"We've spent 8 days in Marie and Lorenzo's wonderful apartment and are very sad to be leaving. They've done a great job turning the 3d floor of a medieval tower into a comfortable, modern unit that worked very well for my wife and me and would certainly fit one or two more guests.
As other have noted, Vicopisano is not "touristy." There are no hotels in town or in the immediate vicinity. The town feels very much a real Italian community, its local church and the piazza, complete with the locals' cafe, panacerria and market, and housing in restored buildings that run up the hill toward the Brunelleschi fortress. At the same time, there are wonderful restaurants nearby; we particularly enjoyed the traditional Tuscan cuisine at Ceppato (an easy walk) and Divina Commedia (a longer walk or a short drive). For pizza, try D'Antonio's, a few miles away in Uliveto Terme; we went there 3 times for the best pizza we had in 2+ weeks in Italy. Cinotto, also in Uliveto Terme, was another very nice (non-pizza) dinner. Note that most places are closed Mondays; fortunately, both Cinotto and D'Antonio's are open Monday.
Marie offers a tour/olive oil tasting at a local farm that includes a vineyard, an olive orchard and an olive oil processing plant, along with a visit to a local ceramics artist, Mr. Nestri. It was great fun. Mr. Nestri's handmade ceramics are beautiful; compared to what one would pay for the same quality work in the US, or even a shop in Pisa or another tourist city, his prices are very low. There is also a shop at the olive farm; you'll end up buying a few things there.
Although there is bus service to Pisa, I'd suggest having a car to get around. The drives to Pisa, the seaside resorts and other sites in northern Tuscany were very doable, notwithstanding the Italians' rather "aggressive" ("insane" would also be fair) driving habits. If you are dislike being tailgated, driving in Italy may make you very crazy very quickly; the American rule about leaving 1 car length for every 10 mph between you and the car in front of you apparently does not translate into Italian. Speed limits also seem to be of minimal relevance.
One caveat; the apartment is at the top of a steep, 35-step stairway. If you have mobility issues, you might want to wait until the new ground floor apartment is available sometime later this year.
Marie and Lorenzo, thank you so much for the chance to stay in Casa Colomba. We loved it."
Date of Stay: May 2015
Review Submitted: May 12, 2015