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Reviewed 31 July 2012

We traveled in Italy in the summer of 2011 with kids, and another family (also with kids). We did not do the booking, so I have no idea how the accommodations were represented on the European website our friends used.

But, we were all quite surprised when we called to get directions - after having driven back and forth on the SS12 road and not finding any signs. We were told to pull our vehicle into a tiny little pull-off and the proprietor would come to get us. The road to L'Ivogne off the main road is a winding, twisting, STEEP half kilometer. It is accessible only by a small vehicle with 4 wheel drive and a driver with the nerves of steel to attempt it. Francesca came down with a little white SUV to meet us. It took several trips to ferry 8 people and all their luggage up to the top of the hill. In the end, we had to keep our vehicle parked down at the bottom of the hill and walk back and forth.

We were there to do a lot of sight-seeing, and starting out our day with a walk down the hill in the refreshing morning air was lovely. Trundling tired, overheated kids and bags back up the hill after a day of sightseeing was a chore. We attempted it once in the dark, and from then on made it a point to be back before sunset each night. Other reviewers (Italian) have stated that they called and had the proprietors fetch them up and down. We did when we had a lot of stuff to carry, and once or twice when the kids were just exhausted. We found that it's really tough to stop in the middle of the route and load up passengers - there are only a couple of strategic spots along the way, and by the time the first group of passengers had been driven up and off-loaded, the rest of the group was more than halfway up, and just hiked it. On the plus side, I LOST weight while on vacation - something that never happens usually!

Once there, we were pleased to find a lovely stone farmhouse. The views are beautiful, there was a pool that the kids had a blast in. You can occasionally hear the bells in the church of the town down the road. You are perched up on a hillside, and it's a lovely spot for those seeking respite from the summer heat and the tourist crowds. The owners keep llamas that are fun to watch. The rooms are comfortable and clean. Plentiful towels, and we never ran out of warm water.

We ended up using the apartment with a separate entrance for ourselves and our 2 kids. It was a gorgeous little place, and we enjoyed sleeping under the old wooden beams and watching the stars through the open skylights. Be aware that the pull-out couch described in the write-up for that apartment folds out to a twin-size bed - our 7 and 10 year olds did okay piled on one another for a week, but 2 adults will not fit! Also, the ceilings in that bathroom are low, as the bath is tucked into the eaves. If you are taller than 6 feet - opt for rooms in the main part of the house with lovely high ceilings. Our German friends had originally booked two other rooms in the main part of the house for them and their children. Because of the way the spaces are laid out, they were offered a room on the second level and a room on the third. Fine for adults or older kids, but not workable for the little kids they were traveling with. A quick negotiation on price and they took just the larger room and wedged a trundle mattress on the floor next to their bed for their 3 and 5 year olds.

We opted to do the bed and breakfast option, and not pay for dinner with the rooms. There is a large dining room that is is communal. Breakfast is plentiful, but the same each day. After a few days, we began bringing our own add-ons down to breakfast to add a little variety. There was an Austrian family there at the same time who did do the dinner options, and what they were served looked great as we passed through now and then. There is a large downstairs kitchen that you can use to cook your own meals if you wish. We did have one conflict with the owners, who were rather insistent that the customers who were "paying" to eat dinner not be inconvenienced at the dining table by our cooking and eating our own meal.

Overall, I would say that it depends what you are looking for. For Americans, I would say get everything spelled out in writing, and be sure to let them know the ages of all who are traveling to be sure the spaces are what you need. If what you want is a relaxing hide-away, then enjoy L'Ivogne and all it's charms. If you are looking for a convenient place to use as a base for exploring Northern Tuscany, look for something closer to a major town, as the driving (and the walking) to get to places like Lucca and Florence will take up a lot of travel time.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2018 via mobile
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Stayed: January 2018, travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017
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Room Tip: Ho soggiornato solo una notte , ho visto solo una stanza ma penso che siano tutte deliziose
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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