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Review 127: Italian Vacation Villas, Ciricea


Review by David from NY who is a SlowTrav Contributor

2bed/1bath house north of Pistoia, Tuscany North


August 2001, 1 week


We rented Ciricea for a week in August 2001 through Italian Vacation Villas who represent properties offered by Tuscan Enterprises and other Italian agencies. Located about 9km north of Pistoia, up a little road from the village of Piteccio, this was a good location from which to explore northern Tuscany. Pistoia is about 10 minutes away with grocery stores, restaurants and lots of relatively untouristed churches with some great art to see. From here, Florence is about 25 minutes away, Lucca 35 minutes, Pisa 45 minutes. Ciricea is an independent house. The closest neighbors are about 100 meters up the road and we never saw them, just their laundry. Its situated alongside a babbling brook and surrounded by shady trees. There is no panoramic view from the house. In hot weather, this might be a good place to be. We found it to be cooler than some of the surrounding towns and we slept well here.

The owners are the Querci family, who live in Piteccio, a 2 minute drive or 15 minute walk away. They were very sweet, welcoming and helpful. When Bruce had a filling fall out, Signora Querci located a dentist who was technically on vacation but had another emergency patient to see and arranged for him to see Bruce later that day (not so easy to do in Pistoia in the summer).

We enjoyed staying here. Ciricea is on two floors. Entrance is through either of the adjacent kitchen or dining room doors. The kitchen is large and basic. The dining room and living room are a good size but I found the living room furniture to be uncomfortable. Some of it was faux leather translation: heavy plastic and I wasnt very inclined to relax much in this room. Off from the dining room is a utility room with a clothes washer. While we were there it seemed that the washer was having some problems. It totally stopped and appeared to be finished before the final spin ("Centrifuga" see, you learn new vocabulary words every day!) We once opened it and water poured out. It wasnt a big deal. We just reset it and it went into the centrifuga. I told the owners, who were going to have a look at it, so if there were anything to repair, Id expect that it would be already done. Upstairs are two double bedrooms and one bathroom with bath. Both beds are made from two twins pushed together and covered with one sheet. Both were comfortable.

There are a couple of local restaurants that the Quercis recommended that we ended up not trying. In Piteccio theres a post office, farmacia, piccolissimo Coop, a bar where the locals hang out. Mostly we used Ciricea as a base for day trips to surrounding areas. It was lovely to have the sound of the brook at the side of the house as well as a cool refuge to come to.

Id recommend this house if youre fine with furnishings that are "basic". The price certainly was right. There was very little available that had two bedrooms in the $600 - $700 per week price range!

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

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