Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lucca Secrets - Mini Mediaeval Windows

No one can ever doubt Lucca’s architecture beauty. Over the years I have never got bored of just wondering around and looking. Some of the houses have been restored to let slip their history. Some facades are half plastered to reveal the beautiful medieval brickwork and arches. However one architectural feature has always left me perplexed: just below my office window there is a small round hole with a stone surround. On the palazzo opposite they are square with a grill. But what purpose did they serve, rubbish shots maybe? The key, I discovered from Louis, my great friend and ally in life, from the bistro in the Piazza. The same question had been driving him mad as well, so he finally cornered a guide and asked. The answer touched my heart.

These were small windows for children to observe what was going on in the piazza. Now I know that the Italian love of children is truly genetic.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Le Mura Villa near Lucca in Tuscany

We bought Le Mura Vacation Villa nearly 12 years ago when we decided to leave the rat race so we could spend as much time together and with our daughter. Le Mura Villa was the house we fell in love with. Enzo as an Italian was very certain that Tuscany was the region of his homeland in which he wanted to bring his daughter up in. Enzo therefore hung up his Sea boots and gave up his wonderings as a sea captain and I put away my bookbinding scalpel and we set about making le Mura into our family home.

The heated pool at Le Mura Villa

The house is situated just above Bagni di Lucca the famous spa town just 30 minutes from Lucca city. The house is famous in the area for its beauty and position looking down the valley of the Lima and Serchio rivers over 9 chains of mountains. The marble from these mountains is still as highly priced today as it was when Leonardo and Michelangelo went to chose their slabs.

Le Mura is a relaxed family home where our guest’s children can play and explore or adult parties can just relax. I think photos say more than words and anyway it is not for me to comment but one of our guests left this beautiful poetical message on the blackboard in the Kitchen. “Whenever we speak of the Garden of Eden, perhaps a part of it is still here. Thank you for your hospitality". Signed the American. 

We still have a few weeks available for this Summer and Autumn so please visit our website on   

Le Mura  has won awards and is also featured on the front cover of ' Frommer's Tuscany , Florence Umbria  with your family' guide,  photographed by Chris Jackson one of our lovely guests.