‘The Turret’ – For your best Tuscany experience…
If you wish to see a summary – click on Snapshot of Amenities and Floor Plan.
Set in the heart of the northern Tuscan mountains you will find the area of Bagni Di Lucca. Approximately 20 minutes from the beautiful walled city of Lucca or an hour and half driving from Florence or Pisa. A quaint village renowned for its thermal spas which have kept locals and tourists in good health for hundreds of years. Also the home of Europe’s first Casino – although no tables or pokies here.
Situated on Ponte Serraglio and built on the river in 1847. The apartment and ‘The Turret’ rises from the edge of the river bank and constructed of river stone is truly fantastic. Enjoy amazing views of the mountains on every side and watch their colour change as the sun rises or sets. Overlooking the square you can watch the hustle of Italian life amble past at a pace only the Italians have mastered – no rusha…
If your plan is to squeeze as much as you can into your stay in Tuscany, this is an ideal spot to base yourself. Lucca is one of the few remaining walled cities that is still in tact. An amazing city with loads of culture with ancient churches, cobblestoned streets, incredible cafe’s and restaurants and shopping that will keep the best of us well entertained. A horse and buggy ride was our first glimpse at the history of Lucca.
Bologna offers a foodie heaven with amazing food markets lining the street, exquisite shopping and history to boot. Balsamic vinegar is produced in Moderna as well as some of Italy’s fastest cars, so something for everyone only two hours drive away. Pisa Village with the Leaning Tower and the amazing duomo (where Galileo did this thing) and the rolling Tuscany hills are a lovely day trip.
The Cinque Terra is a must from here if you do nothing else. Only 45 minutes by car or a short train ride from Lucca to La Spezia then the regional train to the Cinque Terra.
Walk, catch a train or ferry along the cliffs between the five villages. No matter which way you do it, it is one of the most amazing places in Italy. We took the ferry and it is truly breathtaking. Hundreds of coloured houses stacked on top of each other – the Italians certainly knew something about concrete and foundations. Venice, Lake Como and Garda, Verona (home of Romeo and Juliette) are within four hours drive. In fact Austria is just over the Swiss mountains.
Florence, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, is also approximately one and a half hours drive with some great Outlet Shopping at Barberino or The Mall on the way. Enjoy the finest high end shopping or sneak through the back lanes packed with small boutiques, fantastic leather and of course jewellery. The Statue of David a must to see as is the famous Ponte Vecchio.
Surrounded by fabulous villages this is the idea spot to enjoy Barga, Castlenuovo, Vergemoli, Borgo Monzano, Abetone (ski resort) and so many more. One of my favourites day trips is Vinci – home of Leonardo Di Vinci with an incredible museum well worth spending a few hours in. We are not museum people but we loved it. Greve is also fantastic in the heart of the Chianti vineyards – see my blog for more on Greve and its many charms.
Also depending on the time of year there are an array of festivals in villages throughout Italy – google them to check dates.
Staying put and just relaxing on ‘The Turret’ is the other option.
The apartment is freshly painted and renovated with three bedrooms plus office space. A brand new kitchen with a full size refrigerator, microwave, gas stove, rangehood, dishwasher and washing machine. We love to cook and entertain so we have chosen everything we would love to have on hand. Good sized wine glasses for everyday or special ones too for a more formal occasion plus more.
Furnished with a smattering of antiques, recycled timber pieces, comfy couch with warm rugs on the terrazzo floors gives it a feeling ‘like home’. Cable English TV (you can watch more than Sky News) is a blessing when you want to chill out. Wifi is also installed and is ideal for emails and trip planning, however, like all things Italian – not a massive download allowance – so not OK for downloading movies – but normal surfing is fine.
Great for a couple or group of friends who want to hang out. Located on Ponte Serraglio with a two minute walk to Bar Italia in the evening to enjoy a glass of red or heaven forbid you would like to try Gruppa (alias rocket fuel). We joke you wouldn’t even get gravel rash on your knees if you crawled home. We have not put it to the test – but you will certainly have a great time at the Bar. Mingling with the local Italians is a blast if you wish. Many speak English or are English, Australian, Irish or any other mix from around the world. All of them love a great time or are happy to let you sit on your own to enjoy a quiet drink.
Il Monaco Cafe opposite is open early and closes late for the best expresso and that delicious pastry to go with it. Ice cream (gelato) in summer is delicious.
On the square is also a Chemist, Post office (only open until 12.45) English Newspaper stand that may or may not be open, beauty parlour, tobacconist and a couple of great restaurants. A Conad supermarket with everything you need is just up the road. Stocked full of wine, fresh bread, cheese, meat and vegetables. Banks, more cafes and restaurants, hairdresser, homewares, shoe shops, wine store are also at The Villa – a pretty ten minute walk from Ponte.
There is a second bar at Fornoli, the next village downstream approximately 1km away. Paolo is the owner speaks very good English and a great host. Say hello from Allan and Kendall. There is a larger supermarket here, various other shops as well.
On arrival you will be met by a lovely lady – Rina who speaks fluent Italian and not much English. Tina is the GO TO lady if you need her, I will give you her number before you leave.
Buses and the train run regularly to Lucca and beyond. A car is a better option to fully experience this region. Parking in the square is not encouraged as the shop owners rely on passing trade. Parking will be available in our garage later in the year (when the roof is repaired). But for now there are parking areas about 60m upstream opposite the two story houses. Also about 100m the other way is an ideal spot with flat safe parking bays.
There are no real rules that belong to the apartment except no smoking inside please. Just treat her gently since she is advanced in age.
‘The Turret’ has been a long awaited dream come true and we want everyone to enjoy it and love it as much as we do. Please write in our visitors book and let us know if we can add anything to make your stay more enjoyable. Enjoy and have a drink on ‘The Turret’ for us…
Kendall and Allan