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Review 1171: Italian Vacation Villas, Il Mezzanino


Review by Charles in Pleasanton from CA

2.5bed/2bath apartment in Lucca, Tuscany North


September 25 - October 2, 2004, one week


Finding this apartment for the first time visitor with a car is difficult, but worth it. From a previous visit to Lucca, I had detailed instructions and a street map and, but we still had problems as the street signs are "white on white" as they say in Italy, meaning the street names are carved in marble on the sides of a building and nearly impossible to read while driving. We used our cell phone to call Signora Giurlani, the owner, and she met the four of us and literally walked our car to the apartment.

Nearby Amenities

There are many, many coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, and upscale apparel shops, within easy walking distance anywhere inside the walls that encompase the centro part of Lucca.

The House/Apartment

The apartment is an easy one flight up to a spacious living room, very comfortably furnished. The size of the apartment was not listed, but I would estimate approximately 140 sq. meters. The kitchen is fully equipped with a dishwasher, a full-sized refrigerator, and a dinning table comfortable for four, a bit small for six.

Windows let in enough light in all rooms to not feel closed in. The master bedroom is generous in size with a double bed, a large amoire for hanging clothes and a dresser. The bathroom is ensuite with sink and shower. The toilet is separate, but also ensuite. The second bedroom has twin beds, again with lots of room and storage. The second bathroom is nearby with a combination bathtub and stand up shower with curtain, American style. The towels and linens were a quality you would find in a 4 star hotel. A third bedroom (we did not use) is small, but adequate with a twin bed.

An easy to use clothes washer was located on the first floor. Maid service is included once a week. The apartment was immaculately clean with nice touches such as individual packaged soaps, fresh flowers on the table, and a bottle of red wine as a welcome.


No garden or outside sitting area.


The kitchen was well equipped and everything was of good quality. A window provided good light for the dining area. We had breakfast here and made several dinners with the fresh meats and vegetables readily available. Often desert was a gelato.

Problems or Bonuses

Signora Giurlani, who lives above the apartment, was a most gracious host, speaking English and sincerely offering to be of help if needed. This is one of the very nicest accommodations we have had in our many trips to Italy.

A note for those who drive: Lucca is a large town, only the walled city (centro) portion is small. Driving inside the walls is like driving in a maze with many narrow, unsigned, one-way streets. It is expecially difficult if you have a large car such as a van or station wagon (we did) as turns at some intersections can literally not be negotiated. Parking within the walls is nearly impossible without a permit. There are large parking lots just outside the walls, but they can also be full at peak times. Be sure to ask about parking whenever you are staying in this area.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

Alice Tetelman at Italian Vacation Villas recommended this place for our needs and it was perfect. Their follow through was excellent and we will certainly use them again. The price was $1,400 USD per week.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Yes, highly recommend.

Things to do in this area

The charm of Lucca is absorbed by walking. The wall around the city is designed as a walking path and is about 2.5 miles around. From the wall, you can see gardens, the many churches to visit, and the shops and ongoing activities of this busy, but not hectic environment. Cinque Terre can be reached in an hour or so. Pisa is nearby. Florence is about 50 miles by train, bus, or autostrada.

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

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