House in Benabbio, Bagni di Lucca, Tuscany and Florence, Italy - Lovely village with restaurants, 10 minuutes from large lido, 45 minutes from the beach
La Piccola Torre (the small tower) is a stone built detached tower style house in the beautiful mountain village of Benabbio in the north Tuscan hills. The house has been renovated by a highly regarded Italian architect using local materials and tradesmen. Furnished in a modern rustic style by an interior designer, this beautiful and unusual house provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy traditional Italian living in this welcoming Italian community.
The house is full of original features such as cotto floors, chunky beams, wooden shutters and doors. Furnishings are designed to be both comfortable and pleasing to the eye. The house is set on three floors, plus a very large and inviting roof terrace.
Entering through the wooden front doors, downstairs to the right there is a large rustic kitchen with fridge, electric oven, microwave, gas hob, ice machine and central heating system. There is a dining area in the kitchen which will seat 6/7 adults. Also downstairs there is a washing room with wc, sink, drying rack, washing machine and electric water boiler. Straight ahead from the front door, up a few traditional stone stairs, is the cool and spacious lounge area with relaxed and comfortable seating, including a double sofa bed, a large day bed which converts to a large single bed, a working log fireplace and TV with freesat, DVD player, selection of DVDs and internet access. This room provides the perfect place to sit and chill out away from the stresses of modern life.
Up the stairs on the first floor are the properties two bedrooms and the stylish modern bathroom with rain shower. The master bedroom has dual aspects and a king size bed. The second bedroom contains a double bed and views through to the valley.
The unusual and striking stairs then provide access to the large roof terrace with sun loungers, seating for al fresco dining, large stone BBQ and stunning panoramic views along the lush green valley and back over the village including the large church with its traditional bell tower. La Picolla Torre is a non-smoking property (smoking allowed on roof terrace).
The Italian region of Tuscany is amongst the most beautiful areas of Europe offering stunning alpine hills to the north, the rolling hills of Siena to the south, sandy beaches and beautiful coast lines and some of the most historic cities and towns in Italy. A holiday in north Tuscany is characterised by beautiful and lush scenery, hill and mountain roads to traditional, rural Italian villages and masses of history and art.
Tuscany is the region in which the Italian renaissance produced its first results The unique artistic patrimony of this region includes architecture, painting and sculpture, collected in dozens of famous museums like the Uffizi in Florence and many other smaller cities in the region.
Tuscany is also known for its wines (most famous of which are Chianti, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino) and has 120 protected regions (nature reserves). Notable tourist destinations in Tuscany include Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Maremma (in GRosseto province), Crete Senesi, and Siena. Bagni di Lucca.
La Piccola Torre sits nestled in a small square in the mountain village of Benabbio, at the foot of the Apuan Alps and 6km outside the historic spa town of Bagni di Lucca, the house is perfectly located for exploring the national park area of the Garfagnana, the cities of Lucca, Pisa, Livorno (leghorn) and Firenze (Florence).
The house is located just 50 minutes from Pisa airport, just over 2 hours from Bologna Airport, 45 minutes from the beaches of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi and 50 minutes from the local ski resort of Abetone. Further afield beautiful Porto Venere is 90 minutes away to the north west and the rolling hills of Sienna a couple of hours to the south east.
Benabbio - itself is situated along the road that climbs from Bagni di Lucca over the Pizzorne plateau and goes down to Pescia. It is a charming traditional working village which stands on the hillside and at its centre has a romanesque church; there are also a few ruins of the castle of Lupo Luperi. Benabbio is a typical mountain Tuscan village with a wealth of history stretching from medieval times, please note due to the location/altitude of the village walking to Bagni-di-Lucca is only advised for the really fit, obviously downhill is fine but walking back is not for the faint hearted! But the village has two shops which between them should provide all the goods you need. Taxis are also available from the village.
During the summer months the villagers open the small outdoor bar and dancing (ballroom not modern) area called 'la lucciola' (the firefly) the bar serves snacks and children /young people are very welcome, it is a three minute walk from the house. There are two restaurants in the village - one opposite the church in the centre of the village offering traditional Tuscan dishes such as wild boar and a pizza/pasta/ice cream restaurant - ideal for children and offering take-out pizzas - just five minutes walk up the hill, offering very reasonably priced food.
There is also a great western style riding centre which provides local treks just outside the village. The village also has an annual festival in august which includes outdoor cinema show on the church wall, literacy and poetry reading, outdoor dining and a candlelit procession up to the highest church in the village.
Just down the hill from the village Bagni di Lucca has a number of bars and restaurants to satisfy most appetites, with more gastronomic experiences further toward lucca including the beautiful 'butterfly' restaurant on the main road to bagni di lucca from lucca, where you can experience the very best in high quality italian gastronomy. Bagni-di-lucca (5km) hosts an amazing period natural thermal spa offering many treatments and beauty products. The town also has a lovely large outdoor/indoor swimming pool providing sunbathing areas, snacks and drinks - great place for the children. An historic casino museum has also recently opened after national investment and refurbishment. (2010) - now non operational, it was apparently the first casino to open in italy. Bagni di lucca was established in late roman times. Its health -giving springs have been used by the nobility of europe for over 1000 years, and was known as "the italian switzerland". The magnificent and unique ponte della maddalena (the devil's bridge) was built in 1101 so the baths could be reached from lucca. In the 18th and 19th centuries there were particularly strong ties with england and it was an essential stop on the "grand tour". It was frequented by shelley, byron, the brownings, strauss, listz, paganini, and puccini and many other notables. Today bagni di lucca is a beautiful little spa town with a variety of shops, bars and restaurants, the town nestles in the lush valley of the lima river which flows right through the middle of the town (you can swim in many places)) in the foothills of the apennines surrounded by picturesque medieval hilltop villages, many of which are worth a day's visit especially barga. The house is also on the doorstep of two national parks offering mountains, forests, gorges, rivers, lakes and caves (la grottto vente is not to be missed it is known as the wind cave, its very large and has amazing formations inside - tours are available in english and run approx every half an hour- further info at house). The skiing in abetone is fantastic with runs to suit beginners as well as experienced, the resort has 60km of stunning piste and a modern lift system (apart from one chairlift - a bit old and slow! ). Lessons are available in english and prices for lessons, lift passes and equipment hire are about the cheapest in europe as the resort is not advertised. There are never any queue's and skiing is possible from dec right through to april - the resort has an excellent snow record due to its own mirco climate and it has never experienced an avalanche! The nearest beach resort is viareggio, , it has miles of sandy shoreline and is ideal for children and sunbathers, in summer the resort gets busy with the rich and famous italians who often arrive on their own private yachts - very entertaining!
Top Traveller Review
About the Owner
About Peta Stross
John and I live in near Manchester.
We have always shared the romantic dream of having a home in the sun, and in 2014 we were lucky enough to make our dream come true; we cherish our home in Italy and look forward to sharing it with you; we are sure you will fall in love with Tuscany just as we have done!
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you want any more information about the house or the surrounding area.
Peta & John
Peta Stross purchased this house in 2014
Why Peta Stross chose Lucca Area
The view from the roof terrace of 'La piccolla torre' captured our hearts from the moment we saw it; as the sun goes down it is the perfect place for a glass of wine and quiet, shared reflections.
This unique house is located in a gorgeous 'real' Italian village, nearly 500m above sea-level and benefiting from hours of blue sky and sunshine, and villagers who welcome visitors.
The village benefits from two small shops, a choice of two fantastic traditional restaurants (one within 100 paces!) and stunning walks, views, and areas for children to play. Bagni Di Lucca is a short 10 minute drive away (taxis and buses are available); from there it is an easy journey, by car or train, to Pisa, Florence, Lucca and wider!
(4 traveller reviews)
The house is a typical rustic village house with lovely roof top terrace with amazing views.
It was just what we expected.The description was very informative.We were out all day so enjoyed the terrace before we went out and late afternoon when we came back.The lounge was comfortable for evening use.The kitchen seemed to have what was needed but we only had breakfast and we ate out each day.at the village restaurants which were very good.We enjoyed seeing the area around us in the car but we also used the trains twice to go to Lucca which is a wonderful city.The trains are very good value ,are clean and on time.The drive to the house is steep but you expect that in a mountain village and the views are great.We were lucky with the weather too so all in all a good holiday.
A fabulous holiday in a truly traditional Tuscan house. Total relaxation away from the stresses of modern life in a mountainside village with lovely people and great weather.
Not what we expected
If you are looking for a VERY remote and VERY small Italian village in the mountains, Benabbio is it. And if you plan to book this property, make sure you read the description fully.
I booked this place for it's proximity to Lucca but did not realize it was so high up in the mountains nor did I realize the drive would be through switch backs to get there. The photos were also slightly deceptive as many of the scenery pictures along with the pool are a drive away. This was the last stay of a 2 week vacation to Italy that my sisters and I along with my mom were on to celebrate her 70th birthday. Needless to say, once we finally found the place (that was a challenge itself), we opened the doors to this rustic home that was on 3 levels plus the rooftop deck and the smell was overwhelming. The description said it had been updated but I'm not sure what had been. After being there for only 30 minutes we all knew that we wouldn't be able to stay the 3 nights that we had booked. The smell was that bad and my mother has Parkinson's and does not do well with stairs. We did end up staying the first night as it had taken us so long to get there and we were all tired. We were up on the roof top deck which is nice but all the furniture was dusty. I, along with a few of my sisters that are light sleepers, did not get much sleep due to the bell tower going off every 30 minutes all night long. It's quite loud and right across the street from the house.
Unfortunately, this property was not what we expected and the smell was bad so we left early the next day to find other accommodations for the rest of our stay in Italy.
I will say that Peta, the owner, was helpful and sent communications prior to our stay with information regarding the house.
A beautiful hidden gem
This was our first holiday to Tuscany and we weren't disappointed with the house and area we chose to stay. Bagni Di Lucca (ten minutes in the car from the house) is a really lovely old town with an interesting history, with a good selection of restaurants, cafes, shops and walks to choose from and the locals are friendly and helpful with those who don't speak great Italian. Benabbio village (where the house is based) has some of the most amazing views you're ever likely to see. We sat out on the roof terrace (with the obligatory glass of wine or beer) most nights, just to enjoy the views, only returning back inside when it was dark, at which point we lit the log fire in the cosy lounge and listened to music or caught up on some TV - English channels! The house is extremely well-equipped; we've stayed in holiday rentals for 10 years and this is the best one yet for providing everything we needed. As for local places to eat, I would recommend the Acquolina in Benabbio - 2-3 minutes walk up a hill from the house, which does a great pizza (and other meals) and you can then enjoy a beer outside in th lovely seating area outside. For something a little more formal, though still with a friendly welcome, there is Locanda Il Cavallino Bianco Restaurant which is literally a few hundred yards from the house. A little further afield in Bagni Di Lucca is the Del Sonno restaurant; very highly recommended. All these places have great reviews on Trip Advisor, along with many other restaurants and cafes in Bagni Di Lucca, so you don't have to go far from the house to get a truly authentic Italian meal, coffee or alcoholic drink. Overall, the owner has given a very accurate description/account of the house and the area, so you won't be disappointed; we certainly weren't and will definitely be back.
From the Owner
“The view from the roof terrace of 'La piccolla torre' captured our hearts from the moment we saw it; as the sun goes down it is the perfect place for a glass of wine and quiet, shared reflections. This unique house is located in a gorgeous 'real' Italian village, nearly 500m above sea-level and benefiting from hours of blue sky and sunshine, and villagers who welcome visitors. The village benefits from two small shops, a choice of two fantastic traditional restaurants (one within 100 paces!) and stunning walks, views, and areas for children to play. Bagni Di Lucca is a short 10 minute drive away (taxis and buses are available); from there it is an easy journey, by car or train, to Pisa, Florence, Lucca and wider!”
Activity and Interests
Viareggio is approximately 45 minutes distance by car; train and bus are also an option to get to the beach. There are a range of quiet and busy beaches to choose from according to your preference further up the coast including beautiful medieval villages
A car is recommended, although there is a good bus service in the village and two local taxis which provide an accessible and reasonably priced service (Roberto also acts as a history guide en-route!). Pisa is the nearest airport (Galileo) which is approximately 50 minutes by car; Florence Airport is just over an hour away and Bologna is approximately 2.5 hours drive. In Bagni di Lucca there is a train station from which there is frequent access to Lucca, Pisa, Florence and further abroad.
Bagni di Lucca is 4.5kms - just about walkable down the very steep mule track! - but probably too much for most peoples' lungs on the way back up!
Lucca is 30 minutes by car
La Piccola Torre (the small tower) is a stone built detached tower style house in the beautiful mountain village of Benabbio in the North Tuscan hills. The house has been recently renovated by a highly regarded Italian architect using local materials and tradesmen. Furnished in a modern rustic style by an interior designer, this beautiful and unusual house provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy traditional Italian living in this welcoming Italian community.
The house is full of original features such as Cotto floors, chunky beams, wooden shutters and doors. Furnishings are designed to be both comfortable and pleasing to the eye.
The house is set on three floors, plus a very large and inviting roof terrace. Entering through the wooden front doors, downstairs to the right there is a large rustic kitchen with fridge, electric oven, gas hob and automated central heating system. There is a dining area in the kitchen which will seat 6/7 adults. Also downstairs there is a washing room with WC, sink, drying rack, washing machine and electric water boiler.
Straight ahead from the front door, up a few traditional stone stairs, is the cool and spacious lounge area with relaxed and comfortable seating, including a double sofa bed, a large day bed which converts to a large single bed, a working log fireplace and CD player and DVD player. This room provides the perfect place to sit and chill out away from the stresses of modern life.
Up the stairs on the first floor are the properties two bedrooms and the stylish modern bathroom with Rain Shower. The master bedroom has dual aspects and a King size bed. The second bedroom contains a double bed and views through to the valley.
The unusual and striking stairs then provide access to the large roof terrace with sun loungers, seating for al fresco dining, large stone BBQ and stunning panoramic views along the lush green valley and back over the village including the large Church with its traditional bell tower.
La Piccolo To
|Rental Period||Minimum Price||Additional Nights||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event Price|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
for 3 nights
Additional pricing information
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable Damage Deposit||£150|
Your booking will be confirmed with a payment of 25% of the fee; the balance is payable six weeks before arrival. A damage deposit of £150 is required at the time of paying the balance which will be returned immediately upon completion of the rental - subject to no damage.
Changeover day is flexible, but usually a Saturday. Arrivals after 15:00 and departure by 12:00 however with prior notice flexibility is possible
Owner's Cancellation Policy
- Available arrival
- Ceiling Fans
- Fireplace ...
- Hair Dryer
- Heating ...
- Internet ...
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided ...
- Living Room ...
- Parking ...
- Telephone ...
- Towels Provided ...
- Washing Machine ...
- Coffee Maker ...
- Dishes & Utensils ...
- Kitchen ...
- Oven ...
- Refrigerator ...
- Hob ...
- Dining ...
- Dining Area
- Books ...
- DVD Player
- Satellite / Cable
- Television ...
- Video Library ...
- Events Allowed
- Long-term Renters Welcome
- children welcome ...
- non smoking only ...
- pets considered ...
- wheelchair inaccessible ...
- autumn foliage
- bird watching
- horse riding
- scenic drives
- sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
- mountain biking
- mountain climbing
- Bathroom 1 - Toilet, Shower Enclosure, Bidet, Towel rail (in winter)
- Toilet and cloakroom - Toilet, Washing machine in room
- Bathroom on first floor with shower, bidet, sink and toilet. Further toilet on ground floor (next to kitchen) with sink.
- 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
- Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed, Dual aspect; large wardrobe; bedside tables and lamps
- Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed, small set of drawers; further hanging storage
- Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 7 (2 Bedrooms) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 - dual aspect windows with wooden shutters, cotto floor, large wardrobe, mirror and king-size bed, bedside tables and lamps, hair-dryer and wall hooks. Bedroom 2 - view over valley, double bed, cotto floor, drawers, hanging area, mirror. Double sofa bed in lounge and single bed
- Terrace ...
- Ski & Snowboard ...
- Outside: The property benefits from a large roof terrace with stunning views over the surrounding hills and valleys. There is a large barbecue, sun loungers, table with benches and further table and chairs. There is also the facility to hangout towels / washing if required. There are many walks near the property. Utility Room: Washing machine / dryer, ironing board / iron Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Linen and towels are included - cleaning is included in the price at the end of the rental period; if you have booked a two or more week stay, and want cleaning at the end of each week, this can be organised for an additional cost. Other: Large roof terrace with stunning views over the valley below. Sunbeds, and tables, BBQ also present. Fans in bedrooms.