The house was well equipped, and we had everything we needed to sleep and feed seven of us in comfort. Laura met us in Vinci (once we'd found it!) and showed us the way to the house, which is a genuinely traditional farmhouse set among olive groves, with fantastic views in all directions. She was also an excellent guide to the local area. I'm not keen on driving abroad and you do need a car to enjoy the visit, though we took the train to Florence (best idea!) and the station (Empoli) was only a short drive away. We also visited Sam Gimignano, Certaldo, and the Chianti region. The house is a good base if you're flying to/from Pisa, which is only about an hour away by car. We booked a cookery lesson and all learned how to make pasta - it's not cheap, but the meal was delicious. Walking, which we enjoy, is a little limited from there, but we walked up the road (very quiet) to the next village (Vitolini) one morning to buy fresh home-made bread, which Laura had told us about, and we found a couple of woodland walks not far from the house. Vinci is a charming little place, and worth exploring, but don't expect to be able to shop there late in the evening, or find everything you need. Fortunately, there's a huge supermarket not far away in Empoli. The Leonardo museum is ok, but a bit heavy on his engineering achievements. We had a wonderful week, and this house is highly recommended.

Marc and Nausicaa,