From: Margie Walsh
Date of stay: September 10-17, 2016
My group of 10 women have recently returned from a wonderful week in lovely Lucca, and the highlight of our time there was spent at this beautiful palazzo! We were so fortunate to be able to call this our "home" and experience all that it had to offer. From the moment we stepped through the front door, we were in disbelief at how comfortable, authentic and well maintained this 16th Century property was. The interior of the home with its beautiful furnishings and stunning frescoes were like stepping back in time, and the gardens served as our gathering place for breakfast each morning, as well as in the evening to have a glass of wine and reminisce about our days. We loved watching Roberto tend to the property, as well as Charo, the sweet resident gato.
While the location is on a quiet street but only a block away from Guinigi Tower, restaurants, shops and the grocery store are within a very short walking distance, just up the street. Lucca is in the perfect spot for day trips around Tuscany. With private drivers to pick us up at the front door, we were able to visit Cinque Terre, Portofino, Chianti, Florence and San Gimignano with no problems at all. The train station is also within a short walking distance from the property.
Paola was a wonderful guide for a day trip to Cinque Terre, and the girls loved having her with them. I also arranged for Alice, our chef, to prepare a wonderful breakfast, as well as a delicious dinner for the entire group. Her food was amazing, and her attention to detail and to make sure that everyone enjoyed themselves was much appreciated. Her assistant, Nicole, was also there for anything we needed, and we loved having her there as well.
Last but not least, I must thank Debora for everything that she did to make sure our stay at this special place was just perfect. From our first e-mail a year before our arrival to e-mails just before we arrived, and everything in between, she answered every question I asked (which were many, many) and was always prompt and clear with her responses. Knowing that she was just a phone call away, or that she would drop by to see that we were okay and everything was in order, was a comfort when you are that far away from home and in an unfamiliar place, and it was very much appreciated by each one of us.
I would not hesitate to recommend Debora and Lucca Holiday Homes to all of my friends who are thinking of going to Tuscany and in particular Lucca. I hope to return one day and will be in touch with her to arrange for a stay in one of her many beautiful properties. I now feel like I have a new friend in Lucca.
Mille grazie, Debora, for everything!!
From: Mary Frederick
Date of stay: September 2015
Three friends and I were fortunate enough to say at Il Giardino Segreto for several weeks while on vacation in Italy. It is an amazing historical property with vast rooms, frescos, ambiance and modern amenities such as a washer and dryer to make a stay here comfortable. It is a first-floor apartment with a huge formal garden carefully tended by Roberto and Mariano. We hired Alice, a professional chef, to prepare dinner for us at the house on our last night. It was served in the beautiful formal dining room and we all agreed it was one of the best meals we have ever had.
Sleeping under ceiling frescos with angels alight above your head is a unique experience.
There are several great restaurants and bistros right out the front door. The grocery store is several blocks away and we felt like natives pulling our grocery cart behind us loaded with everything we needed to enjoy dining at home.
We cannot recommend Debora and her team - Paola and Maria - highly enough. Debora arranged for us to be picked up at the Pisa airport and delivered directly to the door of the apartment. She recommended places to visit and Paola arranged several day trips for us. Debora's warmth, professionalism and desire to share her love of Lucca made this a trip my friends and I will remember for a long time.
From: Frank W.
Date of stay: May 2015
I wanted to thank you so much for all your help with our weeks rental in Lucca at Il Giardino Segneto. From our first e-mail till we arrived and we were met at the train station and transported to our wonderful apartment. The six of us has a fantastic time. The apartment was amazing and the garden wonderful. We so enjoyed Roberto and Mariano and the work they did in the garden. I understand why you love Lucca, I only regret we could not have been there longer. So much fun getting up in the morning and going out for fresh bread. Our son and daughter-in-law and their daughters will always remember Lucca. Paola was so great in helping us and getting information to us about what was happening in Lucca. We especially liked the flag tossing and parade. We highly recommend LUCCA Holiday Homes and hope in the future we can visit with you again. Have a wonderful summer. Frank Wanicka
From: Keith And Darcella Marengo
Date of stay: April 20 - 24 2015
There were eight of us in our party traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area to Tuscany Italy. We really wanted to stay in Lucca as our launch point for day trips to Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, and Cinque Terre. The Il Giardino Segreto was a perfect match for our large group and Debora was able to squeeze us in for a 5 night stay between two other parties. We were very impressed with the space in this wonderful historic home with the painted ceilings and the beautiful garden in the courtyard. We met Mariano, Roberto, and Charo (the gato) all who were very friendly and helpful. We slept very well and enjoyed being so close to shops, restaurants, and activities inside the wall. We had a guide pick us up each day to take us to our destinations so parking was not an issue. On our last full day there we stayed in Lucca and fell in love with the inner city. We walked the entire wall and hiked to the top of Guinigi Tower. Lucca has some great restaurants and we enjoyed every meal. Allosteria, a small upscale restaurant just a short walk from the house, was a particularly delightful dinner find. Gelato is everywhere and was a must have each night. A wonderful stay that we would recommend to anyone. We'd like to come back. Ciao!
From: Beverley McLean
Date of stay: 23rd to 30th May, 2013
We are a group of 10 friends from Australia who like to travel. This year we decided to spend a week in Lucca, while travelling through Italy. We found Debra on line, who suggested we stay at Il Guardino Segreto.What a magical stay we had, the accomodation was superb and Debra had thought of everything to make our stay so wonderful.
(transfers also included). It was nice to have Paolo and Mariano welcome us on our arrival with lots of information. We spent the week exploring this unique old city, the architecture, the churches, the piazzas,the shops, listening to music, tasting the food and meeting the local traders.Bike riding was another bonus,(as bikes were provided with the accom.) to discover the city walls and ride through the streets was such a thrill.
We were very impressed with Debra as she remained in contact with us, helping us with bus and train travel and organising tours at short notice. It was so easy to visit Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre and Sienna.
We are so lucky to have found Debra and her company 'Lucca Holiday Homes" and will definitely return as we were looked after so well. Thank Debra for showing us your wonderful city!
From: Susan DeLuca
Date of stay: 8-19 Settembre 2012
We have stayed in many beautiful apartments in Lucca, but this was by far the grandest palazzo! It is vast. Residents could take their daily exercise just walking from the back bedroom to the laundry. This apartment is incredible. It is in a great location, on Via Angelo Custode, just between Via Santa Croce and Via Angelo Mordini. It's away from the bustling center of town, but close enough to get anywhere in a matter of minutes. I fell in love with Roberto, the caretaker of the "Secret Garden," which is an absolute paradise. Although we didn't use it, we toured the guest house, which is very charming and quite modern--completely opposite of the grand apartment from the 1600s. Although there were only 4 of us, this property is ideal for a large group. There's plenty of space for everyone--guests won't get in one another's way. We were the very first to rent Il Giardino Segreto. Thanks to Debora who always does a great job!