Castello dei Canonici is situated in a hamlet di Camaiore in the province of Lucca.
Only few places in Italy remain intact over the centuries like this one, so much as to evoke a sense of amazement. The road, which on the left goes to the town, winds through a thick pine forest, which suddenly opens up to a picturesque view of the town and the hills behind.
The core of the town's buildings stands on a rocky base and fans out towards the summit of the hill, its outposts the old houses on one side and the large Castello dei Canonici on the other. Further down, the now abandoned old mill, is silent and solitary, a reminder of the times when olives were brought in from every valley for pressing, and the mills worked from dawn till dusk.
Before entering the town, the wide road climbs in a straight line towards the first houses and ends swooping down, almost as if it wanted to tell us that from this point onwards, one enters a different time and a different dimension.
The very narrow street almost acts as a filter, a barrier, between the old and peaceful village and the busy, noisy outside world. The stones that were once part of the Castello dei Canonici are now part of the solid walls of the houses, may of which have been tastefully restored, fully respecting the architectural traditions of the past.
Recently restored, furnished in contemporary style and equipped with technological systems of the highest quality, the castle has several hectares of land, covered with olive groves and woodland, ancient ruins and terraced paths.
The heated infinity swimming pool is a short walk up behind the house from where one enjoys stunning 270-degree views from Florence to the islands of the Tuscan coast including Gorgona and Elba.
Around the castle there are many wonderful walks in the surrounding hills. The village is also a popular stop en-route for serious cyclists and there is a number of clearly marked bike trails.
For those who choose to rest and truly relax, Castello dei Canonici is extremely private as it has no direct neighbours. But if you do fancy a short walk down the drive for an ice cream or an espresso, there is a small bar in the tiny hamlet, which, during the summer evenings, is open and also popular with the locals.
If you can bare to leave the peace and tranquillity of Castello dei Canonici, there are lots of things to do within easy reach. The beaches are approx. 45 minutes away, including chic Forte Di Marmi and the marvellous lidos of Viareggio, with its glorious Belle Epoque architecture and wonderful seafood restaurants. Florence is less than an hour away, and the Garfagnana, with its stunning National Park, is just to the North.
Olive oil is made from the olives that grow in groves in the grounds of Castello dei Canonici and the castle has its own springs too.
The central entrance to the ground floor is through a pair of doors leading into the large entry hall, which has a beautiful antique marble fireplace and local Matraia stone staircase up to the first floor.
Small anteroom leading through to the large, well equipped kitchen. This kitchen is designed for both cooking and entertaining. Through a massive ancient restored arch of exposed brick and stone, the kitchen leads directly into the dining room. There is a marble fireplace in the dining room and both the kitchen and dining room feature decorative antique Murano glass chandeliers. The kitchen opens up onto a beautiful terrace with citrus trees and fabulous views of the surrounding hills to the South and West, and of Lucca and Florence to the East. There is also plenty of scope for al fresco entertaining in a space with tables, outdoor sofas, umbrellas and exterior lighting for summer dining or for a casual BBQ in the evening.
To the left of the large entry hall there is a sitting room, equipped with 5.1 surround sound, flat screen TV. Venetian plaster walls and a stunning Venini glass chandelier provide the completing touches. Guest bathroom.
It can be accessed by one of two staircases. The main one with its polished stone steps and iron balustrade runs up through the middle of the house.
On the left through double doors at the top of this central staircase is the living room with an antique stone fireplace and amazing views through the balcony windows. Smaller library/den, which leads through to the oldest part of the house.
A double height music room with a Yamaha grand piano and an oversize fireplace. The room opens out on to a raised terrace. To the right of the central staircase there are two lovely bedrooms; 1 master bedroom with en suite bathroom, 1 double bedroom with a king-size bed, 1 bathroom with bath tub and a separate shower, 1 double bedroom with a king-size bed and en suite delightful bathroom with bath tub and separate shower.
The laundry room is also on this floor with large washer and dryer, iron and ironing board.
accessed by both the main central staircase and the East staircase.
5 bedrooms with king-size beds each with en suite bathrooms. All these rooms are 'attic rooms'; 1 double bedroom with a king-size bed and en suite bathroom with shower, bath tub and two basins, 1 double bedroom (the smallest of the bedrooms) with a king-size bed and a beautiful en suite bathroom with shower, bath tub and two basins, 1 double bedroom (with a wonderful view), with en suite bathroom with the shower over the bath tub.
This bedroom can be linked with another double bedroom to form a family suite of two bedrooms and two bathrooms. This bedroom has another king-size bed and a wonderful en suite bathroom with bath tub and shower, 1 double bedroom with a king-size bed and en suite bathroom with shower and bath tub.
There is also a sitting room equipped with 5.1 surround sound and large flat screen TV.
dining area with table for 14, in front of the entrance door of the villa.
many good restaurants nearby, nearest beaches about 45 min. Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, from Lucca 40 min. trains to Pisa, Florence and Viareggio.
Lucca 16km/10miles, Pisa 19km/12miles, Florence 50km/31miles (1 hour by car), Siena 80km/50miles (1 hour and 30 min. by car), Cinque Terre 60km/37miles, Rome 275km/170miles.
Villa not suitable for children under the age of 7 due to a low, not fenced wall in the outdoor area.
At the beginning of the driveway you can find a square which has a parking lot. The driveway up to the villa is steep and it can be used by a small car such as Punto or a Panda or a small Suzuki jeep or any equivalent. Please note that a large car (range rover, a mini van or full size luxury car like a big Lexus or Mercedes) will not get through the archway before the driveway regardless of whether it can get up the driveway. The other option if a bigger car is rented, it is to park the car in the parking lot and walk up 700 mt to Castello dei Canonici.
No pets allowed. Non smoking villa.
airports and trains
Pisa 45km/28miles, Florence 72km/44miles, Milan 330km/205miles, Rome 395km/245miles.
trains: Lucca 16km/10miles .
- heated swimming pool
- walking distance to a village
- wireless multi room music system
Please note: All Italian villa rentals are for 7 nights, beginning and ending on Saturdays, unless otherwise noted.
Additional amenities include: wine cellar, coffee maker, cd player, ice maker, sonar surround sound, grand piano, pool fence, alfresco dining, shower, outdoor furniture, iron/ironing board.TripAdvisor property ID 2144619...Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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