Argentone is set in a fold above the village of S.Anna di Stazzema, a famous centre of Partisan resistance during the second world war, the story recently told in a film by Spike Lee. The house is part of an small group of buildings once used for the nearby medieval silver mines. Now many of the houses are no more than ivy clad ruins, but Argento has been beautifully restored by the London based owner and is a stylish retreat, either as a base for invigorating mountain walks, a welcome home after a day by the beach only 25 minutes away, or as a restoring refuge from city life. Apartment Argentone is on the upper floor of Casa Argento, that is... made up of 2 top floors and a small apartment on the ground floor. Argentone may be rented in conjunction with Casa Argento if you need accommodation for 6. Please see also Casa Argento.
Approached by a gravel path, steps lead down to a blue front door, which gives directly onto the light-filled living room, with a curved-front fireplace, typical of the area. To the left is a well-equipped kitchen with another open fireplace, and a dining room with a window to the view of the sea. Because of the slope the house is built upon, these ground floor windows are actually high above the slope, giving a wonderfully airy, high feeling to the rooms. Turning right after the front door, a flight of stairs lead to a large master bedroom with a curved-edge double-ended bath and a double bed. A small W.C. and basin is also off this main bedroom. There is also a further bedroom with a queen size bed and a shower room. Both bedrooms enjoy the stunning views of the coastline and sea. To the right of the house a large wooden sun-terrace has a warmed Jacuzzi in its centre, with sun-loungers surrounding it, and a shower housed nearby in a small cave carved out of the silver bearing rock.
The Apuan alps are a great undiscovered playground of walks, climbs, restaurants, and historical villages. Reaching as high as 1700 metres (over 5500 feet) these are the mountains from which Michelangelo had carved the marble for the David, astoundingly white and still highly prized. The quarries may still be visited, and nearby Pietrasanta is a centre for sculptors, with a lively programme of exhibitions throughout the year. For a more lively experience, Versilia has been the Florentines coast playground for years, and has miles of beaches, lined with trendy bars, fine restaurants and discotheques. Lucca and Pisa are also under an hour away, with architectural and artistic delights. In Pisa, The Campo dei Miracoli houses the famous leaning tower also has a XI century Basilica, built with money the Pisans gained after a victorious expeduition against the hideout of the Arab pirates of Palermo. Look carefully at the white marble walls and you can find old Roman inscriptions, where the medieval builders re-used old plaques and inscriptions as building material. In the nearby Baptistery clapping your hands will bring out the "devil's laughter", a strange sound that echoes round the chamber. Lucca is an antique lovers paradise, with regular markets and many shops. The Church of San michele is also a delight, with rising ranges of differing columns supporting the facade. For opera lovers the famous Festival Puccini runs from June to September, with performances at Puccini's own house and in the open air on the lakeside of Torre del Lago. For a spectacular taste of the religious traditions that underlie Italian culture there is the Triennale di Gesu' Morto a Camaiore every third Easter,where the illumination of the whole town, with traditional lanterns made from glasses filled with olive oil, is atmospheric beyond description. This is not limited to just the centre of the town, but extends onto the surrounding hills which, lit by thousands of flickering lights, adds hugely to the atmosphere during this celebration. Every June on the occasion of Corpus Domini, Camaiore continues the picturesque tradition of lining its streets with rich carpets (known as tappeti di segatura) made of flower petals and coloured sawdust. These are laid down by local men and boys throughout night before the celebration. On Sunday morning a chanting procession, led by the priest and followed by the small children who have recently taken their communion, passes over the carpets destroying them and leaving the streets behind them filled with the smell of incense. And, after all these excursions, slipping into the warm Jacuzzi with a glass of Champagne to watch the sunset will set the world to rights.
Lovely place-great for doing nothing, walking and sight-seeing.
Left on 10/21/2013 for a stay in October 2013 | Phil
Third visit in 4 years. Really impressed with how well maintained it has been. Plenty of utensils etc for cooking and nights/days in.
Wonderful views outside, very cosy inside.
Great food shops in Camiore where you will find butchers, seafood and a great wine merchant next to the Co-op plus good supermarket at Pietrasanta.
This year we went up the coast to the Cinque Terra - Riomaggiore etc. Wonderful villages, great walks and sights.
Also went to the coast at Pietrasanta for the first time, not much on in October but the pier was well worth a walk.
Much warmer at sea-level in October than up the mountain. Read more
Response from Invitation to Tuscany Ltd - 10/23/2013
Thank you for this review, so glad you are continuing to enjoy it - I think it's a fantastic area! The walking is wonderful, the views amazing. At this time of year you do really start to feel the difference between the coast and the mountains, but I like it because its all a little more empty too...
High quality comfortable accomodation
Left on 10/07/2011 for a stay in September 2011 | Winchester couple
Beautiful house with fabulous views. Rather remote but once you've traveled the steep winding roads a few times you get to enjoy it. Great welcome with bowls of figs and tomatoes with a bottle of prosecco.
Definitely high quality renovation with all (and more) home comforts. Highly recommended
Left on 07/04/2011 for a stay in June 2011 | Mark
If what you want is remote and peaceful then this little villa is certainly both of those, the fully kitted out rustic kitchen was a pleasure to recreate our own version of italian food in and the views are amazing. The long drive up and down the mountain soon becomes a pleasure and the story of the tiny village of st anna di stazzema is one that will stay with me for ever, make sure you buy your fresh eggs and bread etc from the little shop here. All in all, were are very happy with our time here.
Jonathon & Vik
the perfect getaway villa
Left on 06/07/2011 for a stay in May 2011 | Jonathon & Vik
We stayed at argentone in early May 2011. From the moment we arrived we were absolutely blown away by how secluded, beautiful & peaceful it is. The journey there up the mountain roads is thrilling and just builds the anticipation, (the roads are better then most British roads despite what you may read in other reviews). The villa itself has been renovated tastefully and with personality. It has everything you need and more. The surrounding countryside is breathtaking and great for hiking. If it was'nt for the need to go out in the car to get provisions i don't think we would have left the villa or seen a soul all week...and that would have suited us fine! A perfect relaxing getaway holiday.
Mr & Mrs Cumming
Left on 10/22/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | Mr & Mrs Cumming
My Wife and I stayed for two fantastic weeks. Lovely house, lovely location and a fantastic experience. Would highly recommend to anyone.
Bury St Edmunds
The best honeymoon location I could imagine.
Left on 10/12/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | L Fox
Argentone was absolutely fantastic. I don't think that anyone could ever tire of waking up to that view in the mornings. We kept ourselves to ourselves for most of the week, it being our honeymoon, and never had a dull moment!
Left on 10/11/2010 for a stay in September 2010 | me
What a fabulous find. The accomoodation was wonderful and catered for every need. The music selection was great and many a night was spent singing on top of the mountain. So chilled out we were reluctant to leave except for essentials (although we did do a few sights but were ready to go back to our little bit of paradise). If you want to get away from it all then this is certainly the place to go
Beautiful setting. Spectacular views.
Left on 08/05/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | Julian
This is a renovated property where a lot of thought has gone into preserving its original charm. It is perched on the edge of the mountain about 1km above St anna. It is isolated, which was perfect for us and very private. A small shop in St anna sells bread and other essentials and just 5 minutes drive from the property is a wonderful family run restaurant where you'll enjoy Italian food at its best and all for around 20 euros for 2 courses and wine. The restaurant enjoys equally stunning views.
Like many others who have stayed in the property we rarely ventured out - why would you! It is perfect for a completely relaxing holiday. We will definitely go back.
Left on 07/10/2010 for a stay in June 2010 | Andrew Phair
In brief - this is a most difficult property to find - at night, in the rain and fog. There is no doubt it is a long way up a mountain (30 mins from shops and coast) but the views are amazing. It is however a mission to get to. It is remote with a capital R. Do not think of going to this place if you have a disability - you can't park your car outside the house.The kitchen is well stocked but not that clean; the sitting room is comfortable (with a massive range of CDs and Dvds); the bathroom and shower are good. The ants are a major pest and therefore one questions the maintenance and cleanliness of the place. Like others I was offended by the additional charges for electricity, towels and wood for the fire.
If you are wanting a beach holiday - forget it. The beaches are over crowded with thousands of umbrellas and loungers for rent (30 Euros a day).
Some beautiful and attractive nearby villages and towns with good places to eat in.
I suppose for me the ultimate test is would I recommend this place to a friend - no is the answer. It is over priced and an exaggerated review in the Sunday Times has left me smarting. Read more
Response from Invitation to Tuscany Ltd - 11/18/2010
It is always a pity when someone doesn't enjoy a house, particularly one that we love and many others seem to enjoy. There are a couple of points that do puzzle me in your review as they are things that were never mentioned when you were booking: we would never advise anybody with a disability to come here, and similarly we would never advise anybody to come here for the beaches, particularly in high season - they are crowded and expensive. Far better to drive for another hour and go to the Cinque Terre.
Regarding the remoteness - it is clear in the description, and we did tell you when you booked. It is still only about 20 minutes or half an hour up a hill from the valley - just a very bendy 20 minutes! Being so high gives you wonderful views of the valley and the sea below and makes Argentone a wonderful place to hide away from the world and relax. I'm sorry this didn't work for you. Best regards, Dan Wrightson
Beautiful hillstation cottage in the monsoon rains.
Left on 06/16/2010 for a stay in May 2010 | Tulipani
Very beautiful mountain cottage set in perfect symmetry of the tuscan landscape...picture perfect!
Extremely remote and monsoon torrential rains should have been prewarned of eventuality in month of May by agents. 7 days drying wood to keep the most magical fireplace and ourselves warm.
Would repeat with warmer clothing and drier wood. Read more
Response from Invitation to Tuscany Ltd - 06/16/2010
Sorry about the torrential rains - they are not at all usual for May, May is normally wonderfully spring-like, with warming sunshine and flowers popping out everywhere! This has been an unusual year, with a wet start, but it seems to have settled down now. Best regards, Dan
nice place and view but poor value for money
Left on 04/20/2010 for a stay in April 2010 | Paulo
lovely old house, nicely decorated, great view,
Problem is we have stayed in nicer/bigger places
with as as good/better views and with swimming
pools and all for much less money than this.
Is overpriced by a few hundred pounds a week and
especially when you then have to pay the electric
as extra on top. Again, other places have been all
inclusive, final insult was the paying more money
depending on what size extra towel you may have had
the gall to assume was included for your thousand
pounds plus a week!
Also, check out what others say about the
inaccessibility, we managed to get a puncture on
invitation to tuscany themselves, very professional
and helpful outfit, thoroughly recommended. Read more
Response from Invitation to Tuscany Ltd - 06/15/2010
Hi Paul, sorry to hear these notes - but glad to hear you liked the house.
The charge for electricity is actually a charge for the Jacuzzi - but the most you can be charged is 30 euro a week. We also do mention that pool towels are not included in any of our rentals - they get ruined by sun oils and UV.
You didn't mention that the owner allowed you to stay an extra day during the ash crisis - I think it would be fair to mention that. The house is a little expensive compared to others but that reflects its popularity - it is in great demand, and all though it could sleep 6 (as Casa Argento) most people choose to rent it as a couple.
Private, peaceful and stunning view!
Left on 12/03/2009 for a stay in April 2009 | Cozy Argentone
This little cottaqe is very cozy and absolutely private if you like to be by yourself. The inside of
the cottage is decorated very tastefully and we enjoyed long hours outside on the terrace.
It is an adventure to get to Argentone but well worth the effort!
Marieke & Arnold
Our wonderful week at Argentone
Left on 11/18/2009 for a stay in August 2009 | Marieke & Arnold
We spent a week of leisure at Villa Argentone. We can sincerely report that the house with its wonderful sun deck and jacuzzi lived up to every expectation we had, and more! We had a beautiful week and only left the house for essential sightseeing and groceries. We enjoyed cooking in the lovely kitchen (with dishwasher!) and spending quiet evenings with the great dvd and music collection. A gem hidden away in the Tuscan mountains..
Argentone - The Perfect Getaway
Left on 11/18/2009 for a stay in October 2009 | Leonardo
If you just want to get away from it all, as we did, then this is the perfect location.
The house had everything we needed except for food and drink. The 'local' shops are a 20-25 minute tortuous drive away, probably the only downside but we got used to that. The views from the house are spectacular, etc, etc. We could go on but the description and photographs on the web page say it all.
Put quite simply, a fantastic house in a superb location. Just right for a relaxing holiday. Make sure you take a few good books and lots of wine!
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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