couch opens into a bed. The bathroom was basic, the shower was over the middle of the room with no walls or floor devision, so the floor got very wet. There was a curtain and a squidgy but the area flooded. There is a power point on the wall where you shower which was troubling and standing in a puddle to blow dry was braver than I could manage!
One thing I was very disappointed in was that I had repeatedly said there were three people staying, two using the bed and our daughter using the couch pulled out to a bed. There were two beds, yet only 1 blanket and three people and only 2 pillows. The bedding was totally inadequate and we were so cold we slept under all of our luggage emptied onto the bed. Miserable.
Also, the kitchen had a big window and the street lights shone in through it all night, yet there was no curtain, so sleeping in there was difficult.
The kitchen was actually very nice, the crockery was good and it had all you needed. We cooked some nice meals. There was also a washing machine!
Problems or Bonuses
This could have been a good apartment, it was a good size and was in a great location. We could hear people in the flat above us, but you could live with that.
We had spasmodic contact with the owner prior to arriving and I was getting worried when we had flown from Australia to London and still had no address, just a phone number we had trouble reaching the owner on. She emailed us, even though we had sent an email to say we had left home and could not access our email, we were lucky a friend helped us out. It was not until we were in London that we were told that there was a charge of 5 euro per cubic meter of gas that we used. We had tossed up between this property and another that was the same price per night, this detail would have pushed us toward the other apartment and we would not have selected this apartment based on this. As such, we were VERY careful with our hot water and cooking consumption and didn't use the heating at all.
The biggest problem that we really struggled with, was the smell in the apartment. As you walked in the door, the smell of old cooking mingling with stale cigerette smoke was awful. It permeated everything. We left all the windows open and went around spraying cologne and deodorant about. We sat there the first night trying to work out if we could afford to move to another place (we had already paid) and on reflection, we should have been more assertive and said we wanted our money back and that we couldn't stay. But at the time, the owner had my husbands licence and our bond money and we felt a bit caught. As we walked around Lucca we kept looking at the happy faces of people emerging from hotels and envied them fiercely! It really spoiled our view of Lucca as we were so miserable. We ended up staying the four nights and tried to overtake the bad smell with good cooking.
Also, the owner had arranged to take us to the station when we were leaving and return our bond and licence. I said over and over that we were booked onto a train, which connected to another train and must leave by 8:45, giving us a cushion just in case. She didn't turn up until nearly 9:30 and we caught our train with just minutes to spare.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner was nice enough and meant well but she was disorganised and not at all professional. She spoke English more or less, but did not keep track of money we had paid (she asked for a payment that I had already paid her days earlier) the apartment was 100 euro per night for three people at the start of June. Other apartments were priced at the same rate, so it was a fair price, we just wish we had chosen better!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
NO. We could not get out of there quick enough.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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