Client Reviews

HomeAway August 2020 5/5 Sandrine & family, Paris & Lyon, France

Une délicieuse maison de famille au milieu des oliviers

Nous avons séjourné en famille dans cette chaleureuse et authentique maison de vacance familiale au milieu des collines, des champs d’Oliviers, en pleine nature dans un environnement préservé magnifique. La maison est joliment décorée, confortable et bien équipée. Les multiples terrasses meublées et la sublime piscine permettent de s’adapter aux différentes heures du jour. La maison est située à proximité de Florence et des Cinq Terres et permet de multiples excursions à la journée. L’attention et les conseils de visite et découvertes de son propriétaire sont tout à fait exceptionnels et ont sans aucun doute contribué à la qualité de notre séjour. Nous renouvellerons avec plaisir cette parenthèse enchantée en ce lieu au charme préservé.

A delicious family home in the middle of olive trees

We stayed with the family in this warm and authentic family holiday home in the middle of the hills, olive groves, surrounded by nature in a magnificent preserved environment. The house is nicely decorated, comfortable and well equipped. The multiple furnished terraces and the sublime swimming pool allow you to adapt to different times of the day. The house is located close to Florence and the Cinque Terre and allows multiple day trips. The attention and advice on visits and discoveries from its owner are quite exceptional and undoubtedly contributed to the quality of our stay. We will be happy to renew this enchanted break in this place of preserved charm.

T. Zwicker, Germany. HomeAway. Dates stated: 4-11 October 2019. 5/5
PERFECT STAY.
We've stayed there early October with a family of four (kids 7 and 12). Property and location where simply perfect. In the middle of wonderful green mountains yet shops and sights around are easy to reach. The house is stunning and well equipped with a beautiful garden and terraces. Also we have never met a better host with so much knowledge and tips. Look at all the pictures provided and imagine it was even nicer - then you know what it is like. We will always recommend. Thanks for a perfect stay!

O. Hammett, Wales, Uk. HomeAway. Dates stayed:3-10 August 2019. 5/5
PEACEFUL AND VERY WELL EQUIPPED.
Fantastic retreat with everything you could need in a relaxed location – great views and a good base for local days out… would gladly have stayed a fortnight!

Y S, London UK.   5/5
WONDERFUL STUNNING HOUSE IN PERFECT SCENERY.
This is a beautiful house set in one of the most stunning settings in the world, the house and pool are beautifully maintained and the kitchen has everything you need with which to cook and serve. It is truly a terrific holiday experience.

Magnus. Denmark. HomeAway. 5/5
SUPERB PROPERTY & VERY HELPFUL HOST
Casa a Corte is a well kept, beautiful and tranquil property where we had a wonderful week. Follow Hugh’s rich recommendations on places to eat and visit, and you will have a great experience of Italy.

Cook’s & Tennyson’s. UK. Dates Easter 2020 10/10
AMAZING HOUSE & GARDENS.
The house is wonderful, fantastically equipped, gardens & terraces are beautiful and the Johnson’s are brilliant hosts with great local & foodie information. They couldn’t be more helpful. The house is exceptionally clean & quiet. Perfect family holiday for people who like the outdoors, walking, bbqs. Best villa we have stayed at in Europe, perfect Tuscan retreat. The local people & restaurants are charming Ian & Sophie Cook & Tennyson’s

Dates: 25 May – 1 June 2019 – Ciaran – Ireland & London

“We had an amazing time at Casa a Corte, despite some mixed weather. The peaceful valley was spectacular and a wonderful place to rest and recharge. The house is really well stocked and kept nice and clean. It was great to enjoy all the different outside seating areas as the sun moved around the sky, and we enjoyed seeing all the wildlife, including hoopoes, deer, birds of prey and fireflies. The sound of the birds in the mornings was quite spectacular. Hugh’s tips were invaluable and really added to our experience. Just listen to his advice and you pretty much can’t go wrong. From getting a magnificent meal in Antica Locanda to walking the walls of Lucca and walking up to the church above Aquilea – where you get great views of the house and mountains – every tip was a winner. Oh, and getting wine from the plant shop in Ponte a Moriano is definitely a good shout. We were also lucky enough to have two lovely local ladies, Giada and Martina, come and cook for us one night. This was a real highlight. Both Giada and Martina were really lovely and the food was great. Hugh and Hazel were also really communicative throughout our stay when we needed any advice or help – such as when a branch came down on the lower track. Their love for the area and keenness to help really shone through.” – Ciaran AirBNB

Dates:  April 2019 – Dick van D from Amsterdam

We were really happy with the house. The location – near Lucca but in total serenity – was perfect. The house was really well equipped. Proper pans, cutlery, etc. Allows for some good Italian cooking and you don’t see that in many vacation homes. The other big compliment is your service. You have been outstanding in all requests, questions and checking in how we were doing. The tips you gave were great. The ice cream shop was amazing: my nephew didn’t stop for 10 minutes about how much he liked the strawberry-yoghurt ice cream. The pizzeria was very nice: Ajax supporters and good pizza, great Italian vibe. And finally the bakery was really nice. Rough guy, not a word of English, but a heart of gold and amazing bread. I mistakenly thought I still had cash so he gave us the bread and signalled we could pay the day after.
All in all, really, really nice. Thanks a lot.
Now the downside is I think i’m too late with a review on Airbnb. I have contacted them to see if it’s still possible to send in a review. Can I help you with a review on another site perhaps?
Cheers Dick

Dates:  August 2018
Wir haben wundervolle Wochen mit unseren 3 Kindern in Casa Corte verbracht. Das Haus ist sehr idyllisch in den Bergen. Das Gelände erfordert eine vorsichtige Fahrt, dafür werden Sie mit einzigartiger Ruhe und wundervoller Lage belohnt. Das Haus bietet allen Komfort. Alles wurde persönlich vorbereitet. Detaillierte Informationen und Informationen vom Gastgeber Hugh zum Haus und der Umgebung, Restaurants und Einkaufsmöglichkeiten bereichern den Urlaub und helfen, sich im Haus sicher und familiär zu fühlen. Der sehr freundliche Gärtner pflegt zuverlässig und diskret den Pool und den Garten. Die Lage war ideal, um Florenz, Pisa, Siena und das nahe gelegene Lucca sowie kleine Städte in der Umgebung zu erkunden. Zur gleichen Zeit so billig, dass wir wandern und die Mittelmeerstrände besuchen können. Die Küche ist komfortabel ausgestattet, so dass wir auch auf dem Feld kochen und grillen können. Die drei Außenterrassen bieten zu jeder Tageszeit einen geeigneten Sitzplatz. Die herrliche Lage bot uns die einmalige Gelegenheit, die Mondfinsternis und die anderen Nächte die Sterne zu beobachten.
Translated – see below
We spent wonderful weeks with our 3 children in Casa Corte. The house is very idyllic in the mountains. The terrain requires careful driving, for this you will be rewarded with unique peace and wonderful location. The house offers all comfort. Everything was personally prepared. Detailed information and information from the host Hugh to the house and the surrounding area, restaurants and shopping enrich the holiday and help to feel safe and familiar in the house. The very friendly gardener maintains reliable and discreet the pool and the garden. The location was ideal for exploring Florence, Pisa, Siena and nearby Lucca, as well as small towns in the area. At the same time so cheap that we could hike and visit the Mediterranean beaches. The kitchen is comfortably equipped, that we could also cook and grilled on the field. The three outdoor terraces offer a suitable seat at any time of the day. The magnificent location gave us the unique opportunity to observe the lunar eclipse and the other nights the stars.
J&A Marxsen, Germany

Dates: 7 – 14 July 2018 – AirBnB
Casa a Corte is beautiful. It is in a stunning location surrounded by hills with olives and vines. The house is typical of a Tuscan farm house very comfortable and tastefully decorated. The pool and garden are well maintained and very restful. We saw deer foxes and badgers close by. There is also ample seating and shade on 3 terraces. Access is down a rough track which requires some care but is worth it for the location. A place to unwind and savour the quiet pace and delights of Tuscany. Hugh is a great host and very knowledgeable about restaurants and activities to recommend. We had a lovely week. Thank you.
Mark W, Surrey, England

Dates: 30 June – 7 July 2018 – AirBnB
Dear Hugh, thanks for the opportunity to rent the wonderful house Casa a Corte. It will never be deleted for our memory. Fantastic setting and almost a secret place in the mountains of Tuscany. We enjoyed all the moments where we found peace and good energy in the house and the beautiful surroundings. THANK YOU – also for the many great tips and ideas for experiences. Best Ulrik, Copenhagen, Denmark

Dates: April 2018. 5/5
AMAZING
Tuscany is beautiful in the Spring. The birds are singing and the wild flowers are beautiful. We had perfect weather, ate at least 2 meals a day in the amazing garden terraces with wonderful fresh pastas and food from the market and local shops. We were invited to the Lucca film festival and met Martin Freeman, which we loved. We ate superb food, locally and in Lucca, but generally liked being at the house best. We slept so well, read lots of books, enjoyed the walks and garden, the pool and hammock. The perfect place to be with family & friends. Thank you, Mark & Milly Gibson

Dates: 3 -12 May 2018 – AirBnB
We had an amazing time here!!! Despite we were not the luckiest with the weather – some showers and thunderstorms in early May – we really could not complain about anything. Hugh’s house matches the expectations you get out of the description: a beautiful and comfortable house in the middle of the Tuscan hills in order to unplug from everything…but close enough to many little towns and cities to explore as much as you want. All the tips available deserve a separate note, since Hugh shares so many detailed tips (online, printouts in the house and even sent by post!) that is easy to enhance the experience with little one day trips, visit to different cities, and a wide array of food providers/restaurants/markets all around the area. We visited many of the suggested restaurants – food was incredible. We want to go back to finish the list. We will!
Ivan G, Denmark

Dates:  on Trip Advisor/ Holiday Lettings

Beautiful house close to Lucca; the house is located in the middle of the hilly area around Lucca. Very quiet but just a 25 min drive to the city. The garden is very well kept and the pool is all you ever wanted for a holiday. The daily visit of the fireflies at night rounded up the experience perfectly.
Katharina W, Germany

Date:  August 2018 on Trip Advisor

Gorgeous, relaxing week away in the sun
What an amazing place this is, we were two families with 3 children and we all loved the house and the pool, couldn’t get the girls out of the water. The only negative is that the house is quite a twisty drive away from anywhere so my children felt very sick each time we left, however, we didn’t find much need to leave!! We wanted to relax and that’s exactly what we did. Great communication from Hugh, the kitchen is really well stocked, gorgeous views, lovely food and wine. Highly recommend this house.
Lou, Brighton

Dates:  August 2017.
Located in beautiful setting
We loved our week at Casa a Corte! It was very hot at the beginning of the week but the house was still comfortable. The views are so beautiful and there are so many places to go for nice walks. Our favorite walk was through the woods down the hill from the house. On our walk we discovered the most wild black raspberries I have ever seen, we picked 12 cups one morning! Pool is very large and nice. Recommend you stop by store on way to house as it takes a while to get to the store since you have to drive on narrow winding roads up and down the mountains. The owner had wonderful recommendations for day trips and restaurants!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member
Sherri W, Ohio, USA

Dates: Summer 2017
*****
Douce est la vie à Casa à corte
On ne se lasse pas de la vue! Le site et la maison sont très charmants, cuisine vraiment bien équipée! Farniente à l’ombre des oliviers autour de la belle piscine quel bonheur! Avons apprécié la proximité de Lucca et des nombreux spots conseillés par le propriétaire des lieux Hugh Johnson. Merci à Hazel et Hugh pour les bouteilles de vin en guise de bienvenue … DMireille, Paris, France

Dates May 2017:
The place is even more picturesque in real life; the photos on the listing don’t do it justice. Endless green rolling mountains – it really feels like you’ve got the entire valley to yourself! The house was impressively equipped with all the mod cons you could need (including Sky TV which went down well with the boys who could watch the footie!) Near enough to Lucca for a quick trip, and far enough away to leave the hustle and bustle well behind. Couldn’t recommend more. The Owner, Hugh, was more than accommodating and gave us plenty of food and activity recommendations all of which were great. Already booked next year!
Tommie J USA

Dates: MayJune 2017
Pure bliss! An Oasis of calm situated in the Tuscan hills. Our family had a fantastic stay here in this wonderful farmhouse which felt like a home away from home. Days were spent walking the spectacular Tuscan countryside, relaxing by the pool taking in the breath-taking scenery, trips to Lucca exploring the wonderful walled city (with the children loving the cycle around the walls). Its hard to drag yourself away from such a beautiful house, but we loved our trips to the beach in Viareggio and a day trip to Florence. Next time we will definitely try and take in the Leaning tower of Pisa and a trip to one of the many local vineyards. We couldn’t have had a better stay, thanks v much and we look forward to returning next year! Federica

Dates: 8 – 15 July
Therese E, Stockholm, Sweden
Wonderful house with a gourgious view, surrounding and perfect pool!
We were two famillies that stayed for 7 nights and we enjoyed every minute of it! The big swimming pool was perfect for us and our teenagers and the view from the house was astonishing. Only 20 minutes to lovely Lucca.

May 2017
Tuscan Beauty
Just back from our family holiday in the Tuscan hills and already making plans to return next year! We had great sunny weather so the kids spent most of their time in the pool or playing in the wonderful grounds; The perfect place to escape from it all and relax listening to nothing but bird song. The reccommended restaurants were even better than we had hoped for (and we know our food!) with beautifully cooked steaks over olive wood, hand made pastas and pizzas cooked in a wood oven. We loved exploring the local City of Lucca, the most picturesque City that I have ever been to, and the children loved cycling around the walls. It was a perfect place to stay with the family and we will definitely be back! The views from the property were breathtaking and the house extremely well looked after. Everyone was incredibly helpful from start to finish and we cant wait to return with the whole family next year. Federica

Dates: Easter 2017
Dear Hugh:
Greetings from Germany! We just arrived at home in Freiburg!
We had a wonderful week in Tuscany! We had sun on 6 out of 7 days – lucky us.
It was too cold for swimming. Everyone jumped in the pool just once. Still we enjoyed sitting on the terraces and in the garden.
Tuscany gave us so many beautiful impressions and so many great experiences.
The house is wonderful – I loved every room!
Antica Locanda was delicious as I told you.
We also had really nice family dinners at Casa A Corte cooking pasta and making pizza.
We spent my dads birthday at Laura’s vineyard Tenuta Di Valgiano. We walked over the vineyard with Laura followed by a wine tasting with a light lunch at the villa. This was magic!!! Unbelievable pretty!
We also drove to the Fattoria Del Teso in Montecarlo where we ordered several boxes of the red wine you left for us. The Vino Rosso will be the delicious red vine on our wedding menu this July! So we will think of the Tuscany every time we say Cheers!
Thank you very much again for everything.
Best wishes, Dr. Bernhardt

Beautiful farmhouse with stunning views
Left on May 29, 2017 for a stay in Aug 2016
Even more picturesque than in the photos. Perfect location – away from the hustle bustle of towns but close enough to be able to nip into town when needed. All the mod cons you’d ever need including Sky TV and WiFi. A real find – we’ve already booked again for next year! Tom K

A beautiful farmhouse with amazing pool.
Date of Stay 30 April – 28 May 2016
Our stay at Casa A Corte was wonderful. The hosts, Hugh & Hazel, provided so much information for us like directions to the house and local days out. All very thoughtful and it made us feel totally at home once we arrived at the beautiful farmhouse. You really do feel like your in paradise with so much green Tuscan countryside surrounding the house, incredibly quiet. As a foodie I loved how well equipped the kitchen was, plenty of everything like big serving bowls and platters and a great BBQ for staying in and cooking some meat from the local butchers. The beautiful blue pool invites you in every time and its a lovely place to relax and read a book. We ate out every other night and we’re spoilt for choice, Lucca is very close by which has some amazing restaurants and lots of nice bars to have pre dinner drinks. There are also some properly authentic local eateries close to the house, all recommended by the hosts and none of them disappointed. Antica Locanda is one of Hugh’s favourites and the head chef served us the best steak we’d ever had, cooked over a wood fired grill and sliced to perfection with parmesan and rocket. Hugh & Hazel also recommended some great days out, a trip to the Cinque Terre was phenomenal, we also visited Florence and lots of beaches. A fantastic holiday, but mainly due to the fact that Hugh & Hazel were so organised and helpful with there suggestions about what to do, see and eat. Many many thanks once again. Sam Brown, Wandsworth

A haven of peace and tranquility
Date of Stay – 29 May 2016 Maureen from Sale
Casa a corte must be the place that Pisa airport based it’s poster on ” abandon cares all who enter here” It is in a beautiful location surrounded by the Tuscan countryside yet convenient for the stunning town of Lucca. The house is like a home with everything you need at hand and a welcome from the owners that makes you feel like family. Sitting on the terrace at night watching the fireflies and relaxing in the gardens are a joy a fabulous week thank you Hugh and Hazel for sharing your fantastic home .

Nick D. said…29-Aug-2016
Very happy to be back
Date of Stay 02 July 2016
Once again very pleased to be back at the Casa. Blessed with good weather, we spent most the time in the pool. The house stays nice and cool, and long evenings were spent on the terrace eating local produce and drinking local wine. Nothing better!

Everything one could wish for in a Tuscan villa
Casa a Corte is an extremely well presented property where the owners have carefully considered and provided for every aspect of comfort and relaxation. It is in an isolated location yet within easy striking distance of excellent local amenities. The house can comfortably accommodate eight people and the published descriptions are very accurate. All the facilities are top quality and generously provided. The property was clean and very well maintained. The pool was immaculate and the perfect temperature; the grounds were tidy and full of interesting wildlife, highlights being hoopoe, little owls and a porcupine. The owner was very hospitable and generous in ensuring our needs were met and offered plenty of useful local knowledge, particularly regarding restaurants and sources of great authentic Italian food. I would have no hesitation in recommending this property to others – indeed I would like us to return. Lucca is architecturally charming and full of intriguing eating opportunities, although there is scope to be ripped off too. For us the greater charm was in the outlying towns and villages, particularly Ponte A Moriano – we ate well everywhere we went and everyone we met was delightfully pleasant and accommodating. They all welcomed children and babies too. We didn’t stray too far from the villa because it was so relaxing. 30 July – 15 August 2016 Andrew & Zoe

Perfect house for a week off in Tuscany – Nick from Dubai
642 Via Nuova Barsotti, Gugliano, Ponte A Moriano, Lucca, Tuscany, 55100, Italy (17137)
Date of Stay 13 August 2016
We realy enjoyed our stay in this beautifull red house on the top of a Tuscany hill. The interior is very confortable, with the 3 bedrooms the living room on the first floor and the kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, but in fact we mostly leaved outside for a week, enjoying the 3 different terrace around the house, depending time of the day and sun. Having breakfast every morning on the east terrace was a pleasure. The pool area, with lots of olive trees and a fantastic view is delightfull at every moment of the day. It’s a house you don’t want to leave, which is conveniant because going in and out is a little bit long and complicated. It’s the only thing we regret a little bit. You’re at 15-20 minutes from the first village and half an hour from Lucca, and you must leave small roads and drive for 1/2 mile on a dirt path before you reach the house. So you don’t take your car just for a cup of cofee in the village! The small town of Lucca is very chraming. the perfect size and not as crowdy as the big city stars of Tuscany. The owner, Hugh is very helpfull, sending lots of message before and during ou stay to explain things about the house and how to get there. And we found some bottles of Prosseco and local wine for us! I definitaly recommend Casa a Corte.

A perfectly relaxing holiday in an immaculate property in one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. Andrew Kirk
Left on Aug 18, 2016 for a stay in Aug 2016
Every aspect of this property has been carefully set out to ensure a comfortable and relaxing holiday. The house is charming, tasteful and well equipped. The pool and gardens are so good that you won’t want to leave them to explore Tuscany. When you do however Ponte a Moriano will provide all you need and more and Lucca is a lovely town to explore too. All this is backed up by exceptional advice, help and support from the owners and their agent before and throughout the trip. We took children and a baby – it was perfect for them – plenty of exploring and wildlife etc. I would not recommend the property for a toddler though – a few unprotected drops and unprotected pool.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

A haven of peace and tranquility – Archie Foxley
Left on Aug 19, 2016 for a stay in May 2016
Casa a corte is in a beautiful location surrounded by trees and birdsong yet is within easy reach of the very lovely Lucca and the toscana coast . The house is very well maintained with everything you could need . The pool and gardens and terrace are a delight and the welcome from the owners makes you feel like friends not guests . We were a mixed age range from 6 to 67 and we all loved this fantastic property and area .
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amazing farmhouse with beautiful blue pool in the heart of Tuscany – The Davids
Left on Aug 23, 2016 for a stay in Jul 2016
Thank you so much Hazel & Hugh, you have made our stay at Casa A Corte an absolute joy. We practically used all the information you so very kindly supplied as our itinerary, so many things to do and great restaurants to sample the best pasta in the world. Such simple cooking everywhere as all ingredients are so good/fresh. The days trips to Lucca / Florence / Pietra Santa / Cinque Terre were all fabulous and lovely ways to spend the day. However we most enjoyed staying in the house and relaxing by the pool. The house is really undersold, a magnificent red farmhouse on three floors. The bedrooms are all very comfortable along side the living area on the mid floor. The kitchen and dining room on the lower floor we excellent for cooking and eating. The kitchen in particular had everything you could possibly need, I’d almost say it better equipped than my kitchen at home! We really enjoying have long breakfasts out on the South terrace with a lovely smell off coffee from the percolator wafting through the house. We used your brilliant BBQ on 4 occasions and collected all fresh ingredients from Ponte Mariano. As the house has a terrace on all 4 side of the house, you can enjoy the sun at anytime of day and there are always cool shady areas to escape the strong Tuscan sun. A really relaxing time was had by all, it’s a stunning house with everything you need and we will definitely be returning. Warm Regards David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Picturesque and tranquil. A true little Tuscan gem. The Bennetts – May 2016
Left on Aug 23, 2016 for a stay in May 2016
This is the most beautiful villa I have ever stayed in. Set in the hills of Tuscany, it has everything on offer if you want to just sit and sunbathe for a week! Full of character, with typical Tuscan features outside and in, perfectly balanced with the feeling that you are staying in a cosy, family home. So many terraces to relax on and follow the sun, and enjoy a perfect evening drink watching the sun disappear behind the hills. Friendly locals who come and tend to the pool and gather the olives growing on the trees around you! Almost gives you the feeling that you have moved in. Tearing yourself away from the villa, there are so many lovely places to drive to. Lucca itself has a huge wall that is gorgeous to cycle around in the early evening, and the small hustle and bustle of the narrow streets you can find plenty of local shops and restuarants to dive into. About an hour and a half drive will take you to the beautiful, must see, village of Cinque Terre. A day trip that will be well worth the visit. And the villa manual has plenty of local restaurant recommendations! It was impossible to get through them all, as hard as we tried! Antica Locanda di sesto was a stand out restuarant for us. Welcoming family run place, with the fresh, simple, tasty dishes that really makes you feel like you’re in Italy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beautiful Tuscan Farmhouse
Dates:12 – 26 September 2015 Review: Homeaway website
Dear Hugh & Hazel, Thank you both so much for such a wonderful experience. Your house is utterly stunning in the most amazing Tuscan countryside. I had a swim every morning to start the day whilst others retrieved the necessary pastries from the local bakers down the road. When in Rome . . . We hired a car from Pisa airport and the directions you supplied made it very easy to find the house as it was late at night, it’s so close to the airport yet set it such a tranquil landscape. We enjoyed days out to the Cinque Terre and Florence, but our favourite was getting lost in the backstreet of Lucca, stumbling across restaurants and bars. As its only 20 minutes from the house we visited frequently and found something new everytime. Our favourite restaurant was Il Giglio in the main square, fantastic service and food to go with. The best Tuscan food experience was had at Antica Locanda Di Sesto, only 20 minutes from the house and excellent food and service, make sure you order the Fiorentina steak – but arrive hungry! On the nights we stayed at the villa we fired up the BBQ to cook local pork chops from the butchers in Ponte A Mariano, it was so nice to use your kitchen that had everything you need and so much more, sharp knives, a big selection of pans and nice big serving platters, ideal for family cooking. We did many walks and runs from the house through the woods and along the tracks, lovely seeing the Tuscan farmers in their fields pruning the vineyards and collecting grapes. The rooms and beds were extremely comfortable making our stay very relaxing and a great way to recharge the batteries. Thanks again Val, John, Dave & Andrew Berkshire, UK

A beautiful tranquil Tuscan experience
Dates:5 – 12th September 2015 Review: Homeaway
This is an absolutely beautiful villa in the Tuscan hills and a perfect way to spend a week in Italy. The villa is within easy reach of Pisa airport and we had no problems finding the location with the very helpful instructions from Hugh and Hazel. We instantly felt at home when we walked in. The villa is so charming and we just couldn’t stop walking round exploring the outside grounds and rooms inside with huge smiles on our faces! I felt so lucky to have found such a gem! When the sun is beaming, it is the perfect place to spend a day chilled by the pool with a good book, but its location makes it within easy reach of great days out. The local town of Lucca is just stunning. We rented bikes and cycled around the walls at sunset, which I would recommend. It’s very easy to spend a few hours exploring all the side streets and restaurants! The local train station in Lucca was also extremely handy as it enabled us to travel into Florence very easily. Another beautiful day out. I would recommend staying here to anyone looking for a peaceful, family week away in Italy. The villa is so wonderfully picturesque, the rooms are homely and comfortable, and the terraces offer a beautiful sunset setting for bbqs and cocktails! Bennett family, London

The perfect holiday
Dates: 6-20th June 2015. Review: Homeaway
Wow! This place is incredible and is set in the most beautiful location. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday, then Casa a Corte can provide that for you. If you just want a day to unwind at the villa itself, then you have a gorgeous pool to swim and cool down in after you have spent time relaxing on one of the three terraces, all of which attract the sun. Looking to feed yourself whilst you are there? Then look no further than the best stocked kitchen we’ve ever seen, and enjoy the BBQ whilst the sun is setting! On the days you want to leave the villa, just a short drive away is Lucca, which is one of the most beautiful places you could visit. I actually told my partner that it is somewhere I could see myself living one day! Further on, there is Florence. We enjoyed a day here walking around gardens and visiting coffee shops and incredible buildings and architecture – the Duomo is one of the most impressive buildings I’ve seen. If you fly to Italy, the nearest airport is Pisa. We took the opportunity to visit the Leaning Tower when we were there. How that hasn’t fallen over yet beggars belief! For restaurants near to the villa, look no further than Antica Locanda Di Sesto. The experience you enjoy there will be second to none. From the great service of Lamberto and company, to the wines and beers, the appetisers and starters, you CAN NOT be disappointed. But the starring role of this restaurant goes to the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. A perfectly cooked piece of meat by the chef over his wonderful personally made olive wood fired grill, carved at the table by Lamberto, and eaten joyfully by myself! Words cannot describe the taste, it was simply the best I’ve ever eaten. All in all, we would describe Casa a Corte as the perfect location for everything you could need from a holiday – relaxation, tourist attractions, days at the beach, swimming in your private pool, amazing views – Casa a Corte is the one for you!
Maughans, Co Durham

A Beautiful Tuscan Farmhouse.
Date of Stay September 2015

Dear Hugh & Hazel, Thank you both so much for such a wonderful experience. Your house is utterly stunning in the most amazing Tuscan countryside. I had a swim every morning to start the day whilst others retrieved the necessary pastries from the local bakers down the road. When in Rome . . . We hired a car from Pisa airport and the directions you supplied made it very easy to find the house as it was late at night, it’s so close to the airport yet set it such a tranquil landscape. We enjoyed days out to the Cinque Terre and Florence, but our favourite was getting lost in the backstreet of Lucca, stumbling across restaurants and bars. As its only 20 minutes from the house we visited frequently and found something new everytime. Our favourite restaurant was Il Giglio in the main square, fantastic service and food to go with. The best Tuscan food experience was had at Antica Locanda Di Sesto, only 20 minutes from the house and excellent food and service, make sure you order the Fiorentina steak – but arrive hungry! On the nights we stayed at the villa we fired up the BBQ to cook local pork chops from the butchers in Ponte A Mariano, it was so nice to use your kitchen that had everything you need and so much more, sharp knives, a big selection of pans and nice big serving platters, ideal for family cooking. We did many walks and runs from the house through the woods and along the tracks, lovely seeing the Tuscan farmers in their fields pruning the vineyards and collecting grapes. The rooms and beds were extremely comfortable making our stay very relaxing and a great way to recharge the batteries. Thanks again Val, John, Dave & Andrew

From our first Russian family, Irina L, Moscow July 25- August 8th 2015
Review Dear Hugh! Now we’ve back to Switzerland safe.
Thank you for for your house and your support))! We laked your Casa a Corte very much.
We thank you for many nice peoples and lovely places you told us…. Aurelio’s family is amazing!!
Luccas’s area is full of things to do.. We’re wondering if we can come back…
All my best!!! Irina

From M O’Connor family in Andover MA, USA – 23rd June 2015
Review #12199818 “A wonderful home for a family holiday!”
You will not find a more lovely, warm home and more wonderful people to help you plan your villa holiday than this home and it’s owners. We are a family of eight who travelled to Italy to enjoy a quiet and relaxing holiday. Hugh helped us with every aspect of our stay; from detailed directions to lovely cooks and chefs to planned day activities. You can choose to do as much or little as you would like at this private, beautiful hide away. The pool and grounds are magnificent and the home wants for nothing. From the villa we took day trips to Cinque Terre, Pisa and Lucca but were also perfectly content on the days we chose to sit by the beautiful pool surrounded by olive trees. The gelateria and wonderful Antica Locanda di Sesto restaurant were some of our favorite local places. We will most definitely be planning another trip!!!! Many thanks to the Johnson family for thinking of everything!!!!

From Robyn Lopez, California 30 May – 14th June 2015
Casa a Corte is amazing! It is better than we imagined (and we had high expectations)!
My husband loves to cook so we appreciate how well stocked your home is with all the cooking equipment we could possibly need.
We LOVE this place. Thank you for sharing it with us!

From Olivier M, a lovely French family that live in Munich – 17th – 25th July 2015
Just Perfect
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This stay in the Casa a Corte was perfect from the reservations till the end of the trip:
– When I reserved Hugh (the owner of the house) called me and we had a nice about the house, the region etc.
– Hugh sent me a booklet with all the information I need about the house and the way to get in.
– At ou arrival at the house, we felt like at friends: a small card and some drinks were on the table for us.
– The house is well equipped, clean, and big enough for 8 persons.
– We were with 3 children and they enjoyed the pool which is big and clean.
– the immediate surroundings of the house are wonderful and quite.
– Hugh gave us some advices about trips, restaurants, gelaterie etc
– During the week we were staying in the house, I received an e-mail from Hugh to know if our stay is ok, the gardener came to water the flowers
– It was easy to leave the house and to let the keys.
🙂 thanks Olivier

London & Surrey family – Tom K, July 4th 2015 rental
Review #12356573 “So glad we stumbled on this gem of a place!”
Wow! What a place! Casa a Corte proved to be the ideal place to discover the ‘real’ Tuscany. Hugh’s tips and advice were spot on and we really felt like we were getting a very special, unique glimpse of Italy as a result.
We’re so glad we stumbled on this gem of a place! The house itself is lovely and very tastefully done up; the garden + surroundings are idyllic (great pool and selection of terraces!); and Lucca is the most beautiful Italian city (cycling around the medieval walls is a must-do activity). The place was spotless and the beds very comfortable. If you’re the type of person who likes to enjoy a relaxing day by the pool with a few country walks thrown in then this place is for you! I can honestly say I haven’t slept better than during my time at Casa a Corte.
Hugh, the owner, couldn’t be more helpful either. There’s tonnes of information in their house book but he also took the time to personally recommend a few options which was much appreciated! The area is a foodie’s paradise with so many really impressive options ranging from Michelin Starred to charming local Osterias and everything in between!
Thoroughly recommend! Tom

We, 2 families from The Netherlands, stayed in Casa a Corte during the kids (6 – 11) mid term break from school (3rd week in October) . We had a lovely week with beautiful weather (21 – 25 degrees), delicious food and great company. Hugh, the owner, was very cooperative upfront and during our stay. He recommended us some great restaurants (even with kids :-), beautiful sight seeing places (beach, Cinque Terra, cycling city walls of Lucca) and even helped us out by mobilizing the neighbours when a the combination of a thunderstorm and an old tree blocked our road the exit the premises. Highly recommendable and hope to return next year. Ivo & Erik, Netherlands 18 – 25 November 2014

JUNE 7th, 2014

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for one of the most memorable 5 weeks here in Casa a Corte!!  WOW … we cannot thank you and everyone associated with Casa a Corte, Gugliano, Porte a Moriano, etc etc … for all your kindness, heartfelt welcome, generosity and making our stay literally one of the best vacations we have had.   Hugh – we cannot thank you enough for all your communications for the past 1 ½ years,  your assistance in everything & anything we needed or asked about!!!!!

You are such an incredible host / home owner and a very dear person.  ALL your recommendations were of the highest quality!

Matt & I … our family & friends … LOVED the beautiful pool!!  OMG we had so much fun!  Enjoyed BBQing outside at least 4 nights per week & we had every meal outside under the stars :-))  We all absolutely loved & enjoyed “Antica Locanda di Sesto” … so fabulous and delicious!  The Barattini family is very kind & welcoming.
Lamberto Barattini was the ultimate maître d’ / head waiter!!  He has such style / class, expertise and a huge heart :-))

We were all mesmerized by the fireflies sparkling all across the property … magical!  Woken up every morning by all the beautiful birds singing 🙂

The cooks – Grazia and Anna Rita came to the house 3 times when we had a different group of friends/family staying with us.  SO INCREDIBLE!  Thank you for recommending them!  Wow delicious & such wonderful women!!   I suggest every guest request them to cook at Casa a Corte for 1 or 2 nights … very special!!

We took many long day trips throughout Tuscany … trips to Lucca … Opera Recital … many hikes … went to the ocean … etc etc etc … and had many many days relaxing & enjoying Casa a Corte!!   Wonderful hikes from the house … cooking … wine … pool time … laughs and memories forever! 🙂

Yes, we could go on and on and on … AMAZING 5 weeks!!  We wish we never left!   THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Hugs, Marlis & Matt (Evergreen, Colorado USA)

 

Review #6927749 “Perfect Tuscan retreat”

Karyn V, Boston USA. July 2013

My family of 5 arrived at Casa a Corte after four busy hot days in Rome. The house, the grounds, and the location were all perfect for a Tuscan getaway. We were close enough to many locations to do day trips every day, including Florence, Pisa, Siena, Cinque Terre and Lerici, and of course the charming town of Lucca. The house is great, with enough space for everyone to be comfortable. All the trappings of home are included, with a well-equipped kitchen, washer, clothesline, cable TV, games, books, etc. My kids enjoyed the pool many times after a day of touring. It was great for everyone to relax on the patio. We could understand why many reviewers said they didn’t want to leave the house! It really is perfect! People had told us to explore having a chef cook dinner for us at our villa while we were in Tuscany. When I mentioned this to Hugh he was very accommodating and gave me several options. We chose Aurelio Barratini, a local Tuscan Chef (restaurant Antica Locanda di Sesto). It was TRULY the highlight of our Tuscan trip and I hope more people take advantage of his talent and hospitality. He made us a fantastic meal served on our patio. Every single thing we consumed, from the prosecco, the wine, the olive oil, the chocolate, all of the food, was created by him or someone in his family. Yes, they have their own label wine and olive oil! We gave him no restrictions despite having three kids…I had some concern the kids would turn their noses up at the food. instead they devoured stuffed zucchini blossoms and delicious dishes while we had a lovely family night. It was one of those times when everything works out exactly as you hoped and you make fabulous memories of your trip. The bonus was there was enough food for the next night! Hugh was extremely informative about the local area, travel to and around Tuscany, and any questions we had were promptly answered. He is a very thorough property owner! I would HIGHLY recommend Casa a Corte as a vacation rental!

Review #6876957  David S – Toronto, Canada – “Wonderful property”

Spent a week here with 6 friends in September 2013. The property is absolutely stunning and the pictures on this site accurately represent it. Hugh, the owner, was incredibly helpful – he responded promptly to all our emails, provided detailed directions in advance, gave great tips on local restaurants, markets, and sites to see, and checked in during our stay to ensure we had everything we needed. The location is beautiful – rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves for miles. The views are breathtaking. The location is great as it is very remote yet by car you are only an hour away (or less) from some great towns and sites. The kitchen is well equipped (we cooked most nights), beds were comfortable, and the entire property was very clean and in good repair. I would recomend this property without hesitation. Thank you, Hugh, for making our stay so memorable.

Hi Hugh,

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your lovely home with us on our vacation.  It was fantastic, what a great spot!  We really enjoyed our time there.  We biked Lucca, went to Pisa to take the requisite pictures, did a day in Florence and another day visiting Lerici and the Cinque Terre.  We even managed to get to the Palio trials in Siena, which was a highlight for my equestrian daughter!

One of our overall highlights of the week was our meal prepared by Aurelio.  What a delight.  The food was outstanding: fresh, delicious, uncomplicated but very nuanced in flavor.  He is very talented.  I was a little concerned that the kids would be turned off by “fancy” food, but I was wrong.  They ALL devoured everything (and believe me, my 10 yr old daughter eating stuffed zucchini flowers and asking for seconds is pretty noteworthy!)  They all agreed it was the best food we had in Italy and they loved it.  It was a very nice relaxing night for the family, and it hit at just the right time in the trip where we needed a relaxing transition.  Thank you very much for recommending him!  I thought his price was very reasonable considering he left us with enough food for the next night and it included all the wine.  I wouldn’t hesitate to tell other guests about that as an option.
I will definitely try to write a homeaway review for you soon.  Still unpacking and dealing with jet lag.
Thanks again!
Karyn, Boston, USA. August 2013

 

Thank you for renting out your house. It is a great place for a family holiday. We can highly recommend the service of the ladies (Grazia and friend). They have cooked two wonderful diners for us. Our visit to Cinque Terre was amazing and we will never forget the beautiful scenery. Schlatmann – NL July 2013

Just letting you know we had a wonderful time at Casa a Corte and enjoyed the house, the pool, the local hikes and trips very much. Comstock Czech Rep July 2013

We had a wonderfuly comfortable time at your guest house. The weather was actually fine each day with very little rain. We did some excellent day trips and had lunch at Antica Locanda twice, great reccomendation. We cooked in each night and were very pleased with how well stocked the kitchen was. We were also able to use the pool a bit. Thank you again for everything to make it a great holiday. Rob McManmon, Boston, MA, USA April 2013

The combination of food, the house, the pool & the fantastic summer weather resulted in a wonderful stay. I never got bored bored of relaxing by the pool whilst being surrounded by olive trees and hills. Thank you for making my Tuscan visit such an epic experience. Kind regards, Tara – 13th July 2012

We had a fantastic time here at Casa a Corte, surrounded by breath-taking views & incredibly lucky weather. Us girls were more than happy sitting by the pool, but we took days out to visit the Grotta del Vento (9/10), the beach (10/10) as well as trips to Lucca & the village of Ponte a Moriano. The food was equisite , and we experimented with our cooking skills with fresh ingredients from the local market. Will be back again soon I’m sure! Kitty, Jack, Archie, Nigs & John – July 2012

We had a wonderful week – a perfect ‘almost’ half way place for 2 families from UK & Australia. We made some fabulous memories here: day trips to San Gimingnano & Volterra – Biking around the walls of Lucca – An afternoon on the beach @ Bagno Dahlia after morning in Pisa – Amazing stewed plums from the plum tree (!) – Red wine & food made with wonderful local produce & Lemoncello – Mini Olympics in the pool – Fabulous sunrises – Views over the mountains – The “Sagra della Zuppa” at Aquilea was definitely a highlight – Ponte a Moriano deli stocked the finest ingredients as ready meals. Casa a Corte was just perfect for us – thank you! The Ships – Michael, Kelly, Lucinda & Joshua (Sydney Australia) The Radajewski’s – Stefan, Theresa, Adam & Sophie (Hunsdon UK) 21-28 Sept 2012

Had a lovely ‘get away from it all’ week. Beautiful house & views magnificent. Good meal in local Pizzeria – very friendly and family oriented. Weather fantastic & pool put to good use. What could be better than lazing by the pool in hot sunshine. Thank you so much – Ali, Kev, Sam, & Oli Clarke. Alison, Bruce, Sam & max Jennings. Loughborough UK August 2012

Hi to everyone who’s renting this. We had a good time at Casa a Corte – not from the very beginning though, ’cause we had to get used to the hot weather first. The house has a certain charm to it & it’s located at such a wonderful place too – we enjoyed it so much! We haven’t done as much sightseeing tours as we wanted to, instead we preferred to relax by the pool and do some short trips into the wonderful area nearby. If you look at the garden surroundings the house you’ll notice a huge variety of fruits – well, you would have if we hadn’t already eaten all of them. They were delicious. Hans Joachim, German family 4-17th August 2012

Hello to fellow Casa a Corte holiday makers. We are a party of seven, and had a wonderful relaxing time. Temperatures around 38 everyday, so swam & rested during the day! Went to beautiful Lucca and the market on Wednesday. As a treat went to the Michelin * Butterfly restaurant on our last night. Fantastic food but expensive. All in all had a wonderful time. Spencer, Dilly, Flo, Strats, Noush, Ellis & Tristan Aug 18-25 2012

Thank you for all your help & a big thank you to Hugh & his family for renting this wonderful house to us. Kind regards Henrik, Leana, Atte, Kasse, Heini, Eine & Ika – Finland 28 April – 6 May 2012

We came from Marenello to Casa a Corte, expecting Gugliano to be a bit larger, but got used to its charm on the countryside. Very private & nice garden & pool. We had a few trips to Lucca & Henning was very happy about hiring a racing bike (even in Lucca), even though it was hot during our stay (over 30C). Having lots of good memories. Granparents Lise & Jan Erik Romsoy, Parents Ceuilie & Henning Hangerud, Kids Jon 16, Lars 12, Siri 7, Bergamo & Torp, Norway – June 2012

This place was a slice of heaven! One week was not enough! What a beautiful place. The kids enjoyed it – especially the pool, walks in the forest. Our first visit to Tuscany – what a fantastic introduction I’ll be back soon, we loved the house. Sebastian & Glenn, Melbourne, 08 October 2011

We had a wonderful 10 day stay in your beautiful home – everything was great.We got to tour around the beautiful area & eats lots of wonderful food. I invited my family from Florence for a Tuscan cook out – all of us had a wonderful time. Phil & Merola, Manchester, Massachusetts, USA – 27 September 2011

Thank you for sharing your house! We fell in love with the area as soon as we entered it. We are truly blessed with the opportunity to visit A Corte. Chris & Lietz Potgieter, Petoria, SA – 20 Aug 2011  

 

We have had a very relaxing 2 weeks in this beautiful area of Tuscany. The house, pool & views are lovely, just right for the perfect escape from a busy life at home. Michael has been fantastic – his local insight are invaluable. We really enjoyed being invited to the village diner! Hope to see you all again. Celia, Paul, Matt, Anna & Lizzy – 11 Aug 2011We’ve been on two family holidays now to A Corte and it’s been absolutely magical on both occasions. The converted farm house offers up exactly the kind of rustic charm that you’d envisage: perched on the hillside with spectacular views across a lush, Tuscan valley. If anything, the photos don’t do it justice – views are also visible from the pool and the veranda which backs onto the pool area. The pool is a good size – large enough to swim lengths and for the kids to play games Inside the house, the furnishings are warm and tastleful, the interior is spotlessly clean and the bedrooms are large and comfortable. Outside there’s an abundance of comfy furniture and a covered veranda which is great for barbeques in the evening. There are also a total of 3 terraces around the house, all offering great views of the valley. In terms of surrounding attractions, the house is a short drive from Lucca – a fantastically quaint medeival Italian city seemingly untainted by the modernising corporate brush. Definitely take the cycling tour around the walls to get a feel for the place and peer down into the city for a view of the stunning architecture that’s prevalent throughout. the also have terrfific open air concerts in the main amphitheatre which are a must. There are also several great restaurants nearby in the hills – check out Antica locanda steak reestaurant for the best steak in the region! Finally, if you need a hand with anything, Michael, an English local who lives nearby, and helps maintain the property, is very forthcoming with any ad hoc help or advice that you might require. All in all – FABULOUS!! Dickman’s, Sevenoaks, Kent – 7th July 2011

We loved our stay at Casa a Corte. Located in the heart of such a beautiful Tuscan valley, it really captures the essence of the ‘good life’. Surrounded by working olive groves and vineyards, you can witness the Italians going about their daily lives as they tend to their crops. A local shop in Ponte Moriano sells the local olive oil (extra virgin of course!) and wine (both produced on the farmhouse’s doorstep!) so guests to A Corte can literally ‘taste’ their surroundings. Really quite magical. We often enjoyed a glass of the local red whilst soaking in the views from the picturesque main terrace. The perfect way to ‘unwind’ from a day by the pool! The vicinity to Lucca, the beach and the mountains also enabled us to get a very all-round experience of Tuscan life. We really enjoyed exploring beautiful Lucca and cycling around the walls and the beach and mountains offered us fantastic days-out! If you fancy travelling further afield, Florence is just over an hour by train and Pisa is even nearer – sadly we didn’t do either! We were too content with the surrounding area to venture much further! One thing we particularly enjoyed was having supper cooked for us in the house. It worked out to be fantastic value and gave us the opportunity to really enjoy the beauty of the valley, whilst being served beautiful local food. Heaven or as the Italians would say ‘paradiso’! Thanks to the owners for giving us a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the best of Italy & Michael for looking after us! We look forward to returning and will encourage friends and family to do the same. The Gatenby’s 4th June 2011

What a wonderful holiday we have spent in this house! We could admire the beautiful view whilst swimming in the big pool. The house is extremely cosy & well equipped & decorated. The weather was absolutely gorgeous; we had sunshine throughout the 2 weeks & a gentle cool breeze. We enjoyed having diner in the restaurants in the towns nearby, especially in Lucca’s many excellent restaurants. In Lucca, bike riding around the rampards is lovely. We really appreciated our stay here & we may surely come back. Thank you so much, lots of love & kisses, The Gaultiers – 1st August 2010

We had a fantastic stay. The house feels ( & is equipped) just like the home. Thanks for all your help. Franchi’s, Muswell Hill London – 25 July 2010

Dear lucky people who own this house. Such a beautiful location, everything in the house you could wish for & Michael just up the road if you need anything. Highly recommend cycling the walls of Lucca, exploring the hills further north & getting Kay in to cook. But the days hanging out on the terraces & around the pool are the best. We’ve all had such a wonderful time. Thank you! x The Jackson & Williams families – 11 Sept 2009

 

We loved it -fantastic house, garden & pool. We had fantastic local walks around the house, met some lovely local Italians & ate some wonderful food & wine. We have booked another 2 weeks for 2010. Ingrid M, Finland – 30 August 2009An excellent holiday. The location superb & quite the most blissfully located pool we’ve ever experienced. Lucca is a gem of a place & has to be viewed from its walls, perched astride day-glow coloured bikes. The test of a problem is how it was dealt with. We are very grateful for your prompt response to a 5 months water shortage. In fact you all always so chherful and ready to advise us on all the local colour. Owners comment-After a unusually dry spring & summer 2009 we introduced a larger 1,000 litre holding tank to avoid any future water shortages). Jackson’s x – 26 July 2009

A Corte has given our family 5 wonderful holidays since 1999. It is such a beautiful tranquil location and we really appreciate it being a family home with books, games and a very well equipped kitchen. This year we helped the farmer pick the grape harvest, the children loved it! We made several trips to the beach, Florence, Lucca and really appreciated your recommendations for local restaurants. The views are as spectacular as ever. This year we did more walking which was fabulous. We hope to see you in 2005. Simon L. We celebrated our wedding anniversary at A Corte with our family and friends and had a wonderful Tuscan meal organized by the owner. Our request was for a seafood and vegetarian menu consisting of several courses. It was a truly memorable evening. Christine, J&C Bown’s, Tinkleton, Dorset – 2007

Having travelled throughout Italy, we truly found peace in your wonderful house. Relaxing by the pool was delightful as the house and estate is in the most perfect position. Hugh & Hazel recommended a wide range of local restaurants such as the local pizzeria, 25 minutes walk away, serving the best pizzas cooked over chestnut wood and many restaurants and trattorias nearby. Lucca is beautiful walled city- a smaller Florence without the tourists. We all loved cycling around the walls We will be returning in 2009! JB, Dorset – 1st May 2007