A bright, sunny apartment in an ancient village called Virgoletta on a hill between Villafranca and Bagnone only 2.5km from a beautiful swimming pool complex and 35 minutes drive from the beach. Recently restored with a panoramic terrace, French doors to the living room, a large kitchen/dining room, a beautiful bathroom, and two bedrooms upstairs.
With magnificent views from the house and the terrace to the Apennines.
Steps lead up from the narrow cobbled street where all village life takes place. The single street leads to the castle at the head of the town. It is possible to drive to the door for unloading, and there is a large carpark nearby.
The property is probably 13th century but has been recently restored throughout. There are a range of shops, bars and restaurants in Villafranca 2 km away which also has a large swimming pool complex and a train station with trains to Florence, La Spezia, and Parma.
The property is set in the heart of Lunigiana, a magical part of Tuscany starting with its name the 'Land of the Moon'. The hills that encircle Lunigiana create an intimate and relaxed atmosphere whilst the blend of the mountains and sea are extremely inviting to those who enjoy the outdoors. The rolling landscape is liberally sprinkled with castles of Medici or Malaspina vintage but for lovers of the coast the sea is only half-an-hours' drive away.
HOW TO GET TO US
The apartment is centrally located for three airports, Genoa and Pisa which are 75 minutes away and Parma is 60 minutes, so you have plenty of choice for flights.
We have a welcome pack which we will send to you once you have confirmed your booking this gives you directions to the property as well as further details of the following. There is also lots of extra information held in the house for you to read.
FOOD AND DRINK
At Il Tinello you are in the heart of a lively Italian village, but can also sit peacefully on your terrace with a glass of wine looking out across the valley to the hills beyond. In the village follow directions to the fontana where you can collect fresh spring water that runs continually straight from the Apuane Alps. Or why not visit the bakery that is open 6 days a week to buy freshly baked Italian breads, foccaccia and pizzas. Each day listen for the horns announcing the arrival of the travelling vans bringing locally grown produce, fish, meat or Italian ice creams to the village. If you enjoy cooking, all the ingredients you need are brought to you! There are individual shops as well as a well stocked supermarket in Villafranca.
Markets - There are a full list of these are available in our welcome pack and in our book at the house. There is a market in the local area 6 days a week, in particular Villafranca, 2km from the apartment, holds a large, colourful market every Friday morning selling local produce, clothing and gifts.
Swimming - At Villafranca 2 km away there is an Olympic-sized pool with diving boards, as well as a leisure pool with paddling pool area for small children and a jacuzzi. Hire sunbeds for the day and have lunch in the outdoor cafe onsite.
There is an another outdoor pool with slides just outside Aulla on the road to Equi Terme.
There are many lovely drives and walks into the hills where river pools for bathing may be found, details of locations are in our guide book in the apartment.
Beaches - Lerici and San Terenzo has two safe, sandy beaches with sunbeds to hire and beach cafes. Marinella di Sarzana is 40 minutes away by car with a long stretch of beach that runs down to the chic resort of Viareggio.
Tennis - At Villafranca there are is one indoor and two outdoor clay courts to hire. Rackets can be hired.
Mini Golf - At Quercia, just outside Aulla, there is a restaurant for snacks and meals, as well as table football and pony rides for children. The venue often holds themed evenings with entertainment.
Horse Riding - Available at Monti 30 minutes from the apartment, all abilities welcome.
High Rope Adventure Park - This is situated at Fosdinovo and has six courses for all ages and abilities.
Cycling - Hire bikes and cycle round the city walls of Lucca. Bicycle hire also available at Aulla with prices for 2012 from €20 per day.
Walking - You are spoilt for choice as there are many areas to hike and explore in the surrounding hills. The Garfagnana region just north of Aulla has hiking for all abilities and has stunning scenery with Lakes and Mountains, a real feast for the senses.
A short 5 minute drive away is the beautiful town of Bagnone, known as the 'jewel of Lunigiana', where there are cafes, shops and restaurants and stunning waterfalls.
20 minutes drive takes you to Pontremoli, a stunning town set on the banks of the Magra river with an old Malaspinan castle to explore, housing the Museum of Lunigiana. It is home to weekly book and food markets.
Within 90 minutes by car are the cities of Pisa, Parma and the walled medieval city of Lucca.
Florence is easily accessible by train from Villafrance station or 2 hours by car, although parking could be a challenge.
Also a visit to the World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coastline is a must. Take the train or go by car to La Spezia and then by boat to see the stunning colourful villages clinging to the cliffside. Alternatively there is a boat from Lerici to Portovenere with it's beautiful churches and castle from where there are regular boats to the Cinque Terre.
To experience real Italian chic and to see the yachts of the rich and famous, visit Portofino by boat from Lerici or La Spezia.
If you have any questions about the apartment, location or things to do and see, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help.