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Review 68: TuscanHouse, Villa La Chiusa


Review by Maureen from NJ

6bed/5bath house near Lucca, Tuscany North


Oct. 7 Oct. 14, 2000, 1 week


We just returned from a wonderful week stay, Oct. 7 Oct. 14, 2000, at Villa La Chiusa. We were a group of eight. We booked the villa directly from the owner, Luisa Raffaelli. The villa is located in the S.S. Annunziata section of Lucca, approx. 10 minutes north of the city walls. The area is private and gated with a beautiful outdoor patio area with green wrought iron furniture and market umbrella. There also is an above the ground swimming pool which we didn't use.

Each evening Chef Alberto would serve antipasto and drinks there or in the spacious formal living room on the main floor. On the main floor was a formal living room, Library with VCR, CD player, books, magazine, tapes, and CDs by the score. It also had a fireplace. On the main floor also you find the dining room, breakfast room and kitchen all of which were spacious. There was one bedroom on this level with sofa bed and bath. Upstairs was a gorgeous salon with four spacious bedrooms, two with private bath, off this area. The 3rd floor was unavailable to guests and is yet to be refurbished.

There was a small market a short walk from the villa and a large B.J. or Sam's club type supermarket on the road that you drove to and from the walled city of Lucca. As the web site explains, the building is historical and had been refurbished. My only wish was that I could bring the furniture home with me. Luisa, the owner, has a decorating shop in an annex to the building. The fabrics are museum quality. Plus she is there during the day to assist you in any way possible. For example, one of our daughters had a motor bike accident; she was only bruised, but Luisa negotiated the cost of repair for the bike with the rental agency.

Our bedroom was the one with the canopy bed. I felt like a Principessa for a week. I can only rave about the meals served to us by Chef Alberto. We wanted to take him home with us. He charges $100.00 per meal and the cost of the food is additional. We felt it a savings when you consider the cost of taking 8 people out each evening to a restaurant. Plus it was nice to come HOME after a day of touring and relax and be served. From the villa we took daily excursions by car to Pisa, Forte di Marmi, Barga, Montecatini T. and we took the bus or train into Florence on two occasions. We also ventured into the Chianti area, which was approx. 1-1/2 hrs by car from the Villa. There is also a live in butler, Mandy. He has living quarters in another area of the house and provides clean towels, makes the beds and cleans up the breakfast dishes each day. He is also available to drive you to the train, bus, etc. He would be tipped separately. This web site accurately reflects Villa La Chiusa and I would highly recommend a visit.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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