Italian Virgins (Bucks, U.K.)
As a family we travel far and wide but this was our first visit to Italy. Dennis started our holiday off by sending us fantastic instructions on how to find Calcinaia which as we had discovered was a gift as sat nav is not the most reliable in Italy. We hired a family saloon car as we had no plans to try and drive in the Italian towns themselves but be advised if you wish to travel into Florence etc you will need a very small car! We had seen that some visitors to Calcinaia had advised a 4 by 4 but we did not find this necessary.
Gilly and Dennis were there to welcome us and helped us to settle in. Gilly had provided a "welcome basket" which included all the staples to take us through our first night and morning so no need to rush out and find a supermarket (the usual nightmare when renting a villa in a strange place.) Not only do you not have to rush off but Dennis has put together a fantastic folder of information that will help you find the local supermarkets, best restaurants, local areas of interest and all the necessary information about the house itself.
We had some fantastic nights around the outdoor table drinking, eating and socializing! One of the highlights was having the chefs come in to cook for us. We had a demonstration on pasta making which we all enjoyed. They bring all the food and wine needed so it's even better than going out to dinner. The pool was beautifully clean with lots of sun loungers and outdoor shower. Rather lovely having the pool to ourselves rather than as is often the case having to share it with others. The property was cleaned on the Saturdays and all the linen was replaced. The surrounding Italian countryside is beautiful and Anghiari was in my daughters words "a scene from Twilight."
We all enjoyed spending time with Gilly and Dennis plus the lovely Scotty and Carina (their dogs) who were just as friendly and welcoming as their owners. A return visit to Calcinaia is in order as we met so many lovely new people and stayed in such a wonderful villa. Next time we are going to convince some good friends to come with us!