Ah Heart of Tuscany. You could be amazing, you could be the best place ever with a little extra effort.
My main problem with Heart of Tuscany/Leonardo's Land is the service level. This place is run like a hostel, yes it does have a hostel attached but not everyone is requiring a basic service level so finding a half used roll of toilet paper, and cheap toilet paper at that, old soap bottle filled with water and a used bar of soap with hair on, no towels in the room is inexcusable. When you get the towels from reception you'll find they are definitely not freshly cleaned plump ones. The breakfast is vile, lukewarm coffee served from an old kettle and sweet cereals.
The reception/lounge/dining area is the only place where you can use the wifi. It is not open all day and you must ask for drinks, service is not always prompt, there are no snacks. Ludicrous given the location (30 min walk to nearest town) and do they not want to make money?! The dinner, again you must book in advance, is served late in the evening and is a limited choice. Not to my taste. The "stolen grapes" wine is fantastic but the authenticity of the story I would question - regardless drink away.
The grounds are fabulous and the views fantastic. The rooms are rustic but romantic and I believe were for the workers so there are little kitchens in all - which will come in useful believe me! The pool is absolutely stunning, breathtaking and the best thing about this place, one of the best views you will ever see.
If you are relying on transportation from Heart of Tuscany you have one bus to Empoli station at 10am and one bus from Empoli back at 7pm. You must book these in advance. You get 2 free uses of the bus and after that you have to pay €12 each way - keep this in mind when you're being advised to visit the local shoe market or some such place.
Guido (the owner) is a lovely host but I do wish he would kick the service level up a gear. A few simple touches would make this place one of the best places to stay in Tuscany.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Fattoria di Villa Rossa is situated in the hills of Montalbano, with incomparable views of the valley below, close to Florence, Livorno, Pisa, Montecatini and Pistoia. Just 7 kilometres down the road you can find Vinci, home town of the great Leonardo. Set in the middle of 65 hectares of olive groves and woods, Villa Rossa is a self-contained hamlet, with "cottages" of varying sizes, surrounding the main villa. Each "cottage" has been completely restored. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Heart Of Tuscany Hostel Lamporecchio, Italy