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Very Good 4/5 Score from 1 review

La Sambuca Formicola

from £45 /night help

Very Good 4/5 Score from 1 review

from £45 /night

Estimated nightly price based on a weekly stay. Contact the advertiser to confirm the total cost.

Houses, pool and gardens

Farmhouse | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 6

Key Info
  • Swimming pool
  • Great for children of all ages
  • Car advised
  • No pets allowed

Beautifully located with Swimming pool - Sleeping 4 + 2 with option to hire 2 extra double rooms. Pick your own fruit and veg!

Well restored character farmhouses set in the hills of the totally unspoilt, green & mountainous region of Northern Tuscany. A real farm experience !

Situated in the depths of the Garfagnana, 1 hr 15 mins north of Lucca, and boasting wonderful views, one finds Sambuca, a site with 4 different properties offering a great deal of flexibility for large groups, but also a haven for small families/couples.

These are well restored characther farmhouses set in the hills of the totally unspoilt, green & mountainous region of Northern Tuscany. The views from the houses and the pool are beautiful,& the extensive grounds are the perfect place to relax. Each property has a private outside eating space/terrace/BBQ & outdoor oven & on request the owner will provide you with free produce from her garden!

There are 2 detached houses, & a further house split into 2 apartments, with an extra 2 rooms available to accomodate larger parties.

This is a real away from it all retreat, yet only 5 mins by car to a large village with supermarkets, bars, restaurants & train station serving Lucca,Barga, Pisa, Florence & The Cinque Terre.

The bread man visits daily, vegetables are available on site Babysitting, and daily cleaning service also available at extra cost.

Get your children to feed the goats...

Formicola :

Apartment set in stone cottage, with 2 bedrooms (1 double and 1 twin), and the option to hire a further 2 bedrooms.

The apartment shares a beautiful stone cottage with its sister apartment Cicala but has its own entrance and private eating area. The apartments are rustic in style with open fires, & beamed ceilings.

The kitchens are equipped with oven, hob, washing machine and fridge.

There is a living/dining room with sofa bed. TV/DVD/WIFI

WIFI

Outside, each apartment has its own entirely private eating terrace, outdoor oven, and BBQ, and shares extensive grounds with the other 2 houses on the site, including a swimming pool.

The views are wonderful, and Sambuca is a perfect relaxing retreat

These properties have the option to rent 2 additional bedrooms with shower room, with their own private entrance and eating out area, sleeping a further 4 for larger parties.

Size Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms
Will consider Long term lets (over 1 month)
Access Car advised
Nearest travel links Nearest airport: Pisa 98 km, Nearest railway: Piazza al Serchio 2 km
Family friendly Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility
Notes No pets allowed, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Internet access, DVD player
Pool Shared outdoor pool (unheated)
General Central heating, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Toaster, Iron
Utilities Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
Rooms 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Shower rooms
Furniture 1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 3
Other Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair
Outdoors Shared outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Shared garden, BBQ
Access Parking

About this location

The Tuscany region

The Garfagnana

is an area exceptionally rich in nature, and is one of Tuscany's best kept secrets! When the rest of Tuscany is busy with people and traffic, the unspoilt Garfagnana is having another quiet and peaceful day. Thanks to its location in the green lush Serchio River valley north of Lucca and Pisa, surrounded by two mountain ranges, the area remains largely unaffected by tourism. The Apennines and the marble mountains of the Apuane dominate the area, and provide spectacular views. You cannot see or hear the noise of the cities, but you are still close enough to experience them.

Nature is at its best here - canyons carved out of rock, mountain pastures, basins extracted from ancient glaciers, rock arches silhouetted against the mountains and lakes derived from the construction of dams. There are pastures and chestnut groves developed from old forests, fruit of the thousands of settlements that have taken place over time. It is a vibrant area where the culture and natural character have been preserved thanks to the existence of parks and nature reserves.

From the northern end of the Garfagnana, the river Serchio winds roughly parallel with the coast for about 30 miles down to Lucca. There is some industry on the flatter valley bottom but the sides generally run up quite swiftly into a patchwork of woods and farms, and green countryside.

The skies feel spacious, because the summits of the mountains lie well back providing stunning vistas, and giving room for spectacular sunsets!

The largest towns in the region are Barga and Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, but the area is a scattering of small communities, and hilltop villages whose orchards, vineyards and grazing lands are separated by oak and chestnut forest.

For the tourist there is an abundance of landscapes, picturesque villages, churches and castles, good traditional local fresh food and wine, and a wealth of time to relax in peace in the atmosphere of yesteryear.

Come from Mid May to Mid June and enjoy the fireflies twinkling around the countryside with their 'fairy' lights – a real sight to see! Or in August when one can relax outside in the evenings and see shooting starts whizzing past…Such experiences are just magical…

What to do in the Garfagnana

When people think of Tuscany, they think of rolling hills, villas and cypress trees. In Garfagnana there are mountains and alpine scenery.

Country Activities

The area is great for walking the many great marked trails, trekking, horse-riding and biking through the amazing and lush tranquil valley, and kayaking on mountain lakes. There is fishing both in the rivers (famous for their trout) and lakes too. Not forgetting the many medieval villages and old fortresses worth exploring, pretty local towns, busy little markets, and plenty of opportunity for sunbathing and picnics, there's something for everyone.

Days out

If you are looking for a cultural day out, or just fancy meandering through pretty towns and feasting on pastries and ice cream, there are many local sights of interest that can be visited:

Barga

With its cobbled lanes and impressive duomo with panoramic view, Barga is a naturally beautiful and quaint town, untouched by mass tourism. It's is a gem: ancient, immaculate and prosperous. In an incredible location, it has retained its medieval foundations, narrow streets, tiny squares and steep stairwells. There are many good restaurants, bars, gelaterias and patisseries too for when exploring is just too much!

Of an evening, especially in July, the town comes alive with live free music in its many Squares, markets under the stars, and traditional festas.

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

This splendid medieval county town provides excellent facilities. The region's 'capital', is guarded by its Rocca, a castle decorated in the best 14th century manner. This is also reflected in its piazzas and pavement cafés. It has plenty of bars and restaurants, a good selection of shops and a lively market on Thursday mornings.

Lucca

Lucca is a wonderful small city protected by massively thick 16th-century walls, which are still intact, and around which one can stroll or cycle. The historic centre within the walls features some of Italy's finest medieval and Renaissance architecture, superb dining, antique markets, designer shopping, and classical and rock music festivals. Easy to access from Lucca are the stunning nearby Lucchese Villas in the surrounding hills and the Wine Trail or 'Strada del Vino'.

Pisa

Pisa is known throughout the world for its famous Leaning Tower, but there is so much more to Pisa than this striking landmark. This ecclesiastical city began life as a seaside settlement around 3,000 years ago and was first laid out in the mid-eleventh century. Pisa is crammed full of wonderful, historical monuments and buildings dating back many hundreds of years and much of the city has retained its medieval appearance. Pisa is also known for its excellent university, which gives the city a young vibrant feel. Plenty of cafes to stop and watch the world go by.

Florence

The capital of the region of Tuscany is a beautiful and busy city. It attracts millions of tourists each year and is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its artistic, historic and cultural heritage and impact in the world remains vast up to this day. The Ufizzi Gallery and the Academia are a must to see especially Michelangelo's “David”. Stroll the Ponte Vecchio and Boboli Gardens and experience the amazing views from Piazzale Michaelangelo. After the Duomo and Santa Croce, wander the markets for a bargain.

The Seaside

The coastal area of Tuscany is an entirely different site to discover. The waters are clean and a perfect temperature for swimming; the beaches are spotless and well kept - an ideal seaside retreat. The sandy beaches of Pisa, Viareggio and the famous Forte dei Marmi are spacious and ideal for children, and up at Marinella there is a large protected bay with shallow waters. The beautiful coastal towns of the Cinque Terre are also worth a visit.

The Wind Caves

Situated in the centre of the Apuan Alps' Natural Park, this is one of the most complete European caves. Follow illuminated and easy-going trails and admire the many wonders of the underground world. Shining stalactites and stalagmites, to crystal brimmed lakes are just some of the amazing things you will see.

Yearly Events in the Garfagnana.

Each year the main time for festivals is really the holiday period of June, July and August. This is when most small villages in the valley start to have their local fairs and festivals. Celebrations with local foods and traditions, have for example themes of trout, polenta, mushroom, maccheroni, steak and cheese rolling to name a few! There are music festivals also is the summer months which range from Opera to Rock and local folk music. Information can be found at the local Tourist Information Offices.

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

La Sambuca - Situated 1 hour North of the medieval city of Lucca, and 25 minutes North of the market town of Castelnuovo, La Sambuca is a collection of 3 houses nestling in the midst of hills.

The grounds are extensive, and parts of the gardens are used for growing local produce.

Whilst the village has some facilities, the local village of Piazza Al Serchio with its bars, restaurants, supermarket, Tuesday morning market, and Train Station is less than a 5-minute drive away and bread is delivered each morning.

The views from this extremely peaceful site are magnificent - the houses overlook the green and fertile Serchio valley, with views of the Apuane and Appenine Alps.

This really is the perfect location - an ideal place to unwind deep in the countryside, yet close enough to all local amenities, and a convenient base for exploring by car or train.

In high season one can walk to a wonderful restaurant serving home cooked food from local produce. This restaurant is only open weekends outside of July and August

About the owner

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Review 1-1 of 1

8 Oct 2014

4/5

"Beautiful rural location and great base for exploring Northern Tuscany"

We stayed with friends and the location was excellent for visits to local countryside, mountains, lakes and handy for the railway station to get the train to Lucca (about an hour) and Cinque Terre (about one hour and forty if you research the correct connection).

The house (Formicola) was one of several on site sharing a lovely pool. The views were stunning and the owner let us pick delicious tomatoes and beans in her vegetable plot whenever we liked. We had two comfortable bedrooms and shared bathroom. The living area consisted of a small sofa and a dining table and also an eating area outside. The kitchen had everything we needed.

The small restaurant in the nearby village (10 minute walk) was superb. It's not open every night but we went three times in our week and loved every time.

Would recommend the big supermarket in Gallicano to stock up on groceries en route on the way from south. There's a really helpful tourist office at the supermarket where you can pick up lots of maps and information about the area.

We did so much in one week but highlights included: cycling around Lucca and going to the Puccini concert, driving high into the mountains to see the marble works, a walk along the Cinque Terre coast path and the amazing Verrucole fortress.

Review 1-1 of 1

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from£45/nighthelp

Estimated nightly price based on a weekly stay. Contact the advertiser to confirm the total cost.

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You're booking with

Lorraine Venturelli (Property Manager Tuscan Retreats Ltd)

  • 5 Years listed

100% Response rate

Calendar last updated:31 Jan 2015

Based in Italy

Languages spoken
  • English
  • Italian

Payment accepted

Credit cards accepted

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