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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
••• You can follow us on Facebook •••
Rosa – Raus aus dem Tierheim, rein ins Leben
••• With an Italy photo album •••