Tuscan magic on a hillside villa wrapped in the embrace of an olive grove
"How fortunate we were to be able to travel up the windy Via Aquilea in the ancient town of Lucca to Casale Valentina, which is the name of this special place. We were greeted with a delicious apple torte upon our arrival, along with multiple bottles of wine, and some fruit. Gabriela and Adolfo are parents to the lovely and sweet Valentina, for whom this place is named apparently. All three were very kind and giving of their time, and very helpful with showing us around, how to operate foreign appliances, and getting us settled into our hillside villa. The villa is situated on the edge of some residences but it is a private place entered through a gate which is shown in the photos. Once you enter the gate, you are in a private world. The villa property protrudes into a hillside olive grove. We suspect there are no rentals after the end of October because the olives need to be harvested- green olives here. The style of the villa is rustic Tuscan with modern comforts including AC on hot nights, a modern kitchen, and other appliances one would expect in a modern kitchen. The rooms are beautifully appointed and to be able to swim in a private pool surrounded by olive trees is just heaven. Its about a 15-20 minute ride to Lucca center (the walled city)- easy peasy. We loved the location because not only is Lucca a spectacular walled and ancient city, it is easy to get anywhere you need to go either by train or by car. Valentina gave us spot on suggestions for dining and sightseeing. Adolfo is not conversant in English but his body English exudes both kindness and a gentle manner. He does the maintenance work and we saw him tending to the pool while we were there. The grounds are extremely well cared for- I am a gardener and I would be proud of this place if it were my handiwork. Loved the 8' diameter rosemary bush- can't get much easier to cut a little rosemary for Florentine beef. For a rustic, comfy, yet well-appointed home, this is a special place. Add to the place itself the kindness, warmth, and hospitality we received from the caretaker family, and we can highly recommend Casale Valentina to anyone."
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