Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 998: Ville et Village, Villa Clara
10bed/9bath villa near Lucca, Tuscany North
September 2003, 2 weeks
Villa Clara was located approximately 2 miles from Lucca in the hills. The location was quite nice and very quiet. There is another villa that was part of the same property Casa Rosa, that was not rented the weeks we were there. It was lovely. The caretaker of the house was a wonderful cook and would cook for us if we requested, at a very reasonable price.
The distance was short enough to walk but the road was a bit narrow. Part of our group went on a long walk up the hill every evening and that was fine.
The drive to Lucca was easy and once there we parked our car and wandered the town. The wall around Lucca is very nice, we rented bikes several times and rode around the the wall that was lots of fun.
We fell in love with Villa Clara. The villa was in excellent condition and had been recently restored. The floors were tile and stone, the old plaster had all been restored, is was great for a large group.
We spent every afternoon on the lawn talking about what each smaller group did that day, that of course included wine and the most wonderful provolone cheese and salami.
There is an large private infinity pool which we really enjoyed on the days that we spent just enjoying the villa.
The furnishing were all antiques, with portraits of the family on the walls. The dining room which was the length of the house was wonderful for 20 people to sit down and have excellent meals every evening.
The villa was very clean when we arrived and was cleaned 4 days each week we were there. Linens were changed mid-week and there were fresh table linens for us for each day.
Perfect... 8 of the 10 bedrooms had ensuite bathrooms and all were very nice. 2 of the bedrooms had a shared bathroom which was quite large.
We really enjoyed the kitchen were we gathered most mornings. There is a table for 6 in the kitchen, but most mornings we managed to all be there at one time or another.
Problems or Bonuses
No surprises. I was so pleased that the villa was everything it promised to be, as I was a bit nervous, booking sight unseen for 20 people, hoping everyone would be happy with the selection.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Ville et Village was terrific. They responded to all my questions promptly and efficiently. They are a US company and so spoke English. They helped arrange dinner and a grocery order for our first day. Contacted us once we were in the villa to make sure all was well. I would not hesitate to use them again.
I normally rent a house at the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a week in the summer and Villa Clara for 2 weeks was comparable to 1 week at the beach. The price was very reasonable.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I plan to return to Villa Clara. We are traveling to Sicily next year because I have friends who are looking for their roots, if it were my choice, we would go back to Villa Clara and wonderful Lucca every year.
Things to do in this area
One thing that we really wanted to do was take a cooking class. Ville et Village recommended Guiliana Gurliani, Tuscan Cooking and More. It was more. The nine of us who took the class, met Guiliana in Lucca the morning of the class to do our shopping for the meal. It was warm and rainy (our only day of rain), quite nice as we walked through the streets to the different shops, Guiliana told us all about Lucca and the way the markets and the town had changed over the years (fabulous). Then back to the villa to cook a meal for 20 people. Guiliana's chef Maria Pia showed us how to make fresh pasta, chicken cacciatore, fresh sauce, rosemary potatoes the list goes on. It was a wonderful day and I would recommend it to anyone. Guiliana's contact information is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ate dinner almost every night at the villa, we had fun cooking. Lunch everyday was out, the pizza and mozzarella and tomato paninis were excellent whereever we stopped in Lucca.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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