House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 5
Casa Niki is a 3 BR village house, spectacularly perched on a ridge in the hilltop village of Pedona, with panoramic mountain and sea views. Located ten minutes away from the popular town of Camaiore, the home is in the Versilian Riviera, with sweeping views from all bedrooms and spacious terrace. It is only 15 minutes to the beach. It is fully modernised, with terra cotta floors and chestnut beams retaining the Tuscan local character.
We rented this home from the previous owners, an artist and his art historian wife, in the early 90s, and bought it from them the next year, we were so taken with the wonderful view and location, as well as the excellent accessibility. When looking for property, we saw so many beautiful but isolated homes, with long dusty driveways, and tenuous water supplies! Not so this house, in the heart of a lively village! The property was originally built in the 19th century, and its traditional thick stone and stucco walls keep it cool in the summer as well as noise insulated. Its location high on a ridge catches the cooling sea breezes.
The house is adjacent to the tiny village piazza, with our fenced private garden to the one side. A vine covered pergola shields the house from view from the adjacent homes, and it sits high over the road leading into the village, with uninterrupted views to the west. The interior has been fully modernised, with antiqued terra cotta tile floors, light white stucco interior walls, an eat-in Scavolini designer kitchen with a farmhouse table, and has central heating, and ceiling fans in all bedrooms. The original chestnut beams are retained in parts of the ground floor, and the home has kept its local character, while offering all comforts. The exterior was freshly painted in 2012 in a cream shade, with powder blue shutters.
The house has two comfortable double bedrooms (with closets and dresser space), and one single bedroom, on the upper level, all with views, suitable for a family or two couples. A full bath is on the second floor, and a second bathroom, with large tiled shower, is located on the first floor. The living room has two big cream sofas, a traditional fireplace, Turkish carpet, and a well stocked library of books and guides, plus a flat screen TV with HDMI connection for laptop, local digital stations, and a radio and ipod player.
The heart of the house is the large kitchen, which is fitted out with granite counters and cabinets, and a traditional farmhouse table for meals. The kitchen opens on to the large paved terrace, with teak outdoor furniture seating for 8, and really spectacular views over the coast of la Spezia, Italian riviera, and mountains. It is a perfect place to sit to watch the sunset and watch life pass by. The light changing over the distant Ligurian hills, and the foothills, is magnificent, as you can see in the photographs. A small but private garden has loungers, amidst lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme, and there is a shady fig, and plum trees. Virginia creeper and jasmine climb over the pergolas and fences, and geraniums line the terrace in planters and pots.
The location is really wonderful for visiting Western and central Tuscan towns: Pisa, Florence, Pistoia, Lucca, Carrara are within an hour, the beach is 15 minutes, and the countryside and mountains are spectacular. Pietrasanta, a center for art and sculpting is close by. The house is a wonderful base for sightseeing, hiking or relaxing. Plus, dozens of restaurants are within a few minutes drive and the local restaurant, just a short stroll along the village street, is our favorite and a popular destination dining spot.
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Lido di Camaiore 10 km|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||200 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pisa 40 km, Nearest railway: Viareggio 20 km|
|Family friendly||Suitable for children over 5, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, Sea view|
|General||Central heating, TV, Telephone, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||1 Sofa beds, Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
The kitchen is equipped with fridge freezer, DW, gas/electric stove, toaster and electric oven, granite counter tops, basic supplies, cook books. Elegant tiled bathrooms and shower. Can also make up beds as one double, 3 singles.
There are powder blue aluminium shutters with adjustable louvers, and built in mosquito screens which allow the breezes in and keep bugs out. There are electric ceiling fans for every bedroom and floor mounted fans for the other living spaces.
An extra refrigerator, washing machine and dryer are located in the basement utility room.
|Further details outdoors|
Free parking in village square, adjacent to rear of house. A restaurant/bar with an amazing view of the mountains and valley is located 50 m from the home, two grocery stores are located in village, which sell fresh and frozen produce, fruit, vegetables, breads, excellent delicatessen produce such as prosciutto, olives, mozzarella and local cheeses, traditional ice-creams, wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks. Catholic church in village. Charming walks around village abound with lovely views. Camaiore, the nearest town, is just 10 minutes from village, with ATM, internet point and mobile top ups, supermarket, wine warehouse, pastry shop, delicatessens with local produce including prosciutto, home made pasta, and many boutiques, museums, churches, bars and restaurants. Village is on bus line to Viareggio, with connection to train station. Eurostar stops at Viareggio on way to Rome! Regular antiques markets are held at weekends in nearby towns. Weekly markets are a great source of local foods and discount goods.
There is no pool on the property: a communal swimming pool (covered) is just down the road in Camaiore, and there are numerous outdoor club pools (eg Bagno King) on the Lido di Camaiore.
* Changeover dates generally Sat to Sat, but check other availability.
* Check out/in times 11am/4pm.
* Additional nights may be available on pro-rated basis.
* Downpayment (10%) required on booking. Security deposit required. Lease agreement.
* Payment accepted by cheque or bank draft in UK or US currency.
The Tuscany region
Western Tuscany is your destination, in the foothills of Apuan Alps, with lovely views of the coast and the sunset right from the house and its terrace. The area is a wonderful blend of tranquility in the villages and hills, and cosmopolitan culture in the valley and coastal towns, all within a short drive. Goats are still being herded high in the hills (and their cheese is sold at a premium in the local delicatessens) while Andrea Bocelli is singing Puccini nearby. People have returned to live in the traditional villages, which nestle in the mountains. The area is vibrant.
Lucca, the nearby provincial capital, is a wonderfully preserved mediaeval city, known for its olive oil and wine, produced in the low hills (Colline Lucchesi) in the countryside surrounding the city (APT can help you set up tours). The Italian Riviera nearby has sandy beaches extending for miles, with public beaches and dozens of clubs offering loungers, sun canopies, pools, restaurants and water sports. You'll be close to cultural centres in Pisa, sculpture and art in Pietrasanta, and can drive to Florence in less than 1 hour. And yet you are also within reach of the spectacular Carrara marble quarries, with glistening white marble on the 3000m peaks, visible from the beaches! Souvenir shops near the quarries offer unique marble chess sets, bowls and sculpture. You can hike in the Apuan Alps and see eagles soaring overhead, in wild places less than an hour's drive away. Drive across the Alps into the Garfagnana, and visit the incredible Cave of the Winds at Fornovolasco.
The Tuscan cuisine is marvelous, with hearty pastas, prosciutto, cheeses, grilled meats and game, and the people are unfailingly charming. The Forte dei Marmi market on Wednesdays is the best clothing market in the area, with designer shoes, cashmere, and clothing (and this elegant town has some wonderful clothing and design shops well worth a look). Local outdoor food markets are the best place to get fresh cheeses, barbecued chickens, fresh honey and just-picked local fruit and vegetables.
La Versiliana is the cultural centre of the Lido, with theater, ballet and concerts. Local antique markets are held regularly in Lucca and Camaiore. Pietrasanta is nearby, the haunt of famous and aspiring sculptors and established artists (such as Botero). You can sit in the same bar, overlooking the Piazza, where Michelangelo signed contracts, or visit foundries to see bronze sculptures being cast. Outdoor sculptures are frequently shown in the square and in the museum, a converted church. The city of Genoa is about 2 hrs away, with the historic centre, harbor and fabulous aquarium. The Cinque Terre towns are waiting to be explored, linked by ferry or train, their beaches and rocky covers with crystal clear waters: a great day trip. Altogether a wonderful place to spend a holiday, just relaxing on the beach or taking day trips, as much or as little activity as you want.
The village of Pedona is located on a hilltop to the south of Camaiore, an ancient Roman town in the valley leading to Lucca. The village, at 300m above sea level, was originally the site of a watchpost and mediaeval castle, long since gone, its stones used to construct the village homes perched along the ridge overlooking the coast, and the mountains to the North. The village is recommended as part of a scenic drive by the Versilia tourist board. There are pleasant walks around and above the village with spectacular views. An annual cycle race from Viareggio to Florence passes through every August with huge fanfare, and you can see the action from the terrace.
You can enjoy the Mardi Gras Carnival in VIareggio, St Lucia festival in September, Lucca, with crossbow and archery competitions, when the local people dress in traditional costume and appear to have stepped out of renaissance paintings! Rowing competitions are held on the Arno at Pisa. Visit the cathedral in Lucca, and cycle around the walls. Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Florence, and the Cinque Terre towns are an easy day trip. Drive into the Apuan alps and Garfagnana, stopping to see the Devil's Bridge, picnic in sweet chestnut groves in the nature reserves, hike on well marked trails. A large cave system is worth a visit (Grotto del Vento), or a picnic at Isola Santa, a tiny jewel like lake in the mountains.Try birdwatching and boat trips at Lago di Massacciucoli, Tuscany's second largest lake and also site of Roman baths. A large archaeological site is located at Luni, a short drive to the north, and additional artifacts are on display in the museum at la Spezia nearby. VIsit the pine forests and wildlife reserves on the coast. Puccini's villa is nearby, and the Puccini opera festival is held annually in August. Swimming and water sports are available on the Riviera beaches. Plenty of bars and nightclubs are located along the shore. Lucca, in addition to the attractions of the city, also has some wonderful villas with Italianate gardens well worth the visit. Regular antique markets are held in Lucca and surrounding towns. Collodi, the home of Pinnochio's creator, a short drive E from Lucca, has lovely ornate terraced gardens, a castle, and a quirky 60s theme park dedicated to the puppet. A large water park complex is in Cecina south of Livorno if your children ache for wave pools and water slides! But your kids may have just as much fun getting gelato in the square of Pietrasanta while you sip a coffee or cocktail in Michelangelo's Bar!