Campitino invites rest and relaxation. This is a vacation villa designed for those who want to do much by doing little.
It is of sympathetic design for any number of combination of family and friends who are ready to experience an authentic countryside stay with an emphasis on really enjoying each others’ company it’s diverse qualities and the interesting character of the place itself.
Of course, there are places worth exploring and they are likely to draw you out. But be sure to leave plenty of time for savoring. Campitino is rewarding in it’s depth and the varying ways to enjoying life. Especially if you have the opportunity to enjoy a moon rise from the terrace.
Embrace the past in Campitino
Once upon a time when economies were truly local and to step outside the protective embrace of your local village was to risk death or disaster, places like Pieve a Brancoli were whole universes, complete economic units and full- fledged social entities. When you climb the long, steep and winding road to the village where Campitino perches, you will be able to appreciate it’s strategic position and see the compact core of what remains.
This small village still has one bar where soccer is watched communally on the television, and a restaurant newly invigorated by the shared work of a young family in the timeless tradition of Italy. You can still envision how it might have been seven hundred years ago when you were either in or out, and being in meant being a part of the community, like it or not.
Today it is a sleepy place with two handfuls of residents and forms a lovely setting for a quiet, restorative vacation.
Tuscan country life
This tranquil setting belies the availability of numerous options for outings. On foot, you can follow trails up and around and over to the handsome Pieve a Brancoli church, a lovely walking loop of under an hour, depending on your speed.
There are local points of interest for those interested in food, wine and local history, places for poking around and getting to know Tuscan country life.
Most compelling is Lucca, a true gem of a village with it’s own life and times. For those with children, biking the wall and in and out of Lucca’s narrow lanes makes for one (or more) delightful afternoons. There is the Aqueduct to visit as well as other bike excursions beyond Lucca’s centro storico. At a minimum, Lucca is where you go for a serious shopping and dining. Of course, you don’t have to. There are options in other villages, scattered across this easy landscape, that make fine destinations for a slow lunch.
From Campitino to the beauty of Portofino
The coastline communities of Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio are also within easy reach on a day trip and the beach clubs make for happy children and provide a glimpse of Italian social life even without putting a toe in the water. And there is more shopping there as well. Pietrasanta is more artistic and a personal favorite.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa can indeed be climbed by an enterprising few each day; reservations required. Take the train from Pisa and be carried up the coast line for hikes between the Cinque Terre or to enjoy Portofino’s easy beauty.
Anyone with a desire for outdoor time can head up into the Garfagnana for hiking or even more extreme outdoor sports.
To the east is Leonardo da Vinci’s hometown museum with scale models of all his inventions. All of this and we have not even mentioned Grotta Giusti in Montecatini for a spa break. Or Florence of course, at about an hour’s distance.
Luxury with the family
Part of the spirit of Campitino is in the love and labors of the owners, who invest tremendously of themselves with thoughtful improvements and continuous maintenance.
This is an oft-enjoyed family home, the holiday and vacation retreat for a noted architect who undertook the restoration and improvement of the 300-year-old house himself.
The owners’ attention to a simple and appealing expression of country life is everywhere evident, in the combination of Italian and North American stylistic traditions.
The higgledy-piggledy nature of the property, two principal structures unified with numerous staircases and level changes both indoors and out, adds considerably to the aesthetic. The Terrace House is where the family gathers together, the dining area and living area inside and out being comfortable for up to 10. For two families, or six to eight people, this layout is ideal as there are ample private and gathering spaces.
Set along the outermost edge of the village, suspended over a terraced grove of fruit trees, Campitino is graced with sincerely stupendous views. The compact and upright nature of the house is countered by the expansiveness of the view and the sense of living in and among a village, however quiet it might be. The house can be reached either on foot through the village, or on the narrow driveway that winds up through the terraced olive grove.