I CINGHIALI - THE VILLA
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 owner who restored it meticulously and furnished it with purpose bought furniture and fittings.
In 2014 a magnificent 12 metre x 4 metre swimming pool was added to make this an even more desirable destination. Sun lounges are around the pool for your enjoyment and relaxation.
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.
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 things 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. Each has bedside tables with lamps.
There are two bathrooms with brand new walk in showers with large shower roses 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), sun lounges, and a coffee table, and market umbrella. On the ground level terrace there is a table and 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 1999 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 an 80+ 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.
If you want an extraordinary experience in rural Tuscany, make this your holiday destination. All reviews on Trip Advisor are 5 star.
|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, TV, Video player, CD player, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, 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 don't, and thankfully it is still free from the madding crowds of Chianti-shire 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 or swim in the beautiful new pool. 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 season'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.
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20 Oct 2014
"Seven Days of Bliss"
I spent seven wonderful days at I Cinghiali in the beautiful mountains of Tuscany. Everything about this place is magical - the villa, the views, the pool, the food, the surrounding area (you do need a car). Great local walks & a little further afield great shopping & exploring of history. Highly recommend to anyone thinking of visiting. I'm planning to go back with family & friends. AAA+++ in my books. Totally relaxing & energising.
7 Sep 2014
"A gem of a find. Truly exceptional location and accommodation. I'll be back!"
It doesn't get any better than this. Truly wonderful villa in a truly breathtaking location. Words couldn't do it justice!… More
22 Jun 2014
"A breathtaking, relaxing and authentic Northern Tuscany experience"
WOW ... If you want to embrace a part of Italy with narrow streets, views of castles built in 1000, within driving distance of markets where the locals sell clothes, food and nick nacks this is the place to house your experience.
Beautifully designed home, well fitted out kitchen, luxurious linen, wonderful hosts and local support to ensure the experience is absolutely AMAZING.
Maximise an authentic experience rather than a touristy option and stay here at i Cinghiali... just gorgeous!
25 Jan 2014
Fabulous home with large spacious rooms ideal for friends or family.
Everything you need in the kitchen is supplied and wonderful dining room to enjoy dinner at home - there is even a local cook available if required as well as close restaurants near by.
Comfortable beds and freshly ironed linen and lovely new wet area showers - abundant hot water.
Close to villages and amenities and fun markets and great shopping.
Also if you want a night at home excellent DVD selection to enjoy reminiscing some great movies and cosy open fire for the winter months. Great library and games for kids.
Would absolutely recommend this accommodation and will definitely be back with the family.
Great way to experience Italy at its best.
2 Dec 2013
"Beauty and comfort among Tuscany's hill-top villages"
When my husband and I take family and friends to stay at I Cinghiali - which we have done 7 times - I like to make them wait a second at the bottom of the external stairs to the terrazzo so I can dart up first - then turn to watch the expressions on their faces as they catch their first view of the panorama that spreads before them. It never fails! Appreciative gasps of "O.M.G.: that's beautiful/incredible/amazing !" are pretty common. I Cinghiali has many delights - but for me, that terrace is what brings my family back- again and again.
Well, that and the relationships we've built with the good folk of Caprignana as we've participated in their summer pursuits: most notably, the local summer bocce festival where visiting players (like us) are welcomed (and, if necessary, taught) with great enthusiasm. And the historic cheese-rolling tournament in the next-door village. And the village feast and dancing in the little square to mark ferragosto and the conclusion of the bocce season. And cooking porchetta 'to-die-for' in the big, stone open-air oven.
When you return frequently to a holiday place that you've learned to love, it's usual to notice the inevitable, gradual deterioration. At I Cinghiali, the opposite is the case. Every year, there are improvements on what you'd thought was already perfect. Next year (2014) there'll be a swimming pool - and we can't wait to get there again!
29 Nov 2013
"Just divine,awesome place to stay with beautiful views from every window,classy,relaxing and very stylish Tuscan hideaw."
Really enjoyed my stay, it is an amazing place to stay in the beautiful Tuscan hills,
very good condition, quality accomadation, safe,clean ,quiet and very relaxing.
With a beautiful view of a the surrounding Tuscany countryside including a 10th Century fort on the hillside in the distance.
Lots of attention to detail with the furnishings and deco,
i really loved both the villa and the adjacent Studio next door.
Would definately stay again given the opportunity.
My stay there was a great adventure and wonderful opportunity to see Tuscany and the lovely surrounding villages and more .
26 Nov 2013
"A jewel on Tuscany- What a find!"
As soon as you arrive- you feel you have 'switched off' from the busyness of life-
peace , views to die for- Fresh food- fun towns to visit and shop!
What more can any one want from a holiday!
So easy to get to by train or car
After two visits - its right up there..
Go find out for yourself...
24 Nov 2013
"A magnificent location, with outstanding views and quality accommodation"
I have actually stayed at I Cinghiali 3 times with different groups of friends, and every time was an enjoyable experience. As keen walkers, we enjoyed the many opportunities for mountain and forest walks in the Apuane and Appennine Mountains. We were remote from the usual tourist routes, but could still use the villa as a base to visit Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano and the Cinque Terre. The local people were very friendly, eating opportunities most satisfactory, and numerous short scenic drives available if you want to explore the countryside, albeit on narrow mountain roads.
16 Nov 2013
"God's Little Slice of Heaven in Northern Tuscany . Magnifico !"
This was the third time we have had an extended stay at 'I CINGHIALI' - each time has been as good as the last. 'Caprignana Nuovo' is a wonderful little unspoiled village in the San Romano region of the Garfagnana - the villa has the best location in the village. 'I CINGHIALI' overlooks the Serchio River valley with views as far as the eye can see - but with a wonderful 12th Century fortress ruin in the foreground (which is lit at night). The Villa is a terrific, well renovated three story house that can easily accommodate 12+ persons in absolute comfort, but yet maintain it's regional Italian ambiance. From the huge terracotta deck overlooking the valley to the outside pizza oven, it couldn't be better. One never forgets the magic of sitting in deck, sharing wine and nibbles, whilst overlooking the valley and fortress - as the sun slowly sets over the distant mountains - life simply doesn't get any better. The owner, Buzz, is wonderful owner to deal with - and I am sure any person who stays at ''I CINGHIALI' will, like ourselves, become addicted to it's traditional and authentic northern Italian charm and become a returning guest, many times over.
Thank you 'Buzz' for your foresight those many years ago, to search out this once derelict three story farmhouse and transform it into magical place it is today in this so very special corner of northern Tuscany. "Veramente Magnifico"
Drew and Debbie
13 Nov 2013
"Gorgeous location, lovely country house, stunning views, fabulous terrace"
Firstly, the location: nothing remotely like "Chianti-shire" with Anglos everywhere and English voices to be heard in every place one goes; this villa is in an area of Toscana known as The Garfagnana, known and idealised by other Tuscans for its "original" Italian environment and its natural beauty. The villa is set on a peaceful hillside overlooking a wonderful view of kilometres of countryside and especially an ancient fort that is flood-lit at night, just as we were all enjoying aperitifs on the terrace after a hard day slogging through churches, towns, galleries or shops. We mostly dined on the terrace, in preference to local restaurants (of which there are many good ones) and also used a contact of the owner to cook for us with produce partly from her own garden - highly recommended and cheap (ask for the deep-fried sage leaves....stupendous!!)
Secondly, the villa: We were 4 married couples, 2 single ladies and 1 single man and we all fitted well into the accommodation provided. All amenities worked as they ought and there were good instructions for all equipment. The bedrooms were airy and bright and beds comfortable. The large living room, dining room and kitchen were well-furnished and equipped with the latest gadgets, so too the laundry. The bathrooms were modern and vast.
Thirdly, local attractions: Our party ranged from bushwalkers & bikers to aesthetes, culture-hounds & shopaholics, all of whom had access to places that suited their tastes. There are so many diverse places of interest that one could spend months there and still not "do" everything. Some of us did an overnight trip to Firenze or Siena too.
Recommendations: Find your own special places or use the big book advising of all sorts of nearby attractions; walk to the local shop for your morning coffee and pastry; tour by car the little mountain villages nearby; take the train to Lucca for history, shopping and to walk or cycle the walls; drive to the coast through the marble mountains of Carrera, go to the market at Castelnuovo to see the local populace in action and to buy the freshest fruit, vegetables, cheese and prosciutto, plus cheap clothes and shoes. We did all this and more - and could do it over again, and hopefully will.
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