Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3780: Owner, Villa La Chiusa
6bed/5bath house near Lucca, Tuscany North
August 9 till sept 5, 2008, 30 days
The villa is about 15 minutes driving time to Lucca -- or about 18 minutes by bike. Though it is not "in the hills, it gives the feeling of being in the country. It was wonderful location, not near others, but close enough you never felt isolated. The area was beautiful; Lucca is a wonderful medieval working city that is glorious, on the villa grounds are lemon, grapes and persimmons.
We all biked to the Carrefor market or into Lucca for just about anything one could ever hope for or if it was for dinner we would drive which was about 10 minutes by car.
La Chuisa is over 200 years old, has a history, and is in fantastic shape. It is peaceful but so well updated with total A/C, beautiful furniture, fabrics, modern bathrooms and a kitchen to die for. There were four great bedrooms two en suite upstairs with another bathroom; two more downstairs on main floor with bathroom and a hall bathroom. Bedrooms were large, well appointed and so well maintained! The villa is so solid, no one could hear any noise. Those on the first floor loved their rooms as much as those upstairs.
The private estate has a lovely patio-sitting area where we would all meet nightly for drinks before dinner, have breakfast there as well and read. It is covered with umbrellas for the sun. The pool!! It is perfect temperature and about shoulder height and perfect size -- along with lovely lounge chairs with shade covers.
The villa was in fantastic shape; and each area of inside and out had plentiful seating areas; for example I believe the dining room can hold 18 people or so; the villa has so much room that no one ever felt a loss of privacy. The furniture was lovely -- fabrics beautiful and very, very tasteful.
The beds were great; the bedrooms each different but exquisite -- we had adults who felt like royalty, and young adults who never wanted to leave their rooms.
Most had baths attached, but even the two that didn't, would not change rooms when others became available. The bathrooms are completely updated -- showers, large tubs (a huge jacuzzi in the master I never even got to use!). The owner feels strongly the need for updated baths, and she spent considerable money investing in this. Clean? The daily housekeeper made sure of that!
Ah, the kitchen. How we all loved the kitchen!! It was incredibly large, perfectly situated and appointed and had more utensils and cooking pans than one could ever use. We all loved it and in fact all 10 people actually had a Tuscan cooking class in the kitchen and made a fantastic meal, including all the husbands, many of whom never cooked before! Additionally, we would put left-overs on the large farm house table for lunch where all would "graze."
Problems or Bonuses
We have been lucky enough to stay in several villas in the South of France and in Italy as well. So we had a general idea of what to expect. However, I cannot say how more than wonderful La Chiusa and its owner Luisa are. There were over 20 different people who stayed in La Chiusa at different times and to a person (all of whom were familiar with Italy) each said that this was the most "magical" vacation ever!! There was so much that was perfect it is hard to list -- from the graciousness and lovely Luisa, who has become a close friend and helped so much even after my stay(!!) to this lovely, lovely wonderful home, not house, but home with all the amenities and love that any home can give. To the gorgeous surroundings of the estate, the pool, the wonderful city of Lucca, which is both warm and sophisticated, and offers so much charm old-world style, but at the same time has up to date shops, restaurants, etc. When I was alone I biked in and out by myself daily and loved every minute!
I had read about hiring the services of dear Alberto, the chef, and am so glad we did; he was wonderful coming with drinks at cocktail hour on the patio, followed by dinners that were fantastic! And the house manager, Mandi, who was so quiet when he cleaned, and was the person who knew about everything and was so helpful.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Luisa, the owner, was the person I interacted with. Her English is as good as mine almost and she is one of the most wonderful, kind, generous and funny people in the world! And she is smart and well-respected too!
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would like to stay there forever and if not, go back as soon as possible. I would recommend it to my best friends, except they all came and stayed there themselves and are already recommending it!
Things to do in this area
One of the best things I did was to engage Dorene Lucchesi, an Italian American who lives in Lucca and her firm Divertismo, who worked with me and planned so many fantastic things ... trips to the beach, Cinque Terre, wonderful wine-tasting events, visits to olive oil presses, intimate restaurants, dinner on the Lake before the Opera, the Puccini Opera Festival, Etruscan ruins, shopping trip to Outlets, and so much more...
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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