|Minimum Stay||1 - 7 nights|
Top Floor: Bedroom 1 (Zanzibar Suite) -- two antique mahogany beds imported from Zanzibar (size: French double), magnificent views, and en suite bathroom. Bedroom 2 (Portovenere) -- two single beds and en suite bathroom with shower. Living room has beamed cathedral ceiling and huge stone fireplace with 3-seater sofa, armchairs, TV, DVD player, library of DVDs and books. The kitchen, built by a local craftsman of chestnut wood, has a 5-burner stove with rotisserie oven, dishwasher, and espresso maker. The formal dining room seats 8-10.
Middle floor: Bedroom 3 (Venetian Suite) -- queen-sized bed and private staircase leading down to lower floor to bathroom with jacuzzi tub and patio with stunning views. Bedroom 4 (Rafaello): 2 single beds and en suite bathroom with tub/shower. Bedroom 5 (Leonardo): 2 single beds and adjacent bathroom with shower. All single beds can be made up as queen beds. A sixth bedroom (Il Micino) is in an adjacent barn with queen bed and bathroom with shower.
Casa della Quercia is a lovingly-restored historic villa which retains the unique character and atmosphere of the original building. The three-story villa is spacious, comfortable and well equipped, providing guests with everything they need for a carefree holiday. The owners' goal is to create a sanctuary where guests can totally relax amidst beautiful surroundings, and it is their mission to make sure that visitors to Casa della Quercia have a memorable holiday in a place far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern every-day life. To this end, one of the owners lives nearby and is on hand to give help and advice to guests at all times.
The villa is situated on the edge of a small village, giving plenty of privacy but without a sense of isolation. It is surrounded by tranquil countryside and overlooks terraced gardens, olive groves, and meadows, and has spectacular views of the mountain peaks of the Apuan Alps, also known as the marble mountains of Carrara. The village of Reusa is located on the Via del Volto Santo, the ancient pilgrims' way that led from Canterbury to Rome; the old Roman road runs right under the top terrace of the villa, and you can see the original Roman guard post.
The top floor of the villa is very spacious and consists of a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room with antique Italian library table, living room with cathedral ceiling and massive fireplace, and two bedrooms: the Zanzibar Suite, with two double beds (French double) imported from Zanzibar, with en suite bathroom, and wonderful views of the valley and mountains beyond; and the Portovenere bed room with its own bathroom and French windows with a view of the village lane.
The lower two levels of the villa form a separate living unit, and include a kitchen, living/dining area, and three bedrooms, including the Venetian Suite, decorated with antiques, and with a private staircase down to a luxury bathroom with jacuzzi tub and a patio overlooking the mountains. The two other bedrooms each have their own bathroom.
Both kitchens are equipped with gas stoves with electric ovens and dishwashers. A laundry room with washer, drier and iron is available for guests at all times. There are two fireplaces on the upper level for wood fires in cooler weather.
The grounds are spacious, covering about three acres in all, and comprising a large upper stone-paved terrace (aia, or old threshing ground) with dining arbor and barbecue, and lower terraces with olive grove, gardens, a swing seat, fountain, and more chairs and tables for outdoor dining or cocktails in the evening. On the terrace below this is the swimming pool with spectacular views of the mountains. Guests may like to wander across the meadow to the woodland beyond, or along the old mule paths up to the villages and meadows farther up the mountain. Deer and wild boar roam in these woodlands, and it's not usual to see them grazing in the early morning under the apple trees in the valley.
We are very fortunate to be surrounded by the most beautiful unspoilt countryside, and yet to be within walking distance of an excellent agriturismo restaurant and bar. Here, a three-course lunch is just 12 euros, including wine; dinner and Sunday lunch cost a little more. The owners of the restaurant, Davide and Gabriella, will be happy to prepare a special menu for a celebration dinner if you order it in advance.
The villa is situated 50 miles north of Lucca and 30 miles inland from the coastal towns of Lerici and Portovenere on the Italian Riviera, with boat access to Portofino and the small fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, with their famed seafood restaurants. See our website for more information.
This is Gillian writing, so I'll put this in the first person. I am British-born but have lived on Cape Cod near Boston, in the US, for several decades, though these days I spend as much time in Italy as I can. My partner Ron spent more than 20 years leading safaris in Africa and now spends most of the year in Italy. A gifted craftsman, he loves to take care of the property and to welcome guests to the villa. It is our goal and great joy to provide an enchanting place for our friends and guests to enjoy a relaxing holiday away from the cares of the world, and we are constantly working on the property—the gardens, the interiors, the amenities—to do just that.
Gillian Drake purchased this villa in 2003
Ron and I came across this abandoned ruin in 2002, though it rather felt as if it found us, and compelled us, with its undeniable, irresistible charm, to love it, rescue it, and restore it to health -- and in the process to spend rather more money than we had intended! It's been a labor of love for us—not just for the property, but for the village of Reusa and our beloved neighbors, and for the country of Italy itself, surely one of the most sublime places in the world, where the culture, the cuisine, the landscape, the people, and their history combine to create a perfection that cannot be experienced anywhere else, at least as far as we are concerned. We welcome you to visit us in this enchanting corner of Tuscany and experience the timeless charm of traditional Italian life.
The villa is situated in a small village surrounded by glorious unspoiled countryside, yet is only 25 miles from the Mediterranean coast. The villa is easy to get to -- the autostrada goes to the nearby town of Aulla, and from Aulla it's about 1/2 hour to Reusa on country roads. A level paved lane leads from the main road to to the villa, about 100 yards, and there is parking in the front courtyard right next to the house, as well as at other places on the property. Be assured that there's no long, winding (or precipitous) drive leading to the villa, and no up-hill walk from the car park to the villa.
"What a remarkable place, definitely the best villa we have ever stayed at. Beautiful, incredibly well equipped, fantastic coffee! and all in a breathtaking location. Usually by the end of a holiday we are ready to go home, with this place we could happily stay on!" Lin & Simon, Southampton.
"Just wanted to tell you what a wonderful week we had in Reusa. You really have made the place beautiful with lots of attention to detail and the setting is stunning. It was great to have the pool to cool off on in the heat and we had fun walking in the surrounding mountains. All the local restaurants were great, especially your local agriturismo which was fantastic value. We would certainly recommend the place to anyone who was thinking of a holiday in Tuscany." -- Julia R., London
"A blissful fortnight of sun, fine food, friendly welcoming people, and great excursions to Lucca (by train and cycle) and the Cinque Terre (by boat). One of our best holidays ever!" -- The Griffee Family, UK
The most beautiful villa we have ever stayed in or seen. Absolutely stunning, far exceeded our expectations. The views were breathtaking and the pool was fantastic. The villa was spotless throughout (very very clean), fully equipped (wifi, multiple kitchens, fridge / dishwasher / laundry room / jacuzzi bath etc.). We had a fantastic stay for the week, the setting is beautiful and perfect for relaxation, watch the sun go down behind the mountains surrounded by green rolling mountain hills and enjoy a glass of wine from the wine cellar. Everything was above our expectations, and Ron was so friendly and helpful! we cannot thank Ron and Gillian enough for letting our family stay and being so helpful.
There is plenty to see and do, whether you want to explore the local mountain towns or just stay at the villa and fire up the gas barbecue.
This is by far one of the most luxurious villas available on Owners Direct and it is perfect for romantic getaways or family breaks!
It is difficult to express superlatives, but on this occasion they are more than well deserved.
My family is pretty well dispersed across the Globe, and we came from Europe, China and Africa to join together and celebrate my "coming of age = 70.
The whole environment of the villa and ambiance is superb. The furnishings and beautifully eclectic rooms both public and private exceeded our expectations by a long way.
We were a party of 9 with ages varying from 2 years to over 70 and the facilities and location could not have been more appropriate and enjoyable. In fact on member of the party said that "I don't see the need to even move from here other than for essential supplies" as it has all one could wish for.
Both Gillian and Ron were delightful and more than helpful in facilitating both during the booking and the holiday with valuable advice and information.
We have the fondest memories of our memorable stay and Gillian and Ron watch out their may be a repeat at some point!!!!!
I can't recommend this villa enough.
You will love it and the surrounding area.
Gillian, Ron, thank you sincerely for a magnificent stay that we will treasure.
By the way Charlotte still remembers Pepe and now has her own puppy. Seems Pepe rubbed off!!!
So, anyone who reads this should, go on and give yourselves a treat - you certainly won't regret it.
What a magnificent villa, location and owner/s.
There were 12 of us staying at the villa from three families over two weeks. From the very moment we arrived and were welcomed by Ron we knew we'd made a great choice.
The villa is such a good size and layout that we never felt on top of each other and there are so many spaces to sit quietly or as a group.
Kitchens very well equipped, no improvisation needed when cooking for 12 people and plenty of cutlery!
Our one concern was the size of the swimming pool...however glad to report it was larger than we expected and really made the holiday with it's stunning views.
I could put down many further points...lovely local restaurant...Ron helping us in difficult car rental situations...secluded...but basically we couldn't recommend it highly enough, especially for a large group.
Thanks for a great holiday!
Casa della Quercia reflects not only the peacefulness and harmony of the Tuscan countryside but the impeccable taste and eye for beauty of its wonderful owners, Gillian and Ron. My husband and I have traveled Italy extensively and lived in Tuscany for a year, yet we have found no town as unspoiled and charming as Reusa. It is truly the Tuscany most tourists seldom discover, intimate and friendly, all Italian speaking, where people still work the land, often by hand, pressing their own olives, making their own wines.
Gillian and Ron have transformed what was once a ruin into one of the most beautiful and comfortable villas we have ever seen. Every room has a stunning view of the Apuan Alps. The bedrooms are magical, complementing the tranquility and beauty of the setting. Each room has its own theme. The bathrooms are amazing, all ensuite, all impeccably designed. The Venetian Suite has its own private balcony and is particularly inviting. Outside, the pool and gardens are lovely. If you walk across the field, you will find a small stream with wildflowers. Or you can stroll through Gillian and Ron's olive grove. Guests are provided with olive oil from the grove and it is delicious. The local restaurant, only a 15-minute walk away, Lo Spino Fiorito, has true Tuscan food at a very reasonable price.
Gillian and Ron are wonderful hosts, very knowledgeable about the area, other local restaurants, directions, ideas for sightseeing. They have traveled the world and have found their true home in this warm, welcoming villa, this lovely small town. We didn't want to leave and plan to return again and again.
Casa della Quercia is one of the best villas I've ever stayed in. The views are incredible (every window is a picture) and you can tell that a lot of love went into the restoration by Ron and Gillian. The end result is a luxurious yet homely villa, which provided the perfect setting for our family celebration.
We loved cooking together in the well equipped kitchen and dining outside on one of the many terraces, but the local restaurant - Lo Spino Fiorita (walking distance) - was also excellent and very good value. I would however recommend a car as the villa is in a small hamlet, but there are shops in the neighbouring villages and every drive you make will be a scenic one!
Other noteworthy points: all the bedrooms are en-suite, there is a great swimming pool overlooking the mountains, and there is even a cellar where you can sample some local wine made by the neighbours. Needless to say I hope to return to Casa della Quercia in the not too distant future!
Casa della Quercia is a stunning villa with breathtaking views of the Italian country side! The villa is gorgeous with fine details - I particularly loved the Zanzibar suite and Il Micino. The owners have done an amazing job with interior design and landscaping, and the pool is to die for. There are also some historical architectural features on the property which I found very cool. The village is also very quaint and peaceful, just wanted I needed to help me unwind and enjoy nature. I definitely plan to visit again!
The house is about 45 minutes from the beautiful Mediterranean town of Lerici, and about 60 mins from Portovenere, renowned for its waterfront seafood restaurants. Boats leave from both these ports for trips to the picturesque fishing villages of the Cinque Terre and Portofino. The Mediterranean beaches of the Versilia coast are about an hour away, and provide a typically Italian seaside experience, with beach clubs providing sun beds, sun umbrellas, and beachfront bars and restaurants.
Nearest International Airport is Pisa, about a one-and-a-half hour drive. Also nearby are Florence and Genoa airports. Bologna is about 2-1/2 hrs, Milan Linate and Nice airports are about 3 hours, and Rome airport is about 4 hours. A car is pretty much essential and can be hired at any airport, though airport pickup can be arranged, as well as taxi services while at the villa.
Casola 3 miles, Fivizzano 7 miles, Aulla 15 miles, Cinque Terre 30 miles, Carrara/Pietra Santa 25 miles, Lucca 50 miles, Florence 80 miles.
Casa della Quercia is located next to the church on the edge of a small village. There are no shops in the village, but vans arrive at various times during the week with fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, and delicatessen items. The town of Casola, a 10 minute drive, has several shops, two greengrocers, hardware store, bank, post office, restaurant/pizza parlour, and a cafe. Fivizzano, a 15 mins. drive, has several butchers, green grocers, restaurants, a small supermarket, and a lovely piazza with fountain, cafes and an ice cream shop. There are many fine restaurants within a 20 minute drive. Our local restaurant, Lo Spino Fiorito, (lunch 10 Euros, dinner 20 Euros), is an excellent country restaurant within walking distance of the house. We can also shop for groceries for your arrival if you don't have time to stop on your way to the villa.
Children love the freedom of Casa della Quercia — they can wander freely through the meadows, olive groves and woodlands with no worry about traffic. For smaller children, there is a sand box by the pool with a good supply of toys. The top courtyard has gates that can be locked so little children can play safely inside without worry that they'll wander too far.
Please note that the house is situated next to the church and the bell chimes every hour throughout the day and the night. This adds to the charm of the place, and has not been a problem for any of the guests at the house so far; however, very light sleepers might prefer to sleep in one of the bedrooms farther away from the church, or use ear plugs which are provided free of charge.
One of the owners, Ron, lives nearby during the summer season and is on hand to settle guests in, give advice, make reservations, and do everything possible to make sure that guests at Casa della Quercia have a trouble-free and relaxing holiday.