"Il Metatino" is a lovingly restored former chestnut roasting cottage, keeping it's original features, with arches, exposed chestnut beams and terra-cotta tiled floors and ceilings, with white washed walls. It has a couple of outside terraces, one with a pergola shaded by an ancient fig tree and another which is a sun trap, all have fantastic views with medieval hamlets and villages perched on the hillsides. The nearest town of Bagni di Lucca (the baths of Lucca) is 4 miles away down the valley and has all the amenities you could wish for, the historic city of Lucca is 16 miles away and the jewel of Tuscany.
Staying here gives you the chance to explore three important aspects of this beautiful region of Italy. Firstly, the art, architecture and civilised way of life in towns and cities - Lucca (18 miles), Pisa (35 miles) and Florence (60 miles) are easily reached by road or rail. Though they are further away, Bologna, Siena, Volterra and San Gimignano are all viable day trips by car. Lucca our provincial capital is truly a memorably beautiful town. The walk around the wall is the favourite walk of many locals let alone tourists, with views of the town on one side and of the surrounding countryside on the other. Bikes can be hired to add healthy extra exercise to the experience.
Secondly, there is the beach culture to sample. You will be a little over an hour's drive from Viareggio the main resort of the Versilian coast and miles of sandy beaches backed by the marble mountains of Carrara. The beaches are mainly managed by entry-charging concessions but there are advantages - umbrellas and loungers provided in your own space, freshly raked sand and, for refreshment, hot drinks, soft drinks, chilled wine and beer and cold and hot food on pleasant terraces. Further on, up the coastal autostrada and now a total drive of 90 minutes, Lerici is well worth a visit - a lovely little coastal town in a beautiful setting with a regular boat service across the Gulf of the Poets (Shelley, etc.) to the equally beautiful resort of Portovenere.
Thirdly is the Italy often hidden from the package tour tourist. This house is in the heart of a relatively unspoilt, hilly country region with the charming town of Bagni di Lucca just a ten minute drive away. The town has a three-pool facility in a beautiful, scenic setting, restaurants, bars, a range of shops and a local market. Villages are set in hilly chestnut forests where self-sufficiency exists alongside the use of local supermarkets. Footpaths and ancient mule tracks provide scenic routes for walkers of all ages and abilities. One favourite walk is the 15 minute stroll from the house to the well-stocked food shop in the next village! Another favourite activity has been simply sitting in the late afternoon sun on the courtyard, with an aperitivo, looking at the view and drinking in the atmosphere - along with the aperitivo of course!