Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2387: La Pietra Grezza, Lilac Apartment
2bed/1.5bath apartment near Cellai, Tuscany Chianti
July - August, 2006, 4 weeks
La Pietra Grezza in Bisticci is approximately 20km south-east of Florence and is near the top of a hill approximately 1.5km up from the main road.
There is another long-term rental property comprising three apartments close by and we found our neighbours quiet and friendly. Otherwise we were surrounded by olive groves, woods and beautiful countryside.
We found La Pietra Grezza quiet and peaceful and it would be impossible to tire of the beautiful views of the Arno Valley from every window.
The nearest village is Cellai, approximately 1.5km away. Cellai has an alimentari where you can buy fresh bread, wine, delicatessen items and groceries. There is a larger town, Incisa, about 8km away with a Co-Op supermarket and weekly markets.
We used to get the local bus into Florence from the main road at Cellai - this is a pretty trip of about 40 minutes and the bus station is very close to Florence railway station in the centre of the city. We usually had lunch in Florence and cooked at home in the evening as it was so pleasant to be able to eat our meals outdoors.
La Pietra Grezza comprises three stories and has recently been restored. The owner lives on the bottom floor and there are two apartments above.
We had The Lilac apartment on the top. The apartment was beautifully peaceful. We would lie in bed in the morning and the only sound we could hear was the soft coo-ing of birds nearby.
The Lilac apartment has two double bedrooms, bathroom, an extra toilet, eat-in kitchen, large lounge/dining room and to-die-for views from every window.
We had our own private garden area with two banana lounges, sun umbrella and covered outdoor eating area with small barbecue.
The Lilac apartment was very comfortable and well-furnished. There was nothing we lacked.
Our bedroom had a very large double bed and also a single. The second bedroom had one double bed. The rooms were very large and both had big wardrobes and dressing tables. There were extra foldaway beds stored in the apartment which could have been used to sleep extra people.
The bathroom had a combined shower/bath, bidet and toilet and there was a separate toilet and washbasin next door.
The kitchen was well-equipped and we enjoyed preparing meals there. The stove had three gas burners and one electric. The oven was gas. This was the only time in our stay in Italy that we had a large refrigerator which we really enjoyed filling up.
We had a small table and chair setting in the kitchen and when we ate inside (rarely), we had the choice of either eating in the kitchen or at the larger table in the lounge/dining area.
Problems or Bonuses
No surprises - just a very pleasant and happy four weeks.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with Alberto, the owner, and from the time of our initial inquiry we were given much kindness and courtesy.
Because Alberto lives downstairs, he was always available to us should we need him and we were encouraged to just call "Alberto!" should we require his assistance at any time. He was often waiting for us on our return home to enquire about our day and see that we were safely home again.
Because we were travelling by train from city to city, Alberto kindly picked us up in Florence on our arrival and again took us to a railway station nearby to board our train at the end of our stay with him.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we would gladly stay at La Pietra Grezza again and would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is looking for a lovely apartment in beautiful, quiet and peaceful surroundings - yet only a short trip away from a large city.
Things to do in this area
We preferred bus and train travel in Italy and while in Tuscany found it very easy to use both of these methods to see so many beautiful parts - San Gimignano, Siena, Cinque Terre, the lovely Mugello area - and so many days just spent wandering in Florence.
Florence in August was very crowded and it was always a delight to escape the city and come 'home' to the country at the end of the day.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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