Al Bastini is a beautiful 18 century villa-farmhouse with glorious views. The house is in traditional Tuscan style with local stone & terracotta, 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. Please see 'House Rules' for our cancellation policy, as we do offer refunds.
Just 15 mins from the centre of Lucca, Al Bastini is conveniently located in idyllic countryside within comfortable reach of the historic cities of Pisa, Florence & Siena.
A few minutes away by car are shops and restaurants in the village of San Macario in Piano. A further 5 minutes away are 3 large supermarkets and in another 5 minutes, you will arrive in Lucca. Both Pisa airport and the Versilian coast can be reached in 30 minutes.
Tuscany and Umbria are crowded with places to see - the obvious ones being Florence (1 hour's drive), Siena (1.5 hours) and San Gimignano (2 hours).
The elegant seaside resorts of Viareggio & Forte dei Marmi are within 30 mins. 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. Again on the coast are 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.
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.
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.