We wanted a place to stay to allow to explore a bit of Tuscany. Originally we were looking in Florence and then in Pisa. We then started to look around Lucca and found Casolalare Lucchese. And we are so glad that we did, as we had an amazing time there! Communication was very prompt through the website and the owner with all questions answered whatever they might have been. The price was great for us. Prices quoted for lesser accomodation in Florence and Pisa or in hotels were very expensive. Here we could get a two bedroom apartment for 700 euros a week! At first we thought that was per couple so were so happy when it turned out to be for the apartment itself
When we arrived in Lucca, we made our way by taxi from the train station. One point to note is that taxis are so expensive, do not use them if you can avoid it. With our cases we had little other choice. Upon arrival, we called Lia and she promptly arrived accompanied by her daughter in law Angelica. Lia only speaks a little English but even so I found her to be extremely friendly. Angelica spoke very good English and answered our questions easily. A very nice welcome and made us feel at home instantly. We felt even more sure that we had made a good choice, when we were shown our apartment on the ground floor. A good size kitchen with table. There was a fridge and dishwasher. Two double bedrooms and a good sized bathroom. In the immediate area there was an outside patio with barbeque area - we had a BBQ twice while we were there - and the highlight of the property, the pool. The pictures do not do it justice. A beautiful pool in wonderful landscaped grounds, including a small football pitch The grounds of the property were immaculate and the owners were always tending to something! The other highlight of out trip was the free bike hire. Under the house there are roughly 15 bikes in good working order. Each morning, we went downstairs, picked our favourites and headed in Lucca which was about 10 minutes away. This involved cycling through the Tuscan countryside and was a great experience. Especially since the taxis were expensive but because it was so much fun. We used them all the time and if we could have taken them home we would have done! I know a couple of reviewers have mentioned the 1) proximity of the train and 2) it being a slightly industrial area. Yes, the train runs behind the property a few times a day, however wherever you go in the surrounding area you come across railway crossings and this didn't bother us at all. The area is slightly industrial but taking into account the fact that the building used to be an old farmhouse we kind of expected this.
It was our original intention to hire a car but the ease of getting to Lucca and then the fact that the station had frequent connections with Pisa, Florence and Siena, there was really no need. There is a large Carrefour supermarket very close by (5 minutes drive) which often we rode to, but for a larger family a car might be useful to stock up for the week.
We would not hesitate to recommend Casolare Lucchese to anyone, couples or families. It is well placed to accomodate any group. It is close enough to Lucca and connections to other towns if you want to explore however if you just want a week staying by the pool in the glorious Tuscan sunshine you could do this with ease. We have already decided that we will return one day and surely that is as good a recommendation as you can get. Thank you Lia and Angelica for your warm welcome and for a great holiday!
Chris & Susan, UK