Lunigiana...an Unknown Corner of Tuscany
Emerging from Pisa airport into the glare of the Tuscan sun, instead of driving south to the Chianti hills, you could be going up to Lunigiana, a breathtakingly beautiful region in the north of Tuscany. It is a land of mountains and rivers, between the Apennines and Apuan Alps, whose white marble slopes seem snow-covered even in summer.
Life is slower in Lunigiana, and it can genuinely be described as an undiscovered part of Tuscany. You can rent Il Tinello, an old apartment in a small hill village, and experience the life of everyday rural Italy. Or stay at Podere di Lunigiana, 4 old village house beautifully restored, with their own pool and an wonderful economical restaurant a gentle stroll away. Whatever you choose, the views will always be spectacular. Watching the sun go down behind the mountains, while sipping prosecco on your terrace, and thinking about where to eat that evening, is one the great experiences of Lunigiana. In the day, you can keep cool in the crystal clear rivers with wonderful natural bathing pools.
Restaurants are small and family-owned. Menus are virtually unknown but the service is friendly and helpful. The antipasto is a speciality of the region - several little dishes arrive, and then a few more…next comes the pasta, then the meat or fish course. All at a very affordable price, with wine plentiful and cheap.
Although Lunigiana is quiet, it is within easy reach of places for a day’s excursion. The Ligurian coast is nearby. Lerici is a must. A leisurely lunch at one of the port’s fish restaurants is one of life’s great pleasures. You can stop off where you like in the five small fishing villages of the 'Cinque Terre' when visiting by boat or train. Specially planned walking holidays are available through Hello Italy that take in much of this beautiful coastline.
You can get to Florence, Lucca and Pisa by car or train for the day. It is possible to spend the morning walking in the hills, the afternoon on the beach, and after a leisurely early dinner, go to the opera in the open air, overlooking the lake where Puccini lived and worked.
Lunigiana is an area for the independent-minded who want to see the real Italy behind all the tourist areas. They must also like their food and enjoy beautiful scenery. On a summer’s morning you will watch the mists rise over the Apennines, and in the evening you will stand gazing across the valley as mountains change from pink to grey.
If you want to be closer to the famous sites … there are many wonderful places to stay in the landscapes around Siena.
Imagine an old country farmhouse on a hill overlooking a beautiful landscape of vineyards and olive groves in the heart of Chianti. Restored and furnished in typical Tuscan style, each apartment at Il Poderino has its own private sitting area outside, ideal for al fresco dinners. It would be an understatement to say they have breathtaking views; each window is like an exquisite, framed painting. On a clear day the famous towers of San Gimignano are just visible from the beautiful swimming pool area.
Or you could be at Casanova Vesta, an old farmhouse overlooking Siena, magically situated within the 'Le Crete' rolling hills. Within easy reach are many wonderful old walled towns such as San Gimignano, Montalcino and Pienza. Florence is less than an hour away. The beautiful round swimming pool has an attractive island and panoramic views. Air-conditioned apartments have satellite TV and a private outside area. All this blended with watching the shepherds tending sheep whose milk is used to produce pecorino cheese. Cypress trees, planted to provide windbreaks along roads and around isolated farms are an important sculptural feature in this empty and primeval landscape.
Further south, you drift into the mystical landscapes of Umbria
Visiting Umbria is a voyage of discovery, wandering through the many and varied hilltowns each one with its own piece of history. Perugia and Assisi. Todi and Spoleto, as well as Lake Trasimeno, can be easily reached from any of Hello Italy’s properties.
Unforgettable Tuscany and Umbria
Whichever experience you choose, you can be guaranteed a warm welcome. … the people who live in Tuscany and Umbria seem dedicated to helping others enjoy what they have been lucky enough to be born with.
Hello Italy, a small family company, like to follow in this tradition, offering individual help and advice about their personally selected properties.
For details of these and many other similar properties, contact Hello Italy. You can get a brochure giving a comprehensive selection of houses and apartments in Lunigiana, Siena and Umbria. Look on our website at www.helloit.co.uk. Telephone 01483 419964 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.