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Luxurious detached villa in large enclosed gardens; renovated to high specification. This is a former vicarage, (the church is closed so no bells to interrupt the peace of the countryside) It is light and airy villa, elegantly furnished, stylish and spacious. Modern kitchen & dining room is equipped with everything a chef could require, or dine on the shaded terrace with black granite table. Pool 9.5 x 4 x 1.5m with travertine paving, Heated outside shower; Loggia and BBQ surrounded by lawns, beyond are olive terraces and forest. On the 1st floor 3 bedrooms each with balcony, lovely views, extremely comfortable beds, beautiful white linen, and 4 bathrooms with quality fittings and Carrara marble tiles. The very comfortably furnished sitting room has a log fire, SKY, X box 360 and surround sound, shower room and utility on this floor. The villa is ideally situated on the edge of a medieval village in a totally unspoilt part of Tuscany, 10 km from the Autostrada with Pisa, Lucca, Florence, and several beaches all within easy driving distance.
Wild life and countryside: This is a paradise for country lovers; at dawn and dusk it is possible to see the occasional deer and even wild boar, as they venture from cover in search of food, they had historicaly come into the garden until we errected the fence which encloses the property. We recommend you bring a pair of binoculars to watch eagles and other rare birds as they soar above the hills and down the valleys. Don't worry if you do forget yours as there is a small pair in the house, all part of the service! Also there is plenty of walking immediately available, the meadows mountain top meadows are abundant with flowers and heavy with their perfume.
This sunlit land of chestnut covered hills crowned by medieval villages is easily accessable. You will enjoy the very best of Italy - wonderful landscapes, good food and a warm Italian welcome.
Culture and History: The region is scattered with castles built by the Malaspina family, the Brunella fortress of Aulla houses the Lunigiana Museum of natural History. The castle at Villafranca was ocupied by the Germanys during the second world war, Before they left they blew it up, it's ruin remains.
Genoa; European capital of culture for 2004 is a 1hr drive and well worth a visit. Florence is 1.5hrs drive, or Lucca 1hr drive a delightful city; hire a bike and pedal around the city walls. Parma for the opera 1hr away. Pisa for it's culture is also 1hr away. You can take the train to all these places from villafranca
The sea is readily accessible from Marinella, southwards there are shallow, sandy beaches; whilst at Lerici and the Gulf of Poets (where Shelley drowned, Byron swam and D. H. Lawrence meditated) it is rocky. Further on from Lerici you find the Cinque Terre - five famous fishing villages, which are extremely picturesque. It is possible to take a boat from Lerici to the Cinque Terre.
Lunigiana: Lunigiana derives its name from the Roman port of Luni at the mouth of the river Magra, destroyed by the Normans. Historic sites are not restricted to roman remains, the Luni figures date back to 3000 BC, Lunigiana, the northern corner of Tuscany, is an unspoiled area of breathtaking natural beauty set between the Apennine mountains and the Mediterranean sea. There are countless natural curiosities such as the caves near Equi Terme, site of the natural sulphur baths.
Unknown to the crowds, yet close to the cities and The Cinque Terre. Lunigiana links the Gulf of Poets and the coastal province of Liguria to the west with the Apennines (made famous by Eric Newby's book Love and War in the Apennines) in the northeast. To the southeast the region is dominated by the mountains of the Parco Alpi Apuane (from where Michelangelo choose the marble for his statues).
In winter, the nearest ski resort is Zeri & Ceretto approx 1-1.5hrs drive away.