Photos and Description of this 6 bedroom holiday home in Lucca - Al Bastini
Tradition's comfort: luxuriously restored Tuscan villa with air conditioning
Al Bastini is a beautiful 18 century villa-farmhouse basking on a sunny hillside, with glorious views towards Pisa & the medieval city of Lucca. Full of period character, the house was built in traditional Tuscan style from local stone & terracotta, with high chestnut-beamed ceilings & open fireplaces. It has been lovingly restored to a very high standard with a perfect blend of antiquity & modern comforts. Facilities include air-conditioning, WiFi broadband, satellite 50' plasma TV, DVD, billiard table, and table tennis. Set in 7 acres of gentle sloping terraces with old olive & fruit trees, the landscaped gardens feature flowerbeds, lawns, a heated 10 x 5m pool, & 3 outside eating areas in both sun & shade. There's a loggia, jasmine-scented terrace with stone barbecue, & a wisteria-covered pool-side pergola, all overlooking the wonderful views. There's ample quality garden chairs & sunbeds for relaxation. All the ingredients for an unforgetable holiday.
Tuscany and Umbria are crowded with places to see - the obvious ones being Florence (1 hour's drive), Siena (1.5 hours) and San Gimignano (2 hours). Also well worth a trip is to follow the Piero della Francesca trail (as in John Mortimer's book Summer Lease- John Mortimer also stayed at Al Bastini) which you can start in Arezzo (beautiful city, 1.5 hours' drive) & continue to nearby San Sepolcro and Monterchi, to see other examples of his stunning fresco work. If you have time when in that area, Assisi and Perugia are also well worth a visit. Volterra is a beautiful hilltop town well worth a visit.
Closer to home, of course, are Viareggio & Forte dei Marmi, both very attractive seaside towns. You can also visit Lerici on the coast, a picturesque place with stunning views, from which you can get a short boat trip to Portavenere & enjoy the lovely seafood restaurants. Again on the coast are Cinque Terre, five lovely coastal villages all connected by train, boat or foot & well worth a visit. For a short trip, it is worth going to elegant Montecatini (30 mins) a spa town (but don't wear shorts as you won't be allowed into the baths). You can take the railway (or a taxi!, or drive yourself) up to the old hilltop village which is very pretty. An alternative place for lunch is Montecarlo (20 min) or Vinci (home of Leonardo) which, in addition to some very good restaurants, has a fascinating museum with scaled down models of all his inventions & posters of his works.
Puccini was born in Lucca & the ancient San Giovanni basilica in Lucca holds daily recitals of his music. There's also an annual open air Puccini opera festival thoughout July & August at nearby Torre Del Lago.
For sporting activities: there are some challenging golf courses within an hour's drive, tennis clubs, riding, fishing, paragliding, mountaineering & beautiful walks are all available in the area.
- children welcome
- non smoking only
- pets not allowed
- suitable for elderly or infirm
Guestbook comments from the owner
Hope you are keeping well and back in your wonderful home Al Bastini. It was lovely to meet you at last and to be able to put a face to the name. I just wanted to thank you for being so very generous and allowing me to visit for the week. You have created the most wonderful home there, of which I am sure you are very aware. I had a wonderful peaceful week by the pool and taking in all of the beautiful scenery.