This is the worst disparity in TripAdvisor reviews vs. reality we’ve ever experienced. We’ve a theory as to why, but first the problems.
Claudio and Daniella gave us the wrong address. Wrong street, wrong “door”, no actual address. As this would not resolve on internet maps, we asked in advance for an actual / GPS address; but they kept sending us the same “boilerplate” reply and assertions that it was correct. We assumed that it would make sense when we got there. Big mistake: snarled traffic, stuck in ancient streets, had to back up 300m with 1 inch mirror clearance, an hour of intense stress, and a very negative first impression of Claudio and Daniella’s hospitality and courtesy. It turned out that our meeting place can be described VERY EASILY with a simple address and without misleading guests. When we pointed this out we were treated like the worst sort of idiots. We felt “set up” to need a rescue, and were not amused.
Also in advance we’d asked about Air Conditioning, as a deposit was required for a two week stay in June. Claudio assured us by email reply not to worry as “The apartment is very cool… stone building.” This might have been true, and with all the good reviews we figured it was. Another big mistake. It turns out that the stones of Nomipesciolini get blazing hot in the sun, and then release heat through the night so that even fans in both windows can’t begin to compensate. Is 90 degrees at midnight news to Claudio, or was he being dishonest? I suppose only an idiot would complain, he means so well.
With the windows open we killed three mosquitoes in less than a minute, then gave up. With Claudio’s “stone building” walls radiating heat, to close the windows would mean getting roasted alive; so we got eaten alive instead. We thought of leaving and finding another hotel, and in retrospect we should have.
Apt problem details: The bed wobbles like a jelly mold, and would be passed over at a homeless shelter. The internet did not work after a brief tease, with no way to reset the hung modem as it is “in a different apt.” Just underneath the bedroom window are 20 restaurant patio tables advertised on the main street for “SMOKERS”. No electrical outlets in the entire kitchen wall… yet there’s a toaster sitting on the counter (with no extension cord) that appears never to have been used. Sheets were filthy, tattered and moth eaten. Sit once on the couch and stir up the cigarette reek… and you’ll learn not to do that again. When we went to mop up some spilt wine under the couch we found disgusting dust-bunnies and detritus—had it EVER been cleaned before? We had to wear shoes as our socks got caked with floor debris in just a few steps otherwise; it was that dirty. Go to turn on the kitchen fan or light, and your fingers will get so slimy/greasy that you’ll have to wash with dishwashing soap to get the grime off. This list could go on, but you get the idea…
So what is going on here? How can so many people write glowing reviews about such a overtly gross and filthy place in actual fact?
Our theory is that, despite their lack of housecleaning care and sometimes overbearing demeanor, Claudio and Daniella are very ingratiating. While we can acknowledge, and appreciate, their fawning, it does not make a dirty apartment clean… in experience or a review. But I suspect most people grow to like obsequious Daniella and Claudio and are thus wary to slam them in a review. So the people who really do enjoy the place write reviews, and the detractors don’t bother as this would seem ungracious. At least up until now.
To us, courtesy is not a pose or imposition, but providing a good quality of experience.
As well, people react differently to general obsequiousness, but heroic responsiveness nearly always plays well. From the reviews, the wifi does not work, but “Claudio got it sorted straight away.” “Claudio happily came to our rescue after we got lost and he drove us straight to the apartment in our car.” Here we have it, then. Run sloppy, then play the drama-hero in overcompensation. We’re not into this game, which was obvious right off. Once this abusive pathology is realized, the trick is to get away without suffering any more “help” (or insults if you do not play along) and to warn others who might not like it either.
We left after one day with mosquito bites, stressed / grossed out, steaming hot, and vowing to take the time to write the review we wish we’d read beforehand.
Nomipesciolini is a VERY DIFFERENT place with super-involved hosts that you are going to either love or hate. Having read this far, now you should have a fair indication of which.
This was our third trip to San Gimignano, and our only bad one. We blame the hosts for their sloppiness, misdirection, dishonesty, overbearing involvement, overt insults, and ultimate abuse.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- the centre of San Gimignano, in the main street, via San Matteo (part of the ancient Francigena road), you can find the Nomi Pesciolini Palace. It dates back to the XIII century, where once was the residence of Desiderio,king of the Longobards. Also Federic "Red Beard" stayed there, during one of his journeys to Italy. At the bottom of this palace-tower, you can also find an etruscan grave, in the middle of a nice typical garden. he palace is close to Duomo of San Gimignano. Between these two medieval buildings, you can find Daniela's private accomodation, where the lady is renting one double room with private bath or shower, kitchenette, TV, air conditioning, wi-fi and with possibility of adding at least two extra beds. Panoramic view of the famous tower's while from the bedroom window one can enjoy the view of the beautiful tuscan countryside. Bedroom or apartment in the typical style of this area. Possibility of parking, conventioned with the municipality's car park. We offer all these services for our clients, hoping they will have an unforgettable holiday in tuscany. Car parking is not a problem. On your arrival you will be given a special access permit to reach our apartments. A private garage is available few metres far. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Appartementi Casa La Torre - Nomipesciolini San Gimignano, Italy - Tuscany