Astride a turn in the hillside, known as A Capo, lay a farm with exceptional views (incl. Leaning Tower of Pisa, 12 miles south) and two buildings.
Abandoned, overgrown, collapsed.
A new owner has returned some 1000 olive trees to production and (using the Ferrari construction company and international realtors Knight Frank) restored one villa (280 sq m), whose ruins dated back to the 17th century, sparing no expense to use traditional terracotta and chestnut materials.
The result meets all requirements of today's market:
- interior design;
- satellite TV (NB restrictions may imposed by Sky mid 2013) + 5.1 DVD;
- eco-efficient solar-powered under-floor heating;
- infinity pool;
- 4 lavishly appointed double/twin bedrooms (all en-suite); can sleep 6 more (basic);
- large kitchen, dining room, 50sq m living room;
- stunning south-facing panorama over Pisa and Lucca, towards Florence & Siena. 2 terraces shaded by chestnut pergolas.
10 mins to shops + all major Tuscan culture within 2hrs. Quiet and very private
The Pool & Estate:
Grassed paths from both patios lead up to the 12x6m infinity swimming pool with stunning views across the plain of Lucca to the Pisan mountains, distant Pisa and (on a clear day) the mountains of Elba (some 100 miles away). The facilities include a children's paddling pool, terracotta patio, paved sun terrace and grassed shaded terrace with sun-loungers, bench, wooden tables and chairs. The pool is protected by fencing (1.2m high), hedges, walls and/or gates.
Enjoy some 25 acres of woodlands, olive grove and disused vineyard, with traditional terracing and pathways.
La Casa Padronale is also protected by a fence.
SAN MACARIO, LUCCA & PUCCINI
San Macario's upper village is distinctive: set in a nature reserve, its bell-tower overlooks a stunningly beautiful part of north-west Tuscany, beneath the Apuan Alps and close to the Garfagnana National Park.
Shops in the lower village include a grocery store, several bakeries and a drive-kms-for-his-meat butcher. Two large supermarkets (Co-op and Pam) are within a further 5 minutes drive.
San Macario is 10 minutes drive from Lucca and 14 miles from Pisa (its famous tower and airport visible in the distance). Direct flights to Pisa from the US (New York - Delta), UK, Ireland and many other European airports. Florence Airport is also easily within an hour.
Pisa is well known, and Lucca is a unique medieval walled city overflowing with history, culture and charm - also Puccini's birthplace. July & August see the open air Puccini Opera Festival at nearby Torre del Lago, close to the fashionable Versilia coast - sunny, sandy beaches served by bars & restaurants aplenty. A must.
Important Note: Il Fienile is approached by an un-metalled driveway (approx 800m) past a seasonal waterfall, first through woodlands, then olive groves. Cars with very low clearance are inadvisable, and our guests generally use hire cars (normally suitable). We deliberately leave the drive rough, but always maintain it in a condition in which the owner can gain access in his low-clearance Mercedes. Severe storms have been known to cause the driveway to become blocked or eroded until our staff have had reasonable time to clear it. The house is a Tuscan farmhouse, not an urban hotel. It is normal in the area occasionally to experience water and power shortages.
The bottom line: if you are an out and out city dweller, happiest in urban surroundings and not used to country life (and roads!), this is not the holiday for you - unless you want something completely different, and are prepared to approach our rural (but pleasurable) lifestyle in the right spirit: on holiday! NB a friendly cat has adopted us.
Mid-fifties, Oxford-educated (classics & organ scholar) Anglo-Irish businessman, primarily with finance-profession background, which has led to career in commercial and social real estate development and investment (I acquired this property following the sale of a business in 2001). I am also a golf course restorer and photo-journalist, with golf guides to my name in book, magazine and video format. I love my family, travel, opera, cooking and wine - and of course restoring old buildings...
The view, the view, the view. The peace, the peace, the peace. The privacy, the privacy, the privacy. Birdsong, birds of prey and the hoot of our owl at night. Plus a traditional restoration, for which the local authority has complimented us, yet behind the scenes we have included all the modern facilities. It all reflects the passion we put into the place. We challenge you to find anything like it...
Complete peace and privacy with an amazing view, yet only 5 minutes down the hill, and you have all the shops and restaurants... and within 7km of the walls of Lucca, an hour of Florence and all the major Tuscan destinations (Forte dei Marmi jet-set riviera included) easily do-able in day trips, plus only 14 miles from a transcontinentally international airport. For a romantic, but equally family-accommodating Tuscan villa holiday, what more could one want?!