So what is it about "La Dolce Vita"

Well for starters it starts when you are inmersed in all things Italy !For us it is all about having lived at La Collina del Sole for the last 23 years it is the people and places around us which have made it the most welcoming of Holiday Villas in Lucca For those staying at the jewel among Villa rentals in Tuscany and NOT wanting to get into a car, we thought you might enjoy a little review of things and services which are a short walking distance from the Villa. First of all La Collina del Sole is unique among Villas for rent in Tuscany as it commands THE most marvellous views of the Carrara Marble hills, now had Michelangelo lived here he would have created many more sculptures as he insisted on choosing the marble chunks himself. So without moving a muscle you are already enjoying one of the top delights of the area.

ALSO this is MAY which is when you get to see the fireflies in fields all around La Collina del Sole, it looks almost like a subdued and silent discotheque. The weather is almost always PERFECT not too hot, and cool in the evening

The second attraction is the people, churches and amenities La Collina del Sole is just outside the village of Fosciandora  which has a church and many “ sentieri ” or footpaths which criss-cross the hills. Fosciandora’s first inhabitants date back to Etruscan times.

This entire area was fiercely fought over by the principalities of Lucca, Pisa, Florence and the Este dynasty from Modena, in the 15th century, so there is plenty to explore.  In 1452 the principality of Lucca ruled over Lupinaia, Riana and Trepignana, these are above and to the south of La Collina del Sole and the Estes of Modena ruled over La Villa and Ceserana which are to the North of our Villa.

First off we must cover  the bare necessities of Food, clothing, communication and medicines all of which are in Migliano a relatively modern town by Italian history standards it is a 15 minute walk downhill.

Food  - Moscardini Mari Chiara’s  a Bar and General Shop in Via Roma, Migliano, Telefone 0583 66 20 32 if you walk on the road follow directions to Migliano, Mar Chiara’s is next door to our Town Hall, if you walk cross country which will require a good pair of trainers, follow the  pathway just outside the villa going left and follow through the village of Fosciandora and continue downhill keeping the Migliano church tower in view. Mari Chiara carries a handy selection of general food items like cheese, cold meats, tinned food, fresh bread, ice cream, home grown vegetables and fruit and it is a café. The Town Hall houses the Post office should you need it Downhill a little more you will find our local  Farmacia Lemmi , Via Roma 7,Migliano. Telefone 0583 66 22 09.  Pharmacies on the whole sell a whole range of antibiotics over the counter, and as trained pharmacists can offer a great deal of useful advice.

Our local Pharmacy or “Farmacia Lemmi” is located in Migliano, below the offsite car park, it is clearly signposted. It is part of the Lemmi group of Pharmacies it has a very good selection of traditional medicines  & homeopathic remedies and can obtain most things within 6 hours, from their sister Pharmacy in Castelnuovo. They are very friendly.  Opening hours 9 -1.30 and 3.30 – 7pm.

Now for the last “Bare Necessity” Clothes by Rossi Maria Gemma on Via Roma, Migliano This wee shop offer clothes and gifts, Maria has a handy selection of clothes and underwear for men, women and children. Maria runs this shop with her daughter Gessica; they also have a selection of beautifully hand-stitched items like baby clothes, kitchen linen and other gifts. They sell lovely handmade fresh lavender linen fresheners -  highly recommended for yourself or as gifts, the owners are super kind !

Now for a spot of culture If you take the sentiero down from La Collina del Sole you get to The Santurio dell Santa Stella which was re-commisioned on Sunday 6th of June 2012 as a monastery having been used only as a church for a couple of decades. On this site in 1167 stood a place of worship to the Virgin Mary, it was 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 has attracted pilgrims from many miles around.

Going uphill from La Collina del Sole is Lupinaian with its fortified walls date back to 1616 This was a bastion of the principality of Lucca with amazing views it is a lovely walk on the road and cross country. Above Lupinaia are the Prade Garfagnine which can be reached by foot by local Sentieri, these Prade are the home to many Funghi Porcini, and many visitors come from afar to collect the precious mushrooms. You will notice that the cuisine of the area has Funghi as a central ingredient.

The Prade have wonderful views and quiet meadows. If you walk up to Lupinaia by the sentieri  you will walk through the hidden “Pradi di Lupinaia” full of terraced agriculture.  Calm tranquil. Idyllic photo below ! We would recommend also walking North to La Villa and Ceserana which belonged to the Este dynasty from Modena in the 1452, or you could walk South to Riana and Trepignana which belonged to the principality of Lucca, however for insights into these towns we will have to go to the enxt blog this one is getting too long ! So if you want to Rent a Villa in Tuscany choose La Collina del Sole  !