Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2082: Owner, La Scaletta
2bed/1bath apartment in Lucca, Tuscany North
April 2006, 4 nights
In early April 2006 we rented apartment La Scaletta for four nights in Lucca to accomodate our family of four. This apartment is located on Via del Fosso, inside the walls of Lucca. The apartment is located on the second floor of an apartment building. Lucca is a lovely town in Tuscany that is sure to be pleasing to anyone visiting. We read a review of this particular apartment on SlowTravel posted by Henry and Pat which we found most helpful. In fact, reading all of their reviews and trip reports were of great help to us with planning an itinerary.
Just about any location inside the walls of Lucca is conveniently located. Some locations may be noisier than others etc., but our apartment, located on the eastern side of the town was very convenient to walk to shops, restaurants, bike rentals, train station, access to the top of the wall, etc. We had a vehicle for one night, which we parked a block down from the apartment in a space with a parking meter that my husband put coins in twice. The next afternoon we turned in our vehicle to AutoEurope. We had already had our vehicle for 10 days and had planned on turning it in there. You can walk back to the apartment from the AutoEurope location; it is only a block or two from the outer walls.
The owner, Violetta, explained that the building was quite old and historic. It was also once the residence of her grandparents. Via del Fosso does get traffic but is not a major road, so noise was not an issue. As I explained, the apartment is located on the second floor. Entering the apartment is a very large foyer. There is a large entry table and large lamp to the left. On the right is a large window, bookshelf, another table and a lamp. There are also two chairs with a floor lamp for reading. Off of this foyer is the smaller bedroom where my two daughters slept (2 twin beds). There is a window in the room as well as a chest of drawers and bed table with lamp. In the other direction from the foyer is a small hall where the bathroom and other larger bedroom is located. The kitchen area is also located off of the hallway.
There is no place to sit outdoors at the apartment. There is a small stoop at street level where the entry door is and there is a small balcony overlooking Via del Fosso off of the large bedroom. It was nice to be able to open the door to the balcony but it isn't really large enough for several people.
The apartment was comfortable for our family of four. We were always out for most of the day. When we were there, we were usually resting, eating in the kitchen, showering, or sleeping.
My daughters had no complaints about their beds and seemed to sleep very comfortably as we did in the large bedroom with the queen sized bed. The apartment has one bathroom with a large shower, no tub. There was plenty of hot water, towels, and toilet paper. The large bedroom where we slept was furnished with a chest of drawers, large armoire for hanging clothes, a small desk and chair, and two bedside tables. There is an iron and ironing board stored here too.
The kitchen was the most well equipped of all the places we rented. The dining table is placed along one wall where we all ate breakfast and sometimes lunch. There are six chairs. There is a full sized fridge, plenty of counter space, big sink area, dishwasher, cooktop and oven. Plenty of everything you would need to cook large meals. We did not cook any evening meals here though. Violetta had stocked the fridge and pantry area with plenty of food for breakfast for the four days we were there. Milk, eggs, bread, coffee, cereals, pastries, etc. She also stocks wine and beer that are priced very reasonably and so much more convenient than shopping.
Problems or Bonuses
Not really any surprises, good or bad. We had heard praises already for Violetta from Pat and Henry, so we knew we were in for a treat meeting her.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owner Violetta. We reached her using the Toskana.net website. She emailed us back with availability and we sent her a check as a deposit, about 30%. For four nights were paid 80 Euro/nightly. She returned the deposit check I wrote to her and we paid the entire rent in cash. Violetta asked us to telephone her when we arrived in Lucca so that we could follow her to the apartment. We met at McDonald's right off of the autostrade exit which was easy to find. She is a delightful, warm, and caring woman. She offered to drive us to the train station on the day of our departure. Our train was leaving early though and it conflicted with her schedule otherwise she would have eagerly done so. She asked my daughters to write her some time, so she could practice her English responding back. Violetta teaches at the high school in Lucca and speaks very good English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we would stay at La Scaletta again, and do recommend the apartment.
Things to do in this area
There are many things to do in Lucca and nearby area. We could have easily spent a week there and hope to come back someday and do that. One day we took the train to Florence, easy trip. The other day we drove to Lerici which was a bit stressful, but it was our first time in an unfamiliar place. There are many, many, stores and shops in Lucca if you have daughters that would go nuts for that (I do). Many restaurants to choose from, we ate two nights at Trattoria da Leo and two nights at a nearby pizzeria. We very much enjoyed sitting in Napolean Square each afternoon. It is very large with beautiful trees and the best little place for gelato and capuccino at reasonable prices, Pinnochio's. One day we rented bicycles of course and rode around the walls, rested, and rode some more. Very good photo ops from the top of the walls, and a most pleasant way to spend a morning or afternoon. Lucca is full of young people, almost has a college town feel, and our daughters very much enjoyed their time here.
The morning we walked ourselves to the train station with carry-ons in tow it began pouring rain. This was probably a good thing, it would have been much more difficult leaving Lucca on a pretty sunny morning. And we were on our way to Rome which helped with leaving too.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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