One Floor Only (off-season) Sleeps 6, 3 Bedrooms
In May, part of June and September, we offer the property as a partial villa. Guests may reserve the top floor, with Zanzibar and Portovenere suites, or the middle and lower floors with Venezia, Rafaello and Leonardo suites, and adding Il Micino as an extra bedroom as needed. For this arrangement, no other guests will occupy the vacant floor, though the owner may choose to stay there during that period, but this can be decided on an individual basis. Even if this is the case, the grounds and pool will be for the exclusive use of the guests. Great for honeymoons and as a relaxing off-season get-away for couples and smaller groups.
Casa della Quercia is a lovingly-restored historic villa which retains the unique character and atmosphere of the original building. The three-story villa is spacious, comfortable and well equipped, providing guests with everything they need for a carefree holiday. The owners' goal is to create a sanctuary where guests can totally relax amidst beautiful surroundings, and it is their 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 lives nearby and is on hand to give help and advice to guests at all times.
The villa is situated on the edge of a small village, giving plenty of privacy but without a sense of isolation. It is surrounded by tranquil 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 village of Reusa is located on the Via del Volto Santo, the ancient pilgrims' way that led from Canterbury to Rome; the old Roman road runs right under the top terrace of the villa, and you can see the original Roman guard post.
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 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 bed room with its own bathroom and French windows with a view of the village lane.
The lower two levels of the villa form a separate living unit, and include a kitchen, living/dining area, and three bedrooms, including the Venetian Suite, decorated with antiques, and with a private staircase down to a luxury bathroom with jacuzzi tub and a patio overlooking the mountains. The two other bedrooms each have their own bathroom.
Both kitchens are equipped with gas stoves 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 grounds are spacious, covering about three acres in all, and comprising a large upper stone-paved terrace (aia, or old threshing ground) with dining arbor and barbecue, and lower terraces with olive grove, gardens, a swing seat, fountain, and more chairs and tables for outdoor dining or cocktails in the evening. On the terrace below this is the swimming pool with spectacular views of the mountains. Guests may like to wander across the meadow to the woodland beyond, or along the old mule paths up to the villages and meadows farther up the mountain. Deer and wild boar roam in these woodlands, and it's not usual to see them grazing in the early morning under the apple trees in the valley.
We are very fortunate to be surrounded by the most beautiful unspoilt countryside, and yet to 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 cost a little more. 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 is situated 50 miles north of Lucca and 30 miles inland from the coastal towns of Lerici and Portovenere on the Italian Riviera, with boat access to Portofino and the small fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, with their famed seafood restaurants. See our website for more information.
About the Owner
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 several decades, 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 Massa Carrara Area
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 Mediterranean coast. The villa is easy to get to -- the autostrada goes 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 the car park to the villa.
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.
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.
From the Owner
“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.”
Activity and Interests
The house is about 45 minutes from the beautiful Mediterranean town of Lerici, and about 60 mins from Portovenere, renowned for its waterfront seafood restaurants. Boats leave from both 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.
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.
Casola 3 miles, Fivizzano 7 miles, Aulla 15 miles, Cinque Terre 30 miles, Carrara/Pietra Santa 25 miles, Lucca 50 miles, Florence 80 miles.
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 15 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.
From the Owner
“The villa is situated in a small village surrounded by glorious unspoiled countryside, yet is only 25 miles from the Mediterranean coast. The villa is easy to get to -- the autostrada goes 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 the car park to the villa.”
- Away From It All
- Air Conditioning
- Hair Dryer
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided
- Living Room
- Towels Provided
- Tumble Dryer
- Washing Machine
- Coffee Maker
- Dishes & Utensils
- Dining Area
- DVD Player
- Game Room
- Ping Pong Table
- Satellite / Cable
- Video Library
Pool / Spa
- Outdoor Pool
- Private Pool
- Private Chef
- bird watching
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
- medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities
- mountain biking
- mountain climbing
- Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure
- Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure
- Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
- 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
- Bedroom 1
- Bedroom 2
- Bedroom 3
Learn more about this holiday rental at the owner's website
- Notes on accommodation: 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. The grounds of the villa include stone-paved patios and terraces, gardens, and an olive grove, meadow and woodland where children love to ramble. The cantina contains demijohns of local wine, made by neighbors and local farmers, for the use of our clients -- just fill up your carafe when you wish! Outside: 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 with barbecue. The pool (3.5m x 7m) is on a lower terrace and is reached by taking a flight of steps down through the olive grove. Pool towels are provided, and there is plenty of outdoor lounging furniture, as well as a small fridge in the pool house for cool drinks, plus a sand box with toys for the little ones. There are many private sunbathing and sitting areas on the various terraces and in the olive grove. Below the pool terrace is a meadow, and beyond it a chestnut wood with a tiny brook running through it, lovely for picnics on hot days. There are also many old mule paths around the village that lead into woodlands and up to mountain pastures, making it a great area for rambling and hiking.