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Secluded Mountain Villa with Private Pool, Stunning Views

Bedrooms 3
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Barbecue
  • Washing Machine
  • Private Pool
  • Internet
  • Parking


About the property

Beautiful, 3 bedroom Villa with Pool, Tuscany, Italy - Peaceful Location close to Tuscan/Ligurian Coast

This beautiful property was restored ten years ago and is a careful blend of traditional materials with modern day luxuries. Exposed stone and terracotta floors create a rustic charm that is enhanced by a stunning painted kitchen and beautiful soft furnishings. Bathrooms are spacious and combine modern sanitary ware with traditional tumbled marble tiles, and the house has blue tooth speakers, TV and Wi-Fi. There is a large outdoor terrace for dining with barbecue, and the stunning swimming pool area has additional outdoor dining with shady rustic pergola. Views stretch right across the beautiful valley overlooking the Lunigianan mountains. Nearby Pontremoli is a charming Tuscan hilltown, whilst the famous Cinque Terre are within an hours drive. The sophisticated resorts of Portofino and Forte dei Marmi are also within an hours drive, with the cultural town of Lucca being easily accessible for a day trip. Pisa, Genoa, Parma and Bologna airports are all nearby.

Tim & Leonora Sandwell
Member since: 2009
Speaks English, Italian
Calendar last updated:
19 February, 2018

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 Province of Massa and Carrara

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.

Guestbook comments from the owner

'We just love coming here and getting right away from things. The kids adore having the freedom to roam around outdoors and have used the pool everyday! We had a great day trip to see the boats at Viareggio, but when they are happy at home it seems unnecessary to go elsewhere!'

'This is just the sort of place I like to stay in - I love all the little luxuries like the Ipod and the coffee-maker - I don't want to stay in a hotel and these small touches just add that something extra!'

'I love waking up to complete peace! I have eaten every meal outside and will sadly miss the views and the tranquillity when I return to London!'
Mar 2009
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday villa in Province of Massa and Carrara in Tuscany

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00 / Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • children welcome
Location Type:
  • mountain
  • rural
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
  • En-suite to bedroom 1 has large walk-in shower, large console washbasin, toilet and bidet. En-suite to bedroom 2 has bath with shower over, large basin, toilet and bidet. Bathroom 3 (upstairs) has bath with shower over, washbasin and toilet.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Cot
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 has stunning views over the valley with double bed and en-suite shower room with large walk-in shower. Bedroom 2 has double bed and large en-suite bathroom. Upstairs, bedroom 3 has charming sloping ceilings, 2 single beds and separate bathroom.
  • Books
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • swimming
Notes on accommodation: The house has central heating which, if needed, would be charged at additional cost. Owners have children so house is very well-suited to families although there is a track to be crossed to reach the pool area (traffic is limited to owners of 2 properties much further down the hill). The swimming pool area is not fenced, but a ranch style fence, hedge and gate separate it from the main house. Outside: Directly outside the house there is an outdoor dining area with large table under a pergola and chairs for up to 8 people. There is additional stone 'cushioned' seating that runs the length of the house wall, and small drinks table with 2 chairs outside the front of the house. The swimming pool area is reached by a gentle slope and the pool measures 8 x 5 metres and is professionally cleaned weekly. Surrounded by a wide terrace and with dense lavender borders, the views from the pool are stunning and uninterrupted. There is a further dining area here with extendable teak dining table under a more substantial pergola with seating for 8, as well as 4 teak poolside beds with cushions. The pool and surrounding terrace has lighting for late night dining and swimming. The house is immediately surrounded by lawned areas and olive groves leading to extensive farm and woodland. Walks to the stepping stones in the river at the bottom of the hill are a family favourite! Utility Room: Separate utility room (outdoor) has Ariston washing machine with Ariston tumble dryer. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Bedlinen and towels will be included, the property is changed once each week. Additional linen changes and more frequent cleaning can be arranged by negotiation. Other: Outdoor terrace has large dining table and additional cushioned seating running along the exterior wall. The 2nd floor also has a children's play area built under the eaves with additional double bed and sofa.


5/5 -
(4 traveller reviews)

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Secluded Mountain Villa with Private Pool, Stunning Views
average rating of 5.0 based on 5 reviews

Wonderful villa with stunning views

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Review Submitted: 27-Jul-2016
  • Date of Stay: July 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: 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. best wishes Leo Sandwell.
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Exceeded our expectations

  • 5 of 5

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!!

  • Review Submitted: 16-Oct-2015
  • Date of Stay: September 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Idyllic Tuscan Retreat

  • 5 of 5

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.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Jun-2014
  • Date of Stay: June 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Emma 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.
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Luxurious and Relaxing!

  • 5 of 5

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!

  • Review Submitted: 05-Jun-2014
  • Date of Stay: September 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
90 Kilometres
Nearest Barpub
5 Kilometres
Bar Maurizio, Barbarasco
Nearest Ferry
35 Kilometres
Nearest Train
8 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
8 Kilometres
Nearest Restaurant
5 Kilometres
Albergo Mauro, Barbarasco
Nearest Ski
50 Kilometres
Zum Zeri
Nearest Beach
35 Kilometres
Car: necessary


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.

Further Details:

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!


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday villa in Province of Massa and Carrara, Italy

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Low season
5 May 2018 - 26 May 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Mid Season
27 May 2018 - 30 Jun 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Peak season
1 Jul 2018 - 1 Sep 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low season
2 Sep 2018 - 29 Sep 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Changeover Day:
Saturday is the preferred changeover day with access being required from 10.30am on the day of departure. Arrivals should not be before 16.30pm. Specialist arrangements may be arranged under separate negotiation.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Owner a Question