Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Lucca plain, Vigna Vecchia is a stylish renovation of what began life as a stone barn and has evolved over the last two centuries to become a comfortable family gathering place. Still sitting on a generous two hectares, the property originally was at the centre of an extensive vineyard, the remains of which still exist and have given the property its name. Views from the house take in wide mountain and woodland panoramas, as well as the more immediate olive groves and vineyards seen in most Tuscan landscapes, while up close the small village of Mastiano - a scattering of house, a fairly grand church and, happily, a restaurant - is within walking distance.
The house is surrounded by an open garden with wonderful views of the valley and, on two sides, by a pebbled terrace. These provide various places to read or gaze at the view, as does the highest part of the garden where the protected swimming pool enjoys the same panorama as the house. The exterior of the house itself, dressed simply in the pink stucco often seen in country houses, does not give away the elegant interiors its present owners have created. Nothing has been over-restored and contemporary decor combines perfectly with traditional Tuscan materials. There are terracotta floors, beamed ceilings and portions of original stone and brick exposed in bright walls.
Entry from the valley-side front door is into a hallway flanked by two bright sitting rooms furnished with comfortable sofas and full bookshelves. The ground floor kitchen, obtained from the conversion of the cellar, is fully equipped and has an island work area and high stools at the counter for those willing to lend a hand. While French doors from the kitchen lead out to a large pergola and handy barbecue, ideal for alfresco meals, for indoor dining there is a convivial dining area off the kitchen with a circular table around which all guests can find a place. Bedrooms - two double, 1 twin and 1 which can be either twin or double - are located on the upper floor, as are two ensuite bathrooms and a large shower room with laundry facilities. As throughout the house, furnishings are a lovely mix of modern and country antique, with nice attention to colour and fabrics.
Visiting Lucca and exploring the surrounding region is a fascinating experience. The city itself is completely surrounded by medieval walls, which were thankfully never used for defense, and one can rent a bicycle and make the entire circuit. The centre, like an elegant living room, welcomes visitors and sends them off to its intimate quarters, adorned churches, boutique-filled streets, and a wonderful square that was once a Roman amphitheatre. It is no surprise that the atmosphere of Lucca insipired many artists, among them Giacomo Puccini, whose music can be heard annually at the Puccini Festival at Torre del Lago. But the charm of the area extends beyond the walls of Lucca. Within easy access are the famous elegant villas and their astonishing gardens in the hills outside Lucca, the wild landscape of the Garfagnana and the Apuane montains, and the lively and glamourous Versilian coast. From this area it is also possibile to reach Florence and Pisa in less than 90 min. or Ligurian destinations of Lerici and the Cinque Terre....Read more
After staying in villas throughout Europe, this is THE ONE!
Left on 07/28/2014 for a stay in July 2014 | BethAdams2014
Accommodations were amazing and location was spectacular. High on the mountain with a southern view of the undulating green hills and mountains. Stunning at 6:00 a.m. - sun peaking over a neighbouring mountain, with birds chirping and bees buzzing in the country gardens. Lovely to be taking in the view while sipping on a morning coffee. Truly memorable.
Lucca had all that a traveller would want - local food shops, great restaurants, historic sites, biking and shopping.
The villa itself had all the amenities - pool, great kitchen with all the necessary (and then some) appliances, dishes and utensils. Lots of places to relax, eat and enjoy the property (lounge chairs, tables, dining around the villa. Bedrooms charming and comfortable.
The villa staff that visited during the week were super friendly and attentive and took care of everything that we needed. They clearly care about the property.
Our family gathered wonderful memories at the Villa and we are thankful that we had the opportunity to visit and stay at such a special place.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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