This is an ideal place in which to get to know authentic Tuscany, whether you are walking through remote mountain villages or through the streets of a world-famous Renaissance city. Set your own pace and create your own agenda, perhaps spending a rewarding day in the mountains, or discovering the art treasures of the classical world in Florence, Pisa or Lucca and indulging in local specialities on the terrace of a colourful trattoria on the piazza, before returning to your tranquil oasis set amid the silent forests around San Marcello-in-Pistoiese.
Farmhouse Il Gufo in San Marcello Pistoiese (Tuscany - Italy), is a perfectly restored Villa with swimming pool that respects the traditional architecture of Tuscany, with antique furniture and rustic interior features selected to maintain the warm atmosphere of the past.
The external and internal stone walls and wooden ceilings are in total harmony with the Tuscan surroundings.
Each of the apartments allows you to dine and relax in a sitting room, with fully-equipped kitchen and open fireplace.
These charming rustic apartments are hidden away along a secluded strada bianca, not far from the pretty village of San Marcello Pistoiese. For hugely rewarding, though fairly strenuous walks, we recommend a number of routes in the mountains, including around Abetone and the Corno alle Scale with the delights of Lake Scaffaiolo which can be ascended (with the aid of cable cars!) from Cutigliano, only a 10-kilometre drive from San Marcello.
Accommodations and Services in Agriturismo il Gufo
(60 m2: Sleeps 4) Dining/sitting room with kitchen, open stone fireplace and armchairs (30 m2) + 1 double bedroom (12 m2) + 1 twin bedroom (9m2) + a bathroom with shower, toilet, bidet and basin. Stone walls, kitchen with oven, four hob stove, refrigerator, freezer, historic stone basin. Adjustable heating. Private entrance. Private fenced garden with outdoor furniture (approx. 30 m2).
(60 m2: Sleeps 2-4) Large dining/sitting room with kitchen, open stone fireplace and sofabed (42 m2) + 1 double bedroom (12 m2) + a bathroom with shower, toilet, bidet and basin. Stone walls, high wooden ceilings with exposed beams, tiled kitchen with electric oven, four hob stove, refrigerator, freezer and basin. Adjustable heating. Private entrance. Verandah with wooden roof and terracotta tiled floor (25m2). Private garden with outdoor furniture and fence (approx. 40 m2).
(60 m2: Sleeps 4) Dining/sitting room with kitchen, open fireplace restored with original bricks (20m2) + 1 double bedroom (12 m2) + 1 twin bedroom (12 m2) + a bathroom with shower, toilet, bidet and basin. Original wooden ceilings with exposed beams. Kitchen with electric oven, four hob stove, refrigerator, freezer. Adjustable heating. Private entrance. Private garden (approx. 20 m2) connected to the apartment by a small wooden bridge, with outdoor furniture and an amazing view.
One of these rooms was the farmhouse's "metato", originally used for drying chestnuts.
(60 m2: Sleeps 2-4) Dining/sitting room with kitchen, sofabed and open stone fireplace with original wooden fire oven (30m2) + 1 double bedroom (12 m2) + a large bathroom with shower, toilet, bidet and basin. Stone walls, original brick and wooden ceilings with exposed beams, original brick floor, tiled marble kitchen with electric oven, four hob stove, refrigerator, freezer and granite basin. Adjustable heating. Private entrance. Private fenced garden with outdoor furniture (approx. 50m2).
This apartment was once the family home in the farmhouse, and has been fully restored with the original floors and ceilings.
Internal Services: Heating, Final cleaning
External services: Barbecue, Car park
The 16 metre swimming pool is built into the side of the mountain and follows the natural curves of the environment to enhance the rural characteristics of the farm. It is 100 meters far from the house in order to guarantee a complete quieteness to the apartments. The pool will be opened from the beginning of May up to the end of September.
From here there are picturesque views of the valley and surrounding villages.
Where we areIl Gufo sits surrounded by woodland on a hillside looking out over neighbouring mountains and valleys. Its rural location in one of the lesser developed areas of northern Tuscany also benefits from easy access to local conveniences.
Ten minutes drive, or a 20 minute walk from the farmhouse, the small town of San Marcello Pistoiese is 650 metres above sea level. Only half an hour from Pistoia and 50 minutes from Florence and Lucca, the location makes leisurely day trips to the artistic centres of Italy easy. A car is recommended, although it is possible to reach Pistoia, Florence and Lucca from the bus station in the centre of town. A bus service also connects San Marcello to Pracchia which, 10km away, is the nearest train station and serves all destinations.
There are several restaurants in San Marcello Pistoiese, 3 banks with ATMs, pubs and bars, supermarkets, internet access, and everything you might need for your holiday. You can also take advantage of the local countryside, visiting the fascinating ancient villages in the surrounding area or trying activities such as trekking, mountain biking and horse riding.
San Marcello-in-Pistoiese is just one of many delightful hill-top villages that are worth visiting in the region – and it's only a short walk from your apartment.
The nearest town is Pistoia, a small but interesting place that really is worth a visit. Also worthy of note, and equally captivating, are Gavinana and its small museum, Cutigliano, and Popiglio, famed for the Castruccio bridge.
Not to be missed, however, is Montecatini Terme, a beautiful spa town built by the Grand Duke of Tuscany that was once the haunt of European royalty. Sample the various treatments available in one of the stylish spas; enjoy the grandeur of the architecture; and take the funicular cable car to Montecatini Alto, the most historic part of the town, which offers panoramic views over the surrounding countryside as well as boasting a square full of inviting restaurants.
There are plenty of options for pleasant strolls in the surrounding woodland and Tuscan countryside. However, for something a little more challenging, there are some wonderful walks in the mountains:
• Gavinana Observatory (15km, 4-5hrs): Starting from a point a 5-minute drive from your base, this circular walk commences with an ascent to a fine viewpoint at the Observatory. The route then heads east, contouring the mountainside above Gavinana and Maresca, using quiet forest paths that are easy to follow. The route descends into the village of Maresca, where you can stop for refreshments, before joining more tranquil paths across the open countryside back to Gavinana.
• Pistoiese Apennines: For hugely rewarding, though fairly strenuous walks, we recommend a number of routes in the mountains, including around Monte Abetone and the Corno alle Scale which can be ascended (with the aid of cable cars!) from Cutigliano, only a 10-kilometre drive from San Marcello. Discover the delights of Lake Scaffaiolo while enjoying far-reaching views through these little-known hills.
No holiday to Tuscany would be complete without a discovery on foot of at least one of the remarkable Renaissance cities that make this such a fascinating region to explore. We provide city walking notes to guide you round Lucca and Florence, taking in each city's famous landmarks and some of their lesser-known treasures:
• The Delights of Lucca: This marvellous walled town, unique in Tuscany for being built on a plain, is medieval in character despite obvious Roman origins. The Old Town is centred on the Cathedral of San Martino, decorated with extraordinarily intricate carvings, and housing the renowned Volto Santo crucifix, though there are several other fascinating medieval churches within the ramparts. Use our detailed notes to visit the birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini in the Via di Poggio, close to Piazza St Michele; to explore the streets and piazzas; to wander along the ramparts; and to relax in the Botanical Gardens or the Palazzo Pfanner with its formal gardens decorated with marble statues. (approx 40km/25-mile drive)
• Renaissance Florence: Florence is a delight to explore and the attractions of Italy’s greatest Renaissance city need little introduction. Almost everyone would have a different list of places they simply must visit and we recommend a self-guided city walk using our detailed notes to guide you to the most famous landmarks. From Piazza del Duomo, you will discover open squares and narrow streets, stopping to admire historic palaces and public buildings, including one of the most famous art galleries in the world, the Uffizi, which contains works by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, among others. Be sure not to miss Michelangelo’s statue of David in the Galleria dell’ Accademia or the fascinating Ponte Vecchio over the River Arno. (approx 70km/45-mile drive)
• Pisa – charm & history: The three most famous sights of Pisa are on the Campo dei Miracoli, at the end of Via Roma: the Baptistery, which is the largest in Italy, with a beautiful, simple interior; the Duomo (the cathedral), which has a superb pulpit by Giovanni Pisano; and the famous Leaning Tower, a beautiful building in its own right. Today, the lean has been halted and a climb to the top around the listing galleries is not for the faint-hearted. (approx 70km/45-mile drive)
• And don’t forget the seaside towns of Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi and Marina de Pietrasanta on the Tyrrhenian Sea, which make a fabulous day out by car, with time to visit the towns of Bagni di Lucca, Camaiore and Borgo da Mozzano, with its famous Devil’s Bridge, on the way home.