20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Great park shame about Roan camping staff
"This is a lovely clean family friendly park in the beautiful Tuscan hills. Easy to travel into Florence by train or by park shuttle service.the pools are great and my kids loved the lazy river with their inflatables. However, our very enjoyable holiday was spoil on our last day by the staff of Roan camping, the Dutch company whom we rented a mobile home from through allcamps.co.uk. Apart from checking in we did not hear from the Roan staff again for our week stay. The mobile home was a little dirty on arrival, hair in shower, used coffee still in coffee pot and grubby floors. I did not complain as we only used the outside seating to eat breakfast and not for self catering cooking. Just used for base to sleep. On evening before we left a rather strict Roan rep informed my husband that they would clean the mobile home for charge of 50 euros taken from our 100 euro deposit. We declined and said we would clean it. I spent 2 hours that evening cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and bathroom and swept and disinfected floor area. I did this again following morning and stripped all linen from beds and folded neatly into bag provided. We were on time to check out at 9.30am. The van was in a much cleaner state than when we arrived. One Roan rep took my husband and elder son to reception with suitcases and told me to wait with key. He returned to check over the mobile home not saying a thing. A few minutes later the older rep who was the strict one my husband spoke to the previous evening, came stomping in and started SHOUTING at me about the state of the mobile home. I was in complete shock as it was left without a single piece of litter, dust or dirt anywhere. I have had many camping holidays in both England and Italy and Spain and have NEVER had a complaint or lost deposit. This man was like an army Sargent screaming and shouting at me in front on my young son. A woman Roan rep also turned up so I felt very intimidated by all 3 saying they will not give me 50 euros back from my deposit. I asked why and they showed me a small smear or residue cleaning product outside of microwave and on a mirror and a tiny speck of something in the freezer, which we hadn't used anyway. They both began laughing at me and belittling me when I challenged them about the money. I cleaned again all the areas they said about but they still refused to give me money so at that point I knew they were just trying to con me out of money. If my husband had been there I don't think he would of been so utterly rude to me. I found myself having an argument with a complete bully on the final day of my holiday. I was about to get the site manager when they backed down and gave me all my deposit but only after an argument. This man should be sacked as he this was completely unnecessary. He could of just pointed out politely any areas of cleaning he was unhappy about instead of all guns blazing shouting at me, belittling me and laughing at me. This put a very sour note on what was a lovely holiday up to that point. I will never ever return because of this and never ever recommend Roan camping to anyone.
Lisa Warwick, Essex, UK"
- Travel date: Wed 24th of August 2016
An excellent parc - pools are clean and...
"An excellent parc - pools are clean and though sometimes busy are never too crowded and often surprisingly quiet.
There are three offering variety and the childrenâs pool is particularly well designed in terms of depths etc.
The pitches are generous and we never had to wait for a shower, toilet cubicle, basin, etc at any time and they were immaculate.
Local town was great for exploring and people friendly and helpful - many highlights within minutes and an hourâs drive takes you to Siena and Assisi etc."
- Travel date: Sun 12th of August 2007
Love It !!!!!!!
"This is the second time we've been to Norcenni and we love it!
First time we ( a couple in our mid-20's) stayed as back-packers travelling around Italy, we stayed in little cabins for 2 or 3 people and booked through Hostel World, and through the campsite itself. (email: [email protected]).
These cabins are great for a basic stay with your own bathroom, perfect for us!
The second time we stayed we took parents too and booked a mobile home through Elle Vancanze.(email:[email protected]). This was fantastic, 2 decent sized rooms, bathroom each, clean with air con / heater, decent kitchen, great outside/decked area!
The site itself is not really a 'campsite', more a holiday park and this is not a bad thing. It has several pools, restaraunts, shops, a well stocked and reasonable mini-market, etc. Food was excellent, good tip is to go to restaraunt bout 4/5 ish and book a table, that way when you want to eat at 8ish, you can walk straight in. There's lots of activities and it feels very safe and friendly. I think it has a disco type thing for kids, but it is in a sound-proof building (very good idea), there's also some entertainment but not too much.
In terms of visiting Florence (or many other places) it isn't the easiest without a car. However it isn't exactly hard, get the free train thing down to Figline (or bk a taxi) then jump on the train! Gets you to Florence in 20 mins! Otherwise there are pre-organised trips on offer if you prefer. We like to do things ourselves and found it really easy to train-around Italy."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of July 2007
Great facilities - good fun for all ages.
"I can highly recommend this destination for anyone travelling with family or in a group. The facilities were amazing and so clean. There are restaurants, pools, water slides, tennis courts, football pitch, crazy golf, ice-cream parlour, pizzeria, internet, supermarkets, bazaars, bar and disco. We travelled with all ages from 10 years up to 70 years, with Kel-Air and I could not fault this destination at all. The mobile homes were brand new - we were the first to use them. The kids spent the entire time in the many pools chopping and changing between the ones by reception or the others up by the villa. We enjoyed all the restaurants where the food was very reasonably priced and had a couple of giggly nights in the disco. Great facilities for teenagers although they are served alcohol, but cannot use the internet without adult supervision. We drove from Pisa airport using the main Florence autostrade - take a right when you come out of the airport and then on to the A1 to Roma and Bologna. 1.5 hours and about â¬1.90 in tolls. Used an alternative route which took longer and worked out about â¬7 in tolls. You can also get the train to Figline and there is free pick up from Norcenni every day."
- Travel date: Thu 5th of July 2007
I booked this holiday independently dire...
"I booked this holiday independently directly with campsite and stayed in a Tuscan Apartment which was on the site.
This worked out far more economical than booking through an English tour company as there are only 3 of us and so paying for an 8-berth caravan is a waste of money.
This apartment cost about Â£340 for a week and it was really nice - a large room with upstairs mezzanine with double bed. Very clean, very comfortable bed and great facilities. There was a table and chairs outside the apartment too which was great for al fresco dining.
I holiday with my 2 kids - 13 and 11 at the time. We flew into Rome and spent a couple of days there seeing the sites, and then got a train up to the campsite. It was easy to do and we had no problems. At the end of our week we returned to Rome for another couple of nights.
This worked out great for me and the kids as it combined sightseeing and city life with some lovely time on a campsite in a beautiful area of the country.
The campsite itself is big, but not particularly noisy, with good swimming pools which the kids really enjoyed, particularly the lagoon type one at the top of the site where there was a water slide and loads of kids.
There were restaurants on site and supermarkets where you could get most basic provisions. There was no "entertainment" as such that I noticed on site. I believe there was a disco but we didn't visit it. We did eat in the restaurants and the food was nice.
There were trips run by the campsite which were okay, we went to Pisa and Lucca with them. Florence is easy to get to by local train and well worth a visit. We didn't have a car and my only gripe with this campsite was that it wasn't that easy to get on and off.
The town/train station is about 1/2 miles away but a big section of it is on a winding road with no pavements which I didn't feel comfortable walking along with my kids. The campsite only run 2 mini-trains to town in the morning at something like 8.15 and 8.45 and two back up at night say 17.00 and 18.00 - so not really that convenient.
Taxis could be got down to town but were not particularly cheap and coming back it was sometimes difficult to find one.
Italy is beautiful especially the Tuscan region where this campsite is based. With a car it would be fantastic as you could explore the region as you liked.
Without one, as we were, it was slightly inconvenient but fairly easy to get about and see all we wanted."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of June 2007
"I booked our stay at Norcenni directly through the site which was problem free and for us (being just 3 people) the most economical way. We had flown into Rome, spent a couple of days sightseeing there and then got a train up - no problems at all, Italian rail is reasonably priced and efficient.
We had opted for an apartment - which was stone built, and in a really lovely spot. Our apartment had a large room with a mezzanine floor above with a double bed, It was clean and comfortable and nicely furnished. We had a table and chairs ourside too to eat al fresco. I think I paid about Â£340 for a week in this apartment which was far cheaper than any of the English companies even in a tent! Our apartment was tucked at the back of the Wine Cellar on ground floor level and it was a nice atmostphere around the apartments as people would sit outside and chat.
The site itself has nice swimming pools, particularly the one at the top of the site which was lagoon style with a water slide (on rubber rings) thing which the kids loved. There was plenty of space and loads of sunbeds although it did get busy. There are nice restaurants and supermarkets on site. No entertainment as such but that didn't really bother us. I liked the way the site was multi-national, there were lots of Germans and Dutch, other nationalities and a fair contingent of Brits so neither a getto for the Brits nor somewhere it was difficult to find someone to chat to.
My only complaint about the site was that it was about 2 miles from the nearest town and the road was narrow and winding so not ideal to stroll along with 2 kids. The only transport offered into town by the campsite was a mini-train but this this was only running at about 8.15am and 8.45am and returning at either 17.00 or 18.00. Taxis were not that cheap. The site does do daily tours - we went to Pisa and Lucca with them which was nice and not too herded about. We went into Florence by ourselves which was lovely it is easy to get the train into Florence once in the local town. Because we didn't have a car I felt a bit trapped on the campsite but it would have been a lot better if we had been able to more easily get to the local town.
Don't go to this site expecting Butlins in the sun - it is a more relaxed chilling sort of atmostphere. Although some of the British companies there like Haven seem to suggest that it is a busy campsite with loads of entertainment I certainly didn't see any - and I have visited Haven in England where they have "nightclubs" for family entertainment. I would recommend the site for a great base for Tuscany, fantastic if you have a car the local area was stunning. The campsite seemed well run, there were ATM machines at reception. They also have a card system where instead of using money on site you have a card (which you put money onto first) and then each time you use it money is deducted. This worked out well for us as it was very flexible you could put any amount on and just cash your money in when you left. Italy is a fantastic place to visit, Florence is absolutely stunning the Ufezi Gallery worth the queue, Pisa is tacky and touristy but still amazing to see, Lucca is very pretty and lovely to stroll around, Rome is amazing and I would highly recommend a visit there if possible."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of June 2007
We have just returned from an absolutely...
"We have just returned from an absolutely fabulous holiday at this site. We have two boys aged 5 and 9 who were so amused with the pool facilities and playing with friends that they had made that it gave us parents a really relaxing time.
The site is fantastic, really clean, and brilliantly maintained, and Tuscany is really beautiful. The staff were very friendly and spoke English which helps a lot.
There are two pool areas, the pools in the main village area are more adult orientated, as they are quite deep (our 9 year old couldn't touch the bottom of any of them) but the lagoon complex at the top of the site is amazing and really well designed for children of all ages.
The shops on site sell the inflatable doughnut rings that you can go down the lazy river on, and there are no restrictions on the type of swimwear that you can wear - so the boys were fine in their UV suits and bandana's.
There were more than enough sunbeds around the pools, many of which were under the shade of trees (very welcome when we were there - with temperatures between 30-35 degrees everyday).
We did a fly-drive option from Pisa airport - Easyjet from Gatwick and then hired a car with Europcar - which was fine. The Tom Tom Sat Nav took us straight to the site in just under 2 hours with no problems - didn't have to look at the map once!
We did 2 organised excursions on the site - one to Pisa and the other to Florence - both were reasonably priced and well organised with nice air conditioned coaches. Both cities were awesome and definitely worth a visit.
We did attempt to get the train from the town (figline valdarno) as recommended by others on this website, but the station car park was full and the other car parks in the town were short stay only. In the end we gave up and booked the excursion - so much easier!
The only thing that we were disappointed with was our particular accommodation. The caravan was quite old and shabby in places. There were shards of broken glass all around the door and the steps to our caravan as a result of a stone chipping the door in the previous week when the grass was being strimmed and apparently the glazier, when replacing the glass - just shattered all the door glass without putting down any protection and it was all in amongst the gravel causing our 5 year old to cut his foot.
The Rep did his best to sweep it up and then shovel it under the caravan - but a lot still remained. We have booked with a different operator for our holiday next year due to this.
There is a co-op supermarket in Figline Valdarno (5 mins drive) which is cheaper than the on-site supermarket. On the site there is a charge card system in place where you get given a card on arrival and charge it up with euro's to spend on the site - you aren't allowed to pay for anything on site with cash.
Most places on the site will charge the card up for you - including the gift shop, supermarket, and restaurants.
What more can I say... we would definitely recommend this site and would return here for another holiday. Oh, and the Pizza's were lovely!"
- Travel date: Sun 24th of June 2007
Enjoyable, great staff, pity about the prices in the Vecchio restaurant!
"I booked with Siblu for the first time - its also the first time I've been to a camping park in Europe - since I had some Tesco clubcard vouchers which I could use as part-payment towards my holiday with Siblu.
Arrived in Pisa on June 12 2007 early morning, it was already *very* hot. We all got sunburnt first day, especially since the campsite itself is situated up on the mountains, the sun really comes down hard on you and there isn't a lot of shade in the campsite, so you will definitely need to slap on suncream if you don't want to feel sore the next day! Drove a hired car from Pisa to the campsite following the instructions in the Siblu guidebook and got there in about 1.5 hours - husband drove quite slowly and did one detour / made a mistake as we were both struggling to get used to driving on the right hand side of the road and reading Italian road signs! Actually Italian motorways are very well-signposted, so once we got used to right-hand driving and reading Italian place names, we only took about an hour to drive back to Pisa airport from the campsite on the day of departure.
Our Siblu mobile home was situated in a great hillside location - far enough to be away from the noise, yet close enough to the centre where all the activities, restaurants, etc. are located. The allotment isn't very big, so not much for privacy there with our fellow neighbours, but all mobile homes there are like this from what we could see. Some mobile homes are situated in less ideal spots - either too close to the noise of the restaurants/disco/etc. or too far away from where the action is - i.e. pools, restaurants, etc.. I think we were very lucky in that we booked with Siblu and all their homes were situated in the same location as we were.
The pool complexes were excellent. One swimming complex at the top which looks fancier than the one at the bottom - the top one is the one often featured in photos of the campsite in camping brochures - and it is well-suited for young kids aged 5 to adolescents as its shallow enough but not too shallow. There is a fantastic slide up there but I'd recommend you use a tube to go down it instead of going down on your bare bottom! There were hardly any tubes available to borrow up there, so if you want to have a tube always available for use, buy a new one from the campsite shop for 4.50 Euros.
The swimming complex at the bottom has an extra-shallow toddler pool, 2 shallow children's pools well-suited to 4 - 7 year olds, and 2 deeper pools suitable for teens and adults, and there's also a water slide but you don't need to use a tube for that one.
The reason why we went to the top swimming complex only once is that a) our Siblu mobile home was very near to the bottom swimming complex and we couldn't be arsed to wait for the train to take us to the top complex, etc.. and b) our youngest was only 9 months old and the toddler pool at the bottom swim complex is the only pool where she could play freely without the need for our constant holding her head up above the water, and c) we were only there for 8 days and went out for excursions more than half the time so didn't see the need to buy tubes for the slide at the top swimming complex - the slide at the bottom swim complex was good enough for us.
The train that serves the campsite runs every 15 to 20 minutes, from around 8 am in the morning until around 12 - 1 pm at noon. Then the train stops for siesta time which is from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm daily (no vehicles are allowed to drive through the campsite during that time) and runs again from around 4 - 5 pm in the early evening until about 8 pm. Train is free to ride and you wait around the infopoint in front of the water fountain for it..
The campsite has a shuttle bus service which only runs twice a day so the first shuttle runs in the early morning around 8 or 9 am to take people from the campsite to the local train station at Figline Valdarno where people could then buy their own tickets for local trains to go to other towns in Italy for the day. The second shuttle runs in the evening around 6 to 7 pm and it takes people from the local Figline train station back to the campsite. Cost of a shuttle bus ride is 3.50 Euro (each way, I think). We didn't use this as we already rented a car for the entire trip.
Campsite has a small shop which sells sundries and things - the variety is smaller than at the local Coop supermarket a few minutes' drive away from the site - but the prices at the campsite shop is fair and not much higher than the Coop prices. On average we found that prices of goods/food in Italy match the prices of goods/food in England pretty much, so not much cheaper in Italy to shop/eat.
Campsite organises excursions - like package tours - to nearby towns worth visiting, like Siena, Florence, Rome, Pisa, Lucca. Cost of the excursions generally range from 15 Euros per adult for Florence trips (without meals), around 22 Euros per adult for trips further afield to Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Viareggio, Chianti hills... and then to about 37 Euros per adult for the daytrip to Rome. Children below 12 are charged around 7 Euros lesser than an adult ticket but our 4 year old daughter and 9 month old baby all got onto the coach for free so maybe its just older children who get charged. There are Florence/Pisa trips with meals included which cost about 33 Euros per adult.
We drove ourselves to Siena, Florence and Arezzo for day trips on our own and followed the campsite excursion to Pisa + Lucca one day but didn't like it very much because we found the freedom quite restrictive as you have to meet up at a certain place at a stated time or else the coach will drive off - I guess we aren't the package-tour type... but that said, I'm glad we went with the excursion group for Pisa + Lucca because if you don't understand much Italian and aren't very good with maps, you can really struggle with directions driving in Italy especially in cities in Tuscany which mostly still retain a lot of the maze-like medieval roads and all the buildings - new and old - tend to look very very similar so you can get lost even if you're walking through the town! Happened to us in Siena, and after hours of gruelling walking up and down steep hilly winding paths and roads, asking Italians along the way (they were all very helpful and tried their best to explain where we should go but the language was really hard to understand!) we just couldn't find our bearings anymore we had to hire a cab in the end to get back to where we parked the car. Turned out we were only this close to getting to where we wanted, yet we were charged something like 10 Euros for the cab journey which only took about 4 - 5 minutes long! Beware - the cab meter kept ticking even when the cab was stuck in traffic half the time. Parking in Tuscan towns too can be a real pain because parking spots, especially in Florence and Siena, are few and hard to find.
If you don't want to go through the hassle of looking for parking or getting lost in the mazes of medieval streets, the campsite excursions are a great option, but not enough time... They only gave us 2 hours to explore each city. Not enough time.
The Vecchio restaurant at the campsite serves up some really tasty food. I was very impresssed with the seafood pasta and my husband loved their grilled ribs... I know in Italy they eat like 4 or 5 course dinners, which may explain why the servings of food in the Vecchio we got were small, but for each plate of food to cost at least 7 euros each (my husband's cost about 12 euros) we found that a bit expensive. The kids menu is priced at around 5.70 Euros which consists of a small plate of pasta/lasagne/small pizza/nuggets + chips and a tiny cup of ice-cream. Our daughter who is usually a very picky eater and eats very little, finished up her entire course without problem but was still a bit hungry afterwards.
There is a takeaway restaurant called IL NOCE on the site which charges around 6 Euros for a normal pizza (good size, but thin crust, with a fair amount of topping), and around 9 to 10 Euros for a Maxi pizza (quite big!)... and around 5 to 6 Euros for lasagne (which I found quite filling)... All the food is made from scratch by Italian cooks in Italian style.
The animation program for children is not bad. In the day time there is like one program which starts from around 9am and ending around noon, and in the early evening, one which starts from around 4 pm and ends at 6 pm. Our daughter only went to the night-time kids' discos and plays, which often starts around 9 pm and ends around 10.30 pm but the night programs are the most popular with children, so if your kids are going to watch them they are definitely not going to have an early bedtime!
The staff at the campsite are all very friendly and helpful and will try to do the best they can to ensure you enjoy yourself there. Campsite operates a cashcard system where you can only pay for any goods and services on the site with the campsite "credit card" which really is a card which you must top up with cash at the infopoint to use to pay for things. The campsite is clean and well-maintained, and the other campers were not trouble-makers and not too rowdy at all. Campers there were made up of mainly Italian, German and Dutch people. There were noticeably fewer Brits, Americans and other European nationalities - maybe its the time of the year we went there - I don't know. I know this is a stereotype but works most of the time - if you see some people buying alcohol to drink whilst sunbathing at the poolside, they are probably British, or American."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of June 2007
My husband and I and our 5 year old gran...
"My husband and I and our 5 year old grand-daughter have just had the most wonderful 12 day holiday at this site.
Our mobile home was new, immaculately presented, fully equipped, with a lovely bottle of Chianti as a welcome. This site has 5 restaurants with great Italian food - not expensive.
There are 7 swimming pools - some heated, and the scenery is spectacular. The campsite runs well priced excursions to Florence, Rome, Sienna, etc. and the train to Florence is at the bottom of the hill, with free car parking.
The return fare is 6 Euro for adults and 3 Euro for children. There is a bus from the site to the station. The Canvas holidays staff, including Yvonne the site supervisor, were quite superlative - nothing any bother and warm and welcoming.
Our little girl had a wonderful time at the Hoopi Club - 2 sessions a day,6 days a week and staffed by Sally and others. She is a very gifted young lady, enthusiastic but mature and responsible, just a natural with children.
The programme included nature trails, wacky hair days, and pirate adventures, lots of art and crafts and even tuition in other languages - made fun, of course!
The site itself is run as quite a tight ship - no loud noise, lifeguards at the pools. The shops are well stocked and not expensive. The site is hilly and not great for anyone with walking problems, and there are a lot of ants outside - easily dispersed with sprays!
We are well travelled in Italy and elsewhere, but this is quite the best holiday we have ever had - we will certainly go again, and with Canvas Holidays, as their service was better than the other companies on the site, especially early in the season.
Well done Canvas!"
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of June 2007
Good place depending on what you are looking for
"We stayed at Norcenni with Eurocamp in late May 2007. The pitches were a bit cramped and the hill was VERY steep especially if you were carrying a child.
The Eurocamp accomodations did get warm even though it was May and we had the fan constantly going.
There is plenty of food options though I thought them a bit pricey and not that tasty (especially when so many people talk about Italian food).
We took the bus trip to Florence and that was easy and affordable and better than trying to find parking.
All in all, its very different from American camping. People REALLY wanted their comforts and it made me laugh to think that Europeans consider it camping. Rather like having a gigantic RV to tour the country so you can have satellite TV, etc on hand.
One thing that bothered me was I did the laundry while there and two of the machines were broken. I got directions to another laundry...where two of the driers were broken. So I had two loads of very wet laundry that I had to figure out how to dry before it got moldy. And it was a HUGE hike to the other laundry.
I probably wouldn't be back. There's other camping choices around there."
- Travel date: Wed 30th of May 2007
Hard to beat
"We have just returned from one of the best family holiday ever. The site is very clean, english is well-spoken if you can't speak italian. The site runs coach trips which are good value. The restaurants are excellent and the menus are varied. The site is very hilly in places and the emplacements are small compared to other sites we have stayed at but this didn't matter to us. There are plenty of amenities for the kids and the pool complex is fine. Our children are 15 and 12 and they would love to return, a recommendation in itself!
The site is close enough to visit Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Siena with ease but there is enough happening on site if you want to stay put.
We would return without hesitation. We booked with Eurocamp."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of April 2007
Fab food, fab location, fab price
"This is the second time we stayed here, firstly in an apartment in August 2003, then in the villa (May 2005) we are going back this year and staying in a mobile home, because we are so confident that it will be excellent again.
Everything about this place is brilliant from the sublime restaurants (try the beef in red wine), to the child friendly pools and play areas. The location is spot on - far enough out of Florence to be in the Chianti hillside but close enough so you can hop on the train. They offer loads of tours and excursions and I've heard the cookery classes are excellent.
I recommend this to anyway who wants to 'do' Tuscany on a budget. We're going this time for 10 days for Â£600 for 4 adults and 2 kids. Not a bad price for such high quality."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of February 2007