On your doorstep in Tuscany
There is much more, in the way of a local guide, in the photo book and "Sent from my iffone" available to our guests, post-contract. But here are some brief examples of what you would be able to do during your stay, should you so choose.
The Tuscan Riviera
The villa lies within 9 miles of the coast of the Tirrenian Sea.
Within an easy drive are Viaréggio, Forte dei Marmi and Pietrasanta, the most fashionable beach resorts of the Tuscan Riviera. Beaches, bars, restaurants galaore. A great day out for the family.
Within easy day trip distance from the villa, Florence's reputation hardly needs re-stating. Just wander the beautiful mediaeval and renaissance streets, drift into the Duomo, bask in front of Botticellis in the Uffizi, proceed across the Ponte Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti, and dare you omit Michelangelo's David, and Dante? We can arrange tours. Think of winter stays with us for serious travel experiences: no queues!
The Cinque Terre are five villages on the Tirrenian coast, just into Liguria north of La Spezia, about 75 mins drive from the villa. Here, the coastline comprises precipitous cliffs with dramatic and rugged vistas over the shimmering sea. A coastal trail (as well as a series of railway stations) links all five villages, with some walks demanding, others easier. Whether you choose a tough or an easy walk, lunch afterwards is always a pleasure...
The Tuscan coastline also has plenty of places for boating, sailing, fishing etc. All within an easy drive of your villa. We can help you charter a sailing yacht, or put you in touch with operators of other facilities.
Although you can say that you have 'seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa' just by staying at the villa, Pisa merits at least a morning's visit. As well as that tower, the cathedral and baptistry are amazing (try the echo in the latter...). Also enjoy the city architecture and mediaeval streets that lead to the stunning city centre reaches of the river Arno. We can organise tours for you. Also to nearby Livorno, the 'Venice' of Tuscany.
We often have guests who stay at Villa Macario for several weeks, using it as a base for occasional trips to major Italian destinations outside Tuscany. We can organise brief or longer apartment stays for you in Rome, where you can soak up the history and excitement of Italy's imperial capital city, and the incredible treasure of St Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museums. We can also arrange tours. The best time to do this is outside the main summer season.
There are 7 golf courses within about an hour's drive from your villa. Don't forget to bring your handicap card, nor forget that Italy has the best 19th holes in the world! On our recommended list are:
- Versilia (Forte dei Marmi)
- Tirrenia (Pisa airport, 9 shady holes)
- Ugolino (Florence, one of Italy's oldest)
- Poggio dei Medici (north of Florence)
We can help you arrange tee times, and also arrange lessons with our pro.
Pausing en route for a walk around the high-towered mediaeval city of San Gimignano, arrive in Siena in time for lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the Campo (scene of the famous Palio horse race, featured in a recent Bond movie). Then wander into the amazing monochrome marble cathedral and enjoy other treasures in this amazing hilltop city, with its famous soft-pink stone. We can arrange guides.
Who can resist a visit to 'La Serenissima', glorious with its misty patchwork of canals, palazzos, walkways, churches, bridges, museums, gondolas and restaurants? And surely it is only appropriate that, here, the mundanity of the word 'bus' is replaced with the ethereal 'vaporetto'? We have a special relationship with the charming owner of a beautiful apartment with 7 windows over canals close to St Mark's Square, who is also a tour guide. Wonderful in winter.
Learn how to cook Italian - pizzas to pomodori to pasta to pesce - from a real Italian!! Our instructor is a local chef, who brings everything to the villa, teaches for the morning and you enjoy a superb lunch. And you will have plenty of more that you have made, to enjoy over the next days. You will also take everything you have learnt home so you can do it yourself, reliving your memories and refining your techniques.
The only mediaeval city in Italy with its entire walls intact, Lucca has been dubbed as the largest open-air museum in the world. Full of museums, towers, churches, cafés, bars, ice cream shops, restaurants and elegant piazzas, plus St Martin's cathedral, Lucca is also famous for its annual comic fair (November) and as the birthplace and home of Puccini, whose operas are performed open air in the summer at nearby Torre del Lago. We can arrange tours. 'Happy" in Lucca
Restaurants & Bars
There a many restaurants and bars within a short drive of the villa, some of which may also be reached by hikes through vineyards and olive groves. These range from Michelin starred and 'Bib Gourmand' establishments, through traditional central Lucca favourites, to local trattorias and pizza houses. In addition, please do not miss the incredible value of the wonderful meat of San Macario's famous butcher's bistro, Il Ciancino. We can help you book...
Sample our 'local secrets' restaurant guide, issued post-contract...