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It was a wonderful experience. The whole situation was superb, the staff were so welcoming and helpful. They were available whenever we needed them.
The peace and quiet, all the birds we heard, the beauty of the setting and the beauty and convenience of the villa.
The bedrooms were lovely but the beds were firm and not conducive to getting a good rest.
The area is lovely. The mountains and trees and the whole yard were very relaxing and we enjoyed the area very much. The road up to the villa was so different to what we are used to and so fascinating. The area is not overly "touristy" and that is a very good thing. We felt like we were seeing how people in Italy live. Camaiore is fascinating and we enjoyed visiting the various shops there. We were also close to lots of other areas to explore if we wanted. One of my favourites was Pietrasanto. Beautiful and interesting town and the road over the hills was an experience. Narrow, full of switchbacks and amazing views.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Camaiore and yes we did walk there on occasion.
Tips or Restaurants:
Sunscreen, good walking shoes, good appetites. Be sure to visit Lucca and Pietrasanto. We enjoyed the outdoor cafes in Piazza del Duomo in Pietrasanta.
We used the GPS and I don't think there is any other way to get there. The written directions were no doubt accurate but very hard to follow. We arrived late on Saturday evening and stayed in Pisa overnight and I was very glad we did. Getting there after dark would have been a challenge to say the least.
Check In Out:
Walter, the caretaker couldn't have been more welcoming or helpful. He responded to any of our needs immediately and was unfailingly pleasant and helpful. Rossana, the housekeeper, was so cheerful and lovely and communicated very well considering we couldn't speak Italian and she couldn't speak English.
My family absolutely loved our stay at Villa Mareli. The house is beautifully decorated and very comfortable. We had a small group, but there would be plenty of space for a larger group, inside and outside. The house could easily accommodate ten people. We loved walking around the vineyard and sitting at the terraces. We didn't use the spa facilities, but they are gorgeous, in a sort of peaceful cave below the family room. The ping pong table and the pool are nice diversions as well.
Montemagno is a peaceful little town, about a 30 minute drive from Lucca, Viareggio and Pietrasanta, and 90 minutes from Cinque Terre. We felt it was far enough from everything to give a true feeling of being in the Tuscan countryside, while close enough to always find something to do. Having the train station in Lucca was convenient as well; Florence is about 80 minutes away on a regional train.
Francesa and her husband Daniele are wonderful hosts. They left us a gorgeous lunch for our arrival--salumi, cheese, fresh bread, olives, honey and a berry tart. They showed us around the building where they make their wine, and we did a tasting of their wine, olive oil and honey. We also really enjoyed their restaurant La Meraviglie. The food was excellent and inexpensive, and the staff was welcoming (and patient with our basic Italian).
I highly recommend staying here. I would love to come back and bring more of my family and friends!