Casa D'alloro has two beautifully appointed double bedrooms, both en-suite. One has an outstanding view over the chestnut swathed foothills of the Apuan Alps. A fully equipped kitchen includes dishwasher and microwave, while the lounge area also has those spectacular views down the valley towards the Magra river.
Breakfast on the terrace in the cool shade watching the butterflies and listening to the crickets. Evening in the warm sun watching the shadows lengthen. Then the fire flies appear below in the garden flitting from the bushes to the fruit trees. As it gets darker the sky lights up with a million stars so bright without florescent lights and you can hear the owls over the valley and even the rustling in the bushes of the wild deer or maybe even the chingale wild boar so prized by the locals. Far away towards Aulla just a few lights twinkle in tiny villages like ours and above Licciana is the faint orange glow of the cemetery...... this is Lunigiana........
Outdoor Pool - our new in ground pool( 8m x 4m) has just been completed. Roman steps lead into the pool to give easy access for all ages. The pool is 1.25m deep..perfect for adults to do easy lengths and shallow enough for kids 7 and over to be able to stop for a breather. The location is amazing with views far down over the valley.
Local attractions 1: Lucca - 1 hr 10 mins - Provincial capital with intact Renaissance walls. Do not miss the oval Piazza Antiteatro right in the centre which has some of the original arches still in place. This is the birthplace of Giacomo Puccici the famous composer and there is a summer music festival held which has included Eric Clapton, Burt Bacharach, Anastasia and Moby. At nearby Torre del Lago there is a Puccini festival every July/ August.
Potovenere/Cinque Terra - 55 mins - World Heritage Site. Picturesque town on the Gulf of Poets with great seafood trattorias where you can catch the ferry to the 5 villages of the Cinque Terra. Over the centuries terraces have been constructed on the steep hillsides to cultivate vines and olives. No cars can reach the villages and the inhabitants are proud of protecting their way of life.
Eating out - possibly our favourite activity... huge choice from 12 euro local lunches of fresh mountain produce to the more expensive but superb restaurants around Lerici.
Local attractions 2: Lerici/San Terenzo - 35 mins - beautiful typical seaside resort that hasn't changed much over the years due to strict planning regulations. Dominated by its castle, it also has a small fish market right on the harbour. There is a small public beach that is shallow and safe for kids. Great ice cream parlours and restaurants. You can also get the ferry to Portovenere across the bay.
Sarzana - 30 mins - beautiful centro storico with large piazza and marble Gothic cathedral dating from 1355. Some lovely restaurants and ice cream parlours. Huge antiques market every month.
Parma - 1 hr 30 mins - world famous for Proscuitto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, architecture and one of the oldest universities in the world. Easy to visit and to park in and amazing food. Many beautiful Romanesque churches and lovely gardens around the Ducal Palace.
Luni Amphitheater and Museum - 40 mins -Founded in 177BC there are remains of the Roman Amphitheater and is located on the via Aurelia which lead to Rome.
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more info.....: Hill walking - directly from Casa D'alloro there are endless spectacular marked hill walks in the Apuan Alps. Wild boar roam the mountains and all the locals search for fungi the day after rain.
Water Parks -There are two water parks within easy reach, one at Villafranca in Lunigiana and one close to Fivizziano.
Karting - there is an outdoor kart track between Lerici and Boco di Magra and a world championship track at Parma just 1 hour drive.
Opera - just one hour from Torre di Lago to experience Puccini where it was written. Book early in the season to ensure you get a seat.
Shopping - Forti dei Marmi is just down the autostrada where you can enjoy the passegata with the locals browsing Tods, Prada, Hogan, Dolce e Gabbana before stopping for your appertivo....it has to be a Prosecco......
Adventure park - parco 100 aventure is the summer activity at the Prato Spilla ski resort. A challenging adventure set high in the chestnut trees caters for 6 to 76 year olds.....