Villa | 6 bedrooms | sleeps 11
I Cinghiali or The Wild Boars is the largest old stone villa in a small village nestled in the charming hills of Northern Tuscany. The area, called the Garfagnana, is known as The Natural Park of Tuscany, for its green hills and its wonderful 10,000 hectare national park situated just above the villa and ideal for walking. The villa was purchased 26 years ago by its Australian owners who restored it meticulously and furnished it with purpose bought furniture and fittings.
The area is not a major tourist destination so you will have a 5 STAR local experience visiting local markets, a tiny cheese factory in the next village, regular village festivities right around the valley and of course you will be paying local prices, not inflated prices for the foreign tourist market. The altitude of around 800 metres makes it a perfect place to avoid overcrowded and unpleasantly hot holiday resorts in summer.
The villa is not just a holiday home. It is the owners' home and contains anything and everything you could possibly want for a short or longer stay. Staying there is a first class experience and has been enjoyed by guests up to 7 times who have travelled from Australia year after year to have their own Italian Experience.
A LARGE POOL will be added for the summer of 2014 along with more sun lounges and other amenities.
The villa has a cook's kitchen with crockery, cutlery, implements and facilities to feed the entire village, as indeed one group of guests did some years ago for their daughter's 30th birthday. You can also avail yourself of a local English speaking cook who will cook you up a storm with local produce and fabulous things from her garden, at very small cost.
The view is worth a thousand words. A guest wrote in the visitor's book 'if this isn't heaven you can see it from here'. And it's true....a 10th Century fort on the next hill, illuminated at night, just for you, as you sit on the terrace with a glass of the local vino or dine on the large table set for the occasion.
The sitting room boasts a fireplace from 1826, brand new sofas, chairs, a beautiful Turkish rug on the terracotta floor and around 600 books, many on thing Italian, and food, 100 DVDs, CD's, games for children and adults.
The dining table opens out to seat 12 and sometimes more, with views to the fort and, if you're lucky, fire flies to flit in and out whilst you are partaking of your evening meal.
There are six bedrooms: 3 x king, 2 x twin and 1 x single. The beds are all outstanding quality with freshly ironed cotton bedsheets, wool blankets or duvets and high quality pillows.
There are two bathrooms with brand new walk in showers with large shower rose and abundant hot water, toilet, bidet, basin/vanity and a huge selection of bath towels. The upstairs bathroom has a separate full sized bath. Some emergency toiletries are provided and a hair dryer.
Outside at the first floor level there is a large terrace with brand new outdoor furniture (dining table and 10 chairs), 4 sun lounges, and a coffee table, and market umbrella. On the ground level terrace there is a table an 6 chairs and a small wood burning BBQ. There is also the largest forno or outdoor oven in the district where you can cook up a storm for one or more of your nights at I Cinghiali.
Heating is hydronic throughout the house making it suitable for year-round occupancy.
The lower lever contains 2 utility rooms with washing machine, trough, iron and ironing board, food storage area, table and chairs and access to a washing line outside.
There is a vegetable garden and orchard - including an abundant fig tree if you are there at the right time of the year!
Parking is just above the house. The village has one shop for your needs and there is a large town a few kilometres down the hill.
The nearest air access is Pisa airport (about a 1.5 hour drive away), or the local railway station at Piazza al Serchio on the line from Lucca (from the southern end of the valley) to Aulla (at the northern end).
The villa is around 350 square metres; the property is 725 square metres. The barn is 100 square metres.
If you would like a smaller space perhaps you would consider the studio in the barn, restored in 199 and mostly rented by couples for a week or fortnight's break, once for 6 months by an Australian barrister, sometimes by a group of young people or couples with one or two young children. IL FIENILE is the name - reference number 293966
Guests receive a 100+ page booklet of everything they could possibly want to know about living in this magnificent part of Tuscany when they make their final payment. It gives information on local food markets, where we love to eat out, how to get to the important places to visit whilst you are at I Cinghiali and a whole lot more.
|Size||Sleeps up to 11, 6 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Italian Riviera is about 1.5 hours drive|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Access||Car essential, Wheelchair users|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pisa International Airpot 90 km, Nearest railway: Piazza al Serchio 3 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||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Video player, CD player, Satellite TV|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (5), Double beds (3), Cots (1), Dining seats for 12, Lounge seats for 12|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Wheelchair users|
The Tuscany region
The Garfagnana region of Northern Tuscany is happily still in a kind of time warp with good roads but no motorway going through it. You either mean to go there or you dont, and thankfully it is still free from the madding crowds of Chiantishire in Southern Tuscany where prices are at least double and there are hundreds of tourists year round. Life goes on here much as it did generations ago. Sure they like their mobile phones, but the day to day life of wine and food and community has not changed much for a long time. In the right season you may be able to help neighbours pick their grapes. You can buy your veggies from Vittorio the next door neighbour who has the best veggie garden you've probably ever seen. Carlo, the other neighbour can help you light the huge old stone oven that he says is the largest in the area, if you want to try your hand at a magnificent dinner cooked the old fashioned way. The villa is 800 feet above sea level so the weather is beautiful even in the hottest months and in the summer the days flow from around 5am until 10pm, so there is enough time to do all the local "must do's" and still have time to relax on the terrace with a vino as the sun goes down. The huge Orecchiella National Park just 10 minutes up the road offers many wonderful walks. There are a myriad hill top villages to visit and wonderful markets to buy your food and your current seasons's fashions for just a few Euros. In August every village has its own festival so there is always something to do to be involved with village life.
The principal town in the region is the beautiful walled city of LUCCA absolutely worth a visit. There is a magnificent cathedral, 75 other churches, wonderful shops, you can walk or ride a hire bike around the entire city walls of 4 kms, and visit many galleries and other treasures. Outside Lucca there are about 6 fabulous old stately villas and magnificent statued gardens where the likes of Josephine Boneparte ruled the social set some time back, now all open for visitors to see how they lived in those days.
You can also take a 1.5 hour drive over the magnificent marble mountains of Carrara to the stunningly beautiful Italian Riviera with the stylish town of Forte dei Marmi one of the Sunday morning musts for its absolutely fabulous summer market. The men can eye off the vast yachts being built at nearby Viareggio whilst the women catch up on all the latest fashion for a song!
And not forgetting the magical CINQUE TERRE....those five little towns nestling on the coast of Liguria just 1.5 hours north of the villa...easily done in a day trip either by car or by train.
There is so much do see here and yet the joy and beauty of coming home to I Cinghiali after a day out with tourists is something wonderful you could easily get accustomed to!!
Caprignana is a small village where life matters. Only about 60 inhabitants, they look after each other and a sense of real community often missing in current lives, is still present.
In the next village you can visit an amazing family run cheese factory. Down the road there is an adventure park where you can swing in the trees doing a ropes course. Everywhere there are daily village markets for your food, wonderful wine shops where you can buy a five litre pack of delicious red or white for a song, and the baker in the next town has the best bread on the planet.
Everything is local and everything is fresh. You buy in season and eat the best of what is available. You will be directed to wonderful inexpensive restaurants where you will wonder how they can make such delicious offerings for such cheap prices. And you will love the green trees, the blue hills, the lakes, the streams, and the views. Opposite the villa on the next hill is the ruin of a 10th Century fortress which you can visit and which has fabulous views up and down the valley.