I was fortunate to spend a week at Villa Gobbi Benelli in September. The estate is spacious (huge!) and beautifully maintained with many common rooms, kitchens, guest rooms, baths, and a gorgeous outdoor space with terraces, pool, dining, lounging, and a grand view out to the sea. My room was the junior suite at the top of the stairs. It is a really large room with a comfortable king bed, sitting area, desk, views from four large windows, and a private bath with shower. The host, Dunia, carefully handled all the details for the various activities and events, served the most delicious meals, and provided a perfect week of cooking, eating, laughing, meeting new friends, sightseeing, wine tasting, and relaxing! I really enjoyed my stay here!
My wife and I stayed a week at Villa Gobbi Benelli in May of 2017 for their At Home in a Tuscan Villa cooking program through International Kitchens. Let me start by saying it's a beautiful family home with many historical elements. The gardens were beautiful and the vegetable garden bountiful. Our guest room was very comfortable as were the separate bathroom and shower in our suite. The staff had the room and bathroom spotless while we ate our breakfasts. The cooking program was both fun and informative, very hands-on. But what made the place and experience truly magical were the people.
The owner/operator, Dunia, is full of life and probably the most hospitable person I've ever met. She made us feel welcome the moment we walked through the door. I can only describe her as enthusiastically effusive. She wanted to insure we experienced as many Tuscan culinary traditions and experiences as possible, and each meal was a several course feast. Show up hungry, because you will never be more well fed in your life. Her Nonna was generous and we enjoyed getting to know her staff, from her administrative assistant, to the cook/translator in the kitchen, the cooks and chefs brought in for pasta class, pizza class and seafood dinner class, to Rosario, the gardener and expert gnocchi maker. All the food was marvelous --I really can't choose what we enjoyed best -- but we especially enjoyed our conversations with Dunia over a glass of wine, or Spanish brandy or limoncello. We were also fortunate to enjoy excursions to Luuca, Viareggio, Pietrasanta, and a gorgeous day at the Cinque Terre.
My wife and I truly hope we have the opportunity to return some day to this beautiful hillside patch of paradise in the coastal Versilia area of Tuscany.
If you are in that Corner of Italy, book a room in the estate Villa Gobbi Benelli - a lot of cities (e.g. Florence, Lucca, Pisa, Siena) can be reached by car for day trips. The rooms are spacious and very clean. The view from the estate is perfect, you can even see the old city of Pisa and the sea. The landlady Dunia does everything that you feel at home. Also we stayed there only one night (you definitely should stay there longer), we took Dunia to our heart.