|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Casa a Corte is a beautiful, restored property of Roman origin near the hamlet of Gugliano. The house is surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, fruit trees, chestnut woodlands, mountain streams and offers tranquillity to those seeking relaxation. However, the lively town of Lucca, a 20 minutes drive by car, offers everything one could wish for, whether it be fine dining, shopping, sight-seeing or cycling around the ancient walls during the 'passegiata' at sunset. The house is well located for visiting Florence and Siena, the seaside resorts and the mountain regions of Garfagnana. Casa a Corte is set in 30 acres of its own land which is used for the production of wine and olive oil. From the three large terraces and swimming pool, one can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and hear the distant sound of church bells and choir from over the valley.
3 terraces, pool and garden: There is a well-maintained garden and a lovely pool which enjoys sun throughout the day.
The gardens provide perfect areas for relaxation and for children to play.
The house is surrounded by 3 large terraces. The east terrace is accessed from both the kitchen and dining room and has a large slate dining table and eight chairs. A pergola of climbing jasmine, wysteria and passion fruit provides dappled shade. There are views through the olive trees to the pool. Lighting above the large stone table allows for 'al fresco' dining.
The large terracotta tiled south terrace is a sun worshippers' dream. It also benefits from a 3 seater sofa, 2 arm chairs and dining table.
The west terrace enjoys a well established garden of lavender, roses, mimosa and fig trees, plus a table and benches. All terraces have fabulous views across the vineyards and valley.
The area is organic & a wildlife enthusiasts dream with many rare species of animals & birds. In the spring & summer the area is full of wild flowers. As Italy becomes more developed, with more young people attracted to city life, the importance of our valley is becoming more significant as they are becoming the last areas of traditional farming
Casa a Corte has appeared in the TV programme 'A House in Tuscany' and in several magazines
Local Tuscan cook available on request with two options - a) Aurelio Barattini from v well known Antica Locanda or b) Grazia, a local Tuscan lady
The local town of Ponte A Moriano which is 10 mins away by car, has several restaurants, banks/post office, deli run by wonderful cook Alessandro who prepares cooked meals to take away, Sauro's fabulous Gelateria & bar (the best home-made ice cream in the area) bar, cafes, excellent butchers, superb market with fish, local vegetables, local honey, mushrooms, olive oils etc and a large supermarket - Esse Lunga, plus a supplier of local wines etc.
We are a well travelled family of 4, who grew up in the Far East & moved to Europe to become a wildlife film maker. Although I now specialise in another area of film, my job is to make objects & places look beautiful.
Our 2 children both studied languages at university, have travel & worked in the Far East, Europe, Africa & South, Central & North America, with interests in food, lifestyle, wildlife, art & sport.
During 2016/ 17 Hazel & I have been working on a pictorial book on Tuscany, the local area, it's food & people. Hopefully this will be published in 2017.
Hugh Johnson purchased this farmhouse in 2000
Having viewed several properties during the summer & autumn of 1999, we fell in love with Casa a Corte after seeing the house and land from across the valley with the mountains behind.
We immediately knew this was the house we were looking for. Over 17 years we have built up a very good relationship with the locals, who are charming & extremely welcoming. One of the real plus points of the area is there are so many things to do, whether it is walking near the house, going to the beach, exploring art & history, markets and festivals, plus sport.
Our passion is being outside and spend much of our 'working' holiday looking at the wonderful countryside & wildlife, chatting to the locals & trying to become a better cook. The farmer and his friends in Gugliano have been so helpful & kind to us and have made Casa a Corte a special place for all our family.
The local restaurants, especially at the wonderful Antica Locanda have given us lots of tips when producing our olive oil & have become family friends. A recent project has been working with the son & head chef, Aurelio Barattini on a book titled the Tuscan chef, featuring his restaurant & farm, plus lots of recipes.
Hi Hugh, We had a wonderfuly comfortable time at your guest house. The weather was actually fine each day with very little rain. We did some excellent day trips and had lunch at Antica Locanda twice, great reccomendation. We cooked in each night and were very pleased with how well stocked the kitchen was. We were also able to use the pool a bit. Thank you again for everything to make it a great holiday.
I recently stayed at this lovely farmhouse, and very much enjoyed the tranquility..swapping busy city life for this idillic location for just two weeks was enough to recharge the batteries.
The house is lovely, convenient to reach, and the local town of Lucca is charming.
I can't wait to return!
Once again very pleased to be back at the Casa. Blessed with good weather, we spent most the time in the pool. The house stays nice and cool, and long evenings were spent on the terrace eating local produce and drinking local wine. Nothing better!
Casa a corte must be the place that Pisa airport based it's poster on " abandon cares all who enter here" It is in a beautiful location surrounded by the Tuscan countryside yet convenient for the stunning town of Lucca. The house is like a home with everything you need at hand and a welcome from the owners that makes you feel like family. Sitting on the terrace at night watching the fireflies and relaxing in the gardens are a joy a fabulous week thank you Hugh and Hazel for sharing your fantastic home .
Our stay at Casa A Corte was wonderful. The hosts, Hugh & Hazel, provided so much information for us like directions to the house and local days out. All very thoughtful and it made us feel totally at home once we arrived at the beautiful farmhouse. You really do feel like your in paradise with so much green Tuscan countryside surrounding the house, incredibly quiet.
As a foodie I loved how well equipped the kitchen was, plenty of everything like big serving bowls and platters and a great BBQ for staying in and cooking some meat from the local butchers. The beautiful blue pool invites you in every time and its a lovely place to relax and read a book.
We ate out every other night and we're spoilt for choice, Lucca is very close by which has some amazing restaurants and lots of nice bars to have pre dinner drinks. There are also some properly authentic local eateries close to the house, all recommended by the hosts and none of them disappointed. Antica Locanda is one of Hugh's favourites and the head chef served us the best steak we'd ever had, cooked over a wood fired grill and sliced to perfection with parmesan and rocket.
Hugh & Hazel also recommended some great days out, a trip to the Cinque Terre was phenomenal, we also visited Florence and lots of beaches.
A fantastic holiday, but mainly due to the fact that Hugh & Hazel were so organised and helpful with there suggestions about what to do, see and eat. Many many thanks once again.
Casa a Corte is an extremely well presented property where the owners have carefully considered and provided for every aspect of comfort and relaxation. It is in an isolated location yet within easy striking distance of excellent local amenities.
The house can comfortably accommodate eight people and the published descriptions are very accurate. All the facilities are top quality and generously provided. The property was clean and very well maintained. The pool was immaculate and the perfect temperature; the grounds were tidy and full of interesting wildlife, highlights being hoopoe, little owls and a porcupine.
The owner was very hospitable and generous in ensuring our needs were met and offered plenty of useful local knowledge, particularly regarding restaurants and sources of great authentic Italian food. I would have no hesitation in recommending this property to others - indeed I would like us to return. Lucca is architecturally charming and full of intriguing eating opportunities, although there is scope to be ripped off too. For us the greater charm was in the outlying towns and villages, particularly Ponte A Moriano - we ate well everywhere we went and everyone we met was delightfully pleasant and accommodating. They all welcomed children and babies too. We didn't stray too far from the villa because it was so relaxing.
This is an absolutely beautiful villa in the Tuscan hills and a perfect way to spend a week in Italy.
The villa is within easy reach of Pisa airport and we had no problems finding the location with the very helpful instructions from Hugh and Hazel. We instantly felt at home when we walked in. The villa is so charming and we just couldn't stop walking round exploring the outside grounds and rooms inside with huge smiles on our faces! I felt so lucky to have found such a gem! When the sun is beaming, it is the perfect place to spend a day chilled by the pool with a good book, but its location makes it within easy reach of great days out.
The local town of Lucca is just stunning. We rented bikes and cycled around the walls at sunset, which I would recommend. It's very easy to spend a few hours exploring all the side streets and restaurants! The local train station in Lucca was also extremely handy as it enabled us to travel into Florence very easily. Another beautiful day out.
I would recommend staying here to anyone looking for a peaceful, family week away in Italy. The villa is so wonderfully picturesque, the rooms are homely and comfortable, and the terraces offer a beautiful sunset setting for bbqs and cocktails!
Lucca is a beautiful walled medieval city, which is the birthplace of Puccini. The city is mostly pedestrianised, which is fantastic for cycling and walking. The countryside north of Lucca is breathtaking with many medieval villages perched on wooded hillsides. There are many beautiful palazzos, spas and vineyards to visit in the area. Florence, Pisa and the beaches are all within a short distance.
In the summer there are many musical events: Puccini opera at Torre del lago, whilst in Lucca, during July, several of the worlds best musicians play in the amphitheatre. There are also several jazz festivals.
There are many superb restaurants within 15 mins of the house. Funghi and truffles are some of the local specialities and olive oil from Lucca is one of the best in the world. One hour's drive north from the house is the beautiful ski resort of Abetone.This is a very popular resort with very good facilities
This wonderful location, a wildlife paradise, can be seen using Google Earth
Other Activities: Wildlife / restaurants / markets
Ski: Skiing is an hours journey at Abetone. It is a very nice Italian resort.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
Minimum stay 1 week (Saturday to Saturday). Out of season we are more flexible with timings with the house available for 10 days etc.
Payments must be made by bank transfer.