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Family Trip to Italy 2008 - Use Villa/Apartment as home base?

Family Trip to Italy 2008 - Use Villa/Apartment as home base?

Old Dec 11th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 22
Family Trip to Italy 2008 - Use Villa/Apartment as home base?

We are a family of 12 traveling to Italy for 2 weeks in July 26 - August 9, 2008. We are hoping to rent a villa or apartments to use as our home base, which will allow everyone to travel to other parts of Italy as they wish. Our thoughts are that we would like to stay in Tuscany. We are very interested in being very close to a village, with restaurants, cafes, markets, being around the Italian people, etc., being withing walking distance. We want the feel that we are living as Italians for these 2 precious weeks. Some of us would also like to visit Venice and the Amalfi Coast during these 2 weeks. Any recommendations you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
pmd2524 is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 03:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 16
take a look this gorgeous owner Tuscany Villa we spent one week last year, Florence is 45 minutes drive or train, 1 hour drive you can reach Siena, Lucca, Pisa, Venice is two hours by train from Florence, the lovely village is walking distance with restaurants, markets, bar, friendly people...food and chianti wine excellent!
Mindy1320 is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 04:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 98
A few years ago I was looking for a villa to stay in Tuscany in October.
I've been in Tuscany many times, but I wonder to stay for a long period to know it with more details.
So after a homework I decide to rent a villa in the outskirts of Siena. That was a lovely experience!
From this point we went to the Chianti region, San Gimignano, Florence(twice), and south of Siena to Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, etc.
A car is a must. The roads are great and the little back roads very nice.
Le Meridiane ís a villa in Siena. It could suit you.
>>My wife and I have been at Le Meridiane, for a week.
>>We liked it very much. The accomodations are very clean, large (you can see the bedroom where we slept at the website), comfortable and has all amenities. It has all cooking facilities and we had many meals at home.
There is a good view to the gardens with many olive trees and to a valley with a avenue. It is located at the outskirts of Siena, fifteen minutes by car to the Centro Storico and very near to the auto-route to Florence.
>There is a small grocery store nearby and a supermarket (COOP) a ten minutes ride near the railstation.
>>The street, with many houses, ends at a cul-de-sac at Le Meridiane in a small plaza where you can park your car. We had a car (leased from Renault in Paris) and we've made many trips to the Chianti Region and south of Siena
(Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, Sinalunga, etc.). Twice we went to
Florence (50 minutes by a no-toll auto-route). La signora Ana, who was in charge of the villa, was very helpful and lives in another house nearby. I looked for the website and I found it:
>>I'm a travel consultant in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais State) in Brazil and I'll be glad to give more informations.
libanio is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,216
Venice is 3.5 hours by train from Florence.

I assume you realize that for your family members to visit Venice and the Amalfi Coast, it would be best for them to get hotels in each location. Venice is a possible but long daytrip--it deserves more time. The Amalfi Coast is at least 5 hours away from Florence.
ellenem is online now  
Old Dec 12th, 2007, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,525
From one centro location in Tuscany you will not even be able to see all of Tuscany. Your first step should be to get a good map and put pins in the map for places you most want to see. Then, draw a circle 90 mile radius from there. Location is always the key. I would spend one week in Tuscany with the group and then let your smaller groups take off for the second week. You will need 3 cars anyway.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2007, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 58
La Rocca di Rasina is a magical, well-appointed place--a villa on 800 acres, fully staffed at the Tuscany-Umbria border. We had an amazing stay there as guests of a friend's family. I almost cancelled the rest of my month-long backpacking trip to stay there at our friends' urging. See http://www.tuscanynow.com/Rentals/Vi...CardID_66.aspx
Every comfort and amenity here, in a 10-bedroom, 7 bath true villa with soaring views through many wide windows, which is unusual for a its medieval age. We did day trips to Cortona, Perugia, Montone, Bubbio, etc. It's about under two hours to the Firenze airport, a little over two to Rome's. I loved the pool. You won't be within walking distance of a small town, however the villa is a compound with the wooden gate you can close at night, and a chapel of your own across the interior courtyard. If you're a history buff, you'll enjoy the 1000 year old place--it's been in the same family almost all that time. Be sure to read the guest comments at http://www.tuscanynow.com/Rentals/Ca...?PpGroupID=112 I can't wait to go back!

valeriej is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2007, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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10 of us stayed in the hillside town of cortona at a beautiful villa called il rifugio...www.sojourn-in-italy.com. the owners have a great website and are incredibly hospitable. The town offers many good restaurants, plazas, churches, a beautiful monastary, museums, lots of small, interesting shops... there was really no need to leave cortona, but we did - taking day trips and visiting many surrounding towns and enjoying each one. Il rifugio is on about 56 acres- has a swimming pool, olive and lemon trees, lots of places to walk, a market in the village, but you'll need a car to get to Cortona-proper. It's not in town. You may also try www.vrbo.com for villa rentals if you haven't already done that. Cortona is a terrific area.
susan5 is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 10:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 205

I see that you have had many responses to your quest for a place accommodating your family of 12 in Italy. I HAVE to add my suggestion as it is such a wonderful spot and, our family of 12 is renting it for 2 weeks also this coming summer. It is a villa in the hills outside of Lucca called Al Carli. If you "google' Al Carli you will get to it. Al Carli only accommodates 12 so you will have it all to yourselves. Monica, the owner is wonderful and gracious and a fantastic cook if you choose to have any of your dinners at the villa. Lucca is a great place to wander and hang out and bike around (on top of) the city wall. Florence is less than an hour and an easy day trip - the closest airport is Pisa, also a relatively short drive. There are beaches about 30 minutes away from the villa. The villa's ambience is warm and inviting and each room has the feeling of being carefully decorated in a style that is Tuscan country. The main building has a good workable kitchen that is part of the eating area with a large farm table that will accommodate everyone! The villa's main kitchen and dining area is separate from the rental area but all are arranged in close proximity in an "L" shape...you can see that in the web page photos. I have been to Al Carli before and couldn't wait to bring our children and their children back to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary this coming summer. I'd love to know what you decide...so you can email me personally at [email protected]
giannetta is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2007, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
We did not have the luxury of such a large group (we were 6) when we visited this past summer, but we stayed at the Casa Vacanze Sisti outside of Colle Val d'Elsa (between Venice and Siena) and close to San Gimignano and the Chianti region. You are not within walking distance of Colle Vd'E but it is a 3 minute drive. You are going to want a car anyway. I tried and tried to convince myself that if we found the right place we could do without one and use mass transit, but I am so glad we had cars because half the fun was just driving the countryside.

The cool thing about Colle Val d'Elsa is the town is small and non-touristy, has a well appointed market (COOP) that provides anything you would need to provision your place and a wonderful old hilltown to rival others in the tourbooks (though it is not nearly as renovated and stocked to the gills with stores and restaurants).

Mr. Sisti lives on the premises and is a real character. Simone is the manager who is fluent in English, wonderfully fun, friendly, helpful and charming and the apartments all have kitchenettes, I believe. There is also a house that can accomodate 8 easily. It is nothing fancy, mind you, I don't know how high your standards are, but we loved the price, the location and the people we met there (including our friends from Australia who stayed in Apt 7, I believe. It was recently renovated and really much nicer than the house.

also, if you have never been to Italy, the Cinque Terre is not to be missed (if your are the least bit of a nature-lover, photographer, hiker or water-lover). You cannot do it in a day from Tuscany in my opinion, although I know people who have tried.

check it out at www.casasisti.com.
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