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What a find! My partner and I made an impromptu decision to visit, and lucked out! This apartment is an ideal base to have a vacation in Tuscany. It's a very short drive away from the beach (Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi corridor) and short drive from sites such as Pisa, Lucca, Carrara and Cinque Terre, with Florence just being a bit further, but still very doable in a day trip. But the best bit is that the apartment was a place we could return to and have a quiet and comfortable haven away from the tourists and crowds. Nestled in the foothills, the apartment is private and set apart from the rest of the complex, and is well appointed. It is tastefully and comfortably furnished, with well-maintained rooms (plenty of clean linen - more than we needed, but would come in handy if it was a full house no doubt!), some beautiful interior features (I took some notes!), and a fabulous kitchen (although this being Italy we ate out a lot - including a delicious meal at the adjacent hotel's restaurant). It has air-conditioning (not always a given as we have discovered in Italy), and we found ourselves relaxing indoors listening to the nearby creek, or by the poolside. In making the booking, Richard was very kind and responsive to our queries, including whether it was necessary to have a car (it is!), but the apartment has a private entrance and parking space, which made it very convenient. After our vacation, we are still missing the idyllic spot and will definitely be recommending it to friends/family who may be planning on visiting the area.
Richard was an excellent host. Quick to answer every possibly question, request, as well as providing timely and accurate instructions. On site Sandro was super helpful and everything went as planned. Easy and flexible.
The location is idyllic on a former olive farm (Villa La Bianca). We enjoyed the quite life in the foot hills at a reasonable distance from the tourist traps - which means a car is required. We went late in the season (October) and could make it to the beach in about 20 minutes and get to the airport in 40.
The onsite restaurant was quite a treat for dinner. The property/park was breathtaking. The unit itself is a fun blend of new and old and appears as respectfully refurbished (as shown). Our only wish for a second visit would be cleaning. Although the beds and bath rooms were as expected the kitchen and the family room needed cleaning. The unit smelled 'damp' the first couple of days until the heat kicked in. Dust, spider webs and bugs were common. All in all a great holiday.
Richard's place is amazing. The first thing that floored us is that the ad said it was 'next to a waterfall' - it is literally next to the waterfall and you fall asleep and wake up to the beautiful sound of water rushing. After strenuous travelling, it was nice to have our own rooms with a bathroom each -what a treat! With a few staples already in the fridge for us, we cooked one night but the on site restaurant (linked with the main villa) also served great food and very reasonably priced. Overall, our stay here was amazing and we just wished we had stayed longer.