We rented a two-bedroom apartment in July, 2010. Santa Cecilia filled a strange trip requirement for our family of my wife, 15 and 20 year-old daughters, and me. We had 5 days to spend on the beach and touring the hill towns of Tuscany. First the residence. Santa Cecilia is clearly frequented by Italian families, and mostly with small kids. The place is perfect for them. All the balconies look out onto the sea, they have an indoor pool and an underground parking garage. Santa Cecilia is a block away from the beach, and the facility is gated to keep little ones from escaping. We didn't hear any non-Italian speaking guests while we were there (which was fine with us). The apartments are a little worn and very sparse (a few coats of polyurethane on the wood floors would help defend against the sand), but they have great sea views and breezes, a balcony, and full kitchen. The staff was very pleasant and helpful with all our needs, including excellent restaurant recommendations, none of which were in the tourist section of town just a few doors away. All the restaurants we went to required a short 10-15 minutes drive, which was perfect for us. There were laundry facilities on site, and a full grocery store several blocks away. The main street was handy for picking up panini for lunches and gelato. The one main complaint was not the hotel's fault, but there was a street fair going on just below our bedroom window every night we were there. The music lasted until 3 AM one night. Ouch. The nearby beach had very fine sand, but there was minimal cleaning of the beach. Even for July, the beach wasn't too crowded. The water was shallow enough to walk out about 30-40 yards and still be waist deep (another advantage for small kids). From San Vincenzo we did day trips to Pisa, Volterra, Montipulcino, Sienna, etc. None was more than 45 minutes by car. GPS was a must, especially at night trying to find our way back to San Vincenzo. In retrospect, if we were only doing the hill towns, an agrotourist place near Siena would have been more centrally located, but we wanted that beach time. Being in San Vincenzo also gave us a chance to taste the La Maremma food of eastern Tuscany (the other Tuscany). Our best meal of 18 days in Italy was accidently happening upon an Italian military veteran's "church dinner" open to the public in San Carlos. I had great grilled meats including some baby back ribs done with just salt, pepper, and rosemary. So much for needing BBQ sauce!
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