OK enough FOOD let’s see the SEA [ Part One ]

When you rent a villa in Tuscany if one of your aims is to get a decent tan, you will know that salt water and constantly hydrated skin plays a big part in obtaining the perfect sun kissed look. At your favourite Villa rentals in Tuscany a.k.a La Collina del Sole  the pool is a salt water pool…so not only are you able to open your eyes underwater with no stinging but also get a golden colour into the bargain.  Having established that one of the requirements when you are looking for Holiday villas in Lucca or Villas for rent in Tuscany  is the sun and salt water and having sunbathed in luxury with marble sunbeds and no crowds in Lucca Villa Rental  if you fancy a change of scene we recommend … FORTE DE MARMI The English translation for” Forte de Marmi  “is “Marble Fort” and is west of La Collina del Sole , at the foothills of the Carrara marble hills, it is on the sea and marble is the material of choice, Armani has a villa here, as do many politicians, Andrea Bocelli lives here. A few years back the main Agnelli house on the beach with its underground passage was bought by and annexed to the Augustus Hotel Resort to provide further accommodation, a great place to have a drink or delicious meal. If you like the beach, then look no further than this beach resort town. As the Augustus only lets paying hotel guests take the sun here, if you are passign by you can find a very small public beach, or better still it is best to pay to have your spot in the sun There is a particularly nice Beach spot called Sud Est, run by the same family for years now, the current owner is Flavio Giannotti they also cook delightful food and delicious salads.  Please call and book beforehand, 0584 80 846 as smart Italian families take their spot for a whole week, and you might be able to book for a slot between one family and the next. If you prefer to travel further afield ther is:

LERICI The nearby Ligurian coast is absolutely stunning and well worth a visit. The Golfo dei Poeti (the Gulf of Poets) is where Byron and Shelley both lived. The main town, is delightful with its fish market, castle and excellent fish restaurants.

From Lerici you can take a boat to Portovenere across the bay and walk around this gorgeous town. Portovenere which is translated as the Port of Venus due to its beauty, is where you can walk through the town to the ancient church and castle and Byron’s grotto – a good place from which to swim and picnic.  There are also boats from here to the famous Cinque Terre.

Round the corner from Lerici on the road to Tellaro, there is a public beach at Fiascherino – there are steps down to this charming little beach with a café / bar where you can rent sun beds etc. Tellaro, a charming picturesque fishing village hosts as you would expect many excellent fish restaurants.

The Festas to look out for this week are: On the 23 of July the yearly Photographic exhibition starts in the nearest main town for La Collina del Sole in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Barga on the 24 to 25 July just south of us has the celebration to its patron saint San Cristoforo Sagra dei Maccheroni  from 25 to 29 July in Sillicagnana north of La Collina del Sole.

Sagra delle Crisciolette traditional bread made with are made with hard and soft wheat flour, this festa is held in Cascio where there is a tiny garrison as the centre piece of the Piazza. From 27 to 29 July. Shopping in the evening and other singing entertainment at Fornaci di Barga  “ Fornaci in Canto “ on the 27-29 July, this is quite fun to relax in the cool of the night after a relaxing day by the pool at your favourite Lucca Villa Rental A very special and unusual festa is one given for the Madonna dei cavatori   or the workers in the marble quarries, it is held in Minucciano from the 28 to 29 of July, people often stay the night in tents, the “miners” have historically lived a dangerous profession, there used to be many deaths a year, thankfully that is no longer the case, but MInucciano ‘s homes use marble as if it were gravel ... Silico  hosts I Banditti dell’Ariosto all’ora di cena on 28 July  this is a medieval themed evening with the town and inhabitants “dressed up” as a bandits lair in the time of Ariosto, a fun meal is to be had. If you are too tired to go you can always see the town brightly lit up from the Pizza Oven terrace at La Collina del Sole Camporgiano starts its folkloric festival with Mexican dancers and tango dangers on 29-30 of July The Festa del Baccala in OUR OWN village Fosciandora on the 28 of July, it is just a few minutes walk from La Collina del Sole If you prefer Pork Chiozza is hosting the Sagra della Porchetta from the 28-29 of July If you have a sweet tooth then Sagra della Torta is for you in Molazzana, 28-29 July For a traditional Festa check out Camporgiano on the 29 of July for the Fiera di Sant’Anna More seaside and partying next week Arrivederci !