About This Listing
This clean and quiet apartment is located in a small village near Empoli, just 3km from the railway station and with easy access to the superstrada (SGC Firenze Pisa Livorno). It is ideally situated for a tour of Tuscany.
Empoli is about 20 km southwest of Florence, on the banks of the Arno. It lies on a plain formed by the river itself. The commune's territory becomes hilly further from the river. Empoli is on the main railway line from Florence to Pisa, with another line running to Siena. It is 8km south of Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci.
Empoli has a long tradition as an agricultural centre but also for the production of glass.
The apartment is on the top floor of a 3 storey building. It sleeps 4 people and consists of 2 large rooms and a bathroom. It has its own independent heating system and hot water constantly available. It is well insulated against the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer.
All necessary items are provided in the apartment such as washing machine, drying rack, iron and ironing board, stove, refrigerator, cooking utensils, bed sheets and towels.
At a time when the centre of cities like Florence have been handed over to tourist accommodation this remains an authentic working countryside village.
Within a stone's throw of the apartment are all the essential amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants and the Casa del Popolo, which despite its deceptively small facade hides a large auditorium which through the aid of clandestine satellite technology has been transmitting live football matches for the last 15 years. For big games we have 100s of people crowded in there.
Archaeological digs have ascertained that Empoli was inhabited from the first Imperial Age until the fourth century. Amphorae were produced in the area and sold up and down the river. The Romans certainly settled here and gave the town the name ‘Portù’ as it functioned as a port that bordered the Via Quinctia road leading from Florence to Pisa.
The Via Salaiola also passed close to Empoli. This road passed through Volterra and was used for transporting salt. The origins of the name ‘Empoli’ are debated although it is known that the town was called ‘Emporium’ or ‘Empolis’ as early as the eighth century.
BATTLE FOR CONTROL
The town belonged to the Guidi family in 1119 but came under Florentine rule in 1182. Once Empoli had become an important fortress, it was raided many times. In the meantime, the local farming industry grew and the town even gave its name to a species of artichoke. In the twentieth century there was a flourishing glass working industry although most of the glass factories are closed today.
Like many Italian towns, Empoli today is famous for its ‘passeggiata’: when many people come into the centre to take a stroll before dinner. The classic route round the city starts in Piazza Farinata degli Uberti, goes left in Via Giuseppe del Papa, then into Via Ridolfi, left along Via del Giglio and finally, after the fourth left turn, back into Piazza Farinata. Traditionally, men walked in one direction and women in the other.
There has been a Thursday market held in the town since the eleventh century. The market’s location has moved many times – today it is held near Castellani Stadium – but the day has never changed.
There are two traditional annual festivals: the Corpus Domini Festival and the September Festival.
Smoking and pets are not allowed in the apartment.
Please do not cause too much noise as the neighbours are not used to it and as a courtesy to future guests, please leave the place more or less as you found it.
The Apartment was all wrights the price. The Nabors, all have dogs very noisy during ninth time. Same Time I though people killing each other. When the fighting in the mornings 2.00 o’clock becomes quiet, the dog continued. I could not sleep the whole night. The Apartment needs at least a connection to for a Television. I bought by myself a TV bud no receiving. One Morning all Electricity was not available. I checked the fuses did not find any problems. The owner not was reachable to help. The lady below asks somebody to help and we discovered another fuse box behind the small storage room hidden behind the door .The complete Pug connection of the washing machine was burned. I did the repair by myself on account of Mr. Clayton. I hope he will apprlicate my effort and will pay me for the repair.
En amont, toutes les infos nécessaires sur l'accès, l'appartement, le mode d'emploi des équipements nous ont bien été fournis.
Nous avions choisit ce lieu par rapport à la situation géographique ( entre 30 et 60 minutes des principaux sites ), à la tranquillité recherchée ainsi que la composition de la famille ( couple avec 2 ados ).
Nous sommes satisfaits de notre choix et recommandons cette adresse.
Andrew was very kind in making arrangements last minute for us. The apartment is very well located to visit around Tuscany and all the information Andrew provided in his profile was accurate and very helpful.
The apartment spacious with lost of light and a great view.
My friends and I had a great stay in the appartment of Andrew! It was very clean and we had everything we needed. Andrew was very friendly and very anxious about us and our stay there. One problem we had was to find the appartment because it isn't directly in Empoli but in Casenuove, in a small town 3km distant from Empoli.
Four of us stayed in Andrew's flat and there was plenty of room. The flat was simple and clean with a good heating system (great for the time of year we stayed!). The kitchen is basic with no oven and only two cook tops, but this was fine for the simple meals we prepared. The location is good to access a lot of Tuscany but you definitely need a car!
Overall a great place to base yourself to explore Tuscany, especially for the price!
This place was nice. Andrew was helpful though he wasn't around, but there was a nice Italian lady downstairs that was very helpful. A small grocery store with a very nice owner was across the street and a really great restaurant was a few blocks away. But this place is far from the Empoli train station by foot if you're looking to go to Florence or Pisa etc... There is a bus that costs 2 Euros that can take you to and from, but it doesn't seem to run regularly on the weekend and often times, even during the week, we found ourselves walking all the way (50 min). It's especially difficult at night if you return to the station after 9pm. If you are able to get back, the bus isn't running and the cab company (which luckily happens to be conveniently housed in the train station building) may only have 1 car running at that time in the eve. One time we actually had to walk the whole way back at night, and another time, the last train from Pisa decided not to run which left us stranded and we had to get a hotel for the night there. The countryside is beautiful, (though we definitely heard every animal on God's green earth in the mornings!) There is a washing machine, which is cool, and you have to hang what you wash out the window to dry. All in all, I think this is a pretty good place for an authentic Tuscan experience, which also means that you should speak Italian, at least a little to get around. I would suggest staying here especially if you want to stay mostly in Empoli, away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, or you have a car to travel to other places, or you don't mind the conditions listed.
About the Host, Andrew
The photo shows me in the act of single handedly constructing the ceiling in 1993.
Working alone, by 1995 I completed the ceilings, tiling and plastering throughout, as well as all of the fittings, wiring and plumbing.
Don't worry it's all been signed off by competent professionals.
I also made the bed in the master bedroom.
Sciabolino has a great Tuscan menu and is a local institution. The menu is also in English(website hidden)abolino.it
This mechanic can fix anything.
Magazines and cigarettes
Cioffi's grocery store provides an alternative to the COOP.
Menu with industrial portions and a wood burning oven for freshly made pizza at weekends.
The Cioffi family also run the grocery store next door.
Buses to other towns stop here
Tiziano runs this store providing sundry household items.
If in need of an urgent perm, the parrucchiere or hairdresser is next door.
For essential groceries you can't beat th(website hidden)w.coopfirenze.it
The Casa del Popolo network has its roots in the post-war anti-fascist movement. Strongly linked to the PCI, the chain of recreational and cultural centres is a focal point for rural communities.
Feeder bus to-from Empoli stops here
For your essential pharmaceutical needs...
Fattoria di Piazzano is an internationally known vineyard. A visit reveals the production process and gives you a chance to taste the product(website hidden)iazzano.it
Breakfast is celebrated here(website hidden)arselli.it
Connect to Pisa airport, Pisa Centrale, Firenze, Siena etc
Local taxi company operates from the railway station
Local buses depart here
Apart from being full of books, I always found the Library a great source of information regarding local events and a convenient wifi access point.
Small but interesting paintings from the Empoli area
The history of glass production in Empoli can be experienced here(website hidden)iempoli.it
The house in which Jacopo Carucci or "Il Pontormo" was born in 1494 is now an interesting musuem. The life and works of Empoli's most famous artistic son are on display here.
Leonardo was born here on April 15, 1452. It's a fantastic vantage point to view a Tuscan sunset over the hills or listen to the church bells of Vinci below.
Boccaccio, the extraordinary author of The Decameron, lived here until 1375(website hidden)ccaccio.it
Unique in the world...
The home of the scooter.