The highlight of our Italian Tour
I'd scoured the websites and TripAdvisor to find the perfect place to stay in the Florence area with my wife and two teen-aged daughters during our two weeks in Italy. Relais Villa L'Olmo caught my eye early, and after much research, seemed to fit the bill. We stayed at the Relais for 4 nights, on our way from a week in Rome, and a subsequent 4 days in the Venice area. Indeed, our stay here exceeded all expectations and was the one of the most memorable times of our vacation.
The Relais is part of operational olive oil manufacture, so the rooms and cottages are integrated into the farm itself. We stayed in one of the two-bedroom apartments in the main buidling - which was converted in approximately 2002 (according to their site). The apartment was very charming, with exposed stone wall in the living room, arched brickwork ceiing, and wood-beamed ceiling in the bedroom. The beds were comfortable, and the bathroom was clean and functional. The partial kitchen was a nice feature - we even cooked our own dinner one night. The main bedroom had a wonderful view of the rolling hills of olive trees. The view from the second bedroom and living room were less spectacular, but looked out on the pleasantly rustic surrounding buildings. Overall, we'd describe the accommodations as cozy and rustic. If you're looking for high-end luxury, then this is not the place for you. For us, it was perfection.
The terraced grounds were extremely pleasant for sitting and relaxing in the Tuscan countryside. The main pool was a delight after a heavy day of touring. It really allowed our daughters to unwind a bit from "sightseeing overload" that had set in during a week in Rome. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the pool at sunset, watching my daughters enjoy the pool, and sipping wine while the sun sank into the Tuscan hills was idyllic. I shall always remember this with fondness.
Impruneta is a charming town, perfectly located 20-30 minutes by bus from Florence. It's the perfect launching-point to see the sights of the Chianti/Tuscany region. We drove around a lot, visiting San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Siena, Pisa and Lucca. The bus to Florence was inexpensive (2.20 euro round-trip) and pleasant. If you're doing other touring, however, a car is advisable.
Serena and Eleanora were both extremely accommodating and helpful. They are extremely knowledgeable about the area, and can provide many suggestions. The rooms were tidied daily, with new towels and making of the beds. There is also breakfast available at additional charge, but we did not avail ourselves of that. Instead, we visited the convenient Coop supermarket in Impruneta and made our own breakfasts.
We all hope to return to Impruneta and Relais Villa L'Olmo sometime in the future, and will probably spend an entire week there for relaxation and local touring.