An increasingly attractive alternative to other parts of Tuscany for those seeking property in Italy. Northern Tuscany covers the area of Tuscany between the Versilian coast and Florence, including Lucca and the Garfagnana.
The scenery is different in each area, the Versilian coastline is famous for its golden sandy beaches, the Garfagnana for its majestic mountainous terrain and the area around Lucca for its gentle hills, olive groves and vineyards. The area of Vinci and Montecarlo are also famous for their vineyards, olive groves and softer undulating countryside. The city of Lucca overflows with exquisite “palazzi”, fascinating churches and towers. From these towers and the city walls which encircle the city one can enjoy fabulous 365° views, not only of the tapestry of terracotta roofs but also the mountains and countryside in the distance.
The Serchio river runs down from the mountainous Garfagnana area to eventually reach the golden, sandy Versilian coastline. Part of the Versilian coastline known as Torre del Lago has a famous lake where every year the renowned “Puccini Festival” opera is performed. The well known river Arno can be seen running through Pisa as it makes it’s way down to Florence and beyond. In the Garfagnana area you will find gorges and caves at every turn, a real nature-lovers paradise, and just a short drive from the Garfagnana lie the ski slopes of Abetone.
Average temperature ranges from 4 to 18 degrees during the winter months and from between 23 to 38 degrees in the summer months. Normally low rainfall in the months of May, June, July and beginning of August, highest rainfall in the months of October and November. The average summer season runs from April until October.
History of the area
Lucca is famous for its beautiful Amphitheatre and its renowned Lucca villas, the Botanical gardens, the Guinigi tower, the cathedral of San Martino, the national museum of Villa Guinigi and of course, Puccini’s house. Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca in 1856 and his house is now a museum housing portraits, scores, sketches and other memorabilia related to Puccini’s life and career. His operas are performed every year on the Torre del Lago lake in the Versilia. The poet Pascoli lived in Barga during the summer months and the poet Carducci was born near Lucca. Poets Shelley and Byron passed many summers in Bagni di Lucca which is just a short trip towards the Garfagnana, in the hills to the North of Lucca.
Art, history, and cuisine are the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Tuscan culture. The Versilian coastline, Lucca, the Garfagnana, Montecatini Terme, Pescia, and Vinci are all steeped in history and full of churches, museums, restaurants and “trattorias”, as well as hosting weekly markets, antique fairs and events. In and around Lucca the following events occur yearly:
Viareggio Carnival on the Versilian coast, the “Luminaria” candlelight festivities held on the banks of the river Arno at Pisa, Puccini’s opera festival on the lake at Torre del Lago, the “Luminaria” candlelight religious festival in Lucca, the Lucca Summer music festival, the Jazz festival at Barga, the Chocolate festival at Barga, the wine festival at Montecarlo to name but a few.
Pisa, Lucca and Montecarlo are all famous for their DOC wines. The Garfagnana and Lucca area have their own gastronomic specialties, in the Garfagnana the cereal “Farro” known in English as “Spelt” is grown and used in a wide variety of dishes, such as the “Zuppa di Farro”. Chestnut flour also plays a large part in the traditional cuisine and is used to make “Necci” or crêpes, usually filled with ricotta cheese and cured ham; as well as biscuits and pasta.
Types of property available
All types of property for sale are available in this area of Italy; apartments in the centre of Lucca, rustic farmhouses and village cottages, villas, estates with wine and oil production. Many clients are looking for a restoration project to pursue but some also like the idea of buying a finished project. Both of these solutions are a possibility in the area of Lucca. Different types of architecture throughout our portfolio including traditional Tuscan stone buildings with beams and terracotta tiles, Liberty, otherwise known as Nouveaux and villas dating back to the 15th and 18th century. We also have some contemporary houses and apartments for sale.
The local market in Northern Tuscany is growing, as is our international market with most of our foreign buyers from Britain.
Lucca itself is only 25 mins from Pisa International Airport which has excellent connections with the UK, Ireland and more recently has started the new Pisa/New York route operating four times per week.
Roads are good, the motorway at Lucca has a direct link between the Versilian coast and Florence. Tolls are paid at intervals along the motorway and are charged according to distances traveled.
The train service from Lucca is excellent, the service covers from Florence to the coast with all the various stops in between. Trains are very frequent, sometimes up to 3 or 4 per hour. The service up to the Garfagnana from Lucca is also good, with frequent trains first thing in the morning and then in the afternoon. Midday service is not so good.