how to make a pizza from scratch

A mangiare, the Italian way !

Feasting at La Collina del SoleItaly and Good Food are synonymous … Such a bonus if you are planning to rent a villa in Tuscany Italians know how to live well and eat well!  As we chose the location to be among the Holiday villas in Lucca one of the main considerations was an abundant choice of Truffles, Funghi Porcini and fresh pasta all of which are super abundant in the area around Lucca Villa Rental  another  consideration was award winning restaurants that are reasonably priced … think fresh sliced truffle topped fresh angel hair pasta for £15, or an amazing grilled steak, thankfully the Villas for rent in Tuscany that we chose had a comprehensive list of recommended restaurants  Our favourites in the area of Villa rentals in Tuscany were casa A Feastdel Pescatore, Boninis, Il Ponte di Ceserana with a fabulous fish menu on fridays and Pozzo, others in the villa handbook of La Collina del Sole were Butterfly , Triti, Aia di Piero whcih is also the best Italian speciality delicatessen in the entire region, La Bottega del Fattore,  Osteria Vecchio Mulino where they also do Olive Oil and wine tasting sessions, La Ceragetta, Antica Locanda di Sesto where Pavarotti was a frequent diner,  Trattoria 4 Leoni where Al Pacino likes to hang out when in Forence.La Collina del Sole also has a FABULOUS catering team that either bring you a feast from Pizza making at La Collina del Soletheir suggested menu to eat so all you have to enjoy no washing up either!  or they can leave you a ready prepared meal, with freshly picked ingredients and freshly cooked for you to enjoy at your leisure, they can teach to you cook “ a la Italiana”  or they can show you how to prepare and cook a true Italian Pizza from scratch which is a real Pizza Experience  !

The feedback of guests is fabulous on the Pizza experience as it is on the fabulous feasts form the suggested menus prepared by Maria and her team. Guests at La Collina del Sole FOODMain ImagePizza Oven in full swingMINI

Old Fashioned amusement for children and … Narnia visits La Collina del Sole

Thinking ahead ? looking to rent a villa in Tuscany or checking out the Holiday villas in Lucca  are there children or grandchildren in the party? do you wonder what they might like to do at the villas for rent in Tuscany  ? Well at La Collina del Sole they have come up with a few ideas while you relax and enjoy Lucca Villa Rental and  make the most of a break at Villa rentals in Tuscany  - La Collina del Sole has a long list of “only in Italy” experiences, and a well-researched list of favourite Restaurants and Pizza places as well as a favourite food and Ice Cream shops and recreational activities.Narnia at La Collina del Sole SDSC00110First up anytime is good to visit La Collina del Sole, whether winter, spring, summer or autumn there is a huge variety of activities in winter sledging, snowman building and toasting marshmallows in the fireplace, at Lucca Villa Rental there is no television,  which to many might seem a hindrance however once the abundance of activities is discovered the annoying intrusion of the television is gladly left at home, and the fun begins ! award winning infinity pool in different seasonsFirst call is what can be done at the villa which is in 2 acres of fenced and terraced vineyards, so ideal to play hide and seek, cowboys and Indians or even “battle” games there are water guns available upon request  other suggestions are: o    Swimming & pool based activities like playing ball, diving etc o    Ball games in the flat parts of the vineyard lacollinadelsole1o    Badminton rackets available upon request o    Hide & seek as mentioned above it has provided with endless hours of fun for young ones of all ages o    Learning how to make a Pizza from scratchPizza making at La Collina del Sole o    Learning Italian as a second language o    Having a Pic Nic within the grounds o    Learning how to make Italian pasta from scratch o    Having al fresco meals  with outside catering o    Watching the swallows dive in the pool to have baths and a drink o    BBQ evenings - there is a wood burning BBQ in the terrace o    CaWalking in the Woods Fosciandoramping (bring your own tent) the older young quite like to stay out and camp with the option of coming indoors if it gets too scary !

•    Activities in the neighbourhood without using a car o    Exploring ruined mill which was a WWII bunker and headquarters within the Gothic Line o    Exploring the walkways from La Collina del Sole to La Villa and then onto the medieval fortress church of Ceserana and walking back up to La Colllina del Sole o    Walking to Maria Chiaras bar 20 -30 minutes’ walk they have a lovely veranda sitting area they also do lovely Coffee. Ice creams and drinks and of course sweets ! o    Exploring Fosciandora the local village village, going to the swings and climbing frame plus discovering the tame goats ! Such FUN o    Green lane walMari Chiara Terrace Bar Miglianok to a second café in Riana

•    Day trips o    Beach at Forte di Marmi o    Fortezza hunting there are marvellous restored Medieval  fortresses at Cartelnuovo de Grafagnana the local town and the Verrucole which is impressive o    Abandoned village & lake (swimming, boating & fishing) about 40 minutes drive there is also THE most amazing restaurant it is La Casa del Pescatore they serve truffles and Funghi Porcini  at crazily low prices so adults can enjoy the outing too !Marble quarry Entrance o    Visiting an abandoned Marble quarry o    Visiting Bears at the Orecchiella Natural Park o    Eco Refugio Il Robbio for lunch after a 30 minute walk which is in the Carrara Marble Hills o    For a longer walk you can visit the Gothic Line bunkers and look out posts [ 30 minute drive and 2 hour walk] o    Grotta del Vento caves with Stalagmites and Stalactites and different length of visits with an intriguing shop with semiprecious  stones and fossils that can be bought very reasonably , the owner has written several guide books of the area. Monte Forato 2o    Longer walks to see the Monte Forato

•    Sports o    Tennis (open and covered courts) o    Riding (paddock & trekking)

•    Night life o    Italians love the pasegiatta so nightlife is for the whole family, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana has wonderful cafes and pizzerias which are buzzing in the cool evening air. During the late Spring through to early autumn there is an explosion of street parties and dances for the whole family, evenings with banner throwing demonstrations, dancing displays, art and hand-craft displays and even cheese round throwing competitions! o    Medieval themed evenings in at least 3 local towns held throughout the summer o    Jazz festivals in local towns 25  and 65 minutes’ drive away

So what are you waiting for???  Visit  La Collina del Sole for a well deserved holiday Garfagnana is still unspoilt by tourism and Italians LOVE children. La Collina del SOle Pool

Let it snow …Let it snow … Let’s think of the sun !

If you, like me, are sitting looking at the snow gently falling from a leaden sky; although I  admire its beauty,  my heart longs for those lazy summer days soaking in the gentle late lacollinadelsole1afternoon sun.  So feeling like a little escapism I searched for Villas for rent in Tuscany and in particular Holiday Villas in Lucca and alight on La Collina del Sole a beautiful Lucca Villa Rental with every facility you could want; from an award winning Salt Water infinity swimming pool,  to a floor plan that allows you to  plan ahead and bag the best room !  This Villa rentals in Tuscany has it all from Experiences like trekking along the Carrara marble hills to learning how to cook like Mamma, learning how to make a Pizza from scratch,  joining in the Wine making,  learning Italian and watching the swallows have the bedtime drink, when you rent a villa in Tuscany you really want it to be like this ! award winning infinity pool in different seasons So here is what impressed me they have a list of favourite restaurants with feedback testimonials that back the choice and even give further suggestions, all the people who have stayed at La Collina del Sole have left heartfelt and happy reFOODMain Imageviews.

They also have a section we love Bars Patisseries and Ice Cream right up my street with places to laze with a glass of prosecco and watch the world go by in the summer,  or as I am jolted back into the reality of snow,  a fab warm Ponche de Mandarino a warm alcoholic beverage that tastes like rich mandarins in syrup when added with a spot of exotic cinnamon and a slice of lemon perfect !

There is a section devoted to we love Food where directions are givelacollinadelsole21n to find the best local Italian Specialities like Funghi Porcini, TRUFFLES and a truly local speciality all things made with Chestnut, like chestnut pasta, chestnut bread, chestnut flour, chestnut cake even Chestnut marmalade  all especially delicious setting by the roaring fire with a nice tumbler of Ponche al mandarino

Hey Italy is good in summer AND winter  !