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Enchanting Tuscan Farmhouse with Private Pool set in Glorious Countryside

People10
Bedrooms 5
Bathrooms5
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Private Pool
  • Air Conditioning
  • Internet
  • Parking

Overview

About the property

Ancient farmhouse with stunning views, just a short walk to the local restaurant and an hour from the Italian Riviera

Casa della Quercia is a historic Grade-A listed 5-bedroom farmhouse situated at the edge of a small village, giving plenty of privacy but without a sense of isolation. This beautiful building has been lovingly restored to retain its unique character and is furnished with antique furniture and original works of art. It is surrounded by beautiful unspoilt countryside and overlooks terraced gardens, olive groves and meadows and has spectacular views of the mountain peaks of the Apuan Alps, also known as the marble mountains of Carrara

The villa is spacious, comfortable and well equipped, providing guests with everything they need for a carefree holiday, and giving them an idyllic respite from the heat, crowds and tour buses that can be found in other parts of Tuscany in the summer season. Our goal was to create a sanctuary where guests can totally relax amidst beautiful surroundings, and it is our mission to make sure that visitors to Casa della Quercia have a memorable holiday in a place far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern every-day life. To this end, one of the owners, Ron, lives nearby and is on hand to give help and advice to guests at all times during their stay.

The grounds are spacious, covering about three acres in all, and include terraces, gardens, an olive grove and meadows. On the upper level, the various buildings of the property cluster around a large stone-paved terrace, forming an ideal location for the group to gather in the evening to enjoy cocktails and dinner. A large recently-renovated barn has a ping-pong table and work-out machines, and also has a sound system which provides a party atmosphere while enjoying drinks, dinner, or a friendly game of table-tennis. On this stone terrace is a seating area for breakfast, a vine-covered arbor for dining, barbecue, sunbeds for sunbathing, and a comfortable sofa for relaxing in the evening. The terrace is gated so children can run around and play quite safely.

Lower terraces provide gardens, a swing seat, sunbathing areas, and chairs and tables for reading or quiet contemplation. The swimming pool is set into a lower terrace and has spectacular views of the mountains. It is surrounded by teak sunbeds and deck chairs and there is a refrigerator for cold drinks in the pool house. Guests may like to wander across the meadow to the woodland beyond, or along the old mule paths to nearby villages located farther up the hillsides. Deer and wild boar roam in these woodlands, and it’s not usual to see them grazing in the early morning in the valley.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by the most beautiful unspoilt countryside and yet be within walking distance of an excellent agriturismo restaurant and bar. Here, a three-course lunch is just 12 euros, including wine; dinner and Sunday lunch is about 20 euros. The owners of the restaurant, Davide and Gabriella, will be happy to prepare a special menu for a celebration dinner if you order it in advance.

The villa sleeps 10 in five bedrooms with five bathrooms, two on the top floor and three on the lower floor, and a renovated chestnut-drying-house adjacent to the main house provides an extra bedroom if needed, for a total of 12 guests. The top floor of the villa is very spacious and consists of a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room with antique Italian library table, living room with cathedral ceiling and massive stone fireplace, and two bedrooms: the Zanzibar Suite, with two double beds (French double) imported from Zanzibar, with en suite bathroom, and wonderful views of the valley and mountains beyond; and the Portovenere room with its own bathroom and French windows with a view of the village. Both bedrooms have air conditioning. Il Micino, the converted chestnut-drying-house, is just a few steps from the main house and has a queen-sized bed with private bath and air conditioning.

The lower two levels of the villa form a separate living unit, and includes a kitchen, living/dining area, and three bedrooms. The luxurious Venetian Suite is decorated with Italian antiques and has a staircase leading down to a bathroom with jaccuzzi tub and shower and a private sun-bathing terrace with an incredible view of the mountains. The two other bedrooms on this floor have their own bathroom. The two lower floors of the building are set into the mountain side and they stay cool in summer without the need for air conditioning, though fans are provided.

Both kitchens are equipped with gas cook-tops with electric ovens and dishwashers. A laundry room with washer, drier and iron is available for guests at all times. There are two fireplaces on the upper level for wood fires in cooler weather.

The village of Reusa is located on the Via del Volto Santo, the ancient pilgrims’ way that led from Canterbury to Rome; the way, originally an old Roman road, runs alongside the villa (see photo), and the original Roman guard post can still be seen.

The villa is situated 50 miles north of Lucca and 30 miles inland from the coastal towns of Lerici and Portovenere on the Italian Riviera, with ferry boat access to Portofino and the delightful fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, with their famed seafood restaurants. We have been welcoming guest to our villa through Owners Direct for 12 years and have many repeat visitors and referrals; for more information, please visit our website listed below, or call us on the telephone. We accept payments by credit card through PayPal for extra security.

More Details

Owner
Gillian Drake
Member since: 2007
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
12 December, 2017

About Gillian Drake

This is Gillian writing, so I'll put this in the first person. I am British-born but have lived on Cape Cod near Boston, in the US, for many years, though these days I spend as much time in Italy as I can. My partner Ron spent more than 20 years leading safaris in Africa and now spends most of the year in Italy. A gifted craftsman, he loves to take care of the property and to welcome guests to the villa. It is our goal and great joy to provide an enchanting place for our friends and guests to enjoy a relaxing holiday away from the cares of the world, and we are constantly working on the property—the gardens, the interiors, the amenities—to do just that.

Gillian Drake purchased this villa in 2003

Why Gillian Drake chose Casola in Lunigiana

Ron and I came across this abandoned ruin in 2002, though it rather felt as if it found us, and compelled us, with its undeniable, irresistible charm, to love it, rescue it, and restore it to health -- and in the process to spend rather more money than we had intended! It's been a labor of love for us—not just for the property, but for the village of Reusa and our beloved neighbors, and for the country of Italy itself, surely one of the most sublime places in the world, where the culture, the cuisine, the landscape, the people, and their history combine to create a perfection that cannot be experienced anywhere else, at least as far as we are concerned. We welcome you to visit us in this enchanting corner of Tuscany and experience the timeless charm of traditional Italian life.

What makes this villa unique

The villa is situated in a small village surrounded by glorious unspoiled countryside, yet is only 25 miles from the Italian Riviera and the charming towns of Lerici, Portovenere and the Cinque Terre. The villa is easy to get to -- the autostrada extends to the nearby town of Aulla, and from Aulla it's about 1/2 hour to Reusa on country roads. A level paved lane leads from the main road to to the villa, about 100 yards, and there is parking in the front courtyard right next to the house, as well as at other places on the property. Be assured that there's no long, winding, or precipitous drive leading to the villa, and no up-hill walk from a car park to the villa.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"What a remarkable place, definitely the best villa we have ever stayed at. Beautiful, incredibly well equipped, fantastic coffee! and all in a breathtaking location. Usually by the end of a holiday we are ready to go home, with this place we could happily stay on!" Lin & Simon, Southampton.

"Just wanted to tell you what a wonderful week we had in Reusa. You really have made the place beautiful with lots of attention to detail and the setting is stunning. It was great to have the pool to cool off on in the heat and we had fun walking in the surrounding mountains. All the local restaurants were great, especially your local agriturismo which was fantastic value. We would certainly recommend the place to anyone who was thinking of a holiday in Tuscany." -- Julia R., London

"A blissful fortnight of sun, fine food, friendly welcoming people, and great excursions to Lucca (by train and cycle) and the Cinque Terre (by boat). One of our best holidays ever!" -- The Griffee Family, UK
Feb 2007
  • 1 of 1

Location

Nearest Airport
65 Miles
Pisa, Genoa, Florence
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
10-15 mins walk
Nearest Ferry
30 Kilometres
Portovenere
Nearest Train
3 Miles
Pieve San Lorenzo (Minucciano)
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
Aulla
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
10-15 mins walk
Nearest Beach
30 Miles
Lerici, Marinella di Sarzana
Car: recommended

Coast/Beach:

The house is 30 miles from the beautiful Mediterranean towns of Lerici and Portovenere, gateway to the Cinque Terre, and renowned for their waterfront seafood restaurants. Boats leave from these ports for trips to the picturesque fishing villages of the Cinque Terre and Portofino. The Mediterranean beaches of the Versilia coast are about an hour away, and provide a typically Italian seaside experience, with beach clubs providing sun beds, sun umbrellas, and beachfront bars and restaurants. The Federici winery is also near here, making a perfect day trip.

Travel:

Nearest International Airport is Pisa, about a one-and-a-half hour drive. Also nearby are Florence and Genoa airports. Bologna is about 2-1/2 hrs, Milan Linate and Nice airports are about 3 hours, and Rome airport is about 4 hours. A car is pretty much essential and can be hired at any airport, though airport pickup can be arranged, as well as taxi services while at the villa.

Distances:

Casola 3 miles, Fivizzano 7 miles, Aulla 15 miles, Cinque Terre 30 miles, Carrara/Pietra Santa 25 miles, Lucca 50 miles, Florence 80 miles.

Further Details:

Casa della Quercia is located next to the church on the edge of a small village. There are no shops in the village, but vans arrive at various times during the week with fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, and delicatessen items. The town of Casola, a 10 minute drive, has several shops, two greengrocers, hardware store, bank, post office, restaurant/pizza parlour, and a cafe. Fivizzano, a 20 mins. drive, has several butchers, green grocers, restaurants, a small supermarket, and a lovely piazza with fountain, cafes and an ice cream shop. There are many fine restaurants within a 20 minute drive. Our local restaurant, Lo Spino Fiorito, (lunch 10 Euros, dinner 20 Euros), is an excellent country restaurant within walking distance of the house. We can also shop for groceries for your arrival if you don't have time to stop on your way to the villa.

Children love the freedom of Casa della Quercia — they can wander freely through the meadows, olive groves and woodlands with no worry about traffic. For smaller children, there is a sand box by the pool with a good supply of toys. The top courtyard has gates that can be locked so little children can play safely inside without worry that they'll wander too far.

Please note that the house is situated next to the church and the bell chimes every hour throughout the day and the night. This adds to the charm of the place, and has not been a problem for any of the guests at the house so far; however, very light sleepers might prefer to sleep in one of the bedrooms farther away from the church, or use ear plugs which are provided free of charge.

One of the owners, Ron, lives nearby during the summer season and is on hand to settle guests in, give advice, make reservations, and do everything possible to make sure that guests at Casa della Quercia have a trouble-free and relaxing holiday.

Facilities

Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Casola in Lunigiana in Province of Massa and Carrara

Property Type:
  • villa
Meals:
  • Self-catering
Housekeeping:
  • Housekeeper Optional
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:30
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • mountain
  • rural
  • village
Theme:
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
General:
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Fitness Room / Equipment
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 12 people
Bathrooms:
  • 5 Bathrooms
  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
    Shower room 2 - Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Jacuzzi
Bedrooms:
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Ping Pong Table
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library
Outside:
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool
Onsite Services:
  • Chauffeur
  • Private Chef
Attractions:
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Notes:
The grounds of the villa include stone-paved patios and terraces, gardens, and an olive grove, meadows and woodland where children can safely ramble. The terraced gardens and olive groves total about 3 acres and face the south/southwest with stunning views of the mountains. Adjacent to the top level of the villa is a breakfast patio, sunbathing area, and vine-covered arbor for outdoor dining and barbecues. There are many private sunbathing and sitting areas on the various terraces and in the olive grove. The pool (3.5m x 7m) is on a lower terrace and is reached by a flight of steps down through the olive grove. There is plenty of outdoor lounging furniture for sunbathing and relaxing, and pool towels are provided. There is a small fridge in the pool house for cool drinks, plus toys for fun in the pool, and a sand box with toys for the little ones. Below the pool terrace is a meadow, and beyond it a chestnut wood with a tiny brook running through it. There are also many old mule paths around the village that lead into woodland and up the mountain. pastures, making it a great area for rambling and hiking. The cantina contains demijohns of local wine for the use of our clients -- just fill up your carafe when you wish! In typical Tuscan style, an outdoor staircase connects the two main floors of the house, so the villa can function as two separate living spaces.

Reviews

Exceptional! 5/5 -
(8 traveller reviews)

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Enchanting Tuscan Farmhouse with Private Pool set in Glorious Countryside
average rating of 5.0 based on 9 reviews
5

THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE

  • 5 of 5

La Bella Vita was our girls’ vacation theme. Ron and Gillian have an incredible villa. The beauty in this Tuscan hillside village is breathtaking. Our unit in the villa was well-appointed with everything we needed for our Tuscany vacation. The beds were super comfortable. I had the pleasure of staying in the luxurious Venetian suite. The villa, landscaping and surrounding terraces which have lovely olive trees and a pool have been meticulously maintained.

Ron, thank you for helping us shop on our way to Casa della Quercia, and showing us how to use the expresso maker and laundry. Your recommendation for the nearby LoSpino Restaurant was spot on – so delicious and reasonably priced. We enjoyed using the patio and grill for al fresco dining.

My hope is to return again to this very special villa. La Bella Vita!

Janis, Kathy, Karen and Deb

  • Review Submitted: 06-Jun-2017
  • Date of Stay: April 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5

A beautiful villa set in a beautiful loation

  • 5 of 5

The most beautiful villa we have ever stayed in or seen. Absolutely stunning, far exceeded our expectations. The views were breathtaking and the pool was fantastic. The villa was spotless throughout (very very clean), fully equipped (wifi, multiple kitchens, fridge / dishwasher / laundry room / jacuzzi bath etc.). We had a fantastic stay for the week, the setting is beautiful and perfect for relaxation, watch the sun go down behind the mountains surrounded by green rolling mountain hills and enjoy a glass of wine from the wine cellar. Everything was above our expectations, and Ron was so friendly and helpful! we cannot thank Ron and Gillian enough for letting our family stay and being so helpful.

There is plenty to see and do, whether you want to explore the local mountain towns or just stay at the villa and fire up the gas barbecue.

This is by far one of the most luxurious villas available on Owners Direct and it is perfect for romantic getaways or family breaks!

  • Review Submitted: 15-Sep-2015
  • Date of Stay: September 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5

Tribal Gathering

  • 5 of 5

It is difficult to express superlatives, but on this occasion they are more than well deserved.

My family is pretty well dispersed across the Globe, and we came from Europe, China and Africa to join together and celebrate my "coming of age = 70.

The whole environment of the villa and ambiance is superb. The furnishings and beautifully eclectic rooms both public and private exceeded our expectations by a long way.

We were a party of 9 with ages varying from 2 years to over 70 and the facilities and location could not have been more appropriate and enjoyable. In fact on member of the party said that "I don't see the need to even move from here other than for essential supplies" as it has all one could wish for.

Both Gillian and Ron were delightful and more than helpful in facilitating both during the booking and the holiday with valuable advice and information.

We have the fondest memories of our memorable stay and Gillian and Ron watch out their may be a repeat at some point!!!!!

I can't recommend this villa enough.

You will love it and the surrounding area.

Gillian, Ron, thank you sincerely for a magnificent stay that we will treasure.

By the way Charlotte still remembers Pepe and now has her own puppy. Seems Pepe rubbed off!!!

So, anyone who reads this should, go on and give yourselves a treat - you certainly won't regret it.

  • Review Submitted: 07-Sep-2015
  • Date of Stay: July 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Kent
5

Stunning

  • 5 of 5

What a magnificent villa, location and owner/s.

There were 12 of us staying at the villa from three families over two weeks. From the very moment we arrived and were welcomed by Ron we knew we'd made a great choice.

The villa is such a good size and layout that we never felt on top of each other and there are so many spaces to sit quietly or as a group.

Kitchens very well equipped, no improvisation needed when cooking for 12 people and plenty of cutlery!

Our one concern was the size of the swimming pool...however glad to report it was larger than we expected and really made the holiday with it's stunning views.

I could put down many further points...lovely local restaurant...Ron helping us in difficult car rental situations...secluded...but basically we couldn't recommend it highly enough, especially for a large group.

Thanks for a great holiday!

  • Review Submitted: 31-Aug-2014
  • Date of Stay: August 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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3 0
5

Fantastic setting, Amazing accommodations

  • 5 of 5

Casa della Quercia reflects not only the peacefulness and harmony of the Tuscan countryside but the impeccable taste and eye for beauty of its wonderful owners, Gillian and Ron. My husband and I have traveled Italy extensively and lived in Tuscany for a year, yet we have found no town as unspoiled and charming as Reusa. It is truly the Tuscany most tourists seldom discover, intimate and friendly, all Italian speaking, where people still work the land, often by hand, pressing their own olives, making their own wines.

Gillian and Ron have transformed what was once a ruin into one of the most beautiful and comfortable villas we have ever seen. Every room has a stunning view of the Apuan Alps. The bedrooms are magical, complementing the tranquility and beauty of the setting. Each room has its own theme. The bathrooms are amazing, all ensuite, all impeccably designed. The Venetian Suite has its own private balcony and is particularly inviting. Outside, the pool and gardens are lovely. If you walk across the field, you will find a small stream with wildflowers. Or you can stroll through Gillian and Ron's olive grove. Guests are provided with olive oil from the grove and it is delicious. The local restaurant, only a 15-minute walk away, Lo Spino Fiorito, has true Tuscan food at a very reasonable price.

Gillian and Ron are wonderful hosts, very knowledgeable about the area, other local restaurants, directions, ideas for sightseeing. They have traveled the world and have found their true home in this warm, welcoming villa, this lovely small town. We didn't want to leave and plan to return again and again.

  • Review Submitted: 07-Jun-2014
  • Date of Stay: May 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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6 0
London
5

An exceptional villa with stunning views

  • 5 of 5

Casa della Quercia is one of the best villas I've ever stayed in. The views are incredible (every window is a picture) and you can tell that a lot of love went into the restoration by Ron and Gillian. The end result is a luxurious yet homely villa, which provided the perfect setting for our family celebration.

We loved cooking together in the well equipped kitchen and dining outside on one of the many terraces, but the local restaurant - Lo Spino Fiorita (walking distance) - was also excellent and very good value. I would however recommend a car as the villa is in a small hamlet, but there are shops in the neighbouring villages and every drive you make will be a scenic one!

Other noteworthy points: all the bedrooms are en-suite, there is a great swimming pool overlooking the mountains, and there is even a cellar where you can sample some local wine made by the neighbours. Needless to say I hope to return to Casa della Quercia in the not too distant future!

  • Review Submitted: 01-Jun-2014
  • Date of Stay: May 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Photos

Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Casola in Lunigiana, Tuscany

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
GBP
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
 
Christmas/New Year
21 Dec 2017 - 6 Jan 2018
2 night minimum stay
£1,000
for 2 nights
From
£500
 
 
Spring 2018
12 May 2018 - 25 May 2018
7 night minimum stay
£2,000
for 7 nights
£2,000
 
 
Late Spring
26 May 2018 - 8 Jun 2018
7 night minimum stay
£2,200
for 7 nights
£2,200
 
 
June 2018
9 Jun 2018 - 22 Jun 2018
7 night minimum stay
£2,500
for 7 nights
£2,500
 
 
Early Summer 2018
23 Jun 2018 - 6 Jul 2018
7 night minimum stay
£3,000
for 7 nights
£3,000
 
 
Summer 2018
7 Jul 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
7 night minimum stay
£3,500
for 7 nights
£3,500
 
 
Sept 2018
1 Sep 2018 - 14 Sep 2018
7 night minimum stay
£2,800
for 7 nights
£2,800
 
 
Autumn 2018
15 Sep 2018 - 28 Sep 2018
7 night minimum stay
£2,500
for 7 nights
£2,500
 
 
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
£1,200
for 3 nights
From
£400
 

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £500

Booking Notes:
A 30% deposit is required to book the property, with the balance due 2 months before your arrival. For cancellations, full refund if the property can be let again in the time remaining, less costs of re-advertising the property. We regret that no refund can be given if a reservation is cancelled within 2 weeks of the reserved time. A security deposit of 650 euros or equivalent is requested for the full villa; 400 euros for the partial villa; this will be returned within two weeks of guests leaving the villa.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is Saturday. Check in time is 3 pm, check out time is 10 am. but these times can be flexible depending upon the arrival time of the next guests.

Notes on prices:
Prices are for the property per week in Pounds. We require a security deposit of £250 per let for the half villa and £500 per let for the entire villa. This will be refunded within two weeks after vacating the property. We offer off-season 3-day getaways for 100 pounds per night per couple, weekends or anytime, max. 3 couples.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
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