Holiday castles in Province of Pisa
1 bedroom • 1 bathroom • sleeps 4
“An unsual and historic holiday home for art lovers” My partner and I stayed at this Villa in September 2010. We had an inkling that it might be an interesting place to stay but we never even began to imagine how special it turned out to be. It is a large, historic building containing magnificent 18th and 19th century frescos of outstanding beauty. It was also the home of a truly scandalous but remarkable lady who played a pivotal part in Tuscan history. The owners, Donatella and Antonio are wonderfully hospitable hosts and take genuine delight in sharing their home with their guests. It also has excellent public transport connections to centres of Pisa and Florence. I was so impressed by our stay there - and the efforts that Donatella and Antonio have made to restore and rescue the building and it's treasures, I decided to make a film about it. You can see the results on YouTube if you search for 'Villa Di Lupo Parra'. If you are an art lover looking for historic and atmospheric lodgings in the Pisa area, this is a place that we heartily recommend
1 bedroom • 1 bathroom • sleeps 4
“History at its best.” It is a while since my last review on the basis that if you can't say something nice say nothing at all. Finally though I have found something to shout about. Whilst I am not suggesting this facility suits all, if you are looking to enjoy the treasures of Northern Italy with its history and wonderful views then why not stay in your own historical establishment while you do it. The process of booking the apartment is a delight as Donatella makes you feel like you are a member of her family with nothing too much trouble. I asked for help in booking a concert locally during our stay and received back not only availability but also when, where and how to get the tickets. (when we arrived we found out that Donatella was attending the same concert so she collected our tickets for us and also accompanied us to the concert driving us both there and back. The apartment is situated close to the main line station giving you access to Florence, Siena and Pisa to name but a few, you are picked up from the airport by Donatella or her husband (free of charge) so a hire car is not strictly necessary and if you want to explore there are bikes available as part of the package, a word of warning if like me you are not a regular bike rider the saddle on the mountain bike can and in my case did cause ongoing pain/damage, although I will add that I did grin and bear it on 3 separate occasions. I have been home now for a few weeks and finally I am starting to sit down with out making a strange face. I mentioned earlier that this apartment might not suit all because there is no pool or facilities for children apart from the lovely gardens but the experience of touching history in this manner can only be viewed as memorable. The story of the restoration puts a little in doubt the sanity of the owners but you end up in awe of them as you realise the enormity of the task they have taken on. What has been achieved is nothing short of magical but the journey is still a long way from completion. We are helping a little by returning in November to once again be consumed by history, but this time I am taking with me padded cycling shorts.
San Giovanni alla Vena castle
2 bedrooms • 1 bathroom • sleeps 6