Casa della Quercia
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Villa | 5 bedrooms | sleeps 12
Casa della Quercia is a historic Grade A listed stone villa situated on the crest of a south-facing hillside of olive trees and terraced gardens. The villa was designed and furnished as a second home, not a rental property, so the furnishings and attention to detail are of the highest quality. The interior is spacious, comfortable and elegant, filled with antique furniture and original oil paintings. An adjacent renovated old stone barn adds a charming sixth bedroom/bathroom if needed for extra guests. We set out to create a sanctuary where they and their guests could totally relax amidst beautiful surroundings, and it is their mission to make sure that visitors to Casa della Quercia have a wonderful, carefree holiday in a place that seems far removed from the every-day world.
The earliest date on the building is 1555, though it has Roman foundations and seems to have been built around two ancient look-out towers. The villa was a ruin when we came upon it in 2002. We fell in love with the house, the village, and the view . . . well, it's a familiar story. We salvaged as much as we could of the original building—chestnut beams, terra-cotta tiles and pietra serena stone—and reconstructed what couldn't be saved. The renovation of all three floors of the villa took 10 years, and the chestnut-drying house conversion was finished in the spring of 2013.
Casa della Quercia is located in the Lunigiana region of northern Tuscany, a land of ancient castles, chestnut-wooded hillsides and tumbling rivers — a place where timeless country traditions and seasonal farming cycles still govern the pace of life. The region remains mostly untouched by our modern age; here you will experience the tranquility and peace of the countryside, with only the sounds of owls hooting in the woods and church bells to break the silence.
The property consists of three acres in all and has several terraces and patios for outdoor dining and sunbathing, as well as various seating areas and nooks for quiet contemplation among the herb gardens and olive trees. The pool is accessed by two flights of stone steps which wind through the terraced olive grove, and is surrounded by lavender, oleander, and jasmine. The villa looks out over the verdant valleys and chestnut-wooded hillsides of the Apuan Alps National Park to the mountain peaks of the famed "marble mountains" of Carrara. Located just 50 miles north of Lucca on the Via del Volto Santo, the ancient Pilgrim's Way to Florence, Casa della Quercia is 30 miles from the coastal villages and famed seafood restaurants of the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre.
|Size||Sleeps up to 12, 5 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Lerici 40 km|
|Nearest Amenities||3 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pisa 85 km, Nearest railway: Aulla (also Minucciano/Pieve San Lorenzo—3 km) 22 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Jacuzzi or hot tub, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms and 4 En suites|
|Furniture||Single beds (6), Double beds (4), Cots (2), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 12|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Further details indoors|
In typical Tuscan fashion, the villa has an outdoor staircase connecting the top and middle floors, so in essence it can function as two separate living suites. The house is furnished with Italian and English antiques, original oil paintings and oriental rugs, including some brought back from a trip to Morocco. The master suite on the top floor is the Zanzibar Suite, a large romantic bedroom with French doors overlooking the mountains, features a pair of canopied antique beds, carved from rosewood and mahogany and inset with painted glass hearts, imported from Zanzibar especially for this room. The master suite on the middle floor is the Venetian Suite, with a queen-sized pillow-top bed imported from the US and classic Venetian furnishings. A staircase from this room leads down to French doors which open out onto a private patio with stunning views of the Apuan Alps, and the adjacent en-suite luxury bathroom with hydro-massage bath tub and shower. The other three bedrooms (one on the top floor, the other two on the middle floor) feature twin beds that can be made up as queen-sized beds, and are furnished in classic Italian style.
A newly-renovated chestnut-drying house adds a sixth bedroom and bathroom if needed.
The top and the middle floors of the villa has its own kitchen, dining area and living area with Sky TV and Internet access. There is a DVD player with an extensive collection of DVD disks, and a small library of books about Italy on the top floor.
|Further details outdoors|
The hillside terraces and olive groves of Casa della Quercia total about three acres and face the south/southwest, with stunning views of the Carrarra Mountains (Apuan Alps). There are patios for enjoying breakfast and morning coffee, and dining terraces with arbors and barbecue. The swimming pool (3.5 m x 7 m) is located further down the hillside, and is accessed by two flights of steps. Pool towels are provided, and there are plenty of sun beds and lounge chairs for enjoying the sun and the views. The terraces and pool area are planted with lavender and rosemary, wisteria and oleander. The property continues down the hillside, across the meadow and into the woods beyond to a little stream, should guests wish to go exploring. Deer and wild boar are often seen in this area, and eagles soar high above. The grounds and pool area can be lit up at night if you wish to have dinner or cocktails on any of the patios or around the pool.
We have had a great response from children who stayed at Casa della Quercia, they love the freedom of being able to wander through the meadows, olive groves and woodland without worrying about busy roads. For younger children, there is a sand box by the pool well stocked with buckets and toys, and the large top terrace has gates that can be locked so they can play in that area without worry of them wandering off.
Please note that the villa is located next door to the village church, and the bell chimes the hour all through the day — and the night. Most people are not bothered by this, but we do provide ear-plugs for light sleepers, or they can choose to sleep in one of the bedrooms farther away from the church.
The cantina is stocked with three varieties of local homemade wine — guests are free to fill their bottles whenever they wish. Ron, one of the owners, lives in a neighboring village and is on hand at all times to offer advice, make reservations, and generally ensure that your holiday is as enjoyable and trouble-free as possible. He can also arrange a driver for train/airport pick-up for those who prefer not to drive in Italy, and also arrange day trips to Lucca and the Cinque Terra. We can also arrange for a team of chefs to come to the house to prepare a special meal for you.
The Tuscany region
Lunigiana is a land of castles, mountains, rushing streams and verdant countryside. A little-known party of Tuscany, it is still like "old Italy," where the shops still close for two hours at lunchtime and the locals often speak in dialect—and certainly not in English. You won't find any tour buses in this part of Tuscany. The village of Reusa is an ancient settlement, probably dating back 3,000 or 4,000 years. An old Roman road, the pilgrim's route from Milan to Rome, follows a route right along the edge of the property. The Romans maintained this road and in return for a small fee gave safe passage to travellers; there is still a Roman guard post under the archway on the property.
The villa is situated deep in peaceful countryside, but it is within a 10 minute walk of a good ristorante, and is only about 50 minutes from the beautiful Mediterranean towns of Lerici and Portovenere, renowned for their waterfront seafood restaurants. Boats leave from both these ports for trips to the picturesque fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, and to Portofino. The Mediterranean beaches of the Versilia coast are about an hour away, and provide a typically Italian seaside experience, with beach clubs, sun umbrellas, and beachfront bars and restaurants.
Casola in Lunigiana
Places of interest: Casola, Fivizzano, Sarzana, Lucca, Equi Terme, Lerici, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, Aulla (Fortezza della Brunella). There are many festas and sagras nearby in the summer months, including a colorful medieval archery festival in Fivizzano in July.
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30 May 2014
Casa della Quercia is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places I have ever stayed in! The views of the landscape are simply stunning, and the owners have done a fabulous job with the interior de… More
25 Jul 2013
"Little Piece of Heaven"
Een geweldig mooi huis met een hart en een ziel! De locatie is afgelegen maar schitterend mooi, het uitzicht fenomenaal. De inrichting van het huis is met zorg gekozen, sfeervol, veel antiek, knus en … More
22 Jul 2013
"Prachtig huis met een adembenemend uitzicht!!"
Schitterend huis. Eigenlijk 2 huizen. We waren met 7 volwassen en 7 kids.Genoeg plaats voor Iedereen. Iedere kamer in eigen badkamer. Veel extra's, zoals badjassen, badhanddoeken,fohn, handdoeken… More
Thank you Carmen
23 Jan 2013
"Beautiful house with wonderful views"
The house is lovely and has been impressively restored and equipped with high quality furnishings. The views of the mountains are breath-taking. There is a swimming pool, but it is small and is more f… More
29 Oct 2012
"Million dollar view"
As the other reviewers say the pictures do not do the villa justice. The owners have spent alot of time and money on the lovingly restored residence. It does not feel or look like any other holiday home I have stayed in,it feels as if you are staying at a very upgrade friends house.
Its getaway location is wonderfull and very close to nature. The fire flies at night are magical and the swifts drinking on the wing at the pool is a fantstic sight.
There are many interesting sights quite locally but the Cinque Terre on the coast is an unforgettable place.
Overall the whole holiday was 12 out of 10.
24 Sep 2012
"Nicest place ever stayed!!!"
A stunning villa in a stunning location. Very beautiful and relaxing. Lots of character and charm with modern luxury. Very helpful and friendly owners - nothing too much trouble. Perfect for adult gro… More
23 Sep 2012
"Casa della Quercia is a stunning hidden gem of a villa that surpassed all expectations at every level."
Casa della Quercia is quite simply stunning. The villa itself is an amazing property that has to be experienced at first hand; the reviews simply do not do it justice. Ron greeted us on arrival and proceeded to show us around. Each individual bedroom was full of charachter, comfortable and well furnished and the views from the upper level kitchen were simply stunning. The days spent at the villa revolved around the pool that became the focal point for the kids and adults alike. Each morning began with coffee on one of the numerous terraces enjoying the breathtaking views of the local countryside, then a cold beer in the afternoon doing the same and wine in the evening enjoying the backdrop of the belltower adjacent to the villa. A quick trip to the wine cellar to top up the wine did become rather too frequent but then again, we were on holiday! There was plenty to do in the local area and the walled city of Lucca is a must to visit, plenty to do and lunch at the numerous pizzerias was thoroughly enjoyed. Big kudos to Ron in sorting out a medical emergency for my daughter; nothing was too much trouble for him and his assistance in sorting out the midnight ambulance trip cannot be underestimated (A HUGE thank you from Cara). Quite simply, I would have no hesitation in reccommending this stunning villa to anyone and would definitely stay again. 10/10.
8 Aug 2012
"Maison magnifique - accueil vraiment excellent !"
Nous avons passé une semaine de rêve dans cette maison magnifiquement restaurée. Ron, l'un des propriétaires est américain et vit dans le coin. Il passait chaque matin (très discrètement) … More
1 Mar 2012
"High end quality from top to bottom; will appeal to the most esthetically demanding."
Old Italy with modern convenience! This place is fabulous, from the views of the mountains to the exquisite level of detail, great design, comfortable and appealing furnishings, and of course the swim… More
12 Nov 2011
We spent the most perfect week imaginable at Casa della Quercia. This is a place where time stands still -- except for the beautiful chiming of the bells in the ancient bell tower next door. The view is sublime and the house is stunning -- exquisitely restored with gorgeous comfy furniture and wonderful artwork on the walls. There is even an ancient Roman road that passes beneath the house! The sun pours through the windows and the air is scented by the lavender and thyme that surrounds the house. The owners have gone to extremes to ensure that their guests feel happy and pampered. We found it hard to tear ourselves away for the day trips we'd planned. There is something deeply relaxing about this spot -- and deliciously romantic. We ate almost every day at the restaurant down the hill. Three gorgeous courses and a bottle of wine for ten euros each. Heaven!
Honestly, we can't recommend Casa della Quercia highly enough. WE WILL BE BACK!!!
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