My wife Marijke and I have spent many years working and travelling in Europe, the Americas, Asia and New Zealand. Our plan, upon retiring, was to set up a B&B in Italy, offering as hosts the best of the hospitality we've experienced as guests in our travels.
We spent ten months looking for the right location, and we think we found it in Barga (province of Lucca, Tuscany). The house we bought and restored, on a slope overlooking the old town and the Apuan Alps, is only 1.5 km away from the centre of Barga, and benefits from a spectacular view over the 1000 year old Barga Cathedral and the Pania della Croce mountain.
The property includes the house proper, where we live and serve breakfast, a garden, an olive grove and 4 terraces. There is also the 'Capanno', a stone building nearby where 2 of the B&B rooms are situated, one of which is the Bellavista unit. The Bellavista has a double bed, an ensuite bathroom, private entrance and terrace as well as a kitchenette for guests wishing a self-catering arrangement. Satellite TV and Wi-Fi connection are equally available. Imagine sipping a drink while you watch the sun setting behind Monte Forato (the Mountain-with-a-hole, an attraction on its own) and later taking a stroll to Barga Vecchia and enjoy dinner in one of the Restaurants serving genuine Garfagnana dishes. Walking to Barga Centre will take 20 min over a scenic route along a small paved road with no traffic. If you are too tired for that, you can drive there in 3 min.
Barga offers a unique combination for lovers of Nature (a well maintained network of mountain trails: Monte Giovo, Lago Santo, Monte Forato...), of History/Art (Duomo di Barga, Fortezza delle Verrucole...), of Gastronomy (Prosciutto Bazzone, Funghi Porcini,...) and of Music (Barga Jazz Festival, Valle del Serchio Opera Festival...).
My personal top three attractions in Barga:
1. Hike to Monte Forato, the mountain with the hole ( 2 hrs walk)
2. Get your feet wet in the Orrido di Botri canyon (2 hrs walk)
3. Visit the old Via Pascoli bakery (Regiobello) on Saturday morning (pane di patate: a medieval scent that will take you back a few hundred years in time).
We are looking forward to meet nice and interesting people from all over the world, thus in a way continuing our travels and deepening our understanding of other Cultures.
If you have never been in this part of Tuscany, we'll be glad to share our experience of it with you.
Please visit our website if you want to learn more about our B&B and about dates available for booking. As we have just opened, right now many dates are still available, and we would advise you take advantage of this! Note that besides the Bellavista Room the B&B has 2 more rooms available, please ask for more information.
Note that we'll be closed from October to March.
Keywords: B&B, self catering, mini-apartments, hiking, walking, nature, view, mountains, medieval town, gastronomy, Tuscany, mushrooms, wine, olive oil, globetrotters, cooking corses
My name is Pietro. I was born and raised in Crema (Lombardia), took a degree in physics at Pavia University. My first job was in the Netherlands. There I met Marijke, my wife, on the bus from Bergen to Petten. We soon discovered that we both liked travels and adventure. In 1973 we emigrated to Canada and spent 6 months backpacking from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. We loved it! After working 2 years in Montreal, we went travelling again and spent all of 1976 in Central and South America. Marijke, who is Dutch, has worked as a secretary, a translator and an air hostess, and I workedc as an IT specialist. During our travels we have enjoyed not only visiting the natural and historical highlights, but also meeting the local people as well as other fellow travellers. Some of them have become our friends for life.
Later we settled in Ivrea, Northern Italy, and started a family. We now have two wonderful grown up daughters, one living in the Philippines (Marine Conservation), the other one in Switzerland (Human Rights). From 1980 to 2005 we lived and worked in Luxembourg. Besides travelling, we love cooking [Marijke], gardening, making jam [Pietro], hiking and visiting the Barga Jazz Club on friday night. Our black Labrador (Tosca) died recently and we are hoping to soon get a new dog. We also have a cat, called Flip. We speak English, Italian, Dutch, German, French and some Spanish. We are looking forward to meeting you in our B&B!
This is actually our home, where we offer accomodation to guests as well. We had lived for 25 years in Luxembourg. Upon retirement we wanted to have an activity to keep us busy and be socially active by meeting other people. We wanted a place with a good climate, not too touristy, not too crowded, where we could meet Italians and expats alike. Somewhere surrounded by nature, with a large garden, yet not far from a town. It had to be within walking distance of at least a Restaurant, a Bakery, a Café and a Newsstand. It had to be a house with a historic character, and large enough for a B&B. The town nearby had to be lively and its inhabitants friendly. We looked at 127 properties before deciding for La Serra di Barga!
Getting up in the morning and enjoy the view from the window. BBQ in the shade of the persimmon tree. Harvest the olives and take them to the olive press for making oil. Go for a mountain hike on the Appennine meadows. Walk to Barga town and enjoy a typical Garfagnana meal at a Restaurant. Sit in a Café with an Espresso while reading today's paper. Attend one of the gastronomic festivals in the surrounding villages. Walk back to the house at night amidst fireflies. Go for a swim at the Albiano open air swimming pool. Go for a drink at the Barga Jazz Club on friday night. Make jam with the fruit of our orchyard. Go for a bicycle ride down in the valley. Go on a mushroom picking expedition up in the woods above our house. Watch a play at the Barga Theatre (Teatro dei Differenti). Go to Wanda's for a real all-natural Italian icecream.
Collecting mushrooms & berries. The nearby mountains (Alpi Apuane and Appennino Toscano) offer a network of marked trails and mountain huts for hiking and or rock climbing. The Grotta del Vento nearby (20 min drive) is a cave where guided visits are offered on a daily basis, lasting up to three hours. The Orrido di Botri canyon (30 min drive away) allows a cool adventurous trip (feet in the water) for adults and kids alike. The Garfagnana (the area of Tuscany where Barga is located) is famous also for its gastronomy (mushrooms, wild boar) and its festivals (Sagra del Pesce e Patate, Barga Jazz Festival, etc.).
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event||Minimum Stay|
|25 % deposit (Paypal) at the time of booking
75 % upon arrival (cash) or v ia Paypal a few days before arrival
|Fees And Taxes||our rates are all inclusive of fees, taxes, etc. they remain the same throughout the season (April to September)|
|see our cancellation rules on our website|
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (EUR) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.