|Minimum Stay||4 nights|
This former water mill has been sympathetically restored by its owner, an English architect, to reflect the working origins of the building. Built of stone, it is believed to be over 500 years old and retains the original chestnut beams and other features such as the grinding stones and wheels which were used to make chestnut flour. The mill is built into the mountainside, nestling in a chestnut woodland garden in a beautiful conservation area. A stream runs down the mountain, alongside the mill through the garden. Gello is a characteristic hilltop village (Gello di Pescaglia) at 500m altitude. There is a sunny, south facing terrace, ideal for sunbathing and dining and with a variety of herbs for your culinary use. The views from the terrace are breathtaking and take in the historical city of Lucca and surrounding countryside. The French doors of the living room open onto the terrace which is perfect for eating and drinking al fresco, with the stream providing your musical background. In early to mid summer you can also enjoy a spectacular firefly display, lighting up the shrubs and trees around the terrace. The mill is cosy yet spacious and comfortable, and very well equipped for home cooking. The wood burning stove (free logs provided) is ideal for those cooler evenings at the beginning and end of the summer season. The mill is perfectly located for a stress-free, romantic and relaxing break in stunning surroundings, only half an hour from Lucca. Walkers will find plenty of opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside.
I am an architect with a love of all things Italian and my wife and I had always dreamed of having a home in Italy. When I saw this disused chestnut mill in its own woodland garden, overlooking Lucca, I knew it would make the perfect retreat. It was quite a task, having remained derelict since the 1930s, but our hard work was rewarded. We restored the mill using local materials and local craftsmen, determined to maintain the character and reflect the working origins of this beautiful building.
Peter Cross purchased this house in 2004
I was looking for a second home in Italy and as soon as I saw the mill, I knew I'd found the perfect place. It is ideally located for frequent visits from the UK, being less than an hour's drive from Pisa airport. Gello is a beautiful, typical Tuscan mountain village. Life there is very traditional - the locals still work the land, according to the seasons, with harvests of grapes, chestnuts, olives and porcini mushrooms to look forward to every year. Gello is full of rustic charm, yet still within easy reach of nearby cities including Florence, Pisa and Lucca and the beach resorts around Viarreggio.
The mill is the perfect romantic retreat for a couple. It has its own woodland garden and terrace, and despite being in a village enjoys a great deal of privacy. There are direct views across the valley to the city of Lucca. A stream runs down the mountain alongside the mill.
Being in the mill provides a sense of the historical relevance of the building, with its grinding stones and other reminders of its former purpose. The chestnut is revered in this part of Italy as it was the staple food of the mountain dwellers, and the mill was an essential and integral part of village life.
The mill offers peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings, and a south facing terrace which looks down the valleys towards Lucca. You don't have to travel far to enjoy the benefits of the regions of Garfagnano and the Serchio Valley, or one of the most beautiful, 'secret' cities in Italy, Lucca. Florence, Pisa and the Cinque Terre are within easy driving distance, and beach resorts and even a ski resort are all within an hour's drive.
2012: "..a wonderful retreat - a great base from which to explore the region." "Simply wonderful! Thank you!" "Just what we had hoped for .... and an enchanting display from the fireflies of Gello. Thank for your sharing this delightful place." .... ..... "Magical memories of your lovingly restored mill house".. "We loved our stay and could quite happily have moved in for good."
2013: "What you have done with the mill is a stroke of architectural brilliance.." "..The mill is beautiful - tastefully and thoughtfully restored.." "Wow! What a stunningly beautiful place."" Thank you for making our stay so delightful". "... would definitely return."
2014: "Thanks once again for sharing your wonderful retreat - a joy to return to after a day out!" .. "Everything you could ever want for a relaxing holiday. Saw the fireflies most nights - unforgettable sight" .. "Beautiful mill in a fabulous setting" ..."It has all been wonderful and we are very sad to leave" ..."Thanks for a really interesting and very different place to stay" ..We have had a great time here. Brilliant restoration" ..."We've had a wonderful relaxing week at the mill. The September sunshine has been wonderful and we've enjoyed breakfasts on the terrace and evenings sipping prossecco while the sun goes down"......What a delightful place - two weeks of perfect bliss ....also love the conversion, really tastefully done - quite a rare thing".
2015: "We stayed here for the first five days of our honeymoon and we couldn't have wished for a more perfect place to stay. We go on to Pisa relaxed and stress-free!"..."Our third visit, in as many years! Perfect for us."... "Had a lovely stay. The mill was just fantastic. We spent most of our time refuelling from a very busy year"..."We have had a wonderful 10 days staying at the mill - it is very relaxing and also a great base from which to explore Tuscany."..."We have had the happiest of weeks! Every day seemed to bring us another beautiful gift. We loved the mill with its inspired conversion, comfy bed and sunny terrace with the beautiful view"..."The mill really lived up to expectations, very thoughtful and sympathetic renovation in a delightful situation and village".
Superb,secluded base for exploring surrounding countryside on foot or by car and ideal for travelling to the famous Tuscan cities too, yet getting back to the peace and quiet of the mountain away from all the tourist hubbub! Beautiful views all around and an incredible restaurant only 15 minutes walk down the hill in the next village. A perfect getaway for two!
The description of this wonderful house was accurate- in fact it more than exceeded our expectations. The view over to Lucca was amazing and we loved the position and village. We spent time strolling around the local area, admiring the wild flowers, as well as relaxing and eating on the terrace.
The mill was very well equipped and the wood burning stove was very welcome when the weather was chilly.
The highlight for us was the nightly display from the fireflies-amazing.
The steps down to the mill were steep but easily manageable with care, so don't be put off if you are older but still agile!
The owners were very helpful and responsive during the booking process and gave excellent information before departure.
A truly memorable week, Thank you!
We had a great, great stay. The house is comfortable and cozy. We loved the outdoor area, surrounded by olive and fruit trees. It was crazy hot our week, so we went out in the am, had lunch at one of the many recommended and tasty outlets nearby, and spent the afternoons and evenings reading. BLISS. Entry and exit of the house was easy, just as described, and the whole rental process was low stress. Would love to stay again. There's a lot to do in the area, but one can also do nothing and just enjoy being surrounded by nature. Thank you!
My partner and I spent a wonderful week at The Mill in September. The accommodation has been beautifully restored and has excellent facilities; making it a comfortable and tranquil base to enjoy this stunning area of Italy. The owners provide a fantastic handbook prior to your visit to explain how to find the Mill and providing information about the locality and recommendations for restaurants and attractions.
We enjoyed a mixture of relaxing days – reading, going for walks and enjoying the views from the terrace – and visiting some of the attractions the area has to offer. Lucca is only 25 minutes away by car and Florence is easily accessible on the train from Lucca if you fancy venturing a little further.
I would have no hesitation in recommending The Mill and hope we have chance to return one day. We returned from our holiday feeling relaxed and refreshed and that we had experienced a slice of Tuscan life!
It was a return visit for us having spent an enjoyable week at the mill in May 2013, vowing to return as soon as possible. Spending 2wks this year meant we could really relax and appreciate both the beautifully, lovingly restored Mill with its excellent facilities and the opportunity to explore more of the surrounding area. The owners provide excellent accurate information in a handbook, not only on the Mill, but also on local amenities, directions to/ from airport, recommended restaurants etc. It all lived up to our expectations and the regular communication with the owners was reassuring, demonstrating commitment to excellent customer service.
Our recommendations would include: easy access to Pisa Airport, Lucca, the Coast and Alps.
We would particularly recommend Puccini Restaurant and Museum in Celle Puccini- 20 mins walk away in next village. Look out for open-air concerts there too - we got to see Puccini's granddaughter at one such concert last week!
Would have no hesitation in recommending this property to anyone.
We had a splendid time at the mill. The property is accurately described in the listing, was clean and contained all the amenties you might require (as well as information on the area and places of interest). Well in advance we received a brochure on the property, including precise details on how to find the village, where to park etc, and found the owners helpful and prompt in responding to inquiries.
The mill offers a delightful location for some serious R&R, with the views from the terrace and the stream during the day and fireflies and stars at night. It also offers a very good base for exploring Garfagnana, Lucca, Florence, Pisa etc, all of which are easily accessible by car (or train from Lucca). The nearest restaurant, in the village below, offers great value for money and others are available by car. We'd been to the area before so focused more on unwinding than exploration, but there's plenty to see (including the grotto) and do (including the thermals at Bagni di Lucca).
I'd have no hesitation in recommending the property within the parameters outlined by the owners (ie the outside steps down to the property not making it suitable for some). You can't fail to have a great time.
The resorts of Forte dei Marmi, Marina di Pietrasanta and Viareggio are just 45 minutes away. Cinque terre is 2 hours away.
The nearest airport is Pisa, which is about 50 minutes drive away. Due to the mill's mountain location, a car is essential. Car hire available from the airport.
The village below Gello is Celle, 20 minutes walk away. It has a bar and restaurant and a museum dedicated to the composer Puccini, as this is where he spent his family holidays. There are many stunning hilltop villages nearby including Barga, which is about half an hour away. Florence is about 80 minutes' drive away, Lucca 30 minutes.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby, including one of the best restaurants for miles at the bottom of the mountain, Il Molin della Volpe - 5 minutes away by car. There is also a very popular restaurant and bar in the village just below Gello, which is 20 minutes' walk away. There is a large supermarket, Esselunga, en route from the airport where you can get all the supplies you need for your stay. There is another supermarket and excellent delicatessen in the nearby town of Borgo a Mozzano.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$185|
Please note that we cannot presently accept Sunday arrivals. A 50% deposit is required. Balance is due 6 weeks before arrival date. Non returnable for cancellations within 6 weeks of arrival date, unless a replacement booking can be made. Booking is subject to contract and is confirmed once rental agreement and deposit are received.
Electricity: 40KWh per week is provided free of charge. Any usage above that will be charged at 30p per KWh.
Arrival is from 4pm onwards, departure by 10am.