On a 40 hectare farming estate once part of one of the of the major farms of the fertile coastal plains near Vada, a large farmhouse dressed in the rough plaster typical of this area may at first glance seem a bit no-nonsense as it goes about its farming business. Yet after a closer look and a week's stay you will be glad you lingered. The fields may be busy producing sunflowers, fresh produce and olive oil that may all find their way to your table, but guests have only to look to the pine trees that lie on the horizon to know that the beach is just a bike ride away and that they are in an excellent place to savour what both the sea and the land have to offer.
The entrance to the large farmhouse is on a little-travelled secondary road handy for dashing down to the nearby market, but the sides and back of the house have wide swathes of green, generous shade trees and colourful oleander bushes - as well as the necessary farm buildings and equipment and the fields that are laced with paths you can explore. Apart from a small apartment for an Italian resident who is rarely present, the farmhouse has three guest apartments, each having its own outdoor eating area. While the furnishings are simple, most rooms are spacious and feature the wooden beams, barrel ceilings, terracotta floors and brick arches often found in Tuscan homes. The owners are charming - women native to this area who will do whatever they can to make sure you have what you need to have a wonderful holiday. They are also good cooks, and on request will prepare dinners or organize cooking classes at their lovely villa nearby.
Naturally, it is the sea that draws people to this area and the Vada coastline, which consistently receives "Blue Flag" awards for the quality of its waters, safety and services at the beaches, has great variety to offer. There are fine sand and shallow seabeds that are perfect for young children or deep crystalline water and sandy dunes that attract sunbathers, wind surfers and scuba divers. You can rent a sun-bed and umbrella or stroll down to free stretches of open beach and lay a towel wherever you fancy.
Around Vada sul Mare
When you have enough of the water's edge for the day, there are still places to discover. A visit to the archeological museum at Villa Guerrazzi 800 m. down the road will help you discover the ancient history of the place, whereas medieval villages, a fascinating copper mining museum and the prestigious Bolgheri wine cellars, all within 10 minutes, evoke the area's former and present importance. Volterra, the alabaster city, and the leaning tower of Pisa are but 40 minutes away and you could walk the ramparts of Lucca or take the ferry to Elba and still be back for sunset on your favourite stretch of beach. At Vada sul Mare you are well positioned to enjoy it all....Read more
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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