An enchanting and beautifully restored historic little hamlet set in an aristocratic estate of cypress, magnolia and weeping willow trees, lilied lakes and fountains. Hidden away in the Lucchese hills yet just 10 minutes from the walled city of Lucca, this villa is a Tuscan retreat of great charm available for up to special gatherings of friends and family, Tuscan cooking school programs and conferences.
The original stone chapel of the Bernardini estate now accommodates three warm, sunny and luxurious en-suite bedrooms overlooking the swimming pool to one side and a courtyard filled with terracotta pots and lemon trees to the other. The rooms are situated above the sun lounges and TV room.
The oldest part of the property, once a wild-boar hunting lodge, with walls dating back to the year 1,000 and where the original olive press used to be housed. There are five central luxurious bedrooms in a horseshoe arrangement all with original beamed ceilings, terracotta floors and overlooking our little Italian piazza. These guest rooms are situated above the music room, card and billiard room and wine library.
Four delightful and elegant guest rooms integrated around the original 17th century fountains, overlooking the splendid Italian park and above the grand dining room and the formal drawing room.
The capital of Tuscany, Florence boasts an impressive array of museums and historical sights. Stroll through The Uffizi Museum to see famous works by Da Vinci and Botticelli or see Michelangelo's David in The Galleria dell'Accademia. Don't miss the Florence Cathedral with its famous domed roof.
For centuries Siena has been the host of Il Palio. Every July 2nd and August 16th ten riders race their horses bareback around the square called il Campo. The wild spectacle attracts thousands of spectators each year. If you are in Siena during this time it is certainly a must see!
No trip to Tuscany would be complete without visiting the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. But don't stop there. Take the time to stroll the Lugarno area and visit the shops and restaurants or take a walk along the Arno River.
Tuscany and wine seem to go hand in hand. Sample regional delights such as Brunello, Montepulciano and, of course, Chianti. Try a winery tour on the famous Chianti Classico Route and don't forget to pair it up with the regions equally famed meats and cheeses.
The Tuscan coast has some of the best beaches in Italy, so after sightseeing why not relax? All blue-flagged, some of the best include Maremma and Versilia. A nice coastal sidetrip could include an excursion to the islands of Elba or Giglio.
The Tuscan countryside is dotted with beautiful and charming medieval towns such as Lucca and San Gimignano. It is a delight to wander the narrow cobblestone streets and marvel at the architecture while visiting local artisans and cafes. You never know what you may find around the next corner!
Why not see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside from above in a hot air ballon? In Val D'Orcia you can float majestically over the green fields, rolling hills and endless vineyards. For the kid in all of us - a view not soon forgotten.
The Romans frequented the hotsprings at Saturnia for their medicinal and heeling properties and not much has changed since. The springs area is a fabulous way to spend the day and afterwards you can frolic in the waterfall that cascades into the pools.
Tuscany is replete with fortresses and impressive castles be it in the countryside or in the heart of any city. Many castles can be found in small “borghi” (hamlets) scattered all through the countryside such as Fighine near San Casciano dei Bagni or Meleto Castle in Chianti. Kids can also have fun climbing to the top of famous towers such as Giotto’s Bell Tower in Florence – a mere 414 steps with an award-winning view. History and fun all at the same time!
Gelato! Have fun tasting and deciding which gelato is your very favorite. Try a different flavour every day at a new gelateria in all the places you visit on your vacation – keep a photo journal and descriptive diary so you can tell all your friends. Remember each day of your “vacanza in Italia” with a gelato flavor! Evviva gelato!
If visiting in summer, don't miss the countless fairs and festivals that almost any of the small towns have throughout the season. Usually in the village center, many showcase local artisans, food and games. Of course, no fair would be complete without face-painting and your favourite gelato!
In order to kick-start the planning process, it would help us immensely if you could provide us with your contact details and answer a couple of quick questions about your travel plans. Please fill out and submit this form and we will be in touch shortly, or engage us in a live chat.If you would prefer to speak to someone by phone during regular business hours, please call us at 1-800-374-6637 and one of our Experience Managers will be happy to assist you.
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