La Casa Toscana – Tuscany Corner (English Version)

As soon as Tuscany was set as our holiday destination, I started searching for a dogfriendly holiday flat for Rosa, Jan and me. It took some time until I found what I was looking for, but again it became apparent that a long search is worth the trouble, because we found the perfect accomodation in Pisa Province. La Casa Toscana – Tuscany Corner saved our vacation at various points – therefore we pronounce a clear recommendation.

The expectations

When I am looking for a holiday flat on the internet, there are some general criteria the flat has to fulfil – apart from the essential aspects like When?, Where? and How much?, because the budget, the area and the period of vacation have to be set before. It was important to us to have the flat for ourselves, ✓ that it contains a kitchen, ✓ that WLAN is available and that the host accepts pets. ✓

I pay a lot of attention to the look of an accomodation. If the pictures of the flat don’t persuade me, I won’t book it. For being comfortable, I need a bright, cosy and clean holiday residence.

My expectations and criteria got fulfilled by La Casa Toscana – Tuscany Corner, that I found on an internet platform. The cover picture of the flat caught my eye: A terrace with a Tuscany overlooking view at sunset! Soon it was certain: that is our holiday flat!

The location

The village: Siberia, Crespina

La Casa Toscana is a typical Italian house with a garden in the small village of Siberia. This village is situated in Crespina Commune and Province Pisa in the heart of Tuscany. From the flat it is approximately 30 minutes to Pisa, 45 minutes to Lucca, 1 hour to Pistoia, 1 ¼ hours to Florence, 1 ¼  hours to San Gimignano and 1 hour to the well-known dog beach of San Vincenzo (by car). It only takes 15 minutes to reach supermarkets and a veterinarian (Lavoria).

As a holidaymaker you have some peace and quiet in Siberia. Only the dogs around let you know that you’re not alone, and they sometimes arrange a howling concert. Apart from that, you can relax in the holiday flat and unwind. The location on top of a hill, with a Tuscany overlooking view, is unique. There is another flat inside the house that is occupied by the host, who respects privacy.

The host

Eleonora Satta is the owner and therefore host of La Casa Toscana. She lives there together with 12 year old crossbreed dog Lola, whom she found in the garbage, and Vasco, an 8 year old crossbreed dog, whom she found on the streets of France. Before even coming to Italy, we chatted a lot via WhatsApp. The communication was no problem at all, for Eleonora is fluent in English.

Eleonora and Vasco in front of La Casa Toscana, Jan’s car is on the parking area

Above all, Eleonora is very obliging. She was open for our questions 24/7 and suggested day trips, beautiful beaches, shopping facilities or pizzerias, whenever we asked for it. She also offered to take care of Rosa, if Jan and I would have wanted to go on a day trip. As she is a dog trainer, I would have entrusted Rosa to her at any time. After all, Eleonora is close to animals and nature. She keeps herself busy with the dogs and the environment. Together we had some really interesting conversations.

There is one thing I give Eleonora credit for the most: she didn’t hesitate a second and took me and sick Rosa to the vet. There she served as an interpreter and mental succour. I really felt comfortable!

General information

View from the upper terrace – stunning!

La Casa Toscana – Tuscany Corner has room for up to four people and a toddler. The flat ranges from the first to the second floor. The entrance is (gravel) road-facing and there is a parking area right in front of the house. The house itself is situated in a dead-end street. Most of the houses around are not occupied.

Entering through the main entrance, you have to go upstairs to reach the door of the flat. Behind that door lies a staircase with  15 steps, leading to the first floor. Another staircase with 13 steps and a 90° turn leads to the upper floor. Both are relatively narrow but should be no problem for a healthy dog. If you want, you can shut down the door to the second staircase.

On the left: staircase to the first floor – On the right: staircase to the upper floor
The WLAN-repeater

The flat is equipped with good working internet (WLAN). The wireless connection didn’t range to the upper floor, so Jan and I bought a WLAN-repeater that we gave to Eleonora. Now the connection ranges upstairs without a problem. Something, the next guests will profit by.

A plug socket with a adapter

The plug sockets are type L. Most of the Italian electronic devices are type F, therefore there are some adapters in the flat. We didn’t need to bring one from Germany.

During warmer months, you can open windows and doors without being afraid of mosquitos, because all of them are equipped with fly screens. It is also possible, to darken all the rooms, for there are shutters everywhere. Reverse you’re not cold during colder months, because there are heaters. On arrival, the flat was very tidy and clean.

Dog friendliness

There are a few points that Eleonora requires, if you want to bring your dog (after consulting with her you may bring more dogs): the dog(s) must be compatible (at least with human beings) and bitches shouldn’t be in heat.

Rosa liked the vacation, too

Concerning Rosa’s raw food diet, going on vacation means that I need a freezer. There is none in the flat! It was no problem at all, for the food was stored in Eleonora’s deep-freezer. (Meat and fish were still frozen after 24 hours for I put it into a styrofoam box. Two stainless steel dog bowls were part of the equipment.

Only allowed while on vacation: sleeping in the bed

Assuming that some dogs are allowed on couches and beds at home, Eleonora placed some blankets ready for use. Out of respect for future guests, you better use them to preserve the textiles.

There is no place for the dogs to run free near to the house. Anyway, Rosa was in the fenced garden of the host together with Lola and Vasco a couple of times. After consulting Eleonora, it may be possible to use a hose to clean up a dirty dog (towels are provided).

The first floor

The master bedroom

Once you reach the first floor, you can enter the master bedroom to the left. There are windows facing west. In the room you find a double bed with bedside tables, a dog bed and a chair. There are more dog beds in a chamber next-door. Bedclothes are included and can be changed after one week, if wished for. (To protect the environment, we waived that.)

The second bedroom

Opposite to the master bedroom is another one. There you find two single beds and a cot. A chair and a small table act as a storage place. In this room you also find a TV. The window is facing east – facing north is a door leading to the terrace.

The bathroom

Also facing west and having a window is the big bathroom with shower, WC, bidet and of course a washbasin. There are no hair sieves. A couple of towels, soap and toilet paper is provided, but you have to bring your own hairdryer. Once the shower was a whirpool but you can’t use it anymore (environment reasons). There are a few steps (e.g. into the shower).

The dressing room

The owner used a small corner room for a built-in-closet. One part of that is provided for the guests: there are four big drawers and a clothes rail with enough hangers. To reach these, there is a stepladder. Again there is a window in this room, facing north. There is still enough space to store the suitcases/bags and you can even find a broom.

The lower terrace

From two sides (second bedroom and corridor) you reach the completely roofed lower terrace. It faces north and east and therefore are perfect for a wind protected breakfast in the sun. There is a table with two chairs and two other (canvas) chairs (without cushions). Furthermore there is a deep washbasin (hot/cold water) where you can wash your (dog) clothes. There is also a clothes drying rack. Apart from that, Eleonora offered us to use her washing machine.

The second floor

The kitchen

Arriving on the upper floor, you enter directly into the open kitchen. There are windows facing north and west and the terrace door also faces west. Part of the kitchen are a big fridge (without a freezer), a small oven, a bar with two stools, a wall cupboard and a kitchenette with gas stove (four cooking places). The kitchen is equipped with most important things. Some spices (e.g. salt & pepper), coffee, tea, hostel-like left overs (e.g. noodles & rice) were there, too. The dishes are made of plastics and shatter-proof. On the second floor you also find a small table with prospects and flyers about the region.

Vinegar, oil, spices & the small oven
A part of the equipment

The upper terrace

The upper terrace is built round the corner of the house and therefore facing all cardinal directions – however mostly it faces west. You find yourself on top of the roof and have a great view over the other house’s roofs, a spaciously valley and Tuscany in the direction of Livorno and Pisa. Up there you find another table with chairs and part of the terrace is roofed. In the morning there is also sun. A hose is provided, too.

A short movie in German
The expenses & the booking

Booking via the internet platform, we payed 672,89 € for 13 nights.
Included were the fees for cleaning and service (internet platform). That’s approx. 52,- € for two persons and a dog. Anyway, the prices have risen. If you book via Eleonora directly, you pay these prices:

2 persons: 50,- € / night
Every other person: 25,- € / night
Bookings over 7 days: 8% discount
Bookings over 28 days: 10% discount
Cleaning fee: 30,- €
Dogs travel for free!

For further information and reservations you can contact Eleonora via e-mail: lolasatta[@]gmail.com

The conclusion

If I visited Tuscany again, I wouldn’t hestitate a second and book this flat again. We really felt comfortable at Eleonora’s place, the hospitality was sensible and Eleonora was making effort to fulfil our wishes. The holidays with dog were absolutely relaxing and we wanted for nothing.

Although the flat is designed for four persons, that would be too narrow for me. Especially when it’s cold outside and you have to sit inside, there wouldn’t be enough space for four persons to eat on the bar. In my opinion the flat is perfect for two adults with dogs and if so a toddler.

A holiday breakfast: sun, view, yummy food and a good book

Concerning the dishes, I didn’t like the plastics. On the other hand it’s very functional for it can’t be destroyed so easily. Our constructive critics, adding two more cups and a fire-proof casserole, were accepted by Eleonora.

Spending most of the time upstairs, we took the „canvas chairs“ upstairs. We were missing the cushions – sunloungers would have been even more perfect.

La Casa Toscana – Tuscany Corner is a small and comfortable oasis in the heart of the middle-Italian region. Even if we were not convinced of the mainland of Tuscany as a holiday destination with the dog, we would still 100% recommend the flat to you. The view from the upper terrace helped us getting over some disappointments. To sit there at the evening, holding a glass of wine and watching the sparkling lights of the cities, was a special experience. We will definately treasure Eleonora and her home!

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Rosa – Raus aus dem Tierheim, rein ins Leben
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Radiobeitrag zum Mera Care Award

Radiobeitrag zum Mera Care Award

Im Juli und August war Rosa auf dem Titel der Zeitschrift DOGS zu sehen. Ich hatte sie zuvor als „Helden Hund“ für den Mera Care Award beworben und sie hat nicht nur mich überzeugt. Bezugnehmend auf die Auszeichnung, fand ein Radiointerview statt, in dem ich der Schlenker pr GmbH & Co. KG Rede und Antwort stand. Auf vier Radiosendern (94.5 Radio Cottbus, Radio Bamberg, Radio Potsdam und Radio Mülheim) wurde der Beitrag nun ausgestrahlt und natürlich möchte ich ihn euch nicht vorenthalten:

Näheres zur Auszeichnung und den anderen Gewinnern findet ihr hier und auch ich habe in einem Blogbeitrag über den Gewinn berichtet.

Projekt: 300 Schritte in die Natur

300 Schritte in unserer geliebten Heimat. 300 Schritte – nur ein Bruchteil dessen, was wir sonst gemeinsam gehen. 300 Schritte und ein erschreckendes Resultat.

Rosa und ich haben es gewagt und genauer hingesehen: anstatt den Blick über die Felder und Wiesen schweifen zu lassen, haben wir Anfang Februar 2017 in die Gräben am Straßenrand geschaut und all‘ das aufgesammelt, was dort nichts zu suchen hat. Und das Ergebnis macht uns traurig… „Projekt: 300 Schritte in die Natur“ weiterlesen

20 Facts About Me

Wir wurden von Maike und Django von [D]oberklasse für die #20FactsAboutMeChallenge nominiert. Vielen lieben Dank dafür!

Natürlich geben wir die Challenge gerne weiter und nominieren Vivi und Greta von der Chaostruppe. Wir sind gespannt auf eure Fakten!

20 Facts About Rosa & Me

  1. Rosa war bereits in sieben europäischen Ländern (Spanien, Deutschland, Dänemark, Schweiz, Österreich, Italien und Tschechien).
  2. Unsere monatlichen Hunde-Kosten lagen 2016 bei durchschnittlich etwa 295,- € – 95,- € mehr als Rosa gekostet hat.
  3. Leider hat Rosa Futtermittelunverträglichkeiten (z.B. gegen Rindfleisch) – dies ist auch sehr gut im Header zu erkennen.
  4. Rosa besitzt neun Halsbänder (1 von „Halsband nach Wunsch“, 3 von „Colorful Dog Collars“, 1 von „Hunter“, 2 von „my★luni“, 1 von „Paolito“ und 1 von „Ecodog“).
  5. Unsere Lieblingsleine ist eine 1,35 m lange Fettlederleine, braun, 8 mm, geflochten mit Chrom-Haken und Handschlaufe – weil sie in jede Lady-Jeanstasche passt.
  6. Rosas erste drei Spielzeuge (gekauft vor ihrem Einzug) existieren noch und nur die Country Pets Wildente musste schon mehrfach genäht werden.
  7. Schäferhunde (besonders Kommissar Rex) im Fernsehen kann Rosa gar nicht leiden.
  8. Außerhalb der Brut- und Setzzeit läuft Rosa zumeist überall frei. Auch in der Stadt. Auch an Straßen.
  9. Rosa lässt sich ohne Weiteres die Krallen schneiden und den Zahnstein wegkratzen.
  10. Tierarztbesuche sind für Rosa super – Impfungen und Blutabnehmen sind gar kein Problem.
  11. Rosa „leidet“ unter einer Mitralklappeninsuffizienz – wobei „leiden“ das falsche Verb ist, da Rosa dadurch keinerlei Einschränkungen hat (toi toi toi).
  12. Unsere längste Wanderung war gut 41 km lang (Harz-Dogtrekking 2016).
  13. Rosa hat schon einmal in ein Hotelbett gepinkelt (Alicante 2015).
  14. Rosa hat schon einmal in ein Hotelzimmer gekotzt (Nürnberg 2015).
  15. Rosa hat noch nie in eine Wohnung gepinkelt oder gemacht.
  16. Wir waren schon gemeinsam auf einer Demonstration („Empty the Tanks“ am Tiergarten Nürnberg, 2015).
  17. Ich habe durch Rosa in gut 2 Jahren mehr gewonnen als in den 27 Jahren zuvor.
  18. Rosa ist ein absoluter Einzelhund und ist am glücklichsten, wenn ich bei ihr bin.
  19. Seit wir den Wouf Pouf gewonnen haben, benötige ich deutlich weniger Zeit, das Sofa von Hundehaaren zu befreien.
  20. Rosa macht in der Wohnung so wenig Dreck, dass ich nur alle zwei Wochen putzen muss.

LIEBSTER award

Ich muss mich zu Beginn meines Artikels zum LIEBSTER award erst einmal entschuldigen:  Liebe Person XY, ich hatte „damals“, als du mich mit meiner blutjungen Facebook-Seite nominiert hattest, überhaupt keine Ahnung von der Auszeichnung und hatte die Sache deshalb unter den Tisch gekehrt. Es tut mir sehr Leid, dass von meiner Seite keine Reaktion mehr kam!

Gleichzeitig bedanke ich mich heute bei Maike und Django, dem Dobermann aus dem Wiesental für die Nominierung: Liebe Maike, lieber Django! Mittlerweile weiß ich, wofür der LIEBSTER award steht. Umso erfreuter bin ich, dass ihr mich zeitgleich mit der Veröffentlichung meines Blogs nominiert habt. Vielen lieben Dank!„LIEBSTER award“ weiterlesen