The Idyllic walks surrounding La Collina del Sole are worth exploring at your favorite, Villa rentals in Tuscany as discovered by Rachel Graham our first guest this season! Do check her photos on the Facebook page La-Collina-del-Sole as well as their fabulous Pizza making! We would recommend walking north to La Villa and Ceserana which belonged to the Este dynasty from Modena in the 1452; although they both belonged to the same principality they have long had an amicable rivalry going on.
LA VILLA With lovely views and a central plaza which many of the houses look onto. Both La Villa and Ceserana can be walked to by road going from La Collina del Sole to Fosciandora, then dropping down and right at the Casa Rosa, a bright pink house and following the well-trodden “Sentieri“or walkways which travels behind houses, down a ravine and up to the back entrance of La Villa follow through the village going down and left and you behold ….
CESERANA Of particular interest in Ceserana is the Rocca di Ceserana or the Fortress of Ceserana; You have a gorgeous view of it from La Collina del Sole the jewel among Holiday villas in Lucca, the Rocca di Ceserana is a Romanesque church of Saint Andrea, built on a stone outcrop, the fortress was an important Military garrison and stronghold in the XIII and XIV centuries, it was used to combat the “Salt Pirates” who inhabited the Apuane hills and in particular had their HQ in Fornovolasco. Salt whcih is used to purify our pool water [ whcih means you can open your eyes underwater with no stinging sensation !] was a very precious commodity in the middle ages as it was the only way of either preserving things or keeping them cool and therefore fresh for longer, Gelato which was invented in Florence durign the Renaissance, was dependent on the cooling properties of Salt. The fortress of Ceserana built on a stone outcrop, includes a cave which housed the locals during air raids in WWII and was re-opened in 2008. Going South just below La Collina del Sole one of the Villas for rent in Tuscany with great charm and character is Riana and Trepignana both of which belonged to the principality of Lucca.
RIANA & TREPIGNANA A lovely afternoon walk about 2.5 hour there and back, with lovely views. There is a tiny cafe and small shop in Riana. To get there walk down the sentiero on the South side of La Collina del Sole and keep walking down until you get to a tarmac road, depending of which path you took you might find yourself very close to the ….
SANTUARIO “Madonna delle Stelle” which has newly been reopened as a monastery in May 2012. On this site, stood a place of worship to the Virgin Mary in 1167. It is said to have been destroyed by an earthquake. The ruins were found in 1798 with a Fresco of the Madonna which dates back several centuries. On this site a new church was built and consecrated in 1827 and attracts pilgrims from many miles around.
Once you have passed the Santuario keep heading South to Riana entering via the car park make sure you have a good walk around it is a very unspoilt village, Once you are ready keep heading South upwards towards Trepignana on the tarmacked road, you will pass a very large building full of the bullet scars inflicted during WW II, keep going you will reach the very quiet and solitary village of Trepignana, From there you can take the road back or go cross country and go past a desolate stone garrison, and the hidden German HQ at the bottom of the ravine just by La Collina del Sole however please make sure you have a guide with you as it is very easy to get lost in the woods …………… like Little Red Riding Hood !
So we suggest you have Francesco to guide you the best way to contact him via his girlfriend Alina + 39 331 39 85 869 at firstname.lastname@example.org