Casa al Colle

Tuscany, Italy

  • 10
  • 5
  • 3
  • Tranquil, spacious retreat
  • Stunning panoramic views
  • Comfortable interiors
  • Shops/restaurants 15min drive

Deep in the Garfagnana Mountains, Casa al Colle resides in one of the most soul stirring, authentically Italian parts of northern Tuscany. With its gorges, forests, rivers, medieval villages and churches, the region captured the hearts of the poets Byron and Shelley – and from this tranquil, spacious retreat, it’s easy to see why.

Parts of Casa al Colle date back to 1761 and over the centuries since, it’s evolved into a welcoming and extremely spacious summer home. As well as 400 olive trees, the grounds feature a swimming pool, including a handy fridge, and an outside dining area with a wood-fired pizza oven and barbecue nearby. An inner courtyard provides extra seating that’s open to the stars and the generous panoramic balconies are perfect for losing yourself in a good book.

The interior living areas, with their heavy wooden beams and light, comfortable interiors, offer ample space for a large family gathering or two families holidaying together – and the two separate entrances to the house make this an even easier arrangement. A clever sliding partition on the ground floor allows you to create an extra sleeping space and, complete with a sofabed, shower room and TV, it makes a great den for a teenager who wants to feel more independent.

Casa al Colle overlooks the 16th-century hamlet of San Romano, home to the Property Manager Roberto and his daughter Veronica, who’ll meet you when you arrive and speaks good English if you need any help. They are among a number of people who ensure that your stay here is as comfortable as possible, so while you can enjoy the wonderful seclusion, you never feel cut off. They’ll bring you herbs and tomatoes from their own garden and extra fruit and vegetables can be bought every Saturday afternoon from a local who comes into San Romano. There’s also a delivery of fresh bread every other day, Monday to Friday, which you’ll need to pre-order. And then there’s Assunta, the housekeeper and cook, whose pizza, made fresh in your own pizza oven, is legendary. She also offers an excellent catering service featuring a host of delicious Tuscan specialities, payable locally. For everything else, there are several supermarkets a 15-minute drive away.

The local area

San Romano (formerly Castello di Spulizano) doesn’t have shops or restaurants. Instead, make your way to Barga, a 25-minute drive away. It’s part of the ‘Cittaslow’ movement and has excellent places to eat, as well as opera and jazz festivals in the summer.

Also 25 minutes away is Bagni di Lucca, where you’ll find the spa once enjoyed by Shelley and Lord Byron, and in Borgo a Mozzano, 15 minutes away, you’ll find the Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo), a fine example of medieval architecture that, legend has it, was built by the devil himself in a night. The bustling walled city of Lucca is 45 minutes away – perfect for strolling with an ice cream – and famous Pisa and Florence are about 70 minutes 90 minutes respectively by car.

There’s also plenty to do off the beaten track with the areas numerous mountain walking trails, as well as guided canyoning and climbing adventures. For stunning natural beauty, explore the area around Isola Santa up in the mountains, with its lake, caves and atmospheric abandoned villages.


Accommodation

Layout

  • 5 bedroom villa (sleeps 2-10)

Ground Floor

  • Formal sitting/dining room
  • Informal sitting room with fireplace
  • Kitchen includes hob, oven, fridge-freezer, dishwasher
  • Master bedroom
  • Twin bedroom
  • Shower room with Jacuzzi
  • Bedroom with bunk beds with en-suite shower room and washing machine
  • Stairs to interior gallery/balcony above the kitchen with sofa (can be locked if required)

Lower ground floor

  • Double bedroom
  • Shower room
  • Twin bedroom
  • Shower room
  • TV room with sliding door and sofabed

General

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Air-conditioning in all bedrooms
  • TV/DVD
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Barbecue and pizza oven
  • Salt-water private swimming pool 12m x 6m ( depth 1.20m – 1.50m)
  • The last few hundred metres leading up to the villa entrance are along a very steep and narrow road
  • In Italy, a daily tourist tax applies for the first week of your stay only, which means that an average of €1.50 per person (12+ years) may be charged. This should be paid in cash to your villa or hotel owner during your stay.
  • Due to the cooler temperatures, the swimming pool will be closed from 30 September until the end of the season

WiFi

  • All properties with WiFi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and email checking*

* We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected.


Location

  • Fornaci di Barga (shops/restaurants) 15min drive
  • Borgo a Mozzano (shops/restaurants) 15min drive
  • Barga (shops/restaurants/ theatre) 20min drive
  • Lucca 45min drive
  • Florence airport 90 min drive
  • Pisa airport 1hr 10min drive

Flights

Although this property is booked on an accommodation-only basis, we can arrange your flights for an extra charge of £25 per person, plus the cost of the flights themselves.

Below are the flight options available, including the most convenient airports in Italy to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Pisa

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Heathrow British Airways Saturday All season
London Gatwick easyJet Saturday All season
London Gatwick British Airways Saturday All season
London Stansted Ryanair Saturday All season
Luton Airport easyJet Saturday All season
Manchester Jet2 Saturday All season
Manchester easyJet Saturday All season
Bristol easyJet Saturday All season

Florence

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London City British Airways Saturday All season


Rome

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Heathrow British Airways Saturday All season
London Heathrow Alitalia Saturday All season
London Gatwick British Airways Saturday All season
London Gatwick easyJet Saturday All season
London Gatwick Vueling Saturday All season
Manchester Jet2 Saturday All season
Birmingham Monarch Saturday All season
Bristol easyJet Saturday All season

Car hire

Car options

The following hire cars are available to book.

  • Group C, Lancia Ypsilon or similar*
  • Group D, Volkswagen Golf or similar*
  • Group F, Automatic Volvo V40 or similar*

* All our cars include comprehensive insurance with zero excess. For this particular destination, the undercarriage tyres and windscreen are not included in the cover.

Car specifications

Group C – 1.2 litre engine, 2 large suitcases*

Group D – 1.6 litre engine, 4 large suitcases*

Group F – 1.6 litre engine, 2 large and 1 small suitcase*

* Suitcase sizes are based on a large suitcase being approximately 75cm x 41cm x 31cm, a medium suitcase of approximately 65cm x 46cm x 29cm and a small suitcase of 55cm x 40cm x 20cm.

Customer Feedback

Set in the most spectacular of locations, this villa really is little gem. Temperatures had soared into the 40s during our stay so the first few days were spent by the beautiful pool. This was rather on the cold side as not heated but certainly did the job of cooling us down. After much internet research the males in our group absolutely perfected the use of the pizza oven, which is a wonderful feature of the property. You couldn't eat dinner in a nicer location.  Air con in bedrooms is very effective and a life saver for us in the heat. The beds were exceptionally comfortable - very supportive - as were the sunbeds by the pool. In fact they really were in a league of their own - very light to move, but very strong, supportive and had overhead shades - just perfect. Loads of wild life inc wild boar, deer, lizards, golden eagle.  Day trip to Pisa was well worth doing. Overall a wonderful holiday with lots of memories. Thanks.
Howard Family - August 2017

Yes we had a great time thanks, the property was amazing and is the best we have stayed in. We were impressed with the quality of the whole experience. When you book remote properties you can swap peace and quiet for quality but this was not the case! We had an amazing memorable holiday and I would definitely recommend the property and your service. The only issue we had was the wifi not working on day 1 so after one phone call it was sorted. Everything else was perfect. I would give it 10/10 and you can't get better than that!I would also say that the staff who look after the property are excellent and discreet. The pool guy comes in early and so you always feel that you have the privacy. I really couldn't fault anything. You felt as if it was your own but with a backup of people to sort anything if you wanted it. That is the perfect balance. The thunderstorms were incredible and did knock out the electrics but that is a simple trip switch . We loved watching them roll in from the balcony and then after an hour it was scorching again ! We BBQ'd every night and had two pizza sessions in the fantastic pizza oven. We tried but we are not going to be on Master Chef!! There are some good local high wires, canyoning and water sports and of course the trips to Lucca, Florence and Pisa. We did the coast, the caves and were happy day tripping and also just relaxing round the pool. The Wifi was a godsend with three teenagers and the fridge by the pool a nice touch ! I now need to detox as I did maximise my enjoyment !! Thanks for a great holiday and making it a hassle free experience.
Clubb - July 2016

Felt close to God in this entrancing and peaceful place. Thank you so much.
Melanie - July 2015

What a great house! Breakfast on the balcony overlooking San Romano, lunch normally in Fiorella's courtyard, and dinner up by the pool! Loved the pizza oven, made pizza 4 or 5 times with varying degrees of success. Loved the pool and table tennis, even if it did get a bit competitive! Of the places we visited, Barga looked the nicest. Lucca was pretty, but busy. Great house, great holiday. Thank you.
The Taylors - July 2015

A fantastic location with beautiful views! Never been in a pool with such fantastic surroundings before! The caves (Grotta del Vento) are well worth a visit, as is Massa with a spectacular drive through the mountains. Madeleine especially enjoyed the coffee pot and Nathan the midnight swims in the moonlight. Thank you for letting us use your lovely house and great facilities.
Tom, Danielle & Olivia Peterson - August 2014

We had a wonderful time with these exceptional views and fabulous accommodation. Everyone could spread out in comfort and we don’t want to leave! Such a different Tuscany here, but beautiful with its character, mountains and villages. The views from the pool and bedroom balconies are exceptionally stunning! And wonderful facilities! We will tell everyone about this Tuscan gem!
The Street/Capel Families - July 2014

Casa al Colle will remain in our fondest memories for a long time to come. The villa, the views, the pool and the serenity are second to none. Being cyclists we particularly enjoyed the climb up to San Romano... Many thanks for opening up your house to us and showing us a completely different and stunning Tuscany! We will return!
The Cummings - July 2014

Thomas and Fiorella, we had a fantastic couple of weeks at your villa. There were eight of us the first week and ten the second. On Wednesday evening we saw the procession in the village of San Romano in honor of the village Saint, a very special occasion and we were made to feel very welcome by all the local people. We have been making the most of the gorgeous villa, brilliant pool, pizza oven, hundreds of new pool games have been invented, an Olympic table tennis tournament took place and a 21st birthday was celebrated in style! We have also enjoyed our fresh bread every morning from the village, will miss that at home! Thank you very much for both your phone calls, Thomas, we were made to feel very welcome and very much appreciated them. We would love to return one day! Don't cry because it's over...Smile because it happened!
Ben - August 2012

After spending a tiring two days trapped in a Citroen C8 traveling down from Brussels, what a joy to arrive at Casa al Colle. The view alone made the journey worthwhile and we all couldn't help but feel incredibly lucky that it would be ours for the next fortnight. Besides the surroundings we adored the splendid pool, barbecue and the general outside area. It provided the perfect setting in the evening, with the sunset and cool breeze, to enjoy the evening meal. It was the perfect place to escape from the stress and hassle of work and everyday life. Tomorrow we begin our journey home, if only we had more time....
The Bibbings and De Deyn Families - June 2012

The villa is fantastic, and the pool and all of the different eating areas with stunning views of San Romano really made our holiday that little bit more special. We could not have imagined that the villa would go beyond the expectations set by the pictures and hope that we will be lucky enough to visit again soon. Bethany, Steven Wells . And the house is just so well equipped!
Emily - June 2012

We had a lovely time and the villa was more than we had expected from the website. It was wonderful. The service and help from Daniel was excellent before we went and the local Italian team in the village were also very helpful and generous, as were the ladies in the village. The phone call to villa from the owners when we arrived and just before we left was also a nice touch and very personal. We would love to come back to the property again and would certainly recommend it and Cottages to Castles to friends.
Mr Hunt - July 2011

Our first holiday in Tuscany was most relaxing as well as enjoyable and the excellent accommodation at Casa al Colle played a significant part in our memorable holidays. The location of the Villa together with its high standard of facilities made the stay even more pleasurable and comfortable. The personnel, particularly Paola (house manager) and Roberto (gardener and pool caretaker) were extremely helpful and courteous. Assunta's Italian cooking made one exciting evening. We sincerely hope to return soon. Thomas, your personal call from Bogotà was deeply appreciated. It added a personal touch.
The Palet family - June 2011

A wonderful villa for a family holiday.
Mr Strong - July 2010

The villa was excellent, and to the standard outlined in the brochure. We had two lovely and relaxing weeks.
Ms Telfer - July 2010

We were absolutely delighted with the villa. It is very spacious and very well-equipped including WiFi. As can happen in the hills, we had a big storm which knocked out some of the electrics. But within two hours of reporting the problem, an electrician was organised by the housekeeper and all sorted. That was impressive.The village is beautiful and the locals are very welcoming.The villa has a fabulous pool and it is cleaned and checked every day.The drive from the main road up to the villa takes 9 minutes driving quite slowly and using horn at each bend. It is not a difficult drive and the road surface is good. Lucca is 40 mins away.We have had a magical experience and memories to last a lifetime.
Ann and John Butler - July 2010

We had a fabulous time in your lovely villa, which has one of the most stunning pool views in the world! Our memories will be: - Hair-raising driving - Glorious sunshine - Fabulous food and superb wine - Wild life: boar, bats and an amazing firefly demonstration! Hope to see Casa al Colle again, ciao!
The Galaty family - June 2010

Returned to Casa al Colle after a 7-year absence. This time we brought back both sets of parents and our two children. We are delighted to say that the house and the setting remain as tranquil and as accessible as they always were. Thank you, Fiorella and Thomas once again!
Mark and Sarah - April 2010

Our choice of Italian properties is diverse, ranging from simple charm to genuine luxury and style. Much of our portfolio is privately owned, and price alone is therefore not a universal guide. We contract all our accommodation in person, and each property has its individual appeal.

To help you make the right choice based on your own priorities, we have devised a simple grading guide to be considered in conjunction with each individual property description, awarding up to a maximum of five stars for the below categories.

Grading Help

Property Grading Key:

  • 5/5

    Excellent

  • 4/5

    Very good

  • 3/5

    Good

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  • Location

    4.5/5

    Position, view, serenity, privacy

  • Comfort

    4/5

    Space, style, overall furnishings

  • Facilities*

    3.5/5

    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*

    4/5

    Proximity to beach, restaurant and shops

* For further clarification on Facilities and Amenities, please view the 'Details' tab for each property or speak to one of our experienced sales consultants.

Tuscany gives you permission to indulge in life’s simple pleasures – world-famous wine, indulgent food and hours consumed by epic histories. Each of Tuscany’s ten provinces has its own unique personality, but wherever you stay, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a verdant patchwork of olive groves, cypress trees and vineyards. From the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence, to the narrow streets of hilltop San Gimignano, Tuscany makes for a stunning escape. 

To complete the picture, explore our collection of handpicked villas, boutique Simpson Hotels and charming apartments.

Read more on our Tuscany region page

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