Accommodation in Tuscany - Il Gufo Farmhouse


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.

The farmhouse
the Farmhouse


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.

Views from the garden
one garden
The pool
the pool

Further afield...

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.

San Marcello Pistoiese
San Marcello Pistoiese
Santa Celestina Day
San Marcello Pistoiese
An ancient bridge
an ancient bridge
Mount Cimone
Mount Cimone
Marble quarry in the Apuan Alps
marble quarry
Fishing lake
fishing lake
The hanging bridge
the hanging bridge
San Marcello's church
San Marcello's church
pool farmhouse tuscany