Beautiful, 3 bedroom Villa with Pool, Tuscany, Italy - Peaceful Location close to Tuscan/Ligurian Coast
Tim & Leonora Sandwell
- english, italian
About Tim & Leonora Sandwell
We first went to Italy on honeymoon, booking our first Tuscan villa when our son was a baby. We immediately fell in love with the area, and were fortunate enough to meet an Englishman who earned his livelihood by restoring barns. After some great weekend trips for "viewing" ruined properties, we stumbled upon La Casella, at that point just a shell, with animals roaming freely in the surrounding gardens! Now our home is our escape - both alone and with our family and a welcome retreat from the stresses of our regular mid-Surrey lifestyle. Our 3 children are happy in the gentle warm climate, and I like it that we can choose to be lazy by the pool and be bothered by no one or we can head to the coast if we fancy a bit of glitz! Every summer, I am bowled over by the place and its warm!
Tim & Leonora Sandwell purchased this Villa in 2002
Why Tim & Leonora Sandwell chose Tresana
We loved Lunigiana for its accessibility - being within a couple of hours of Florence is great - but more importantly we loved being near to Portofino, Lucca, and the Tuscan Coast. With a young family we felt that being within reach of a beach was useful bonus, and we liked the choice of glitzy Forte dei Marmi or the tiny gems like Fiascherino and Tellaro. We also liked that this is an area of Tuscany not populated by tourists - you hear an increasing number of English voices in the supermarket, but compared to Chianti, Lunigiana is relatively undiscovered. The location is utterly tranquil, and is a real change from our London commuter-belt lifestyle. Here the locals are farming every scrap of land and you get to see a completely different way of life, and an alternative set of values.
What makes this Villa unique
Without exception, every guest that rented our villa last year commented on the beauty of its location and loved the peace and tranquility. Some had young children and some had teenagers and there seemed to be something for everyone. Whilst utterly remote and not overlooked, civilisation is not far away - the nearby village of Barbarasco being just ten minutes away for quick provisions, whilst our main town of Aulla has a large Conad supermarket, numerous shops and restaurants. Many of our guests used the villa as a base for travelling to all sorts of places - one guest drove to Venice with his family, while another had a fantastic day's shopping in Milan! The marina at Bocca di Magra is a great lunch spot, or drive to stunning Lerici and catch a boat across to Portovenere or the Cinque Terre.
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 p.m.
Check-out: 11:00 a.m.
100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
Amazing getaway from it all holiday
What a find! The villa, the location, views and the peace and tranquility were amazing, just what we needed after a very busy year. Remote enough to be entirely peaceful, apart from the cries of the soaring eagles overhead and the church bells along the valley, but close enough to local amenities not to feel isolated. Local roads are interesting, steep and twisting but very manageable even in a large, low car!! The villa was superbly equipped with quality fittings and has a genuine home from home feel with everything you'd need, both inside and out for relaxing days by the pool and long evenings under the wisteria with a glass (or two) of the local wines... The visits from the friendly and very informative local baker were a treat, and the bread superb. Aulla railway station is a gateway to numerous locations if you don't want to drive or park, the shops have all you'd need and the information provided by the superb hosts Leo and Tim enabled us to plan our excursions along with long lazy days by the excellent and very welcome pool. Leo kept us well informed prior to the holiday and was in touch during our stay to check all was well. Any queries were answered promptly and she was always contactable should the need have arisen whilst in no way being intrusive. We would have no hesitation in recommending this property if you want a truly relaxing holiday in a stunning location - we'd love to keep this a secret, it's that special!!!
A beautifully situated and well-equipped, spacious villa. Everything was as we dreamed it would be.
This is a delightful villa in a beautiful area. It is high in the hills, quiet and peaceful and charming. The owners are generous and attentive and people locally are most helpful. We enjoyed the pool area during the day and evenings in amazing August heat and visited The Gulf of Poets and Lucca during the week. The local restaurants are lovely and the surrounding coastal area, although busy, is very Italian and unspoilt. Lerici, Tellarmo and the coastal villages beyond are just lovely. We hope to visit again.
Thank you for your kind review, and we are delighted that you had such a successful holiday. You visited some of our favourite spots, and we will hope to introduce you to more of the area should you return. You would certainly be very welcome back at our place anytime. Best wishes to you all.
Wonderful villa with stunning views
We have just returned from the most wonderful week in this beautiful house. The house is so well equipped there is absolutely nothing you will need. The views from both the villa and the pool are out of this world. We did a few trips- down to the fab beach at forte dei marmi and a boat trip to portovenere-would highly recommend both.The owners are so helpful with booking and info- get straight back to you.
The most wonderful place and would highly recommend.
Thank you so much for your kind comments. It means a great deal to know that you enjoyed yourselves, and that you were able to share some of our favourite holiday rituals! I hope you will be come back to us again sometime. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Exceeded our expectations
Within 4 hours of leaving Manchester we were sat by the pool in the most idyllic of settings. The villa is set in the Tuscan hills alone but not isolated. From the moment we arrived we were at 'home'. Everything we could of needed seemed to be at hand, even the wine which as requested we replaced for the next guests. Tim and Leo have made their home our home for the fortnight. The facilities are of the highest standards and well.maintained. Lisa is only a phone call away if you have any queries. The local shops are about 15 minutes away by car and we sampled the two local restaurants. We can recommend both for their local cuisine and wonderful hospitality. The villa is situated in an ideal location with easy access to the autostrade, about 20 minutes, for visiting the delights Tuscany has to offer. A wonderful villa that exceeded our expectations. We want to go back!!
Luxurious and Relaxing!
My Family and I would like to extend the biggest that you to you and Tim for our fabulous stay at La Casella. The views were breathtaking, and the kitchen very well stocked...from the 'chef standard' knives, to the kitchen scales and baby hand blender...we felt we had everything we needed for a brilliant 2 weeks! The house itself was well finished and furnished to an excellent standard.
The directions you gave us were very clear and concise and the drive to and from Pisa would have been an easy and straightforward one if we hadn't put the wrong Groppo in our satnavs! It ended up being a 4 and a half hour detour!
The information you provided to us at the property was invaluable to us too! We made multiple visits to Albergo Mauro (you were right about the portion sizes!) and also enjoyed a few trips to Capannina Ciccio...where we were completely blown over by the seafood!
We enjoyed the remoteness of our position, but also the ease with which we could access shops, restaurants etc. Also made day trips to Genoa, Florence and Lucca.
Sara's bread is to die for! We suspect that she is the reason that virtually everyone in our party put on at least a few pounds in the two weeks we were out there!
We managed a couple of trips, but it was quite cloudy and wet...nothing a good glass of wine couldn't fix of course!
Idyllic Tuscan Retreat
We had a wonderful holiday in this attractive Tuscan villa. The views are phenomenal and the house was perfect for our requirements; finished to an extremely high standard and very well decorated/equipped. There is plenty of space for al fresco dining by the house or the pool and areas for sun worshipping alongside plenty of shade to escape the heat of the day. The bread van visits every other morning and their foccacia is worth every calorie! Perfect for breakfast with coffee from the Nespresso machine! Leo was also great in replying to emails and providing information up front. There are lots of places to visit in easy reach and I can't recommend highly enough choosing this beautiful property.
Many thanks for giving us such a great review for our page. I hope all is well with you - and I'm assuing your friend (Rachel?) is now the Mum of a gorgeous baby who is probably growing all too fast? Wishing you all a happy summer and very best wishes, Leo and Tim.
The nearest beach that may be used FOC is at Massa/Carrara and about 30 minutes drive away. The 2 neighbouring and charming villages of Tellaro and Fiascherino have breathtaking beaches and are about 40 minutes drive, but tend to get terribly busy during peak season. Forte dei Marmi and Cinquale have mile upon mile of beautiful sandy beaches with gorgeous manicured beach clubs that can be booked on a daily basis, although expect to pay upwards of 40 euros for a spot! The Cinque Terre coastal reserve and the Gulf of Poets are easily reached by car or by train from nearby Aulla.
Pisa, Genoa, Parma airports are all within 1 hour 20 minutes drive, with Bologna being just about 1 hour 40 minutes drive. The house is very secluded and car hire or use of a car is an absolute necessity!
Barbarasco is just 5 minutes away by car and has 2 restaurants as well as a number of shops. Sarzana and Pontremoli are both pretty Tuscan hilltowns - the former having great shops and a lively nightlife - and are both within half an hour's drive. Aulla ia the nearest large town and is 10 minutes away by car - here there are plenty of restaurants, shops and boutiques, although the town lacks the period good looks of its neighbours.
Aulla is the nearest town and motorway intersection, and is about 10 minutes away by car. Here there is a weekly market, large supermarket, restaurants, banks etc. Closer to the house lies Barbarasco which has smaller shops, restaurants and bars - although everything you need can be bought here - check out the prize-winning Parmeggiano Reggiano at Gasperini! The local baker at Corneda will deliver bread and cakes to you at the house 3 times each week - the foccaccia nero is a must!