As a new year commences we look at all things new:Babies ! are WELCOME at La Collina del Sole - the best run villa rentals in Tuscany, where babies under the age of one are free with cots, highchairs, toys and a playpen provided. Carin’s review of the Holiday villas in Lucca where she stayed with her family says it all, Lucca Villa Rental ticked all the boxes; it was clean, super friendly and fully equipped, she will be suggesting La Collina del Sole to all her friends. Another joy when you rent a villa in Tuscany in the spring is the new buds, the area around villas for rent in Tuscany has masses of wild flowers, wisteria, azaleas and camellias
And as we are in winter … New laid snow ! Tuscany is not an area that one would normally consider for winter sports, yet there are some very good resorts offering skiing, snowboarding, snowshoe or Nordic walking, and ice skating.
Our favourites are: Abetone - one of the better known and largest winter sports resort in Tuscany, located in the province of Pistoia. It has over 50 kilometres of runs and 22 ski lifts, it comprises four valleys. Abetone with its bars, restaurants, shops, hotels and markets is a hub of activity. The main ski areas are Val di Luce, Valle dello Scoltenna, Valle del Sestaione and Val di Lima. An 18 kilometre circuit is available for cross-country skiing and snow shoe or Nordic walking, and a snow park for snowboarders. There are dozens of snow machines to ensure snow coverage. Restaurants abound and there is also a children’s snow play area. The Scuola Sci Montegomito offers equipment hire and a ski and snow boarding school. Equipment hire is also available from shops in the resort. To get to Abetone, head towards Bagna di Lucca, either via Lucca or Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and then make for the border with Emilia Romagna on the SS12.
Cimone is 2,265 metres high and the highest point in the northern Apennines located in Emilia Romagna. It has more than 50 km of linked trails, 31 slopes, and 21 ski lifts. It has two snow parks for snowboarders. Its snow-making equipment guarantees that almost two-thirds of the slopes have snow. Cimone can be reached by taking the A324 from Abetone
Corno alle Scale in Emilia Romagna due North of La Collina del Sole With six ski and drag lifts in total, it offers 36 kilometres of trails and a snow park for snowboarders. It also has two cross-country routes. It offers equipment hire and a ski school. To get there; head for the SS64 either from Bagna di Lucca or Pistoia. Follow it past Porretta Terme, turn left to Silla and take the SP324 to the resort. Alternatively take the SP324 from Abetone.
Cutigliana in Tuscany is a small resort not suitable for beginners. It is located 8 kilometres from Abetone and has 15 kilometres of trails as well as a 5 kilometre cross country section, it has two ski lifts and three drag lifts. Cutiglianao is on the SS12 on the way to Abetone.
Fiumalbo in Emilia Romagna is another small resort situated in Parco Frignano not far from Abetone. It has three drag lifts and five slops for intermediate and advanced skiers. Equipment hire is available, including snowboards, snowshoes, cross-country skis, and toboggans. There is a snow park for snowboarders, which is illuminated at night. To reach Fiumalbo, follow the SS12 from Abetone in the direction of Emilia Romagna.
Cerreto Laghi is on the border of Emilia Romagna in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine National Park. It has ski lifts and a snow making machine. It offers around 30 kilometres of pistes, of varying in difficulty. You can ski, snowboard or cross-country ski. There is a ski school and an indoor ice rink for skating. Equipment can be hired on site. To reach Cerreto Laghi you take the SS63 towards Fivizzano. For full information, directions, the latest weather and webcams, visit the website.
So we invite you to sign along Snow lay … deep and crisp and even ….