|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
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.
I first saw Al Bastini during the summer of 1985 when I was looking for a holiday home. It was abandoned, the olive groves were overgrown and access was extremely difficult but with its amazing character and fabulous views towards the old towns of Lucca, and Pisa.
It seemed like a wonderful restoration project. I signed the compromesso on Boxing Day 1985 and the final contract in April 1986. Little did I realise at the time that Al Bastini would be my home for the next 30 years.
Les/Alex purchased this house in 1985
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.
We were a family of 8 adults and two small children and Al Bastini was magical for everyone. The house was very comfortable and spacious with stunning views over the hills. Everyone is still talking of evenings on the terrace drinking very inexpensive prosecco with a gentle cooling breeze. Les the owner was always very helpful and nothing was too mch trouble. He even arranged for lasagnes to be in the fridge so we didn't have to worry about food as soon as we arrived. There is a very good Co-op nearby and an excellent butcher in the village.
The pool is excellent, the three years old learnt to swim, and in the evenings there were table tennis tournaments! Lucca is close by and there is a good bus service to Florence. Everyone loved Al Bastini and there are already plans to go back soon. A fantastic memory, thanks Les, your house needs more than 5 stars!
Forget it - you don't seem to want my review. Your query makes no sense.
It was our first time back in the Lucca area for many years. We have been many times over the last 20 years and looked forward to returning to favourite places and finding some mew ones. Al Bastini was a fabulous base for our holiday and when the weather turned hot in the second week, it was great to be able to just enjoy the villa and all the facilities it provided. Les and Alex were very welcoming at the start. As they live there for part of the year, it meant that everything worked. The villa is someone's home and not an investment property for tourists. I recommend getting Morena in to cook some Tuscan food. Our favorite restaurant in Lucca was Miranda. Overall we had a lovely holiday in a beautiful home. Sunsets on the terraces will be happy memories until we get to return.
We spent the last week of July and was very exited about averything. Great house with charm and high quaility. It's very spacious and stayng 10 persons together just works perfect. The pool area, out door barbecue, ping pong table, pool table etc allows you to have a great time. The location of the house is ideal, close to Lucca and situated with a great view and lots of privacy. Would without any hesitation recommend this house to friends.
The house was better than we expected! It was just lovely and was well located ... Far enough from the center of the city and near enough to get there! We were 10 and the house was large enough and never felt crowded! It was homey and comfortable!
It is a unique, charming house!
The owners were so nice and accommodating!!
When we come back to Lucca, we would think of staying no where else!
If you stay there ... ask to have a private chef, Morena, come to the house and give a cooking lesson and make a meal! She was just great! Expect to have one of your better meals in Italy ... and a bit of left overs!
If I could give this more stars I would!
Al Bastini was perfect for our family of 10, ages ranging from 2 to 72, with comfortable sleeping arrangements for all. The house is elegant, beautifully maintained and very well appointed. Pingpong and swimming in the pool were very popular activities when we were not buzzing in and out of Lucca which is close enough to make multiple trips during a day. Lucca is a wonderful town for wandering and it's nice to be slo close to Pisa. The property is up a long road providing beautiful views and total privacy. We enjoyed chatting with Les about the history of the house. We can highly recommend Al Bastini.
Just 15 mins from the centre of Lucca, Al Bastini is conveniently located in idyllic countryside within comfortable reach of the historic cities of Pisa, Florence & Siena.
A few minutes away by car are shops and restaurants in the village of San Macario in Piano. A further 5 minutes away are 3 large supermarkets and in another 5 minutes, you will arrive in Lucca. Both Pisa airport and the Versilian coast can be reached in 30 minutes.
Lucca is a beautiful medieval city famed for its towers & renaissance walls, with plenty of cultural sights to see, excellent shops & restaurants. The Versilian coast is a short drive away, with its sandy resorts of Forte Dei Marmi & Viareggio. You can also visit Lerici & Portovenere further up the coast, or take a boat to the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre. Montecatini the spa town is worth a trip, as are the pretty towns of the Garfagnana. There are several splendid baroque villas outside Lucca worth seeing. Organised sightseeing, cooking courses, & visits to vineyards & olive mills can be pre-booked. There are great restaurants nearby from simple trattorias to Michelin starred. The nearest supermarket is 4km, the nearest restaurant, 3km. Pisa airport is 45 mins by car, with direct flights to US & Europe.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£580|
Many guest services are available such as a cook, babysitting, vineyard tours etc, please enquire for further information and prices.