A simple stone house and an ancient Roman bridge with fairy tale charm
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 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 piano, 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.
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.
We stayed in Ponte Romano in Fivizzano. We had a great time there, the house was perfect for us and the pool...oh my, we couldn't get the children on any trips for the first few days because they wouldn't leave it. Booking and also support at the location were very well organised and all contact - per mail or personally (thank you so much Elly and Greg!) was pleasant and friendly. We'll certainly look into booking with you again next time we want to come to Tuscany!
What a week we had! It was warm and sunny almost every day and there was a festival in Fivizzano over the weekend which meant even more to do than usual (our 6th visit)! We regularly had aperitivi in town before cooking back at the house, we also did a couple of day trips - Cinque Terre, Portofino - Love your house!
Tomorrow we will go back to Denmark and leave this wonderful spot behind. We have had a lovely time in your house and enjoyed the quietness of the area. River walking was really fun, and your nice neighbours helped us out when we needed a hand or some good advice. Pizza at the Piazza is both cheap and quite ok. Best ice cream is to be found in Monti, between Licciarna Mardi and Aulla. Thank you for letting us stay in your house. Best wishes, B and family.
We had a wonderful time at Ponte Romano, and really enjoyed every minute there.
We do have some recommendations: - A trip to a big "Leclerk" Supermarket in Santo Stefano, about 30 mins by car, Liguria. All the goods there are worth the trip. The supermarket in Fivizzano is quite small and has all things necessary, but Leclerk or Conad (in Aulla, 10 mins by car) offer a wider selection. - A must in the area is "Locanda al Castello" in Verrucola - fresh baked bread straight from the fire and some of the best italian food we have ever had! They could improve on their wine selection, but the food (all handmade!) is to die for. A reservation should be made beforehand, it was crowded on Friday night. We left business cards in the Guest Book. - The trip up the little stream near the house (as mentioned in the house information) to natural swimming pools is definitely worth the trip. The nature is breathtakingly beautiful. We loved our stay at lovely Ponte Romano, and are very happy and satisfied with your services. We will definitely book our next stay in Italy with your company again. Thank you very much!