Cinghiale or wild boar Pappardelle recipe… Good things take a long time coming

PastaThis recipe is a speciality of the local area for La Collina del Sole an outstanding Lucca villa rental situated in the heart of the chestnut wood area of Garfagnana a region rich in experiences and activities, with beautiful places of interest that you can explore while enjoying your holiday villas in Lucca The mountains afford world class climbing, and mountain recreation like walking; a real treat in the heat of the summer when you rent a villa in Tuscany as the usual villas for rent in Tuscany have flatter surroundings. Here you find a rich landscape that changes with every passing hour … ideal to just sit and “chill” at your villa rentals in TuscanyThe recipe for cinghiale sauce requires time and skill and can feed 10 to 25 people. Whether you try your hand at it, get one of our chefs to cook it for you, or just order pappardelle al cinghiale at a local restaurant, this recipe reveals the work that goes into this seemingly simple Tuscan treasure. The sauce: start with a fresh cut of wild boar, and leave to age for at least three days at O degrees Centigrade. Bone out the leg parts and cut off what little fat you will find. Cut the ribs into chops and set aside to make the stew. Cut half of the meat into large squares and place in a big pot with lots of sprigs of freshly picked rosemary, sage, bay, peppercorns and parsley stalks. Dice up vegetables in the same manner: red onions, the white part of some leeks, celery, and a small quantity of carrots and add to the huge pot. Add lashings of good Tuscan red wine until it covers the cinghiale. You should work on 2/3 meat, 1/3 vegetables ratio, and for every two bottles of wine add one cup of olive oil. Leave the stew to rest in the fridge for two days, stirring when possible to help marinate all the flavours. Throw in a few peppercorns and juniper berries for good measure. After a couple of days drain off the liquid and set aside. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan and throw in a good amount of olive oil-then double it. Sautè the cinghiale and vegetables. This step can be done in stages, so you don't stew the meat, but brown it. Once all the meat has been browned, throw everything into the pot, adding the liquid marinade and a small amount of tomato pulp. Bring to a boil and simmer very slowly for at least four hours. Season with salt and taste for flavour and then smother you chosen pasta with the sauce. To accompany go for an aged pecorino cheese (not parmesan) and a bottle of Piastraia Bolgheri Rosso DOC Michele Satta which beautifully accompanies the rich, intensely gamey taste of the wild boar.If you would like other wine suggestions contact us and we or our freind Andrea at il Vecchio Mulino will be deligthed to help Enjoy! 360DegreefromPool

Fancy a Walk … ?

If you are looking to walk while you Rent a villa in Tuscany, be it a gentle stroll through vineyard fields or a rugged mountaineering, La Collina del Sole is situated in a part of the world which is well known not only for its Villa rentals in Tuscany but also for its wonderful walks, people come from all over Europe and internationally to enjoy the fantastic scenery that is on offer.La Collina del Sole one of the jewels within the Holiday villas in Lucca is surrounded by extremely beautiful walks of all kinds, we have rugged mountains, the Orechiella  National Park nearby, the Tuscan Emilian Apenine National Park, the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps which is the view from La Collina del Sole Also this particular area with few excellent Villas for rent in Tuscany you find Carrara marble quarries both disused and in use, and many picturesque walks with “Refugios” to eat at or stay in. you will always find small reminders of Italian culture whether in derelict villages, shrines off the beaten track or remote churches.

We have very close to La Collina del Sole home, a fully accredited guide who can take you on walking tours in our immediate vicinity as well as longer tours in our marvellously rugged mountain ranges and valleys.  You can visit Ceserana, La Villa, Fosciandora and Lupinaia, Riana and Trepignana all beautiful medieval fortresses whcih until very recently were the crucial outposts of 5 principalities, the reason they were so crucial was that for many it was the route to access salt,  used in preserving meats essential in the middle ages through to very recent history, and for keeping things cool, Gelato [ ice cream] invented by the Italians would never have kept cool without the help of salt !   Francesco is an expert in the local plants, habitat and animals,  his partner Alina speaks perfect English.  To contact Francesco Pierotti call Telephone +39 320 41 31 901, if you only speak English then call Alina D’Amelia  Francesco’s English speaking girlfriend at + 39 331 39 85 869 their  e-mail is

You could visit wonders further afield like Isola Santa walk around the area and take advantage of the yummiest restaurant in the area with Gabrielles cooking, or choose to REALLY go climbing and reach the heights of Mount Sumbra   or Pania della Croce .  or the Alpi di Sant Antonio and eat at la betulla.

There is the most awesome variety of walks and beautiful locations. For recent history fans you can visit WWII  disused bunkers pointing to the sea or sections of the famous Gothic Line  which kept the Germans separated from the Allies for one year.  To walking the old walkways or thoroughfares whcih date from medieval times if not before ! and criss cross this beautiful region linking old abandoned villages and thriving villages, disused  Frontier points , garrisons, churches and monasteries, A lovely Hermitage which can be visited AND does Amazing food is the Eremo de Calomini

For further information on Trekking you can contact the tourism coordinating centre [Centro di coordinamento de Turismo ] in the Piazza delle Erbe 1, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. Tel 0583 65169 Open from 9AM – 1PM and 3-7PM from June to September and 9-1AM and 3 - 5.30PM from October to May. They have a good selection of maps both free and for sale, which will show the local towns, the official footpaths and Refugios where you can eat and stay, plus a list of guides and recommended routes.  A different contact is Antonella Polli at Telephone 0583 65 169 of Garfagnana Vacanze located on Piazza delle Erbe #1