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Il Rivo is suitable for couples, groups of friends and families. Sleeps 7, plus baby cot. Thick stone walls, chestnut beamed ceilings, stylish bathrooms, some antique furniture and colourful interior decor make Il Rivo a great place to unwind. The house is set amidst olive groves, and is surrounded by pine, acacia, and fruit trees with glorious views over the surrounding densely wooded hillsides studded with medieval hilltop villages, Il Rivo offers a taste of quintessential Tuscan living! One of the owners is an architect who has recently lovingly renovated the house with traditional materials to include an ensuite full bathroom, a modernised family bathroom and a third bedroom. There is a terrace with a grassed sunbathing area and an old stone olive mill wheel serves as a table for alfresco dining under a vine-clad pergola. The terrace offers wonderful respite after a days sightseeing whilst enjoying the magnificent view across the valley. The two double bedrooms are at opposing ends of the house, the main bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, and the second dual aspect bedroom is near to the family bathroom allowing a degree of independence. The third bedroom has a bunk bed and resembles a small chapel with French doors, two windows and a pitched roof. A large wrought iron day bed in an inner hallway between the main bedroom and the twin room provides a further sleeping option, a window provides natural light. There are many tourist attractions on the doorstep: Florence, Pisa, Lucca, the Tuscan Riviera and skiing at Abetone. There are some lovely swimming pools nearby (one with curved water slide!), several established walking trails, and for the uber fit we often see Italians training for races up and down the valley so bring your bike and lots of stamina!
By Richard N on 24-Oct-2016
We really enjoyed your house in the olive groves. It was perfect for our group of four. We arrived exhausted and hungry and the man at Moreno's in Vellano took us in and fed us well. In our 12 days, we returned to him again. Delicious. Everything in the house worked and we were able to make WIFI calls to the States. David was a huge help, directing us to the Communist Club for Paninis. We later went there during the Chestnut Festival, choosing it over Florence. We walked to the top of Castlevecchio and met a nice retired couple and she spent the next hour giving us a tour of her digs and the town. Our side trips away to Venezia and Cinque Terra were delightful, but we found ourselves looking forward to resting "at home" at Il Rivo. The mountain side setting is stunning and peaceful. We found only Italians in the local areas. Perfect. Recommended for: Families with Young Children, Sightseeing, Adventure Seekers, Romantic Getaway, Families with Teenagers.
Many thanks for your lovely review Dick, we are really glad you all enjoyed your stay at Il Rivo. I was a little surprised to hear there is a 'Communist Club' in Vellano! Until I realised you must mean 'Commune Club' which I know is very active organising lots of events for local residents! Very amusing! You are quite right, the local area is a true representation of authentic Tuscany. You and your party will be welcome back at any time. Kind regards, Michelle
A Little Piece Of Heaven. August 2016
By Victoria F on 25-Aug-2016
After a hectic few days in Pisa, Il Rivo proved to be a little piece of heaven. It felt you were a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities on the plain below but it was so easy to access them when we felt the need. The house suited us perfectly, with our grown up daughters ensconced down one end of the house and us, the other and there was plenty of room outside to sunbath or sit in the shade and gaze at the view. It is amazing cycling country, though not for the faint hearted - peddling round Lucca's city walls was enough for some of us. Being able to walk up to Villano each morning for bread was a delight; the wild life very much in evidence from deer to wild boar and the beauty of the countryside was breath taking. We were just sorry we had only booked one week!
Rural Tuscan Relaxation
By Anonymous on 26-Sep-2015
A beautiful traditional stone Tuscan Farmhouse set in an amazing location on a hillside just below the hilltop village of Vellano in NorthernTuscany. The house was very spacious , clean and comfortable with everything one could require in terms of cookware etc. Lovely terrace to sit on and admire the view of the valley and surrounding hills. We were a little late in the season and the weather was getting quite cool in the evenings though still quite warm in the daytime. The hills are covered with chestnut trees and we sadly missed the annual chestnut festival by one day though we roasted some ourselves- delicious. We enjoyed strolling up to the village and ate several meals in the local trattoria and pizzeria which were delicious. Otherwise our favourite place by far was Lucca. About 30-40 minutes drive; a beautiful Tuscan city surrounded by walls along which one can stroll, cycle or , as many of the locals do, jog. An abundance of pretty piazzas and Romanesque churches within the walls. So much quieter than Florence, one is hardly aware of other tourists. We visited an excellent exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions and attended one of the Puccini concerts that take place every day of the year ( he was born and lived in Lucca). Montevatini Terme and Alto well worth a visit. Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli is very beautiful though somewhat marred by all the surrounding tourist tack. Overall, a lovely place to stay and a good location for visiting a slightly less well known part of Tuscany.
Thanks so much for your lovely review of Il Rivo and your holiday - you evoked memories of wonderful places visited.We would love to welcome you back in the future. Best wishes.
Magnificent Views, Peaceful Setting, Well Equipped
By Alistair & Kathy on 14-Jun-2015
Hi Michelle, Il Rivo is a beautiful thick stone walled house set high up overlooking a picturesque valley. The views are magnificent and the peaceful setting is perfect for unwinding and relaxing. The house is very well equipped with everything you could need and more. It was clean and the beds are comfortable. The little village of Vellano at the top of the hill has an excellent “locals” restaurant serving authentic Italian food at a very reasonable price. The guy who runs it is so enthusiastic – just kept coming with new dishes for us to try. The town of Pescia at the bottom of the hill has everything you could need to buy. Pescia has a train station from which you can easily get trains to Lucca (20 mins), Pisa (35 mins) and Florence (60 mins). We loved Lucca, a walled citadel rich in history and yet without the crowds of Florence. Hiring bikes to cycle round the city walls was the highlight of the holiday for our girls (aged 10 and 12). We did it twice! Pisa was also excellent. Whilst we all enjoyed seeing the statute of David (and many other sculptures) in Florence, the crowds do get over-powering… From Il Rivo it was great in the same holiday to spend a day on the beach and another visiting the snowy ski slopes in the hills. And just sitting out on the terrace catching the sun was lovely. We never saw the wild boar in the evenings but one day we did chase three boar piglets down the road in our car much to the excitement of the girls! We very much hope to return as there is so much to do that we didn’t have time for.
By Angharad And Family on 14-Jun-2015
I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed staying at your house! It is beautiful, in a stunning location and was so hard to leave!! Thank you so much.
Il Rivo Is A Gorgeous House!
By Helen And Family on 04-Oct-2014
Hi! Just wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know that we arrived safely after a delayed flight. Even in the dark and the rain, your directions were perfect. Many thanks for making what could have been a rather stressful journey, very easy indeed. The house is gorgeous - beyond all our expectations. Just can't wait for it to get light tomorrow so that we can see the view! We had an absolutely wonderful time - the girls just loved the place and we did too. I don't think we managed to eat at any of your recommended restaurants - the only one we tried was operating on a half kitchen as they were having renovations and we kept forgetting about the names of other places when we were out. We did have a super day out on your recommendation in Montecatini though. The girls loved cycling in Lucca so much we did it twice and we had a couple of wonderful days walking in the hills around Bagni di Lucca - the weather was pretty amazing for October. Anyhow, must stop before I jump back on the next plane!
A Beautiful Farmhouse
By Alison And Family on 20-Aug-2014
A little late, but I just wanted to say thanks for the rent of your beautiful farmhouse. We had a fantastic week, packed lots in and had some great weather. Please pass on particular thanks to Alex and Donatella who came to our rescue finding Il Rivo in the dark when we arrived and bottoming the source of the power cut. They were so helpful, and it was reassuring to have people on the doorstep for emergencies. A beautiful place to stay in one of our favourite parts of the world. Happy times!
Il Rivo Is A Relaxing Place To Stay
By Norma And Family on 02-Aug-2014
We had a great week at Il Rivo. The two double bedrooms were very comfortable. Especially liked the light in the double aspect bedroom. Lovely bathrooms. Loved the traditional kitchen and fantastic views from the terrace. We did a lot of touring around and Il Rivo was a great base from which to do this. Also a relaxing place to stay - sometimes had trouble making ourselves leave the house! We would love to stay again so will definitely keep your contact details on file.
Magical Place On The Hill..
By Amicia And Family on 01-Jun-2014
You have a magical place on the hill and just as you promised we had wild boar every night (which used a trail along the terrace below and made alot of pig like noises) and a couple of roe deers. We watched the eagles and wood peckers and sat quietly whilst the lizards and geckos ran around the pagoda above and up the wall of the house. The wild lilies under the olive tree came out whilst we were there. On the walk out of the top of the village (very steep !!) we found porcupine quills. We had to do the usual tourist visit along with the masses to Florence (train was easy) and Pisa - but so worthwhile. Loved Lucca (walked around the walls) and Barga and the mountains beyond , especially behind Carrara. Although it was cold and damp when we arrived once the sun was out it went to the other extreme and we were glad of the shade under the vine and the thick stone walls of the house kept everything cool. We must have eaten most of the antipasto meats and gorgeous cheeses in the area and would recommend the combination of grilled Tuscan sausage and Brunello wine to everyone. Thank you for letting us use your little slice of Tuscany, we have told everyone how lovely it was. The only unfortunate outcome, is that I now have the expense of having to buy Mark a Pavoni coffee machine! Amicia & Mark, June’14