Casa al Colle

Tuscany, Italy

  • 10
  • 5
  • 3
  • Elevated, spacious retreat
  • Stunning panoramic views
  • Comfortable interiors
  • Simpson family extras available
  • Shops/restaurants 15-minute 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 elevated, 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 she 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, but does host a local summer festival at the beginning of August. Barga, a 25-minute drive away is 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 both within a two-hour drive.

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.


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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 (no a/c) 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 except bunk bedroom
  • 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

Simpson family extras

  • Complimentary cot and highchair available
  • Car seats and booster seats can be provided at a supplement, subject to availability
  • To pre-book any of our family extras please call 020 8392 5747

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.

Access times

  • Check in time – 4-8pm
  • Check out time – 10am

Location

  • Fornaci di Barga (shops/restaurants) 25min drive
  • Borgo a Mozzano (shops/restaurants) 15min drive
  • Fornaci di Barga (shops/restaurants/ theatre) 20min drive
  • Bagni di Lucca 25min drive
  • Lucca 45min drive
  • Pisa 70min drive
  • Florence 1hr 45min 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 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
Birmingham Jet2 Saturday All season
East Midlands Jet2 Saturday June - September
Edinburgh Ryanair Saturday All season

Car hire

Although this property is booked on an accommodation-only basis, we can arrange car hire for you.

Based on the number of people travelling, the following hire car(s) are available:

  • 2 guests – 1 group B, Fiat 500 or similar*
  • 3 guests – 1 group C, VW Polo or similar*
  • 4 guests – 1 group D, Peugeot 308 or similar*
  • 5 guests – 1 group F, Fiat Tipo SW or similar*
  • 6 guests – 2 group C, VW Polo or similar*
  • 7 guests – 1 group C, VW Polo or similar, and 1 group D, Peugeot 308 or similar*
  • 8 guests – 2 group D, Peugeot 308 or similar*
  • 9 guests – 1 group D, Peugeot 308 and 1 group F, Fiat Tipo SW or similar*
  • 10 guests – 2 group F, Fiat Tipo SW or similar*

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

Car specifications

Group B – 1.2 litre engine, 2 medium suitcases*

Group C – 1.6 litre engine, 2 medium and 1 large suitcases*

Group D – 1.6 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

Group F – 1.6 litre engine, 3 large and 2 small suitcases*

The following cars are available as alternatives on request. Please call our travel specialists for details.

Group H – Alfa Romeo Giulietta AUT or similar, 1.6 litre engine, 3 large suitcases*

Group G – BMW Gran Tourer Station Wagon or similar, 1.6 litre engine, 3 large and 2 small suitcases*

* 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

What a fantastic holiday! The villa itself is nestled in outstanding landscape, the views are magnificent and it could not be any more peaceful. From the balconies our nightly ‘wildlife watch’ entailed sightings of multiple deer, owls, eagles, buzzards, foxes and bats. Huge thank you to everyone for looking after us so well. From Veronica’s friendly smile on arrival to Roberto’s great discretion while maintaining the pool/gardens every morning – we barely knew he was there. We cannot forget Assunta and her fabulous cooking – best restaurant in town and a massive privilege to taste such authentic Italian cuisine. All in all we absolutely loved our time spent in this ‘perla nascosta’ (hidden gem).
The Emmotts – July 2019

What a stunningly beautiful place – heaven! Long days by the pool, a trip to Lucca and Borga, plenty of wine and Assunta’s fabulous suppers is just what the doctor ordered.
Tom, Lianna, Henry & Emmeline – June 2019

Thank you, Thomas, for such a magical week in your beautiful Casa a Colle. The weather has been amazing, picking and harvesting olives has been an amazing and memorable experience. We loved exploring Barga. Assunta and Patties cooking was delicious. We even managed a few dips in your beautiful pool. We will be heading home very happy and with some wonderful memories. Thank you to veronica and Roberto also – delighted to be heading home with some of the first press. Many Thanks.
Tom, Bethany, Claude, Noah, Jilly, Miles & Jeff – October 2018

Had a lovely time – It’s a truly special place, so tranquil, beautiful long distance views and gorgeous sunsets. Especially loved the wide selection of well thought places to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. Loved the original features of the house and homely touches. Can’t recommend Lucca highly enough for a day trip. We’re very sad to be leaving such a wonderful place.
Mr & Mrs Smith – September 2018

After a cancelled flight and a very long drive from London, we made it to this beautiful location. Lovely days by the pool, trips to Lucca, Pisa and Florence. Recommend Marameo (thank you Thomas!) and Assunta’s pizza. Eagles, deer and baby fox – sad to be leaving for home already.
Tracy, John, Ben & Harry – July 2018

Wow! What a stunning place. Loved everything about the house. The pool, the terraces and all the nooks to explore. Thank you, Thomas, for keeping an eye on us and Assunta & Simone for the pizzas and Tuscan dinner. Florence was beautiful, Lucca was a gem and just being at Casa al Colle was the best bit by far. Thank you!
Andy, Mary, Kate, Nick & Catherine – July 2018

Perfect Villa, perfect hosts, thank you for your hospitality. This was our first trip to Tuscany and it exceeded all our expectations!
The Hampshire’s – June 2018

We have had a thoroughly enjoyable week in this wonderful villa with its spectacular scenery. We enjoyed the pool and table tennis. Pizza and lasagne evenings by the pool provided by Assunta was well worth it. Well worth a hiring bikes in Lucca and we all had a fun filled evening at Fattoria al Dotto. Casa al Colle Villa itself is fun to explore – there are many places to sit and marvel at the Vista! I am sure we will be back again!
The Aggarwall Family – June 2018

Thank you so much for an amazing two weeks! The house and surrounding country are so beautiful, we never got tired of waking up to the wonderful view. If you are reading this and you have toddlers, we highly recommend a day in Lucca – hire a bike and cycle around, there are a couple of playgrounds and plenty of places for ice-cream. Also, lots of wild strawberries around of you are up for some foraging – along the drive and by the pool are good places to start. Plus, mint and oregano along the footpaths. A wonderful holiday and we will be coming back!
The Exham Family – June 2018

Casa al Colle was rented for 10 friends and it was perfect. Everything was catered for and cooking facilities were excellent in the kitchen as well as the outside barbecue, pizza oven and fridge-freezer by the pool. There is plenty of room in the villa and there are breath-taking views from every window and balcony. The gardens are very well maintained, as is the pool. The fireflies which lit up the night time sky were a dream come true. We were also blown away the hospitality of Thomas, the villa owner.
Linda – June 2018

 

Thank you so much for providing a wonderful place for a much-needed family get together. Despite the rainy weather, we had a lovely stay and enjoyed exploring the area around San Romano, Lucca and Florence. We loved the scrabble, pick – up sticks and table tennis tournaments, as well as relaxing by the pool on the beautiful sunny days. We are all heading home very relaxed and very well fed! We thoroughly recommend Assunta’s cooking.
The Young Ones, The Goodman’s & The Speedstar – May 2018

A delightful week for two families in this lovely house. The pool has been much enjoyed by all but the wonderful surroundings have inspired at every turn. Thank you.
Robert, Victoria, James, Laura, Matthew, Alex & Henrietta – September 2017

Set in the most spectacular of locations, this villa really is a 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 conditioning 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 including wild boar, deer, lizards, golden eagle. A day trip to Pisa was well worth doing. Overall a wonderful holiday with lots of memories. Thanks.
Howard Family – August 2017

Sadly, heading home after a glorious week at Casa al Colle. We loved the pool and spent many hours playing and just enjoying the amazing views. The pizza oven is a must and Assunta and Pattie’s pizzas should not be missed. We recommend a day trip to Lucca and Pietrasanta. Look (and listen) out for Giovanni the ghiro. Our thanks to Veronica, Roberto and Assunta for their kind attentions and help during our stay at this lovely house.
Caroline, Lisa, Issy, Sian & Dilys – August 2017

Had a wonderful time in the 30-degree Tuscan sunshine. Had delicious ice-cream in Barga high street, only €1 each! Took a day out in Lucca. San Romano Village Hall was a great find, very cold beer, table football and lovely bar lady. Thanks for a beautiful stay.
Sarah, Steve, Hannah, Holly, Jim, Sandra, Richard, Gillian, Lou & Heather – August 2017

A lovely peaceful stay with the excitement (we think) of seeing a pair of Golden eagle’s hunting along the valley. A much needed rest after sightseeing in Florence and Lucca (do not miss!).
Alison, Mike, Elanor & Lydia – July 2017

Just heading home after a wonderful stay at Casa al Colle. What a stunning and quiet place. Our highlights included the pizza oven, which makes amazing pizza. You just need to stack it up with wood and let it heat for around 90 minutes and then go! The ice-cream shop on the outskirts of Bagni di Lucca is a must and lastly, Pietrasanta which is quiet and quaint. It is lovely for a leisurely walk and some lunch. Thanks to Veronica and Roberto for helping out around the house.
Jonny, Paul, Mandy, Shaun, Tim & Imogen – July 2017

Perfect week in every way from the tranquil, beautiful surrounding, the gorgeous sunshine, the stunning Italian countryside and the delicious food and wine. We loved nearby Barga where we ate at Caffe Capaetz and L’Osteria, both of which were superb. We had lots of fun using the pool and barbeque and were very impressed with our pizzas which we cooked in the pizza oven. We were very well looked after by Roberto and his family who provided a fantastic service and loved Casa al Colle and hope to be able to return in the not too distant future.
Susan, Tim, Michael, Harry & Hannah – May 2017

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:

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    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*

    4/5

    Property enhancements

  • Amenities*

    4/5

    Proximity to beaches, restaurants 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.

From the moment you arrive in Tuscany, you are invited to share in its grand passions and indulgent pleasures – world-famous wine, mouth-watering food and 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 or discover our Tuscan Wandering programme to truly immerse yourself in the local culture.


Explore our pre-bookable experiences in Tuscany


 

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