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Lucca & The Tuscan Coast

Villas in Lucca’s countryside & on the Tuscan coast


Lucca and the Tuscan coast remains ‘Our special part of Italy’, which year round offers an interesting and varied holiday. Lucca is situated in Northern Tuscany and is sure to capture your heart with its cobbled streets, beautiful piazzas and Medieval towers.

Only 30 minutes from Pisa airport, 1 hour Florence & 25 minutes from the ancient walled city of Lucca and its wine trail. You will find beautiful Medieval towns such as Pietrasanta, wide golden beaches with a stunning mountain backdrop & plenty for all ages to do including: Golf, tennis, water-sports, horse-riding, cycling & walking in the Apuan alps.

Imagine a holiday where you have beautiful villa with a private pool as your base to explore the best that Lucca & Northern Tuscany has to offer. Step back in to the 15th century, to visit the Medieval city of Lucca, take in Italy’s Renaissance city of Florence or simply relax on Tuscany’s golden beaches.

Experience the relaxed pace of local life, cycle through olive groves and mellow countryside taking in the sights and aromas of Tuscany. While away the evenings in the local trattorias, where some of the best food in Italy is to be found or dine at world famous restaurants and sophisticated pavement cafes. Watch and learn how to ‘passegiare’ through Italy’s stylish and historic streets and shop for some of the best designer names…this is just some of what the Lucca area of Tuscany has to offer.

Getting There


Tuscany is no stranger to tourists so getting to this region from almost anywhere in the world is pretty straightforward. The closest airport to the city of Lucca is Pisa International Airport which is also only 30 minutes from Versilia, the Tuscany coast.

There is also Amerigo Vespucci Airport (also called Peretola Airport) in Florence, meaning you can reach the region’s major cities without any trouble at all.

Book your flights in advance and you may be able to get some amazing cheap flight deals too. For further information about flights from the UK and Europe, see:

Getting Around


Lucca has its own train station which makes it the perfect base for visiting Florence and the rest of Tuscany. The train station is right outside the southern walls, with an entrance below the balcony of San Colombano that brings you right behind Lucca’s cathedral and into the heart of the small walled town.

One of best ways to explore the city of Lucca and see if from a different perspective is to cycle the city walls. On the coast – one of popular ways to travel around is also by bicycle. We will happily recommend some local rental companies. 

Whilst the area has plenty of options for public transport we do recommend hiring a car to give you the freedom of being able to explore further afield. There are a number of car rental companies and you can pick up and drop off at the two international airports in Florence and Pisa. Fast trains link up the larger cities such as Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca and Grosseto whilst slower trains link up the smaller towns. www.trenitalia.it for timetables. Lucca has a 24 hour taxi service.

Lucca & The Tuscan Coast


 

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Top 9 Things To Do – Your Lucca Villa Holiday


A tranquil part of Italy with few foreign tourists but plenty of stylish Italians. As with the rest of Europe, July and August are the busiest month’s when even the sleepiest villages can become crowded – Our favourite times to visit are May, June and September when there are fewer tourists and the weather is warm and pleasant. the days are long and scents of rose and jasmine fragrance the air. Autumn is another perfect time to discover the towns and countryside of Lucca and the Tuscan coast -mellow with tones of russet and ochre and fields full of ripened grapes ready to be harvested Wintertime is usually crisp, mild bright and can be a delightfully relaxing time to explore as well as to take in some Christmas shopping in Florence or Lucca itself.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is only 30 minutes away by car and it is one of the most famous monuments in the world but seeing it on photos really doesn’t do it justice. To really experience the tower and its surroundings, you have to go there for yourself. Read more.

It would be sacrilege to step foot in Tuscany without visiting Florence which is only 1 hour away. This stunning regional capital is home to the most prestigious works of Italian art and is considered to be the birthplace to the Renaissance. The Gallery of Uffizi is a must and you should also make time for the Florence Cathedral, Palazzo Vecchio, Basilica of Santa Croche and the famous square, Piazzale Michelangelo. Read more.

Lucca is famous for its Renaissance-era city walls that have remained intact while so many other Tuscan towns saw theirs destroyed in past centuries. Lucca is located on a plain at the foot of the Apuan Alps and is less than half an hour from the Tuscan coast. Since it isn’t a hilltop village, it is ideal for anyone with mobility issues as well as for anyone wishing to take a break from climbing 😉

A wonderful town which you must visit (if you’re not lucky enough to be staying there!) the perfect place to spend the evenings as there are numerous fantastic restaurants, boutique shops, pavement cafes, art galleries. Children can play in sight in the square whilst parents sit in a café , also a good place for teenagers/young at heart looking for a bit of nightlife as bars stay open late at the weekends. Read more.

On Tuscany’s golden coastline & nestling neatly below the marble – topped Apuan mountains, Marina di Pietrasanta is an elegant beach resort in the heart of this wonderful area known as ‘Versilia’ – famous for it’s beautiful wide, golden, sandy beaches with a stunning mountain backdrop. There are many authentic pizzerias, stylish cocktail bars and pavement cafes, gelaterias for the best home made ice cream, fantastic sushi and fish restaurants and fashionable boutiques

You will find a plethora of elegant beach resorts of Forte dei Marmi & Marina di Pietrasanta on the Versilia coastline (many have their own restaurants and swimming pools) the rugged Cinque Terre and bay of Lerici are also worth a visit.

Versiliana Beach club offers tenda canopies, an excellent restaurant, swimming pool with gym area – a truly luxurious experience.

For something more authentic also serving excellent local dishes and very family friendly we recommend Bagno Liu.

An authentic Tuscan town with Roman origins. You will sample some of Tuscany’s best dishes in Camaiore and the surrounding countryside. Read more.

5 beautiful fishing villages not to be missed. Mountains down to the sea, colourful buildings, stunning views. Very different landscape from Pietrasanta. Driving is not recommended as the roads are mountainous and parking is almost impossible. If you want to take the car drive to La Spezia and take a train from there. Boats trips also available from Forte dei Marmi or Viareggio. Once you reach one of the 5 lands you can either buy a 5terre pass and walk between the 5 or use the local shuttle trains. Please check with the tourist office for boat times & prices.

Forte is like ‘Bond Street by the sea’. Many Italian and international personalities can be seen sat in Forte’s bar Principe during the summer months. The town is home to designer boutiques such as Prada, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace, stylish bistro restaurants and 5* hotels. Read more.

The ‘Grotta all’ Onda’ – huge cave was once the home of the ancient human species called Neanderthals and later by Homo sapiens.

Villas on Tuscany Coast

Weather


The summer season begins in April and lasts until October, with temperatures reaching 30°C and more during the hottest periods. High summer (July and August) can be extremely hot, humid and crowded so if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, try visiting Tuscany during the low season. The low season is between November and March where temperatures are much cooler. Not only will popular parts of Tuscany be less crowded but you won’t be caught out by peak prices on travel and transport either. If you want to catch the first weeks of summer without getting caught up in the tourist rush, we would recommend flying to Tuscany in April and early May. Temperature highs could be up to 28°C during these months, making it a glorious time to visit.

Villas on Tuscany Coast

Regional Food & Wine


Tuscany is recognised worldwide for its food and wine excellence. So needless to say, you won’t have a bad food experience when holidaying in this region of Italy. The secret to its culinary success lies in its history of “Cucina Povera”, or what we might call “poor cooking”. And this just proves that in many cases, simplicity is better. The concept of inexpensive food, unfussy flavours and the freshest ingredients makes Tuscan cuisine one of the finest in the world. If you want food cooked with honesty, prepared and served in a traditional way, look no further than the stunning region of Tuscany.

Around Lucca, there are numerous little towns you can visit for their hilltop views and unchanged traditions – it is here that you are likely to taste some of the best traditional Tuscan farye that Italy has to offer

To experience the full flavour of the land – we recommend that you visit at least one of the vineyards and olive groves along the Strade del Vino

The products truly are representatives of the “terroir” found in Montecarlo and Lucca: a combination of the nearness to the sea, and the mountains create the distinctive flavor of these DOC wines. The Lucca Hills DOC Wine -Also knowns as Colline Lucchesi DOC Wine; In the hills just outside of the city center of Lucca, you will find several vineyards with their own special signature productions: Rosso DOC, Bianco DOC wine, and vin santo, as well as a delicious DOP extra virgin olive oil, said to feature a “fruity, basically sweet taste and pungent, bitter sensations.”

Tuscan Dishes to Try


Tuscany is truly “foodie heaven” and you’ll be hard pressed to find a bad eatery anywhere. Lucca is also a foodies paradise – You can Appreciate the charms of Lucca and its Renaissance history through sampling its traditional cuisine. Look out for these local dishes on your visit!

Tortelli Lucchese is one of the most popular dishes in Lucca that is similar to meat ravioli

Zuppa di Farro is an amazing local Tuscan bowl of soup with farro(emmer), beans and seasonal vegetables.

Pasinata – Traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday this sweet bread dessert is made with aniseed and raisins

For delicious and affordable street food (found in major cities such as Florence) we would recommend Lampredotto which is tripe often served in a bun or the various pizza stands you will find around the cities. In restaurants, order Panzanella (cold bread salad) or Crostini Toscani to start – or try something more filling such as Cacciucco (fish stew) or the famous Florentine Steak. There are also some great regional cakes such as Castagnaccio (chestnut cake), Buccellato (fig cake) or Cantucci, which are perfect as an afternoon snack or for finishing off a meal.

Famous Wines of Lucca, Tuscany


To experience the full flavour of the land – we recommend that you visit at least one of the vineyards and olive groves along the Strada del Vino

The products truly are representatives of the “terroir” found in Montecarlo and Lucca: a combination of the nearness to the sea, and the mountains create the distinctive flavor of these DOC wines. The Lucca Hills DOC Wine -Also knowns as Colline Lucchesi DOC Wine; In the hills just outside of the city center of Lucca, you will find several vineyards with their own special signature productions: Rosso DOC, Bianco DOC wine, and vin santo, as well as a delicious DOP extra virgin olive oil, said to feature a “fruity, basically sweet taste and pungent, bitter sensations.”


Il Vignaccio, Santa Lucia

Charming Riccardo serves some of the best food in the area + Stunning views. https://www.facebook.com/osteriavignaccio/

villas on tuscany coast

La Camdella, Camaiore


Magical riverside setting. Along a creek in the mountains.  Cool on hot summer nights. https://www.osteriacandalla.it/

Enotecca Marucci, Pietrasanta


Sir Paul Smith once said in the Sunday Times that this was his favourite restaurant in a short haul. destination! The place to see and be seen, incredibly extensive wine list.
Booking is essential.  http://www.enotecamarcucci.it

Annual Events


Versiliana festival, Versilia (July & August)


Festival of art and culture in a beautiful outdoor setting.

Puccini opera festival, Torre del Lago (July & August)


Held each year around July and August. So keep a close eye on these festivals if you are traveling in Tuscany during the summer months.

villas on tuscany coast

Lucca Summer Festival, Lucca (June, July & August)


A musical event attended by famous artists from all over the world. Elton John, Diana Krall, Bryan Adams, The Killers, Norah Jones, Oasis, Simply Red have all played in the past.

Luminara di Pisa, Pisa, (June)


16 June begins the festivities to honour Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of Pisa, the following day, June 17. Over 70,000 candles light up the palaces along the Arno river, with a fireworks display afterwards.

villas on tuscany coast

Carnavale, Viareggio (January)


Carnavale is a lively event which brings locals together to celebrate and indulge in delicious food before the start of Lent. The carnival celebrations take place in the city of Viareggio and include pageants and parades, flower shows, fireworks – and of course, plenty of food and wine.

 
 

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