Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1722: Lucca Holiday Rentals, Piero Della Francesca
3bed/2bath apartment in Lucca, Tuscany North
August 2005, 1 week
This apartment was in central Lucca, just around the block from the main cathedral. The location was very good, although difficult to reach by car. We had to park the car several blocks from the apartment.
We loved the area! We were only 2 blocks from a large piazza where the kids could play. The piazza had a wonderful gelato and pizza place. We really were only a few minutes from any area of Lucca.
We never went to a big supermarket, although there is a Coop outside the city walls. But we did find small grocery stores/butcher shops/food shops within 2-3 blocks from the apartment.
This apartment was VERY central -- we had no problems walking to any location within the city.
The apartment is on the 3rd floor of an old building on a VERY small square. There is no elevator. We had 2 young boys, and although it would have been nice to have an elevator, it was not a huge pain. There were several other apartments, but I only met an elderly man on the first floor. He did not speak English, and I speak like Tarzan in Italian, but we both smiled and got along.
The best part of the apartment is that it is huge and that it has a large terrace. The furnishings are comfortable, nothing fancy. When you enter the apartment, you are in a generously sized foyer. There are 2 double bedrooms with attached bathrooms and one twin bedroom. There is also a large closet in the foyer which I noted had an iron, ironing board and humidifyer and several extra blankets. It also had drawers and clothes-hanging space.
The living room had a fireplace (we never used since this was August!), 2 sofas with coverings (we didn't know if we should remove them or keep them on to prevent damage!), 2 comfortable chairs, a TV which did have BBC, and a nice bookcase with lots of Italian and English language books.
The kitchen is very large and also has a dishwasher and washing machine. You can access the terrace from both the kitchen and the living room. There are screens on all the windows, although they could use a cleaning. But they were definitely needed when we were there.
There is a large terrace which also has a dining table. We liked to sit out here, after putting the kids to bed, and drink a glass of wine. We could hear, quite well, the concerts which came from San Giovanni next door. This was a nice perk! There is no view, per se, from here, except the back of the church.
The furniture is fine, nothing fancy. It is comfortable enough. The apartment was clean.
The bedrooms were good. They are big and have plenty of storage space. The two double rooms have plenty of light. The twin room lacked in light and storage space BUT there is a closet in the foyer right outside of this room with plenty of drawer and clothes-hanging space. We also stored the luggage in this closet.
The bathrooms were large and good-looking. However, I did have an issue with their draining capabilities. I HATE standing in water which hasn't drained, and this did happen. I noticed that there was an Italian version of liquid plumber on the terrace, so this obviously has been a problem in the past. This was really are only issue with the apartment.
Kitchen was great! Pots, pans, dishes -- all good. Espresso maker looked kind of gross, so I chose to get my cafe out. Large oven and stovetop, no microwave (which I don't like anyway!) I don't recall if there was a toaster. Since we were in a village, we didn't eat any meals in -- although we made the kids dinner a couple of times. Good counter space. There are knives, although I brought my own. Plenty of wine glasses and other glasses, plates etc.
Problems or Bonuses
The surprise was the concerts heard from the church next door -- this was definitely a good thing!
The only negative was the drainage issue in the showers and getting close to the apartment with the car. We had 2 young children (ages 2 & 4) with multiple pieces of luggage, so if we can handle it, anyone can!!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was wonderful! Two brothers, Stephano and Giovanni. They are very laid back and friendly. We had a cell phone with us, which was good, because we were late getting to Lucca. We kept in touch, and they informed us where to meet them. Giovanni met us and had us follow him into the city. This was so good, since it can be quite intimidating driving into an medieval italian town. Plus, Lucca had it's monthy antique show the day we arrived!
Giovanni was very helpful -- showed us how to use everything, gave us great restaurant recommendations (and made reservations for us!) and even babysat our children with his wonderful girlfriend a couple of evenings. He seemed quite taken with Kraft Mac N Cheese!! He also helped us with our luggage both arriving and departing. We very much liked him!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this place, but I would ask about the bathroom drainage. It might not bother you, but it bothered me. I am very picky about bathrooms.
If you want to base yourself inside Lucca, this is a great option. The price is good. The apartment is not luxury BUT it is also not budget -- more like a very nice home. It's quite spacious for an apartment, so if your party is 2 couples with 2 kids, you would be very comfortable.
Things to do in this area
Giovanni sent us to All'Olivo one evening which we really enjoyed. He tried to send us to Da Leo's but we didn't have reservations and were turned away. It looked like a really fun place. We loved renting bikes and biking around the city. Also we enjoyed a trip to Barga and Lerici during the week.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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