Photos and Description of this 4 bedroom holiday villa in Lucca - La Fenice
Beautifully appointed villa with magnificent views
'La Fenice' is poised in a spectacular hillside position, with magnificent panoramic views over the Lucca valley to the mountains beyond, only 10 mins drive from Lucca. Featured in 'Dream Homes: Inspirational Interiors' design series, the villa was recently refurbished to a high standard, using traditional Tuscan techniques, to create a beautiful family home. It is elegantly furnished with a blend of antiques & contemporary comforts including satellite TV & WiFi broadband. Set in a rural conservation area of exceptional beauty, the property overlooks vineyards & olive groves, & features 1 acre of landscaped gardens with 12 x 6m heated pool with hard electronic safety cover, pool-side loggia, & shaded pergola for dining al fresco. There's ample garden furniture for relaxing in comfort, & a games room with table tennis. Sunny paved terraces flank the south & west sides of the house so you can watch dawn over the Appenines & sunset over the Apuan Alps. Peace & privacy are assured.
Lucca & cultural life around La Fenice:
La Fenice is a perfect starting point for excursions in this culturally rich region. Lucca is one of the gems of Tuscany: smaller & more intimate than Pisa, Florence & Siena, it’s a beautiful historic town with Roman origins, whose Renaissance walls form a shady circular promenade around which you can walk or cycle. It offers medieval towers to visit, ancient churches, cathedral, palazzi, art galleries, museums, botanical gardens, stylish boutiques, great restaurants, an opera house, & daily recitals of Puccini (himself a Lucchese) in a 12th c church. There’s also a Puccini festival every summer at Torre del Lago, 30 mins away. The many ravishing 16th & 17th c grand villas & gardens within 15 mins of the house are well worth seeing, as are the Medici villas around Florence. Other places of interest are the picturesque coastal towns of Lerici, Portofino & the Cinque Terre; the ancient fortified towns of the mountainous Garfagnana region; & the spa at Bagni di Lucca.
Activities around La Fenice:
The glamorous seaside resorts of Versilia are within 40 mins drive. Forte dei Marmi is our favourite with its immaculate beaches, designer shops & stunning mountains behind. There are free beaches at Viareggio & Lido di Camiore; & at Migliorno, South of Pisa, a nature reserve offers wild beaches. Boat trips are available from Lerici to Portofino, & the Cinque Terre. A tennis club where guests may play, 10 mins walk from the house, is one of several in the area. For walkers there are beautiful trails straight from the house: walk past San Concordio church, up Monte Catino to find splendid views of the sea & the peaks of Carrara & the Appenines. There are well-marked trails around Monte Matanna & Ste Anna in the Apuan Alps; & others in the Appenines. Horse-riding is available at Marlia, Lucca & Bagni di Lucca. Cycling & fishing are also available nearby. And for the intrepid: there’s paragliding at Pizzorne, mountaineering in the Apuan Alps, & caving at Grotte del Vento.
Gourmet & wine, spas & shopping:
There's a wide range of restaurants in the area from simple trattorias to Michelin starred restaurants. We provide a list in the house information pack. Lucchese specialities worth sampling include Buccellato (farro of Garfagnana), Castagnaccio (made with chestnut flour & ricotta) & DOP Olive oil, famous for its lightness & flavour. Wine tasting & tours may be arranged. Cooking classes with Chef Paolo may be booked for 2 or more people in a nearby hotel: learn to make Italian delicacies, then sit down & enjoy your own meal with wine. For fashion, Lucca & Forte Dei Marmi have designer shops: the latter with twice-weekly markets of designer goods & cashmere, while Lucca’s market is more low key. We can organise a tour of outlet shopping malls. The nearby spas of San Giuliano, Monsummano, & Montecatini Terme offer a wide range of both health & beauty treatments including swimming & hydro massage in thermal pools, mud wraps, & many types of East & Western massage. We can organise a daily or weekly pass to the nearby Spas. Massage & beauty treatments are also available within 5 mins drive of the house.
We offer a wide range of personalised services including:
Organised excursions to nearby towns & cities.
Personal chefs & cooking lessons at the house.
Wine tours & tastings, vineyard meals, beer tours, olive oil tastings.
On-site personal trainer, on-site Yoga or Pilates courses, on-site aquatic fitness courses.
Organised bike tours or sailboat trips.
- children welcome
- non smoking only
- pets considered
- suitable for elderly or infirm
- wheelchair accessible
About Alex Lester
We are an English family who live in London, with a lifelong passion for Italy, who enjoy sharing our beautiful home with discerning visitors.
Alex Lester purchased this villa in 2003
Why Alex Lester chose Lucca
For the astonishing views, the incredibly quiet rural location, the proximity to Lucca and the sea, as well as Pisa, Florence, Siena & airports.
We used to holiday at Forte dei Marmi - one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in the Meditarranean, 40 mins from the house. We have explored all over Italy from Venice & the Veneto to the Lakes, the Adriatic coast, Tuscany, Umbria & Puglia.
When we saw this house with its extraordinary views, we knew this plot had our name on it.
Guestbook comments from the owner
This is a long overdue note to thank your for a wonderful vacation at La Fenice.
The house was beautiful and the setting perfect. We anticipated that our family vacation to Lucca would be special but little did we realize how special.
We were treated to a beautiful view of the valley below that became more interesting as twilight fell and the lights in homes began to sparkle. When the full moon rose as we dined on the patio we were simply speechless.
Our grandchildren enjoyed the pool and we all liked the late afternoon treats in the capanna.
Lucca provided us with a trip back in time. The charming narrow streets with food and clothing shops became more so with cyclists. We all enjoyed riding our bikes through town and in the park on top of the walls. We had a special lunch at Trattoria de Leo and were treated to spontaneous opera singing. Out adult children enjoyed a night out thanks to Gram and Poppy at Osteria via San Giorgio. L'Enoteca Vanni had an amazing wine selection and served Tapas. Of course gelato stops were a necessity.
Perhaps our favourite meal, other than those cooked by our sons-in-law, was on Sunday afternoon at Lombardo's. The food was delectable and we were treated like locals.
We found a book of Lucca stories in your library and read them to the grand-children ages eight and six. That led to a hunt through town for Alaria's garden at the top of the Guinigi Tower and eventually to her tomb in the cathedral. The kids loved the mystery.
This was our best family vacation ever. Thank you for your hospitality and for making your home available to us.