La Casa Padronale del Poggiolo is an 800 year old farm-house & vineyard built against the old perimeter walls of the Medieval Castle of Codiponte in the Lunigiana, the northwestern corner of Tuscany.
The farm-house is a village onto itself. The heart is the Aia... or, Courtyard. Its centerpiece is the twenty-five foot high arched walls of the old castle graced on one side by the chain of stone buildings which make up La Casa Padronale and on the other a stone building used once-upon-a-time for roasting chestnuts plus a working oven.
The original living quarters of Il Poggiolo were on the top most floor, today, called L'Appartamento Azzurro. The name comes from the soft-blue wall color. This apartment is the sleeping quarters for La Casa Padronale and is reached by taking a grassy ramp up from the Courtyard to its front door. The open-space has a loft with 2 single-beds reached by a ladder and down a short corridor is the Master Bedroom with a double-bed. Off the corridor is also the Bathroom. The main room has a small sitting area in front of an enclosed wood-burning fire-place, a six-pace dining table beside a basic service kitchen. Off the Master Bedroom is a terrace with lovely views of the village below and the olive & chestnut groves on the surrounding hills beyond.
The current living quarters of La Casa Padronale are on the ground floor a few steps above the Courtyard and past the dining Loggia. There, the principal entrance door leads directly into a large high-ceiling Living Room with 2 single-beds/sofas. Through an archway leads to a similarly large & high ceiling Dining Room, and then, a complete Kitchen. A low door leads back out to the dining Loggia. Below the Kitchen and past the huge wine-making barrels is a bathroom & laundry.
La Casa Padronale is decorated in an eclectic mix of period antiques, flea-market finds and the new, whether in the furniture, furnishings or artwork. The house was created to be a sophisticated yet intimate & charming retreat.
Above the Courtyard and surrounding La Casa Padronale is a 2,000 square meter garden of grassy terraces planted with fruit & olive tress. There is even a fish pond!
Il Poggiolo is approached from the Medieval bridge of Codiponte. In fact, the village's name is the local dialect of "at the head of the bridge". Enter into the village and immediately on the left is a series of stepped ramps up to the arched entrance to the farm-house. Under the archway is a passageway up to the Courtyard.
Codiponte has 300 year-round residents and has two convenience stores for basic food & cleaning items, a bar & tabaccheria... The Social Center of the village... a green-grocer, an excellent butcher and other shops selling clothing & household goods. Casola in Lunigiana, the main town above Codiponte, has a post-office, a bank and other shops while, Gragnola, the town below, has a grocery-store, other shops and the train station for service to Aulla, La Spezia (for the Cinque Terre) and Lucca.
The Lunigiana is perfectly situated to the beaches along the Versilia coast, the Italian Rivieri resort of Lerici on the Bay of the Poets and the Cinque Terre and its famous via del Amore walking path. Pisa and its airport, Lucca and Parma are all a little over an hour's drive away. And, Florence & Genoa are near enough for easy day-trips. And then, bordered by the Apuane & Apennine Mountains, the Lunigiana offers stunning scenery for hiking & bike excursions. The area is still one of stone villages built around castle on top of hills. There are over 120 such fortifications to visit & explore!
So, come & enjoy La Casa Padronale del Poggiolo!
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 2 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport 80 km, Nearest railway: Principal train station at Aulla 20 km|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Dining seats for 16|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden|
Casola in Lunigiana and its sister town of Codiponte are situated in the valley of the Aulella River as it descends to Aulla to join the Magra River before the waters flow into the Mediterranean Sea. Near to this mouth once stood the Roman city of Lunae for which the Lunigiana is named. Codiponte, which in the local dialect means "at the head of the bridge", was until the middle of the last century the only spot to ford the Aulella River. The village was a capital of this part of the Lunigiana because of its singular bridge and the Church of Codiponte was a key way-station for the piigrimage route to Rome from France, the via Francigena. There are several other lovely churches to visit before the road climbs past the Carpaneilli Pass to enter the mountainous region of Tuscany, the Garfagnana, and on down to Lucca and Rome beyond.
The valley and hills are dotted with pristine stone villages often surrounded by expanses of olive & chestnut groves, with the stunning backdrop of the Apuane Mountains behind. The climate is mild and is ideal for olives to thrive since, the Mediterranean Sea is just on the other side of a line of low mountains. The hills around Codiponte are laced with dirt road through acres & acres of groves for a wonderful hike or tour on a mountain bike.
The area is perfect for day excursions... the beaches of the Versilia coast are about 40 minutes away, as is the Italian Riviera resort of Lerici on the Bay of the Poets and the Cinque Terre and its famous via del Amore walking path. PIsa and its airport, Lucca and Parma are all a little over an hour's drive. Florence & Genoa are near enough for easy day-trips.
And then, there is the local food! The most famous dish is testeroli... a kind of crepe... cut, boiled like pasta and traditionally served with a pesto sauce. Panegacci, in various renditions, is a flat bread eaten with a creamy white cheese & salami. Then, there is the white lasagna made with several different kinds of cheeses. And all, naturally, can be enjoyed with the local white & red wines.