Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2171: Tuscan-apartment.com, La Terrazza
3bed/2bath apartment in Old Barga, Tuscany North
June 3 - 6, 2006 , one week
This lovely, incredibly spacious and bright apartment is located in the walled village of Old Barga (New Barga being a short walk down the hill, and still a small village in feel). It is a short walk from one of the main gates. You can hear a bit of typical and enjoyable street noise during the day, as in any medium sized town. It is very peaceful and quiet at night. Lovely windows and light throughout.
Within just a few blocks is a small grocery store with all supplies one would need to cook at home, a wonderful gelati shop that also sells coffee and pastries and two very good restaurants. A five minute walk away is the new town of Barga with additional small groceries, meat shop, pastry shop, coffee shops, hardware store and a handful of tourist gift shops.
The building itself is in good repair and the apartment is very well cared for. Door to the outside is secure and there is a bell. Entering the apartment you arrive in the living room that has a door out to a LARGE outdoor patio. To the right is a large kitchen/dining area with all amenities for cooking at home as well as a washing machine, dishwasher and iron. Another door from the kitchen/dining area also leads out to the patio with lovely plants, a large table with chairs and two relaxing reclining chairs that allowed us to fully enjoy sunrises, sunsets and the nearby mountains.
A bathroom with tub and shower mechanism is on the first floor. Upstairs are three bedrooms, two with double beds and one with a single bed (plus rollaway). Also upstairs is a bathroom with shower. Water pressure was great. All appliances worked perfectly and everything was in great repair.
Patio may as well be considered a garden. It is very large. The owners of this apartment, who lived there themselves for several years, also own a home (Villa Sofia) that is a 5-10 minute walk away. They rent two other apartments at Villa Sofia and have a pool that you can use if you rent any of their aparments. The grounds of their home are absolutely beautiful.
I was hesitant to rent an apartment at Villa Sofia (see same website listed here), because I thought it would be more convenient to be in the "city/village." However, now that I have been to both La Terrazza and the Villa Sofia apartments, I can see that both locations are equally convenient. The advantage of Villa Sofia is the incredible view -- though the views from La Terrazza are not shabby! Families with children would, I think, especially enjoy Villa Sofia as there is plenty of room to play outdoors.
The apartment is kept in excellent condition (as are the apartments at Villa Sofia, which I toured when we went over there to go swimming one day). Every amenity we wanted was available and those amenities we didn't want weren't there (TV, sound system, telephone). Very relaxing. A pay phone was available nearby so we learned to use the phone cards (simple).
Beds were VERY comfortable and plenty of blankets. Two very spacious bathrooms that are beautifully tiled. Plenty of towels too. This apartment is HUGE and the bathrooms are no exception.
The kitchen is very usable, complete with lots of plates, silverware, cups, etc. Nice pots and pans, sharp knives, cutting boards, all of good quality. We cooked most of our meals at home very enjoyably. (Sipping on wonderful Italian wines didn't hurt.)
Problems or Bonuses
The best surprise was meeting the owners and their wonderful children. The apartment comes with great vibes and now we know why. I would rent this apartment or one of the other apartments at Villa Sofia again in a flash. They are all kept up beautifully and the owners are friendly and helpful.
This part of Tuscany is a lot less touristed than the Chianti area. It has a rustic feel to it, beautiful mountain views and plenty of places to explore. We loved it.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented directly from the owners who were very quick to respond to all of our emails. English is their first language. Price was as quoted and reasonable.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would stay at La Terrazza or at any of the Villa Sofia apartments in the future. (We'd like to go back now!) We recommend it to anyone who wants to visit this part of Tuscany.
Things to do in this area
Walking around Barga, short drive to Devil's Bridge, gelato shop a block away, Wind Caves, driving through the mountains nearby from which marble is mined, exploring some of the tiny villages high up in the mountains, visiting the walled city of Lucca.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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