Al Bastini is a beautiful 18 century villa-farmhouse basking on a sunny hillside, with glorious views towards Pisa & the medieval city of Lucca. Full of period character, the house was built in traditional Tuscan style from local stone & terracotta, with high chestnut-beamed ceilings & open fireplaces. It has been lovingly restored to a very high standard with a perfect blend of antiquity & modern comforts. Facilities include air-conditioning, WiFi broadband, satellite 50' plasma TV, DVD, billiard table, and table tennis. Set in 7 acres of gentle sloping terraces with old olive & fruit trees, the landscaped gardens feature flowerbeds, lawns, a heated 10 x 5m pool, & 3 outside eating areas in both sun & shade. There's a loggia, jasmine-scented terrace with stone barbecue, & a wisteria-covered pool-side pergola, all overlooking the wonderful views. There's ample quality garden chairs & sunbeds for relaxation. All the ingredients for an unforgettable holiday.
Just 15 mins from the centre of Lucca, Al Bastini is conveniently located within comfortable reach of the historic cities of Pisa, Florence & Siena. Lucca is a beautiful medieval city famed for its towers & renaissance walls, with plenty of cultural sights to see, excellent shops & restaurants.
Pisa is 30 mins drive, Florence is 1 hour's drive, Siena 1.5 hours and San Gimignano 2 hours. Also well worth a trip is to follow the Piero della Francesca trail (as in John Mortimer's book Summer Lease- John Mortimer also stayed at Al Bastini) which you can start in Arezzo (beautiful city, 1.5 hours' drive) & continue to nearby San Sepolcro and Monterchi, to see other examples of his stunning fresco work. If you have time when in that area, Assisi and Perugia are also well worth a visit. Volterra is a beautiful hilltop town well worth a visit.
Closer to home, of course, are Viareggio & Forte dei Marmi, both very attractive sandy beach resorts. You can also visit Lerici on the coast, a picturesque place with stunning views, from which you can get a short boat trip to Portavenere & enjoy the lovely seafood restaurants. The Cinque Terre, five lovely coastal villages all connected by train, boat or foot & well worth a visit. For a short trip, it is worth going to elegant Montecatini (30 mins) a spa town (but don't wear shorts as you won't be allowed into the baths). You can take the railway (or a taxi!, or drive yourself) up to the old hilltop village which is very pretty. An alternative place for lunch is Montecarlo (20 min) or Vinci (home of Leonardo) which, in addition to some very good restaurants, has a fascinating museum with scaled down models of all his inventions & posters of his works.
Puccini was born in Lucca & the ancient San Giovanni basilica in Lucca holds daily recitals of his music. There's also an annual open air Puccini opera festival thoughout July & August at nearby Torre Del Lago.
Organised sightseeing, cooking courses, & visits to vineyards & olive mills can be pre-booked. There are great restaurants nearby from simple trattorias to Michelin starred. The nearest supermarket is 4km, the nearest restaurant, 3km. Pisa airport is 45 mins by car, with direct flights to US & Europe.
For sporting activities: there are some challenging golf courses within an hour's drive, tennis clubs, riding, fishing, paragliding, mountaineering & beautiful walks are all available in the area.