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Hugh Johnson

Member since: 2004
Speaks: english

Beautiful restored farmhouse with private pool & spectacular views

15 Reviews
Bedrooms 4
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 7 nights

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Lucca Area Farmhouse Rental Photos and Description

4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, sleeps 7-8

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 15 minute 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. There is a well-maintained garden and a lovely pool which enjoys sun throughout the day.

3 terraces, pool and garden: The property is superb for outdoor living as it enjoys sunshine from dawn to dusk. 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 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 .

Casa a Corte has appeared in the TV programme 'A House in Tuscany' and in several magazines

Local Tuscan cook available on request with an English speaking chef.

The local town of Ponte A Moriano which is 10 mins away by car, has several restaurants, banks/post office, deli's with wonderful cooked meals to take away, ice cream bar, cafes, excellent butcher, superb market with fish, local vegetables, local honey, mushrooms, olive oils etc and a large supermarket, plus a supplier of local wines etc

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Hugh Johnson (Owner)
Member since: 2004
Speaks: english

About Hugh Johnson

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 & love travel, food, lifestyle, wildlife, art & sport

Hugh Johnson purchased this farmhouse in 2000

Why Hugh Johnson chose Lucca Area

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.

What makes this farmhouse unique

Our passion is being outside and spend much of our 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.

Guestbook comments from the owner

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.
May 2013
  • 1 of 19


based on 15 traveler reviews

Beautiful restored farmhouse with private pool & spectacular views
average rating of 4.9333334 based on 34 reviews

Tranquility personified

  • 5 of 5

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!

  • Submitted: Jun 17, 2013
  • Stayed: Sep 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Nick, Thank you for your complimentary review and delighted you enjoyed a relaxing break after your hectic life in the Middle East. Glad our 'Days-out' suggestions were a success. The house is very conveniently positioned for Pisa Airport, the charm of Lucca, beaches, combined with the wonderful countryside surrounding the house and into the Garfagnana, so happy you had the time to explore. Please thank the Digby's for recommending Casa a Corte.
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A beautiful, tranquil Tuscan experience

  • 5 of 5

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!

  • Submitted: Oct 6, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your kind words about the house and it's land. I'm so glad you explored the surrounding areas - there are so many wonderful things to see (& eat!). We are now into the funghi and truffle season and the famous San Miniato truffle fair is on every other weekend. I can't wait!! Best Hugh
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The perfect holiday!!

  • 5 of 5

Wow! This place is incredible and is set in the most beautiful location. If you're looking for the perfect holiday, then Casa a Corte can provide that for you.

If you just want a day to unwind at the villa itself, then you have a gorgeous pool to swim and cool down in after you have spent time relaxing on one of the three terraces, all of which attract the sun.

Looking to feed yourself whilst you are there? Then look no further than the best stocked kitchen we've ever seen, and enjoy the BBQ whilst the sun is setting!

On the days you want to leave the villa, just a short drive away is Lucca, which is one of the most beautiful places you could visit. I actually told my partner that it is somewhere I could see myself living one day!

Further on, there is Florence. We enjoyed a day here walking around gardens and visiting coffee shops and incredible buildings and architecture - the Duomo is one of the most impressive buildings I've seen.

If you fly to Italy, the nearest airport is Pisa. We took the opportunity to visit the Leaning Tower when we were there. How that hasn't fallen over yet beggars belief!

For restaurants near to the villa, look no further than Antica Locanda Di Sesto. The experience you enjoy there will be second to none. From the great service of Lamberto and company, to the wines and beers, the appetisers and starters, you CAN NOT be disappointed.

But the starring role of this restaurant goes to the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. A perfectly cooked piece of meat by the chef over his wonderful personally made olive wood fired grill, carved at the table by Lamberto, and eaten joyfully by myself! Words cannot describe the taste, it was simply the best I've ever eaten.

All in all, we would describe Casa a Corte as the perfect location for everything you could need from a holiday - relaxation, tourist attractions, days at the beach, swimming in your private pool, amazing views - Casa a Corte is the one for you!

  • Submitted: Sep 30, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: The Maughans Thank you so my for staying and delighted you had such a good holiday. Aurelio's steaks at Antica are very special and very well deserved after all the long runs I heard about. It is beautiful walking & running country. Many thanks, Hugh
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A Beautiful Tuscan Farmhouse.

  • 5 of 5

Dear Hugh & Hazel,

Thank you both so much for such a wonderful experience. Your house is utterly stunning in the most amazing Tuscan countryside. I had a swim every morning to start the day whilst others retrieved the necessary pastries from the local bakers down the road. When in Rome . . .

We hired a car from Pisa airport and the directions you supplied made it very easy to find the house as it was late at night, it's so close to the airport yet set it such a tranquil landscape.

We enjoyed days out to the Cinque Terre and Florence, but our favourite was getting lost in the backstreet of Lucca, stumbling across restaurants and bars. As its only 20 minutes from the house we visited frequently and found something new everytime. Our favourite restaurant was Il Giglio in the main square, fantastic service and food to go with.

The best Tuscan food experience was had at Antica Locanda Di Sesto, only 20 minutes from the house and excellent food and service, make sure you order the Fiorentina steak - but arrive hungry!

On the nights we stayed at the villa we fired up the BBQ to cook local pork chops from the butchers in Ponte A Mariano, it was so nice to use your kitchen that had everything you need and so much more, sharp knives, a big selection of pans and nice big serving platters, ideal for family cooking.

We did many walks and runs from the house through the woods and along the tracks, lovely seeing the Tuscan farmers in their fields pruning the vineyards and collecting grapes.

The rooms and beds were extremely comfortable making our stay very relaxing and a great way to recharge the batteries.

Thanks again

Val, John, Dave & Andrew

  • Submitted: Sep 28, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Val & John, Many thanks for staying and delighted you loved your Tuscan experience. Angela, our housekeeper & PierLuigi our gardener said what a lovely family you all were. Many thanks for writing such a lovely review. The sun is still shining and 27C today. Best wishes, Hugh & Hazel.
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just perfect

  • 5 of 5

This stay in the Casa a Corte was perfect from the reservations till the end of the trip:

- When I reserved Hugh (the owner of the house) called me and we had a nice about the house, the region etc.

- Hugh sent me a booklet with all the information I need about the house and the way to get in.

- At ou arrival at the house, we felt like at friends: a small card and some drinks were on the table for us.

- The house is well equipped, clean, and big enough for 8 persons.

- We were with 3 children and they enjoyed the pool which is big and clean.

- the immediate surroundings of the house are wonderful and quite.

- Hugh gave us some advices about trips, restaurants, gelaterie etc

- During the week we were staying in the house, I received an e-mail from Hugh to know if our stay is ok, the gardener came to water the flowers

- It was easy to leave the house and to let the keys.



thanks Hugh

  • Submitted: Aug 4, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Olivier, Thank you so much for your kind words and taking the trouble to review our house. It was a real pleasure having your family and friends to stay and so glad you have had such a good holiday during this hot and dry spell. I hope you all feel relaxed and your batteries are fully re-charged after your Tuscan holiday. I hope you continue to have a good summer in Germany and France. Best wishes, Hugh
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So glad we stumbled on this gem of a place!

  • 5 of 5

Wow! What a place! Casa a Corte proved to be the ideal place to discover the 'real' Tuscany. Hugh's tips and advice were spot on and we really felt like we were getting a very special, unique glimpse of Italy as a result.

We're so glad we stumbled on this gem of a place! The house itself is lovely and very tastefully done up; the garden + surroundings are idyllic (great pool and selection of terraces!); and Lucca is the most beautiful Italian city (cycling around the medieval walls is a must-do activity). The place was spotless and the beds very comfortable. If you're the type of person who likes to enjoy a relaxing day by the pool with a few country walks thrown in then this place is for you! I can honestly say I haven’t slept better than during my time at Casa a Corte.

Hugh, the owner, couldn’t be more helpful either. There’s tonnes of information in their house book but he also took the time to personally recommend a few options which was much appreciated! The area is a foodie’s paradise with so many really impressive options ranging from Michelin Starred to charming local Osterias and everything in between!

Thoroughly recommend!

  • Submitted: Jul 22, 2015
  • Stayed: Jul 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Tom, We're delighted that you and your family had such a good holiday and our recommendations were a success. Lucca is well known for its fantastic music and am glad you managed to go to the Puccini opera, watch the bands live in the amphi-theatre within the walls of Lucca, visit the galleries in Florence and enjoy the exhibitions and sculptures on the streets of Pietrasanta - such a picturesque town. We have had some wonderful guests this year, so a big thank you to you all. The sun has shone every day since you left and it's still mid 30's. We look forward to your Uncle and his family returning in the Autumn. A presto, Hugh
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Nearest Airport
40 Kilometres
Pisa Airport
Nearest Ferry
30 Kilometres
Nearest Train
15 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
15 Kilometres
Nearest Beach
30 Kilometres
Car: necessary

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. Fungi 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.


Rates & Availability

Lucca Farmhouse Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Early Autumn 2016
Sep 10 2016 - Oct 7 2016
7 night minimum stay
Autumn 2016
Oct 8 2016 - Nov 5 2016
7 night minimum stay
Early Spring 2017
Mar 4 2017 - Apr 7 2017
7 night minimum stay
Apr 8 2017 - Apr 28 2017
7 night minimum stay
Apr 29 2017 - May 19 2017
7 night minimum stay
May 20 2017 - Jun 23 2017
7 night minimum stay
Jun 24 2017 - Sep 1 2017
7 night minimum stay
Sep 2 2017 - Sep 15 2017
7 night minimum stay
Sep 16 2017 - Sep 29 2017
7 night minimum stay
Sep 30 2017 - Oct 27 2017
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

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.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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Lucca Area Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse (detached)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Sports & Activities
  • Broadband Access
  • Fireplace
  • Garage
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Sunbed
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom - toilet , shower , bidet
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 3 - shower , outdoor shower , shower by pool
  • Towels are provided, but not for the beach and pool
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom main - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 twin/ single , painted Italian wrought iron
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single , painted Italian wrought iron
    Bedroom 4 - 2 twin/ single , painted Italian wrought iron
  • 1 double, 3 twins. Linen provided and changed weekly. Towels provided for bathroom only Cots can be provided - notice must be made when booking.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Patio
  • Terrace
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • 8 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • mountain biking
  • swimming
  • tennis
The property has been sympathetically restored retaining original beamed ceilings and antique cotto floors. The interior is comfortable and stylish benefiting from central heating, dishwasher, washing machine, fully well equipped kitchen and satellite TV, broadband Internet access, music docking exterior & pool lighting, mosquito blinds, plus antique furniture, paintings & photos. The house is set out on 3 floors. The ground floor has a kitchen, dining room, toilet & shower room with washing machine. The first floor has a comfortable sitting room which is exceptionally well equipped for families who enjoy books and board games, plus satellite TV/ DVD/ hi-fi/ Wi-fi. There is also a large airy twin bedroom (100cm wide beds) with comfortable traditional iron beds. Upstairs there are a further 3 bedrooms - a double bedroom, 2 twins bedroom with traditional beds, chestnut armoires and original features including chestnut beams. There's also a large spacious shower room with toilet & bidet

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