4 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1 shower room
Location: Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps
Saturday to Saturday rentals. House may be rented for 8, with a surcharge.
Having crossed the village of Fivizzano, in the heart of Lunigiana, if you head down the valley through the woods, you will come to a charming hidden corner, seemingly tucked away in time. Opposite a large mill that once used the water of a nearby stream there is an ancient stone bridge, known locally as the "Roman Bridge", whose strength and graceful arch recalls a long and fascinating history. Leave your car at the bridge and walk across to reach the large stone house that waits on the other side. Still a ruin when the present owner fell in love with it, 20 years have been dedicated to completing its restoration and its present look is the result of unconditional love and impassioned labour.
Though the foundations, the roof and some interior walls have been completely redone, great pains were made to maintain its original appearance. The grounds of the property rise on three easily reached levels towards the hillside through which an ancient stone path is nowadays used by the occasional hiker. Close to the house, the swimming pool has both sun and a view of the mill, while on a higher level there is a small patio, furnished for eating alfresco or relaxing with a good book.
The owner has chosen to keep interiors simple and sparsely furnished, choosing details with care each visit he makes, and this, accompanied by the solid walls and the glimpses of wilderness through the windows has translated into a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for its visitors. The entrance is on the ground floor, leading to a comfortable living room with sofas and a piano (Baby Grand Piano unlocked on request), and double bedroom with adjoining shower room. This large double bedroom also has a door to a sunny terraced part of the garden, with a shaded pergola and dining table. The first floor is reached by an open stone staircase but, as the house follows the contours of the hillside, can also be reached by an entrance door higher up the hill. On this floor are an eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom that serves them all. While two of the bedrooms are of modest size, a third is large and luminous and has sky-blue walls that evoke the Nature outside its windows. Also on this floor is a cosy corner at the top of the stairs, with a dining table, chairs, a small sofa and lots of books and magazines.
The house is perfect for people seeking a country holiday, where they can savour a simple life, the sun, the trees and and walks in an area of Tuscany that is still quite undiscovered.
The Lunigiana is situated in the north of Tuscany, among the Appenine and Apuane mountains and the Ligurian Sea. Taking its name from the ancient Roman settlement of Luni, this is a land of passage where the charm of the Middle Ages is strongly felt - in the castles belonging to the powerful Malaspina family that once hosted Dante, in the Romanesque country churches or the mighty walls of Medici Carpigliola and in the elegant tower built by the bishops of Luni. It is a borderland where different cultures have mixed and you can feel this in the landscape, in the languages and in the traditional food of the area. Throughout the centuries people crossed this land as pilgrims or soldiers or merchants, for it is the initial part of the Tuscan Via Francigena. Nowadays, old paths have become trekking ways that wind among castles, isolated towers and fortresses or green valleys and silent hills. There is certainly room for new pilgrims.
What a wonderfully relaxing holiday we had at Ponte Romano. Nestled at the bottom of the valley below the walls of the town of Fivizzano proved a great location from which we spent a very relaxing fortnight. The house had everything we needed and Brian provided us with some great information about the town which enabled us to make the most of our time there. The walk up the hill to the town kept us all fit. The Agritourismo up in the hills outside Fivizzano – Al Vecchio Tino - near Monzone was the best meal we had and again recommended by Brian. The amazing views were worth the drive up.
We loved the gelataria on the main square and we tried (and very much enjoyed) the food at all three restaurants in Fivizzano. Other highlights included a day at the Equi Terme sulphur pool and a day long eBike ride around the Cinque Terre with the amazing Sigeric company and their guide Franco. We left their details in the house because while not cheap it was worth every penny.
The whole of this northern Italian region is very unspoilt and we would highly recommend Ponte Romano to anyone.
Wauw' it was so nice. The big house with all the different bedrooms, Pink,Moroccan, Blue etc., we liked the names! We appreciated your involvement, you made us all very happy.
A quiet location with a very private pool. Our holiday was at the hight of an exceptionally hot summer and there was always somewhere to sit in the shade and watch lizards playing in the sunshine. The local town with a range of places to eat was a short distance away and there were walks to be had from the door, including to the spring to collect drinking water (the tap water was fine to drink too) and explore the river. The villa was well stocked with a quirky lay out, there cant be many villas on the books which boast their own bridge! Bryan the owner was avaiable when needed and really helpful. For a family with teenagers (us) or children this was great. Why wouldnt you want to stay here? Well if you had mobility problems there are lots of stairs and uneven surfaces. For similar reasons I wouldnt want to take a toddler here either as they would need more supervision than in other properties.
'I so vividly remember my own childhood spent in Tuscany - another place another time, but what has remained since then are memories so warm and full of scents and light - it has been a special gift my parents have given me.
Back then I remember how time would stretch into an endless period of joy. How weirdly fantastic it is now 30 years later I have a chance to pass on that gift to my own son, giving him an unforgettable time in an incredible place.
For us adults it was a week in which time stopped for a minute. That minute which you need to catch your breath and then dive back into life's madness.
For our kids it was their summer and will become a memory which will travel with them throughout the years to come. And what a pleasant one it was!
Arrived Saturday 1st September 2017 to beautiful weather which continued all week. Great time had by all. Great food, great wine and amazing midday lunches. Lovely cooling swims in the pool.