L'Aurora di Montagna is a quaint, rustic, Tuscan cottage/villa in an ancient hilltop village with the most incredible, mesmerising Tuscan views imaginable!
The cottage is built into the front of a little village 1,000ft above Barga, which was voted one of Italy's 20 most beautiful villages/towns.
Sun from sunrise to sunset with two beautiful terraces to enjoy the vista, outside living and al fresco dining. Watch the working valley below you change by the hour. Listen to the woodworkers on the slopes, cuckoos singing in Spring and wild boar in the valley rivers. Watch the Fireflies, shooting stars and satellites at night. Or just enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful and historic village setting.
Fantastic for walkers, hikers, those with cultural interests and the shear love of all things Italy where the Tuscan pace of life is slow and meant to be enjoyed.
Every room in the cottage has dramatic valley views of Barga and centuries old thick walls keep the property cool in the hot summer months. The cottage is simple accommodation with a well equipped kitchen for all those who love cooking in this food rich region of Italy.
The terrace sitting room on the first floor converts to a 4th bedroom. It has a small utility room, bathroom and is accessed from the terrace only. Making very private and separate sleeping for 2 people in a larger party? Flexible accommodation with 3/4 bedrooms for up to 8 people.
The Garfagnana / Serchio Valley is the most dramatic and beautiful part of Tuscany. Its off the beaten track a little, very little tourism, great value if you eat out or buy in and its not far from the cultural areas of Florence, Pisa, Sienna and lower Tuscany etc.
The Garfagnana area is rich in cultural history, natural beauty, food, lifestyle and the friendliness of its people.
Hemmed in by the Apuan Alps on one side and the Apennine mountains on the other, the view wherever you are is always dramatic and breath-taking.
Wolves up in the high passes, deer and wild boar in abundance and a choice of beautiful natural parks in the region - The Orecchiella and Orrido di Botri being the best.
Wildlife is everywhere and the seasons all have their special look in the valley.
The famous Italian Rivera and the incredible Cingue Terre (5 Villages) are only an hour away by car or train. A must to visit if you can.
So is the wonderful walled city of Lucca, home and birthplace of Puccini and a great day out to explore.
One of the joys of the area is the food. The Garfagnana valley is justly famous for its prosciutto, pork, pecorino cheese and honey.
Within the ancient walled town of Barga, there are excellent restaurants where you can sample local specialities in a genuine atmosphere.
Barga is a "Citta Slow" so all food is freshly prepared from local ingredients so menus are very seasonal. Specialities include Stinco di Maiale (pork shin) Tagliata di Manzo (beef) Funghi, especially the Porcini found locally, and various chestnut dishes. Pastas include Ravioli with butter and sage or in Spring "Ortica (Nettle), Maccheroni (a flat pasta, not the tubes) which is usually taken with a game sauce eg Lepre (Hare) or Cinghiale (Wild Boar). Trout is common as there are many trout farms in the valley and in the mountain rivers.
Lovely, rustic eateries are also found up in the woods on both sides of the valley - many highlighted in our guest information pack. Some have menus, some are set menus, but great advice is always to ask "what's in season, what do you recommend" and you'll not be let down. As the Garfagnana isn't too "touristy" Italian may be the only language in some eateries you visit but always be rest assured that you will be understood by patient chefs and waiting staff who really appreciate your custom.
There is an Agritourismo restaurant in Sommocolonia where lovely rustic, Tuscan food is served. Great local antipasti and a small selection of seasonal mains, pasta's and deserts, all freshly made as you would expect. The speciality is pork from their own herd of Tuscan pigs who roam the local Chestnut woods. Lovely staff with limited English who will help you order your food. Sometimes best to book as its popular with the locals!
Sommocolonia and the cottage / villa look down on Barga which is the focal point of this valley. This peaceful and 2,000 year old Roman village, with its own rustic restaurant, also has an interesting WW2 history - being on the Gothic Line and indebted to US Buffalo soldiers who gave their lives in defending Sommocolonia. There are books in the villa that cover this fascinating history.
Although also classified as Italy's smallest city, Barga was voted in Italy's top 20 villages/town for its balance of culture, old fashioned tradition, gorgeous old town looks, food and life - its a working hilltop town/village with a vibrant community and loads of character.The 10th Century Duomo (church/cathedral) at the top of the town is simply stunning.
There are Opera and Jazz festivals in the summer and a Jazz club is open every Friday.
Walking, hiking, cycling or just day tripping around the area is a pleasure. Footpaths are well signposted and our very detailed guest information provides many ideas on how you can explore and enjoy the area to the full!
For families or those who like swimming, there are 3 lovely pools in the area - Barga (7 mins), Albiano (10 mins) and at the Il Ciocco Resort (15 mins). Plus beautiful river swimming in many locations in the valley.