Stay: Campo agli olivi, Radda in Chianti, Tuscany

Agriturismo is a chance to be able to live more like the local. Often in a local farmhouse not to far from a small town also known as a rural retreat. Many people opt for this chance as I have a couple of times. This year in Radda in chianti, Tuscany. Agriturismo often is classified as a farmhouse but not necessarily at a real farm at least not in Italy, but you will find many italian agriturismos at wine farms.

the main building

the main building

by night - apartment giardino

by night – apartment Giardino and the entrance coming from Radda town

Our house was just an old farmhouse now converted into holiday apartments. Campo agli olivi has three apartments to let. One in the main building (where we stayed, this is the bigger one) and two in the oldest farm building which dates back to the 1300th. All three apartments are for 2/4 person as they all have 2 bedrooms. All apartments also come with their own private outer area and a common pool area.

apartment Oliva the sitting room entrance/exit

apartment Oliva the sitting room entrance/exit

Kitchen area

Kitchen area

a huge living room with its own library and a big dining table - would love to have this one at home

a huge living room with its own library and a big dining table – would love to have this one at home

sitting area, been updated with a new leather sofa

sitting area, been updated with a new leather sofa

our bedroom - one of two. The second one has two single beds

our bedroom – one of two. The second one has two single beds

pool area - not heated but still good on a warm day

pool area – not heated but still good on a warm day

The city center of Radda is up the hill 200 meters. In a good distance to both the mandatory gelato store and the many restaurants. The location is perfect in this matter.

Radda view

This is the town of Radda seen from the pool area of Campo Agli Olivi and the area with the parasols is Apartment Terrazza

This year my whole family were traveling together. The whole shebang. All 7, divided in to two groups we had two apartments. We got the big one called Oliva apartment.

Entrance Apartment Oliva

Entrance Apartment Oliva

Oliva comes with a secluded outdoor space - beware of the sprinklers that come on at early morning/night - everything gets soaked

Oliva comes with a secluded outdoor space – beware of the sprinklers that come on at early morning/night – everything gets soaked

 

On the day of arrival we was greeted by Nise, who runs the place. She lives on the upper floor of our apartment with her mother – la patron. Her mother a super cute Italian mama,  who gave us her whole life story – IN ITALIAN!. Did I mention that my italiano is poco? But none the less, I managed to understand that she was a widow, for over 40 years and raised her two little girl all by her self with no family.

She told us that family is very important and that I should definitely get married – any time soon (this part is where my boyfriend cringes and my parents cry of laughter and nods in agreement) In addition to these things she also tells us how her beloved husband dies and that she just had an accident and ruined all of her teeth – W.O.W I guess my Italian is not that shabby after all.

Pool area by night - enlighten

Pool area by night – enlighten

campo agli olivi

the entrance coming from town

the entrance coming from town

I enjoyed my stay here for our fortnight but I have a few reservations that made the experience a little less enjoyable.

As I said we were traveling together 7 people and one of them, a girl of 8 years. No need to say that she loved the pool area and would, if allowed be living in the water day and night. Children make noise, especially when playing. As do grown ups. I do not consider us a noisy group and we behaved well – not staying up all night, or making any uncomfortable with loud fights or such things.

Still me managed to get hushed by, not only once but several times – mostly by the pool area.

And the first story we got from the owner was that the previous “camper” have had 2 children that were all over and being noisy and difficult. How do you respond to that?

My understanding after visiting is more like – they don’t have children of their own and may have forgotten that children make noise. Good noise, when playing. If this is such a big annoyance to them they probably should state so, that children is not wanted in their apartments.

To be honest the neighbors dog made more and more often noise than we did. My parents have visited this apartments two years earlier and were quite shocked by the hushing and the unwillingness of the play. My sister got hushed to for splashing to loud! T.

So to be said – if you are a couple in need of a quiet little place, this might be it. If you have children stay clear! If I ever go back to Radda I will never stay at this place again given the behavior of the owners. I would rather look into some of the hotels up i town. It looked like there were many nice ones there.

 

 

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Stay: Villa Olmi Resort, Florence

We packed our bags and headed for Florence for a few nights. Our hotel of choice was this time Villa Olmi Resort. It is located about 4km outside the city center but the hotel offers free shuttle bus to and from the city center. If you choose to go by taxi it is about € 20-30 (june,2014)

Villa Olmi is a beautiful 4 star resort wich includes a villa, a farmhouse and a rural house set in a big beautiful garden.

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They served an intercontinental breakfast but ours were not included in the total price. This is also where they serve lunch and dinner. The resort has a small swimmingpool with lovely sourroundings not to far away from the bar.

Every room has its own private bubblebath that left you wonderful relaxed before bedtime. Nice hotel rooms but they were not sound proof and much of the sounds around came through and were disturbing.

All in all a great stay if only a little closer to town and a little less noise.

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48 hours on Crete

That is all I get, to go visit my greek Island. After a 6,5 hours layover in Athens we board back up on our flight to Heraklion, Crete. Get picked up by minibus and head for an hour drive east to Elounda bay. This year to the pitch black and just in time for the closing of the restaurants.

The private pool area by night.

The private pool area by night.

Elounda Bay Palace is an luxe resort with great customer service and lovely surroundings. It is listed as a 5 star hotel and resort and has its own private beaches, spa and many hectares with gardens. You can even get your own yacht club house here. if you only put down the cash.

It feels pretty much like paradise to get back here. This year was my third time. Still I was somewhat disappointed in some of their services this year. Although we were not the first to rise and shine in the morning we were not very late either. But still we had not the best room service and cleaning experiences. For such a place I expect it to be tip-top. For instance the outer area was nowhere to have been washed. Even if it was covered in degrees from last night windy experience. For this type of hotel I expect this kind of service. And no one seem to mind that one of my complimentary fruit baskets contained a molded orange. Disappointing.

Maybe I expect to much and have to high standards. But to me this is something I expect to be done in a 5 star resort. Especially when you have an upgraded room. Their room haven’t changed any this last year. And for the superior suites it is probably time to think of an upgrading of the bathrooms. Still I love my days here at Elounda. Picky or not. We spend most of our time around the compound, at the beach or at many of their restaurants.

my superior room with private pool

my superior room with private pool

one of the private beaches and the sailor bar

one of the private beaches and the sailor bar

at the sailor bar - our daily lunch rutine

at the sailor bar – our daily lunch rutine

mmm. strawberries and chocolate - one of my weakness. And if you order any Prosecco them come complimentary

mmm. strawberries and chocolate – one of my weakness. And if you order any Prosecco them come complimentary

although we usually go out to eat every night, this year we stayed put at the resort. And I had the opportunity to try out two new restaurants over at the Elounda Bay Beach compound. The food served was as always very lovely and good. Bringing some ideas and request is seldom a problem. They do their very best to make your stay just as you would like it. Their service staff is excellent and remembered us from previous years. That´s kinda cute.

Eating lunch at our regular place - Ariadne, a classic seaside taverna with dellish greek food

Eating lunch at our regular place – Ariadne, a classic seaside tavern with delicious greek food. Here we explain the waiters to make us some grilled feta cheese. Not on the menu though.

starters at Dionysos - mediterian cuisine

starters at Dionysos – pricey but delicious 

Dinner at Dionysos - oh so good

Dinner at Dionysos – oh so good

view from argonaut restaurant. They served Italian cuisine

view from argonaut restaurant. They served Italian cuisine so delightful and peaceful

I think Elounda bay Palace and Elounda bay Beach can offer anything you need. Unfortunately I did not get to test their spa this year as planned. I wanted to spend my short time with my travel mates and enjoy the short time we had. But who knows maybe I´ll be back next year.

Interested in a royal yachting residence - It can be yours

Interested in a royal yachting residence – It can be yours