We had a great time in the big house at Villa Bonicelli. Thank you.
Everything was perfect. Everyone was extremely helpful and friendly and the house was in nearly every way much better than we'd expected. Often holiday houses are rather over-sold on the internet - and that's okay, really - but in your case I think the house is under-sold, which is great. It was bigger, more comfortable and more atmospheric than we'd dared to expect. It was also cooler. (It was very kind of you to open up the wine cellar, which was a very comfortable room to write in, although on this occasion we managed to resist the temptation to open the wine ...)
We had a great time. The welcome pack was exactly that - welcoming and useful - and the information (and map) proved extremely handy. We ate out four times, once in Bologna, and the local restaurants came up trumps. We particularly liked La Pioppa outside Villa Minozzo where we stopped on our way back from conquering the Pietra de Bismàntova. The baker's at Quara was a firm favourite and they did us a fabulous birthday cake for Nicole (6). Such a good cake, probably a good idea to order one, birthday or not! The river was also a bit hit with the children, who enjoyed clambering, collecting pretty pebbles and swimming in the deeper pools. The museum and castle at Montefiorino were also marvellous.
We drove into Bologna once - we caught the train in from Castelfranco in fact - but that was so I could relive John Berger's book 'The Red Tenda of Bologna' and buy two metres of dark red linen from Pasquini's. Which I did!
My daughter's family stayed an extra night to catch a Sunday flight home. They spent Saturday at the public pool in Toano which they liked a lot, and then stayed in Maranello and visited the Ferrari museum. This was a huge success, although it did include my son-in-law - with two children strapped to the back seats - driving a Ferrari at 200 km/hr along the autostrada. Quite.
I am sending all this because we failed to complete the feedback form - which is odd because we'd kind of discussed it and were almost looking forward to doing it. Maybe it was too much like finishing the holiday early. So sorry about that. Maybe we'd have used an electric kettle and a coffee percolator had these been available. But we used nearly everything else and enjoyed the experience enormously.
What a wonderful find! Tucked away in a little hamlet in the hills, our family group of 9 (ranging from 10 months to 70 years) had a lovely, relaxing week at L'Antico Palazzo. We took a bit of a gamble on the location as we didn't know the area at all, but if you are looking for a quiet getaway, far from busy towns and roads this is the perfect place. The views were stunning from the terrace, the front rooms of the house and the pool. The house was very spacious - in fact we didn't use the living room at all as we spent all our time on the terrace (which is next to the kitchen). There were plenty of bathrooms/shower rooms which was great with a large group. The top floor was perfect for a family of four with two interconnecting rooms and large bathroom. There are a further two lovely double rooms and a twin room you have to walk through to get to the other rooms (perhaps more suitable for children as not much privacy). The area is very quiet, but there are small towns not far away (the nearest is 5 mins by car and has enough shops to top up your food supplies for the week). The property manager organized a cooking course for us with a local chef, which was great! We couldn't find the exact location of the property on Google maps or on our sat nav, but the directions given to us by the property manager were excellent. Note that the house is not exactly in the town of Toano itself (it's about 7 kms away from memory!). Overall a very enjoyable stay and great value for money too.
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