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Traditional stone Tuscan farmhouse, magnificent views. Florence/Lucca/Pisa area.



Updated: 10-Oct-2016
Northern Tuscany - Private, peaceful situation. Village 5 mins, Lucca 25 mins, beach 50 mins, skiing 1 hr.

Il Rivo is equally suitable for couples, groups of friends and families. Sleeps 7, plus baby cot. Thick stone walls, chestnut beamed ceilings, stylish bathrooms, some antique furniture and colourful interior decor make Il Rivo a refuge from the stresses of everyday life! Set amidst olive groves, surrounded by pine, acacia, and fruit trees with glorious views over the surrounding densely wooded hillsides studded with medieval hilltop villages, Il Rivo offers a taste of quintessential Tuscan living! One of the owners is an architect who has recently lovingly renovated the house with traditional materials to include an ensuite full bathroom, a modernised family bathroom and a third bedroom. There is a terrace with a grassed sunbathing area, a fruit tree with swing, and a vine-clad pergola for 'alfresco' dining on an old olive mill wheel table. The terrace offers wonderful respite after a days sightseeing whilst enjoying the magnificent view across the valley. The two double bedrooms are at opposite ends of the house, the main bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, and the second dual aspect bedroom is near to the family bathroom allowing a degree of independence. The third bedroom has a bunk bed and resembles a small chapel with French doors, two windows and a pitched roof. A large wrought iron day bed in an inner hallway between the main bedroom and the twin room provides a further sleeping option, a window provides natural light. There are many tourist attractions on the doorstep: Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Tuscan Riviera and skiing at Abetone. Several lovely swimming pools nearby (one with curved water slide!), established walking trails, cycling.

  • Sleeps 7
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Internet
  • Washing machine
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

We are from London but thankfully have the solace of Il Rivo to look forward to several times a year! We use it as a place to unwind, entertain friends and family and to experience typical Tuscan living away from the tourist hourdes. One of the owners is an architect and has sensitively renovated the property. As busy working parents with a family to raise we fully appreciate the haven that 'Il Rivo' provides and are very happy to let our guests share the experience. We love exploring the local hills and villages often stopping to sample the delicious local food. We've done many day trips to places of interest, but always enjoy coming home to collapse on the terrace!

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Speaks English

Guestbook comments from the owner

Hi Michelle,

Il Rivo is a beautiful thick stone walled house set high up overlooking a picturesque valley. The views are magnificent and the peaceful setting is perfect for unwinding and relaxing. The house is very well equipped with everything you could need and more. It was clean and the beds are comfortable. The little village of Vellano at the top of the hill has an excellent “locals” restaurant serving authentic Italian food at a very reasonable price. The guy who runs it is so enthusiastic – just kept coming with new dishes for us to try. The town of Pescia at the bottom of the hill has everything you could need to buy.

Pescia has a train station from which you can easily get trains to Lucca (20 mins), Pisa (35 mins) and Florence (60 mins). We loved Lucca, a walled citadel rich in history and yet without the crowds of Florence. Hiring bikes to cycle round the city walls was the highlight of the holiday for our girls (aged 10 and 12). We did it twice! Pisa was also excellent. Whilst we all enjoyed seeing the statute of David (and many other sculptures) in Florence, the crowds do get over-powering…

From Il Rivo it was great in the same holiday to spend a day on the beach and another visiting the snowy ski slopes in the hills. And just sitting out on the terrace catching the sun was lovely. We never saw the wild boar in the evenings but one day we did chase three boar piglets down the road in our car much to the excitement of the girls!

We very much hope to return as there is so much to do that we didn’t have time for.
Apr 2015
  • 1 of 6

6 Reviews

based on 6 holidaymaker reviews


A little piece of heaven. August 2016

  • 5 of 5

After a hectic few days in Pisa, Il Rivo proved to be a little piece of heaven. It felt you were a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities on the plain below but it was so easy to access them when we felt the need.

The house suited us perfectly, with our grown up daughters ensconced down one end of the house and us, the other and there was plenty of room outside to sunbath or sit in the shade and gaze at the view. It is amazing cycling country, though not for the faint hearted - peddling round Lucca's city walls was enough for some of us. Being able to walk up to Villano each morning for bread was a delight; the wild life very much in evidence from deer to wild boar and the beauty of the countryside was breath taking.

We were just sorry we had only booked one week!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Rural Tuscan relaxation

  • 5 of 5

A beautiful traditional stone Tuscan farmhouse set in an amazing location on a hillside just below the hilltop village of Vellano in NorthernTuscany. The house was very spacious , clean and comfortable with everything one could require in terms of cookware etc. Lovely terrace to sit on and admire the view of the valley and surrounding hills. We were a little late in the season and the weather was getting quite cool in the evenings though still quite warm in the daytime. The hills are covered with chestnut trees and we sadly missed the annual chestnut festival by one day though we roasted some ourselves- delicious. We enjoyed strolling up to the village and ate several meals in the local trattoria and pizzeria which were delicious. Otherwise our favourite place by far was Lucca. About 30-40 minutes drive; a beautiful Tuscan city surrounded by walls along which one can stroll, cycle or , as many of the locals do, jog. An abundance of pretty piazzas and Romanesque churches within the walls. So much quieter than Florence, one is hardly aware of other tourists. We visited an excellent exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions and attended one of the Puccini concerts that take place every day of the year ( he was born and lived in Lucca). Montevatini Terme and Alto well worth a visit. Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli is very beautiful though somewhat marred by all the surrounding tourist tack. Overall, a lovely place to stay and a good location for visiting a slightly less well known part of Tuscany.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 24, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much for your lovely review of Il Rivo and your holiday - you evoked memories of wonderful places visited.We would love to welcome you back in the future. Best wishes.
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A spacious villa with stunning views.

  • 4 of 5

This spacious villa nestles in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. From the veranda you can see wild boar, foxes and deer and its a very peaceful location. The villa is clean and well equipped and the wifi was a great help in organising days out. We visited the beach, zoo, the funicular railway and the local pool complete with 3m diving board. We did go for a couple of walks into the woods but the brambles made the routes nearly impassable and August is too hot really for hiking.

A couple of points to note there is a steep path down to the villa from the carport and mosquito repellent was needed when sitting outside (there's a whole aisle of it in the supermarket).

Overall we enjoyed ourselves and I would recommend this villa to my friends.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 11, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you very much for reviewing Il Rivo, you seemed to make the most of your time in Tuscany, even after 20 years we find there are still places to explore! The path is a little steep in places, past guests have included children of all ages, parents and grandparents - all of whom have found it navigable, there is a fence to offer support where necessary. As for mosquitos, thankfully they haven't presented a problem for us or other guests, there aren't any more at Il Rivo than the rest of Italy or any other hot country. Sadly there isn't anything we or anyone else can do about them - bar the usual repellents. I hope you received the boots you left behind?
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fun holiday

  • 4 of 5

We were on a fun holiday, first to celebrate a 60th birthday with some close friend's,and to have fun which we did.

The house was more than we expected, it was fantastic, the view's the house the food and the wine were what we wanted,we all enjoyed Il Rivo, the friend's that came with us said they would go to Italy again, so will we.

What a great place to live, i'd recommend Il Rivo to anyone, thank you for a great time.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 30, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Tuscan treasure

  • 5 of 5

Amazing place, peace and tranquility abound. Wild boar seen from the terrace most nights along with deer and a local cat. Los of rest , wine and pasta. Great place to get away from it all.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 22, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Bristol, United Kingdom

Beautiful house, beautiful setting

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely loved Il Rivo, and will be back as soon as we can! The house is everything you want from an italian farmhouse- shutters, stone stairs, exposed beams, quirky nooks and crannies- and sitting on the terrace with the view stretching out in front was often all we wanted to do, it would have been enough of a holiday with that alone.

As well as beautiful, the house was very clean and tidy, we loved the furnishings, and there was plenty of everything, from pots and pans to towels and toys. The children loved their room with it's 'secret door', and opening the bedroom shutters to the view in the morning was nothing short of wonderful. Waking up to birdsong and sunshine and drinking fresh espresso on the terrace made a perfect start to every day. I even enjoyed the washing, opening the side door from the laundry room to hang my wash up on a line with the best view ever was very satisfying!

What struck me about Italy having never been there before was how effortlessly beautiful everything is, everywhere we went we were amazed by a view or a building.The area surrounding the house is beautiful, with winding mountain roads travelling through tree covered slopes opening up to ever more amazing views and tiny medieval villages like Vellano impossibly perched on a pinnacle. Vellano is in walking distance and has a lovely pizzeria. There was so much to see out and about, we loved Pescia and were lucky enough to be there when the 'Nottambula' was on.

Il Rivo is perfectly situated for lots of visiting. Lucca, Pisa, Florence and Vinci were all easily reached. We caught the train from Pescia to Florence, it cost around 40 euros for the 5 of us and was well worth it. Parking was free next to the station and the station in Florence is easy walking distance to everywhere.

Everyone was very friendly everywhere we went, children were welcomed with open arms, and Alex and Donnatella were easy to keep in touch with by text and super helpful.

Michelle was also very friendly and helpful, sending me all the advice, directions and information we needed, and made organising the trip as easy as it could be.

We were so sad to leave, Il Rivo quickly felt like home from home and we really do hope to be back.

  • Review Submitted: Aug 16, 2013
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2013
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Activity and Interests

Car: necessary

Special interest holidays:

There are several ancient footpaths linking the villages and valleys around Il Rivo, more information can be provided. The whole area is steeped in history, from the 10th century onwards - with the Renaissance of course predominant.


About 50 minutes drive away are many fine beaches. Marina di Carrara, tour the marble quarries along precipitous drops and pass out on the beach after! Forte dei Marmi apparently has the dubious honour of being named one of the worlds top ten topless beaches by Forbes! Marina di Pietrasanta, boasts famous artists and sculptors. Viareggio the largest beach. Torre di Lago hosts the famous Puccini festival each summer, idyllic lakeside open-air theatre – an absolute must for opera/music lovers.


Flights : Pisa (50mins) is the nearest airport, followed by Florence (50mins), then Bologna (1hr 45mins) and Genoa (2hrs 15mins). Airlines include BA, Ryanair and Easyjet; Meridiana flies to Florence from Gatwick. Car Hire is essential. Recommendations are: Avis, Holiday Autos and Sixt. If the car rental rate doesn't include refundable excess it is worth considering taking out an Excess Insurance Policy, which often works out cheaper than the rental company's policy. Try Insurance 4CarHire.


Nearest village, Vellano is 5 minutes drive or 10-12 minutes walk up through olive groves. Nearest town is the market town of Pescia, 12 minutes drive down the hill. Montecatini Terme 15-20 minutes; Lucca 25-30 minutes; Florence, Pisa and the coast 50 minutes; Torre di Largo 1 hour; skiing resort of Abetone 1 hour; Vinci 1 hour; Cinque Terre 2 hours; Verona 2 hours.

Further Details:

In Vellano there is a pizzeria/bar offering fantastic views; a convenience store selling fresh bread, milk, water, butter, cheese, wine and household supplies; a hairdresser and a dentist. There are several excellent restaurants in the valley serving delicious fresh local cuisine at reasonable prices - be prepared for big servings! Two of them have areas for children to play outside. Pescia has a lively market each Saturday morning selling locally grown vegetables and fruit as well as cheese, clothes, shoes and bags.

There are banks in Pescia with cash points, but if you need to go into a bank the opening times are generally 8.30am-12/1pm, and sometimes 2.30-4pm. Being Italy these afternoon opening times are a little arbitrary! Best to stick to the mornings! As a rule shops are open 8.30am-12/1pm and 4pm-7.30/8pm; and restaurants serve from 12.00-2.30pm and 8pm-10.30pm, although these times often extend. The supermarket in Pescia is called Esselunga and is situated on the road into Pescia from either Lucca or the autostrada. There are a few delicatessens in Pescia for more particular taste buds, and an excellent one on the road from Pescia to Vellano that sells fresh bread, cured and roast meats, sauces and cheese – and it’s open on Sundays.

The hospital in Pescia is very good, we’ve had occasion to use it a few times over the years and have always been impressed with the level of care. There is a swimming pool open to non-guests at a boutique ‘residence’ between Il Rivo and Pescia and a big pool on the other side of Pescia complete with curving water slide and diving boards – a favourite with the kids. There is horse riding in the area as well. The owner is very happy to advise about any of the above – please just ask.


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Mid Season
3 Sep 2016 - 4 Nov 2016
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low Season
5 Nov 2016 - 30 Dec 2016
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low Season
31 Dec 2016 - 24 Mar 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Mid Season
25 Mar 2017 - 30 Jun 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
High Season
1 Jul 2017 - 1 Sep 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Mid Season
2 Sep 2017 - 3 Nov 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
Low Season
4 Nov 2017 - 31 Dec 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £200

Booking Notes:
Cheaper mid-week start - take advantage of cheaper flights! We are flexible on changeover days and are happy to offer mid-week changeovers in order for guests to take advantage of cheaper flights. Bookings can start on other days including weekends, subject to availability.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is flexible depending on availability. We ask guests to arrive after 4pm please to allow for cleaning and preparation of the A refundable security deposit of £200 (refunded within 2 weeks of the end of the rental) is payable with the balance/full payment. The security deposit covers any damage to the property or breakages, any gas used for central heating will be deducted. Guests should arrive between 4-8pm, and depart by 10am.

Notes on prices:

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Total amount
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Updated: 10-Oct-2016
Available arrival


Property Type

  • farmhouse


  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions


  • Fireplace
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove ...


  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob
  • Toaster


  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area


  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Video Library


  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • children welcome ...

Location Type

  • mountain
  • rural
  • village


  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • live theatre
  • playground
  • pond
  • 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
  • golf
  • hiking
  • ski
  • swimming


  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Bath (no shower), Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Bathroom 2 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, Bidet
  • Shower room 1 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure
  • Bathroom 1: stylish en-suite bathroom to bedroom 1 with bath, fully tiled walk-in shower, sink, wc and bidet. Bathroom 2: fully modernised family bathroom with enclosed shower, sink, wc and bidet; Shower room 1: Shower room on ground floor with shower, sink and wc.


  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed
  • Bedroom 3 - 2 Child Bed, Bunk bed
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 7 (3 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with king size bed, exposed beams to pitched roof and en-suite bathroom. Bedroom 2 with king size bed and dual aspect. Bedroom 3 with bunk beds, pitch roof and double doors to outside. A large travel cot can be placed in either of the double bedrooms.


  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • Ski & Snowboard ...


  • Self-catering


  • Notes on accommodation: The owners have children so the house is equipped with various baby and children's effects: toys, puzzles, books, collapsible baby cot, bed guard and stair gate – all stored away when children are not visiting. Cot bedlinen supplied. Solid wooden high chair (chair can be lifted out to convert to kids table and chair for activities). Wooden toy box with lid in living room. Single guests, couples, families, and groups of friends have stayed at Il Rivo and many have made repeat visits. We’d love to welcome some new guests, so why not come and stay awhile – I guarantee you’ll leave refreshed with your brow less furrowed but your waistband perhaps a little tighter, after all it is Italy! With the warmth of the sun, fireflies dancing down on the terraces, little deer darting off into the woods, gentle mists captured in the valley, wood smoke in the air, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, perfumed, ripe figs, apricots and cheese, and local chianti to sample – what are you waiting for! Outside: A terrace runs along the front of the house where a vine-clad pergola, and stone table underneath provides welcome shade for 'alfresco' dining while enjoying the fabulous view. The terrace also has a fruit tree with swing and a grassed area for soaking up the sun, and space to erect a paddling pool for children. Adjacent to the house is a wooden cabana for unsociable guests who snore, storing wood and outdoor furniture. Above the property is a rustic wooden car port for one car and parking/turning area for two cars beyond. If visiting in May/June fireflies dance down on the lower terraces - wonderful at dusk. At night guests may hear wild boar (cinghiali) rummaging through the vegetation down towards the woods, they are notoriously shy creatures so won't be seen or heard in daylight or when humans are about. Deer are occasionally sighted, although again, they are also very shy of any human contact. Utility Room: The old cantina houses the boiler and washing machine, iron and ironing board. Shelving for storage, cleaning equipment and door to outside. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Good quality bedlinen/ towels provided. An interim clean can be arranged and a change of towels/linen. The local manager speaks English and Italian, and can be contacted should any problems arise. Other: Central heating throughout. The upstairs hallway has seating, a wall cupboard with dictionary and art books; desk with broadband internet access point. An inner hallway has a small library with a variety of books ranging from psychoanalysis to fairies

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