About the property
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay1 - 7 nights
Secluded, peaceful situation. 3 beds, 3 bathrooms, terrace with pergola for 'al fresco' dining
The house sleeps 7 plus baby cot. Couples, groups of friends and families have stayed over the years and sometimes solo guests. Il Rivo is where you can experience a taste of quintessential Tuscan living! It provides a refuge from the clamour of everyday life with it's thick stone walls, chestnut beamed ceilings, stylish bathrooms and colourful interior decor. The setting amidst olive groves, surrounded by pine, acacia, and fruit trees offers glorious views over the densely wooded hillsides studded with medieval hilltop villages. One of the owners is an architect who has lovingly renovated the house with traditional materials to include an ensuite bathroom, a modernised family bathroom and a third bedroom. The two double bedrooms are at opposite ends of the house, the main bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, and the second dual aspect double bedroom is near to the family bathroom allowing a degree of independence. The third bedroom has a bunk bed and resembles a small chapel with French doors, two windows and a pitched roof. A large wrought iron day bed in an inner hallway between the main bedroom and the twin room provides a further sleeping option, a window provides natural light.
There is a terrace with a grassed sunbathing area, and a vine-clad pergola for 'alfresco' dining. It offers wonderful respite whilst enjoying the magnificent view across the valley after a days sightseeing
There are many tourist attractions on the doorstep: Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Tuscan Riviera and skiing at Abetone. Nearer are several lovely swimming pools (one with a curved water slide!). For the more energetic there are established walking trails, and cycling.
- Response time:
- within a few days
- Calendar last updated:
- May 16, 2018
We are from London but thankfully have the solace of 'Il Rivo' to look forward to several times a year! We use it as a place to unwind, entertain friends and family and to experience typical Tuscan living away from the tourist hourdes. One of the owners is an architect and has sensitively renovated the property. As busy working parents with a family to raise we fully appreciate the haven that 'Il Rivo' provides and are very happy to let our guests share the experience. We love exploring the local hills and villages often stopping to sample the delicious local food. We've done many day trips to places of interest, but always enjoy coming home to collapse on the terrace!
Michelle purchased this Farmhouse in 1989
Why Michelle chose Pescia
The panoramic vista across the valley is 'Il Rivo's' unique selling point. Opening the shutters in the morning to reveal the view is always a lovely experience. My older brother bought the house in the 1980's, initially he was looking in the Champagne region in France but made a detour and never looked back settling for some fine Chianti instead!
What makes this Farmhouse unique
'Il Rivo' is within easy reach of many points of interest, and there are several really good restaurants serving very good, locally produced food in the valley below. The thick stone walls keep the house cool in the hotter months. The property is in a private, secluded position but with neighbours within walking distance so not too cut off.
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Beautiful location and lovely people
We stayed in mid August and the weather was in the mid to high 30s. However, Italy had just come out of a major heat wave so this may have been hotter than usual for the time of year. I found the heat OK, but my husband likes it cooler. The house was great for him as it remained remarkably cool in this heat even without any air conditioning.
I naively was surprised by how narrow and winding the roads got as we neared the farmhouse the first time, but as I got to know the area over the week it seemed so obvious that they would be like that. If you are planning to hire a car (which I'd recommend), and are not used to driving abroad, don't go for anything too big as you need to pass in some tight places on occasions and carry out 3 point turns - all of which feels harder when driving on the right, in an unfamiliar car with gears on the right.
I spent a couple of days lazing in front of the farmhouse, whilst my 6 year old was able to play happily inside in the cool. There's a large box of toys which he and his cousin (also 6) worked their way through during the week.
We did try walking up to Vellano without using the main road, but this turned out to be a very muddy, difficult route. Luckily there was a tap in the village where we could clean ourselves, and we hadn't been wearing anything too smart, so no damage was done - plus we'd had a good laugh as we'd scrambled up wondering what we must look like to the locals. However, after that we walked to Vellano via the road, which took 40 mins, and has some lovely views along the way, so is in no way a bad alternative.
We ate in the village a few times and went down to Pescia one evening for a meal. We also cooked at the farmhouse, which had plenty of pots, pans, crockery, cutlery, etc...
The only thing that could have made the place better would have been a paddling pool of some kind (there might have been one there that we just didn't find). There was a space to the right of the front door where we could have placed it in the shade and we could have cooled off in it after being out and about. Had we found one in a shop we would have bought it, but we didn't see any on the rare times we went shopping.
All in all, we had a great week!
Beautiful rustic cottage
A brilliant place to escape in a beautiful environment. The house is perfectly equipped with all that you need.
The pathway to the house is not for older folks and you need to be comfortable driving on windy country roads. We had no issue with either.
We loved the house and the location, and had a great time.
We really enjoyed your house in the olive groves. It was perfect for our
group of four. We arrived exhausted and hungry and the man at Moreno's in
Vellano took us in and fed us well. In our 12 days, we returned to him
Everything in the house worked and we were able to make WIFI calls to the
States. David was a huge help, directing us to the Communist Club for
Paninis. We later went there during the Chestnut Festival, choosing it
We walked to the top of Castlevecchio and met a nice retired couple and she
spent the next hour giving us a tour of her digs and the town.
Our side trips away to Venezia and Cinque Terra were delightful, but we
found ourselves looking forward to resting "at home" at Il Rivo.
The mountain side setting is stunning and peaceful. We found only Italians in the local areas. Perfect.
Many thanks for your lovely review Dick, we are really glad you all enjoyed your stay at Il Rivo. I was a little surprised to hear there is a 'Communist Club' in Vellano! Until I realised you must mean 'Commune Club' which I know is very active organising lots of events for local residents! Very amusing! You are quite right, the local area is a true representation of authentic Tuscany. You and your party will be welcome back at any time. Kind regards, Michelle
A little piece of heaven. August 2016
After a hectic few days in Pisa, Il Rivo proved to be a little piece of heaven. It felt you were a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities on the plain below but it was so easy to access them when we felt the need.
The house suited us perfectly, with our grown up daughters ensconced down one end of the house and us, the other and there was plenty of room outside to sunbath or sit in the shade and gaze at the view. It is amazing cycling country, though not for the faint hearted - peddling round Lucca's city walls was enough for some of us. Being able to walk up to Villano each morning for bread was a delight; the wild life very much in evidence from deer to wild boar and the beauty of the countryside was breath taking.
We were just sorry we had only booked one week!
Rural Tuscan relaxation
A beautiful traditional stone Tuscan farmhouse set in an amazing location on a hillside just below the hilltop village of Vellano in NorthernTuscany. The house was very spacious , clean and comfortable with everything one could require in terms of cookware etc. Lovely terrace to sit on and admire the view of the valley and surrounding hills. We were a little late in the season and the weather was getting quite cool in the evenings though still quite warm in the daytime. The hills are covered with chestnut trees and we sadly missed the annual chestnut festival by one day though we roasted some ourselves- delicious. We enjoyed strolling up to the village and ate several meals in the local trattoria and pizzeria which were delicious. Otherwise our favourite place by far was Lucca. About 30-40 minutes drive; a beautiful Tuscan city surrounded by walls along which one can stroll, cycle or , as many of the locals do, jog. An abundance of pretty piazzas and Romanesque churches within the walls. So much quieter than Florence, one is hardly aware of other tourists. We visited an excellent exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions and attended one of the Puccini concerts that take place every day of the year ( he was born and lived in Lucca). Montevatini Terme and Alto well worth a visit. Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli is very beautiful though somewhat marred by all the surrounding tourist tack. Overall, a lovely place to stay and a good location for visiting a slightly less well known part of Tuscany.
Thanks so much for your lovely review of Il Rivo and your holiday - you evoked memories of wonderful places visited.We would love to welcome you back in the future. Best wishes.
A spacious villa with stunning views.
This spacious villa nestles in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. From the veranda you can see wild boar, foxes and deer and its a very peaceful location. The villa is clean and well equipped and the wifi was a great help in organising days out. We visited the beach, zoo, the funicular railway and the local pool complete with 3m diving board. We did go for a couple of walks into the woods but the brambles made the routes nearly impassable and August is too hot really for hiking.
A couple of points to note there is a steep path down to the villa from the carport and mosquito repellent was needed when sitting outside (there's a whole aisle of it in the supermarket).
Overall we enjoyed ourselves and I would recommend this villa to my friends.
Thank you very much for reviewing Il Rivo, you seemed to make the most of your time in Tuscany, even after 20 years we find there are still places to explore! The path is a little steep in places, past guests have included children of all ages, parents and grandparents - all of whom have found it navigable, there is a fence to offer support where necessary. As for mosquitos, thankfully they haven't presented a problem for us or other guests, there aren't any more at Il Rivo than the rest of Italy or any other hot country. Sadly there isn't anything we or anyone else can do about them - bar the usual repellents.
I hope you received the boots you left behind?
Special interest holidays:
Ancient footpaths link the villages and valleys surrounding Il Rivo. More information can be provided. The whole area is steeped in history, from the 10th century onwards - with the Renaissance of course predominant.
The Tuscan Riviera is 50 minutes drive. Forte dei Marmi has the dubious honour of being named one of the worlds top ten topless beaches by Forbes! Viareggio has the largest beach.
Tour the marble quarries of Carrara, the precipitous drops will get the adrenaline going then pass out on the beach at Marina dei Carrara!
Marina di Pietrasanta, boasts famous artists and sculptors.
Torre di Lago hosts the famous Puccini festival each summer, idyllic lakeside open-air theatre – an absolute must for opera/music lovers.
Flights : Pisa (50mins) is the nearest airport, followed by Florence (50mins), then Bologna (1hr 45mins) and Genoa (2hrs 15mins). Airlines include BA, Ryanair, Easyjet and Meridiana (Florence).
Car Hire is essential. Recommendations are: Avis, Hertz, Holiday Autos and Sixt. If the car rental rate doesn't include refundable excess it is worth considering taking out an annual Excess Insurance Policy, which often works out cheaper than the rental company's policy. Try Insurance 4CarHire.
Nearest village, Vellano is 5 minutes drive or 10-12 minutes walk up through olive groves. Nearest town is the market town of Pescia, 12 minutes drive down the hill. Montecatini Terme 20-25 minutes; Lucca 30 minutes; Florence, Pisa and the coast 50 minutes; Torre di Largo 1 hour; skiing resort of Abetone 1 hour; Vinci 1 hour; Cinque Terre 2 hours; Verona 2 hours.
In Vellano there is a pizzeria/bar with fantastic views; a convenience store selling fresh bread, milk, water, butter, cheese, wine and household supplies; a hairdresser and a dentist. There are several excellent restaurants in the valley serving delicious fresh local cuisine at reasonable prices - be prepared for big servings! Two of them have areas for children to play outside. Pescia has a lively market each Saturday morning selling locally grown vegetables and fruit as well as cheese, clothes, shoes and bags.
There are banks in Pescia with cash points, but if you need to go into a bank the opening times are generally 8.30am-12/1pm, and sometimes 2.30-4pm. Being Italy these afternoon opening times are a little arbitrary! Best to stick to the mornings! As a rule shops are open 8.30am-12/1pm and 4pm-7.30/8pm; and restaurants serve from 12.00-2.30pm and 8pm-10.30pm, although these times often extend. The supermarket in Pescia is called Esselunga and is situated on the road into Pescia from either Lucca or the autostrada. There are a few delicatessens in Pescia for more particular taste buds, and an excellent one on the road from Pescia to Vellano that sells fresh bread, cured and roast meats, sauces and cheese – and it’s open on Sundays.
The hospital in Pescia is very good, we’ve had occasion to use it a few times over the years and have always been impressed with the level of care. There is a swimming pool open to non-guests at a boutique ‘residence’ between Il Rivo and Pescia and a big pool on the other side of Pescia complete with curving water slide and diving boards – a favourite with the kids. There is horse riding in the area as well. The owner is very happy to advise about any of the above – please just ask.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
Booking Notes: Cheaper mid-week start - take advantage of cheaper flights! We are flexible on changeover days and are happy to offer mid-week changeovers in order for guests to take advantage of cheaper flights. Bookings can start on other days including weekends, subject to availability. Changeover Day: Changeover day is flexible depending on availability. We ask guests to arrive after 4pm please to allow for cleaning and preparation of the A refundable security deposit of £200 (refunded within 2 weeks of the end of the rental) is payable with the balance/full payment. The security deposit covers any damage to the property or breakages, any gas used for central heating will be deducted. Guests should arrive between 4-8pm, and depart by 10am. Notes on prices: