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.
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!
Great apartment, Great location for a toscane road-trip with a car. Perfect stay !!
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.
Great place. Nice small town close to a grocery store, helpful owner, plenty of space and nice kitchen.