You will never find a better villa experience than here at Ave Maria. Every guest seems to find themselves feeling like part of the owner's family.
The only thing understated about Ave Maria is its price.This villa gets 5 stars in our book and is priced much lower than other villas in the area of the same standards, another peek at the generosity of its most gracious owners. A perfect stay is guaranteed. Your only disappointment will be when you have to depart.
The owners, a home builder and physician couple, spent 14 years restoring this incredible villa back to its original splendor and adding state of the art luxuries such as glass enclosed rain showers, an extremely large, two room professional kitchen, formal gardens, rose and jasmine bordered swimming pool and of course free WiFi. No attention to detail was left undone. For example, they installed an elevator for the convenience of bringing luggage up and down from the bedrooms. Frigo bars and TVs are installed in the bedrooms.
For weddings, family parties and business conferences, the lemonaia has been restored to a beautiful all purpose room for additional dining or it can be broken down into four office/teaching rooms with built in projectors.
Like many Italian villas, this one has a remarkable history. Built originally in the 15th century as a summer home by a noble Luchesse family, it remained in the same family until the 19th century when it was given to an order of monks left homeless when Napoleon sequestered all church property. The monks divided the large rooms to smaller simpler ones and added a secondary school that was attached to the villa. The current owners bought the property and spent the past 14 years restoring it to its original beauty, including hiring their own "Michelangela", an artist from Florence who has been living in the villa for the past few years, painfully restoring the 18th century frescoes and adding her own interpretations as well.
The villa looks over a parterre and a beautifully reconstructed formal garden from the original 1843 plans. Beyond the gardens is a vista of olive groves and rolling vineyards, a small village and the backdrop of the distant mountains. The villa is ideally located, within walking distance to a small village with shops and supermarket and just sevem kilometers north of the historic city of Lucca. Many stately villas are open as museums for touring, such as Villa Torrigiani. On the grounds is another remarkable restoration. The lemonaia has been converted into a large airy space for meetings and lectures. It can also be used as a back up reception room in case of rain.
Villa Ave Maria is the ideal holiday home for families or friends, weddings, anniversaries or family reunions, cooking or language classes or business meetings. It is ideally located among local vineyards and ideal for interesting daytrips, exploring Tuscany's finest cities, villages and countryside. Only half an hour from the Pisa airport, it is also a good base to explore The Italian Riviera and the mountainous Garfagnana.
On the ground floor there is a beautiful, spacious and light filled living room with chairs, sofas and coffee tables in a charming Italian style. This room is equipped with satellite TV and games and opens up to the beautiful gardens and a large covered terrace with tables and chairs and a nearby barbecue area. Adjacent to the living room is your private office where you have a PC, printer and copier and the wireless broadband internet mode.
Villa Ave Maria is also available to sleep 12 people for the following weekly rental rates;
Left on 09/11/2013 for a stay in July 2013 | A FlipKey verified reviewerReviewed Sep 11, 2013Stayed Jul 2013
As the owner of a company specializing in custom tours to Italy, I searched long and hard to find a villa that would accommodate my extended family. Patrice the owner of Papavero Villa recommended the large and lovely Villa ave Maria, and we were so glad that she did! The Villa is located in a quiet, countryside setting with outstanding Tuscan vistas, yet only 15 minutes to Lucca, one-hour to Florence and easy access to Pisa and the Cinque Terre. There are several shops and local restaurants nearby as well as a wonderful small winery, which offers tastings & the ability to buy their wines and oil.
This gracious private home is well-furnished and child-friendly. The views & rose gardens are lovely, and the outdoor pool large & relaxing. A ping- pong table, pizza oven and grill and a wonderful space for al fresco dining completed the outdoor space. In addition to exploring Lucca, Pisa, Florence and the Cinque Terre, we spent days just relaxing, eating and enjoying the lovely views. The common spaces were comfortable, the kitchen world class and the bedrooms and en-suite bathroom sparkling clean. The villa is less formal than it appears in photos.
The highlight of our stay were the incredible owners & their staff.
Daniela and her husband, Narcisso have spent years renovated their property and actually live in a separate section of the villa. They were never intrusive, but available when needed, and always warm, welcoming and willing to providing support and travel information. There was the option of hiring a fabulous husband wife team who not only prepared delicious meals for us, but also hosted an informative, and fun cooking class for our children. It is a wonderful alternative to staying in the heart of the Chianti country, allowing easier access to northern Tuscany. I highly recommend it for large families or a group of adults traveling together.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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