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Owner

Member since: 2005
Speaks English, Spanish, Italian

Bell' Estate

People12
Bedrooms 5
Bathrooms3
Separate WC's1
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 7 nights

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Overview

Photos and Description of this 5 bedroom holiday villa in Lucca - BELL'ESTATE

Villa, 4 Bedrooms, 3.25 Baths, (Sleeps 10)

The villa, built in the 1870’s, sits on top of a hill overlooking green fields and vineyards towards the south and west. On a property of about five acres, the garden offers complete privacy, and a variety of walks and quiet places.

This villa is not just a rental place, but the actual residence of academics, who have filled with an extensive collection of books and texts. It is a unique pleasure to immerse oneself in the quiet of this cultural oasis, away from loud crowds and everyday bustle.

Only ten minutes from the center of Lucca, the surroundings are open farmland,protected by the Cultural Landmarks commission, with a church on a higher hill and farms and villas to dot the landscape. The area offers the best of what Tuscany is known and loved for: an unforgettable countryside, a beautiful medieval town full of art and precious boutiques, Summer festivals with opera and concerts, amazing wines, and of course renowned and unknown restaurants that will give great pleasure to those who appreciate the simple flavors of Tuscan cuisine.

Keywords: Villa

More Details
Suitability:
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Owner
Member since: 2005
Speaks English, Spanish, Italian

About The Owner

I grew up in this house, and no matter where I am, a big chunk of my heart resides here.

The Owner purchased this villa in 1962

Reviews

Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(35 traveller reviews)
Bell' Estate
average rating of 4.571429 based on 35 reviews
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
5

Spectacular!

  • 5 of 5

The other reviewers have not exaggerated about this exquisite house and the lovely countryside surrounding it. The photos do not do it justice. It is larger and much more grand than it appears. It is stunningly beautiful inside and out. The views are incredible, and the peace and quiet were only interrupted by the sounds of the children playing in the pool.

As a group we totaled 4 adults and six children ranging in age from 6 to 14. The house was incredibly spacious. Had we wanted alone time, we could all ten of us have found it simultaneously. As it was, we spent most of our time in the well equipped and very pleasant kitchen, and in the pool. The kitchen looks small in the photos, and it is compared to the other rooms, but it's actually fairly big. My daughter baked a me a birthday cake from scratch in it! The pool is spectacularly large, perfect for the kids to play and for the adults to swim laps - sometimes at the same time! The house has air-conditioning in two of the 5 bedrooms, and screens on many of the windows - luxuries you don't find in many houses in Italy. All of the other bedrooms have fans. The three full bathrooms upstairs were completely adequate for all of us. The smallest bathroom is actually ensuite with one of the air-conditioned bedrooms. I liked the privacy that entailed and also the fact that I wasn’t taking over a larger bathroom from the rest of our party. The bedrooms are enormous, and the beds are very comfortable. The house was cleaned every other day which was wonderful considering how large it is, and that there were 10 of us. The washing machine worked perfectly and made it possible for us to travel lightly. There is also a ping pong table outside! The owner's very thorough guide about the house and the area was an invaluable resource. We took advantage of many of her recommendations.

This was our first trip to Tuscany, and the house and surrounding area couldn’t have been more perfect for our two families. I was not at all ready to leave after one week, and I would love to come back and see it in every season. If you’re a large group, I highly recommend staying here. It may seem a bit expensive, but split in half by two families (who in a hotel would need at least two rooms each) it’s really quite reasonable, especially for what you get!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 26, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Boston, MA
5

Charming Historic Country House in Northern Tuscany

  • 5 of 5

This lovely, elegant country house was a perfect base for our extended family's trip to Lucca and Northern Tuscany. We loved the way its historic details (e.g., carrara marble sink with brass fixtures in the kitchen, wooden shutters on windows, etc.) have been preserved carefully in renovations. Ten of us fit here comfortably in five bedrooms on the second floor. The 90' long pool offers total privacy. A well appointed kitchen and herb garden allowed us to prepare a wonderful meal that we ate outdoors on a long table under a large Linden tree. Lucca is a 10 minute drive away and worth several days of sightseeing. Florence is an hour away by car or train. Pisa and the beach resort Viareggio are closer. The touristy Tuscan hill towns south of Florence were too far out of reach, so we spent a day north of Lucca, heading toward the Alps, and discovered the beautiful, unspoiled tiny hill town of Castiglione di Garfagnana, about a 15 minute drive north of Castelnuovo, in terrain that is more verdant and lush rather than arid and brown. This villa is the perfect place for lovers of old houses in romantic, natural surroundings.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 23, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1

Avoid

  • 1 of 5

Pool was good but could not swim after 6.30 because of the mosquitos. There were only 4 proper deck chairs to lie down on for a party if 10 . There were no toilets near the pool so in order to relieve onself you had to walk back to the villa which was a fair distance away.

Kitchen was small - only enough to acommodate 4-5 people though there were 6 chairs there but if one wanted to cook and wash you had to ask someone to get up in order to move around. The cutlary in the kitchen was sticky and so were all the handles for drawers etc. The drawers were falling apart with nails sticking out.

2 of the bedrooms had comfortable beds but the rest of the beds in the other rooms were creaking.

The big window on the 1st floor where the rooms are had a net fixed on it but the net was torn so we could not open the window for fresh air with the fear that the mosquitos would come in. Sonia was aware of this problem but obviously had not got it fixed.

The bathrooms were really small and there is no way one could dress themselves up in there after a shower. The shower tray in one of them was clogged with water seeping out on the bathroom floor.

The chairs in the garden were filthy and soiled.

Mosquitos are a huge problem . I have travelled a lot across Italy and stayed in all sorts of places but have never come across a place so infested with bugs ,ants and mosquitos. The owners need to do something about it.

Overall not a villa I would recommend to anyone

  • Review Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1

Avoidable!

  • 1 of 5

We went to the villa with very high expectations and I reckon that is where we went wrong. To put it objectively, the villa is not bad but needs some serious TLC to make it comfortable.

- Kitchen: As with most families that is the heart of all gatherings. It was way too small for 10 guests and the table in the kitchen made it impossible to manoeuvre around. The kitchen is dated with broken cupboards and dirty crockery and cutlery.

-Bathrooms: The plan sent by the owner shows 3 bathrooms and there are 3 but 2 of them are just thin galleys. We were all average sized people and just about managed to move about in the bathroom and the tight shower space.

- Mosquitoes: Biggest deterrent for us. Understandably a problem in Tuscany at this time BUT there are solutions like sprays etc which we know are used in many good resorts in the far East where the problem with the Mosquitoes is way more than Europe.

The biggest put off has been the attitude of the owner when these problems and others were addressed by fellow guests in the past. Her replies have been no less than rude and sometimes personal. Makes me wonder if she will ever want to improve the situation. I have not even listed the dated and dusty furniture, uncomfortable creaky beds in rooms other than the master bedrooms.

To finish on a somewhat positive note, the pool is a huge positive but could not be used after 6.30pm due to the midges and Mosquitoes. The cleaning service thrice in the week is also a big plus.

If the owner listens to the feedback and makes changes this can actually be a great place to vacation but I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND it in it's current state. I wish I had the chance of reading more honest reviews before booking, which I fear have not made it!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 20, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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3

Overall 3/5. Some minor improvements by the owner would make a decent difference.

  • 3 of 5

Note to the owner of the villa, Alessandra: Please take my review in the manner in which it is meant – objective, balanced, with both positive and negative points, and suggestions for improvement. This is nothing personal – you and I haven’t even met.

Overall (3/5)

- This is a decent “three star” equivalent villa in terms of the quality of its facilities (kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas) and its practicability and convenience – for that “three star” quality, it is overpriced. I have not done a detailed comparison of prevailing prices of other accommodation in Lucca or Tuscany or Italy etc. but we have stayed in many villas around the world over the years and I believe the sum of those experiences gives me a reasonable feel of “value for money”.

- There are pros and cons to staying in an old country house. The pros include the charming elements of the house e.g. big size, heavy wooden bolted doors, shuttered windows, antiques and mementos collected over generations by the family etc. The cons are that there is poor natural light, low circulation in a number of areas in the house, dated facilities, poor plumbing (kitchen, bathrooms). Depending on one’s perspective, the house either has a “charming, rustic” feel or a “tired, needs updating” feel – that is purely subjective, and I want to avoid subjectivity/emotion in this review.

I can't submit my whole review on this website - it is too long. The full review can be found on Tripadvisor if you search for "Bell'Estate Vacation Villa" in Lucca - my review name is AkshayS

  • Review Submitted: Aug 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: First a bit of background: This guest wrote his first review on TripAdvisor, calling the house "Homely, not Luxury" and giving it four stars. I answered that review basically saying that it's profoundly unfair to complain about characteristics of the house that were well known to him before booking. To my mind, if you accept the terms of an agreement, and there was no false advertisement, then you have forfeited the right to complain about those very terms. He says in this review that there is nothing personal or emotional, and yet, somehow, the stars are now 3 rather than 4. This leads me to believe that he was annoyed at my response, and this was petty payback. I don't want to enter into a war with this person. We all have our hangups. So I will address this response to future guests only. If you are a person who values shiny, spanking new things over historic ones, please don't come. If you are a person who expects the amenities of the Ritz-Carlton, please don't come. If you define luxury in terms of size of electronic gadgets, and push-of-a-button climate control, please don't come. If you are a person who does not understand the work and care that lies behind an olive grove, or the simple pleasure of picking a tomato still warm from the sun and popping it in your mouth, or cooking dinner with vegetables you just picked from the garden.. if in your mind this does not register as luxury in today's world, please don't come. Anybody else, we wait for you with open arms!
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4

Homely not luxury

  • 4 of 5

Depending on your expectations, this place is going to either wow you or leave you slightly disappointed.

The description of luxury is a subjective one and changes with time. Having stayed at newer properties around the world, I think its questionable whether the home is still in the luxury category as bathrooms are small, furniture needs updating, a/c not everywhere, kitchen on the smallish side, wifi not throughout property etc, etc. The only reasons there is a debate at all are the undoubted luxury of the pool and the grounds. I would also add that all these facts were known to us before we booked, but having read past reviews the shortfalls seemed somehow very understated.

As a family home it is first class. I can understand the pride of the owners and am slightly envious of them. Family homes tend to have imperfections which add to the charm and in this case, rustic feel. Anyone looking for this kind of experience is going to be very pleased.

The owners themselves were very responsive and Alessandra was a joy to communicate with. She even called from New York to make sure we were settled in properly. Sonia was less available than we had anticipated, though she was able to orientate us very thoroughly. She also organised the cleaning etc very well.

Though totally out of the owners control, the mosquitos were a problem to us. It made it very difficult to sit outside especially in the evenings even though we used repellents and other such measures. That was probably the biggest let down, and may have changed the whole mood of the party.

I dont know what the owners could do, but they should give this some thought as other reviewers have mentioned the problem. Perhaps consider citric plants, insecticides, nets, check drains or other areas that might attract mosquitos, etc.

In summary, this is a flawed luxury property making it a fine family home.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Location

Nearest Airport
30 Kilometres
Pisa Airport (PSA)
Nearest Barpub
500 Metres
Alla Canitna di Carignano
Nearest Train
6 Kilometres
Lucca Train Station
Nearest Motorway
4 Kilometres
A-11 / E76
Nearest Beach
20 Kilometres
Viareggio
Car: necessary

ARRIVAL POLICY: Since this house is not a hotel, we unfortunately do not have flexibility for your arrival time. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR TRAVEL PLANS TO ENSURE THAT YOU ARRIVE AT THE HOUSE BETWEEN 4PM AND 7PM. You cannot arrive earlier, because we need time to prepare the house for you. You cannot arrive later, because a person who does not live on the premises will be sent specifically to meet you, and this person is not available after hours. If there is a chance that you might arrive late, you should make plans to stay at a hotel and arrive the following day. You will not be reimbursed for the cost of the hotel. This applies also in case of a delay that is beyond your control, such as a flight cancellation, or a train strike. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we cannot accommodate late arrival under any circumstances.

Photos

Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Lucca, Piana di Lucca

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
EUR
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
 
High Season 10 Guests
25 Jun 2016 - 2 Sep 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
£4,097
for 7 nights
£4,097
 
Notes: Rates are based on 10 guests; add £60 per night, per additional guest
 
Mid-Season
3 Sep 2016 - 4 Nov 2016
7 night minimum stay
£3,585
for 7 nights
£3,585
 
 
Low Season
5 Nov 2016 - 16 Dec 2016
7 night minimum stay
£2,731
for 7 nights
£2,731
 
 
Holiday Season
17 Dec 2016 - 6 Jan 2017
7 night minimum stay
£4,097
for 7 nights
£4,097
 
 
Low Season
7 Jan 2017 - 31 Mar 2017
7 night minimum stay
£2,731
for 7 nights
£2,731
 
 
Mid Season
1 Apr 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
£3,585
for 7 nights
£3,585
 
 
High Season
1 Jul 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
£4,097
for 7 nights
£4,097
 
 
Mid Season
2 Sep 2017 - 3 Nov 2017
7 night minimum stay
£3,585
for 7 nights
£3,585
 
 
Low Season
4 Nov 2017 - 15 Dec 2017
7 night minimum stay
£2,731
for 7 nights
£2,731
 
 
Holiday Season
16 Dec 2017 - 12 Jan 2018
7 night minimum stay
£4,097
for 7 nights
£4,097
 
 
My Standard Rate

Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
£3,585
for 7 nights
£3,585
 

Additional pricing information

A 500 Euro cash security deposit is due upon arrival, and will be returned at the end of the stay if nothing is found missing or damaged.

The Villa can be either for 10 guests or for 16 guests. Please ask for rates for 16 guests

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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Facilities

Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Lucca in Tuscany

Property Type:
  • villa
Meals:
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 5000 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • rural ...
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
General:
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace
Kitchen:
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 12 people
Bathrooms:
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bidet , This bathroom is not ensuite to any bedroom
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet , This bathroom is not ensuite to any bedroom
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet , This bathroom can be en-suite to bedroom 5
    Bathroom 4 - Toilet , Bidet , Powder room on the First Floor
  • The main villa has 3. 5 bathrooms. The dépendance down the hill has two bathrooms in the two-bedroom apartment, and two and a half baths in the three-bedroom apartment.
Bedrooms:
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Bedroom 5 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , The Blue Room has a rather narrow en-suite bathroom
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Large Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , Can be made either as 1 queen or as 2 twins
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Large Double Bed , The Horses Room
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed , 2 Single Bed , Can be made either as 1 queen or as 2 twins
    Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed , Antique four-poster bed
  • The main bedroom floor has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. Pending availability, there is a house within the same compound, only 80m. away, that has two more guest apartments, one with three bedrooms, and one with two bedrooms. Rates available upon request.
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
Outside:
  • Balcony
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
Suitability:
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
Attractions:
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • Rock Climbing
  • ski
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes:
Maid services included 3 times/week, 25-meter (81-foot) swimming pool in completely private area, walking distance to river park with jogging and bicycle trails,25 minutes to the the beach, 1.5 hours to the hiking trails of the Apennines and Alpi Apuane, 45 minutes to Florence

Partner Offers

 
Portable wifi hotspot

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