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The Tuscan Retreat

| Tuscany, Italy
17
8
5
Open fire / woodburner
Internet access
Swimming pool
Villa holidays
Family friendly
Country houses
1 more

At a glance

  • Countryside location
  • Cot available
  • Barbeque facilities
  • Swimming pool (available end of May-mid Sept)
  • Basketball
  • 10-minute drive to local town

The Tuscan Retreat is a countryside property comprising two beautifully restored properties, set together in a secluded chestnut valley in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany. If you love the countryside, good food, and are looking for an authentic experience of Italy with family and friends, The Tuscan Retreat is the perfect location.

The watermill and house can be linked together through the top floor and these historic buildings have been fully restored to retain their character yet with all modern facilities. Original features include chestnut beams, wooden floors and the original mill grinding stones. The bedrooms have cast iron beds, all the bathrooms have walk-in showers, and the kitchens are especially well equipped for those who love to cook, even including bread and pasta makers.

There are eight bedrooms accommodating up to 17 guests across a variety of bedroom layouts including bedrooms that interlink and are perfect for families, as well as twins and one set of adult sized bunk beds. Each property has its own kitchen, living and dining room, and guests can dine alfresco together under the vine-covered pergola.

The Tuscan Retreat is set in a peaceful location with both properties having their own gardens with gazebos, pergolas, and garden furniture overlooking the river. The two private pools (available end of May-mid Sept) each have large wooden decking areas with sun loungers and there is a table tennis table and basketball net, perfect for the kids. Whilst The Tuscan Retreat has had many guests staying with young children, please be aware that there are some stone steps and tiled floors, therefore the property is recommended for children over 5 years.

The Tuscan Retreat is perfect for a peaceful holiday in the scenic Garfagnana, known for its gastronomic traditions, authentic restaurants and countryside activities.

Guest Review (August 2019)

We had an amazing stay at this incredible place; we’d booked both houses for a large group — some 16 of us with young children and teenagers in the mix. The location is like something out of a fairytale: set in a tiny village in the Tuscan mountains, with spectacular views and scenery. The accommodation was beautifully appointed, with more than enough room for all of us. In addition to having plenty of facilities (bathrooms, laundry rooms, dinging rooms and terraces, TV rooms complete with Blu Rays, etc.) part of the accommodation was itself a kind of living relic: with the original workings and equipment of the mill nicely preserved, complete with pictures of the family who once lived and worked there; it was lovely to have a glimpse into its past. Most importantly for us (we’re all foodies) the kitchens were exceptionally well-equipped, with everything you could conceivably need to cook proper food. 

Outside of the accommodation are several terraces of land at different levels which eventually slope away to a crystal clear stream that runs over slate and granite rocks, with trout holding in the larger pools and a blizzard of butterflies on the banks surrounding it. The grounds of the property are idyllic. In addition to two lovely swimming pools, the gardens are dotted with fruit trees such as mirabelle and fig, and herbs — fennel and basil among them— that made their way on to our plates. There was enough room for us all to spread out and do our own thing: from the loungers by the swimming pools to hammocks, to the table tennis, and an outdoor mattress under a gazebo where you could nap away a lazy afternoon.

We particularly loved using the outdoor pizza oven and barbecues. At lunch times and in the evenings we sat under fruiting vines eating incredible food —in addition to the pizzas (which the kids devoured in their scores) we made salads with the local Buratta, tomatoes and basil plucked from one of the boxes on the terrace; delectable porchetta that we roasted ourselves; amazing aubergines, peppers and courgettes that we’d grilled on the barbecue, all of it washed down with some great wine and beer. 

The owners were amazing; they went out of their way to ensure we had an amazing stay — from booking a wonderful local restaurant, to greeting us with food hampers, to advising on treks, to accommodating various other of our particular needs and requirements. We were worried before arriving about the lack of air con, but it really wasn’t an issue — it cooled sufficiently in the evenings to be comfortable for sleeping, but definitely not chilly (this is during the height of summer);There’s loads to do near by: hikes, food festivals, medieval hamlets, but we loved it so much at the accommodation itself that we spent most of the time there drinking in the beauty of our surroundings. It’s a dream of a place, you won’t want to leave…

SLEEPS 17: 8 bedrooms across a restored watermill and house;

Watermill: Sleeps 8: 4 bedrooms; 1 en-suite king with an interlinked twin bedroom, an additional twin room and a room with bunkbeds that are suitable for adults.

House: Sleeps 9: 4 bedrooms; 1 en-suite king, 1 triple with 3 single beds with an interlinked twin bedroom and an additional twin bedroom.

ADDITIONAL BEDS: Sofa bed and cot available.

ADDITIONAL INFO: The Tuscan Retreat is located in the countryside, so the property is unlikely to suit guests who are sensitive to insects and wildlife.

COOK + DINE: Fully equipped kitchens and dining rooms across both properties. Terraces with furniture for dining alfresco including a vine-covered pergola where larger groups can dine together. 2 BBQs available.

RELAX: Living areas with TV and soft seating in both properties.

BATHE: 5 bathrooms all with walk-in showers;

Watermill: 1 en-suite with a walk-in shower and a family bathroom with a shower.

House: 1 en-suite shower room, 1 shower room and a family bathroom with a corner shower and slipper bath.

TECH: WiFi, TVs and 3 DVD players are available with a library of DVDs.

PLAY: Shared table tennis table and basketball net. Cookery courses and wine-tasting can possibly be arranged by the owners at an additional cost.

OUTSIDE: Each property has a pool, decking and garden areas. Please note the driveway is quite steep and there is alternative parking nearby and in the village square.

PETS: No pets.

VENUE HIRE: This property does not cater for weddings or corporate events.

LOCAL AREA: The Tuscan Retreat is the perfect spot for walkers as it is situated on the Garfagnana trekking routes in the 'Alpi Apuane'. The nearby hilltop villages and towns retain the character of the old Italian way of life and it is an area well known for its culinary traditions. These traditions are celebrated throughout the summer with 'sagras' - food festivals and medieval celebrations. The nearest town, Castiglione is a 10-minute drive from the property and has small local shops, bars, and restaurants. Restaurants tend to be family run and serve authentic, local cuisine at reasonable prices, perfect if you fancy a break from cooking.

ACTIVITIES NEARBY: The large town of Castelnuovo is 20 minutes away and has a large weekly market and shops, or head to Barga for the day, 30 minutes away and famous for its Jazz festival in the summer. The beautiful walled city of Lucca is an hour away, perfect for a day trip or for a gentle bike ride along the wall. Other nearby attractions include the Parco di Orecchiella nature reserve or spectacular mineral caves at Grotto del Vento.

GETTING THERE: Nearest Airport: Pisa 93km. Nearest Station: Castelnuovo di Garfaganana 12.5km.

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The Big Domain Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered Office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF | Company No. 04707652 | VAT reg: 942636610