A restored farmhouse in the hills between Lucca and the sea, Belcanto looks over a beautiful unspoilt valley with wonderful views, especially to be enjoyed on the terrace at sundown. Surrounded by seven hectares of terraced olive groves and woodland, the level, landscaped gardens of about 1 acre are planted with shrubs and flowers, with cypresses framing the house. The swimming pool is beautifully set in these gardens to benefit from the views of woodland and hills.
The house, painted in attractive Lucchese colours, has a covered, furnished patio, which leads to a large sitting room with sofas, a Tuscan fireplace, piano, and TV/VCR. There is a large kitchen, and a dining room that seats twelve comfortably. There is a WC and washbasin on this floor, and a storeroom. Upstairs, a second sitting room has sofas and books and there are three double and two twin bedrooms, each with its own bath or shower room. The attractive and comfortable furniture is chosen with good taste and with a careful eye for Lucchese country architecture.
There are simple shops a couple of kms away, and very good restaurants in the hills behind the house. You can indulge in thermal springs of Bagni di Lucca, and the walking and climbing is magnificent in the Apuan Alps. Lucca, only 15 mins. drive away, has wonderful Romanesque architecture, medieval houses and noble villas and gardens. It is lovely to ride a bike or take a walk around the wide, tree-shaded walkway on top of the magnificent 16th - 17th Century ramparts which enclose the old town. An extremely old city, Lucca was first inhabited 50,000 years ago, and in 56BC Caesar, Pompey and Crassus met to form the first Triumvirate of the Roman Empire. It was the first place in Tuscany to accept Christianity, and the Goths withstood a long siege by the Narses in 552. On the Via Francigena, Lucca under the Lombards developed trade in silks and exotic goods as well as in its famous olive oil. Antiques fairs are held on the third weekend of each month and craft fairs regularly. Nowadays it is famous for its cooking, wines and antiques, fashionable shops and genteel atmosphere. Ruskin loved it, and it was a favourite with Browning, Shelley and Lawrence. Lucca is the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, who moved out to live on nearby Lago di Massacciucoli, where he composed most of his operas and indulged his passion for shooting duck. His house is now a museum and his operas are performed at Torre del Lago every year. During the summer, Lucca hosts concerts with top artists and groups, and half an hourÃs drive takes you to Viareggio, Pisa, Carrara's marble quarries; sufficient attractions to spoil the most energetic tourist for choice....Read more
Left on 10/30/2011 for a stay in August 2011 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Oct 30, 2011Stayed Aug 2011
We loved the villa, it was beautifully appointed and we appreciated the fact that each bedroom had an ensuite. Set in charming gardens, with lots of exploring for the children and the trampoline was very popular! The pool was superb! We spent hours in it! It was a very restful week for us all round. We all agreed it was the best family holiday we had had. The area was very interesting and we all loved exploring Lucca. The only thing that was missing( being a little bit picky!) was wi- fi! But really five stars all round!
Left on 10/21/2010 for a stay in August 2010 | SarahReviewed Oct 21, 2010Stayed Aug 2010
Orfeo is a beautiful house set in a beautiful garden. It is well equipped and comfortable and kept very clean. There is a trampoline and toys and Dvd's for staying in. There are plenty of rooms to accomodate an extended family or a few couples. The house is a short drive from Lucca, with many shops and supermarkets very close by, the co-op being excellent, and approx an hours drive from the coast.
There are only really a couple of points worth noting in any documents describing the house, one of them being the road leading up to the house, which is pretty treacherous for a big car. We arrived on a very rainy day and it was a very dangerous drive, unless you have a 4X4 vehicle.
The other one would be the swimming pool, the shallow end of which is too deep for kids under 5 years old.
Otherwise we enjoyed our stay and would love to return.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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