Close to the Tuscan coast, near Livorno and Pisa yet private and secluded, Villa di Mezzo is a perfect base for a family holiday. The balance between privacy and ease of exploration can be difficult, but this home manages it well.
The villa is a carefully converted old farmhouse, now an elegant home with beds for 8 in 4 bedrooms.
Sheltered in a dell, surrounded by pine and evergreen oaks down a short drive, it feels detached from the worries of the world. With air-conditioning, wifi throughout, an excellent barbecue and a cooling swimming pool, this is a house one could happily rarely leave - ideal for a work-cation for those that need a change of scene.
Should you want to explore Tuscany the house is also ideally placed, with Pisa and Lucca nearby, Florence easily reached by car or train, and magical hill-towns close by. The coast is also under twenty minutes away, with long sandy beaches and hidden coves.
Entirely fenced, it is a safe and private haven for the family, overlooked by no other properties and with plenty of space for the children to run around.
Approached from the private driveway, the front door opens onto the stairway. To the left is a comfortable living room, where three sofas face a large fireplace and a hallway off the living area leads to a ground floor shower room. To the right of the stairs there is a well-equipped kitchen adjacent to a dining room with French doors onto the outdoor furnished terrace. Upstairs are 2 double bedrooms, one with an en-suite shower room, 2 twin rooms and a bathroom with a romantic claw-footed tub. One of the twin rooms is normally left with a single bed, but an armchair can be prepared as an additional single bed on request, which makes this an ideal room for children.
The covered loggia with a dining table is flanked by a patio with a barbecue and outside armchairs – the perfect spot for relaxing in the evening after a good meal and looking onto the swimming pool which sits slightly lower in the garden.
With apologies for the quality - these are sketches I make for myself during my house visits - this is a ground-floor plan for Villa di Mezzo
The top floor - the master bedroom is on the left, the two smaller bedrooms are on the right. The top left bedroom has a single + a sofa-bed that can be turned into a twin.
The private secluded dell that surrounds Villa di Mezzo is perfect for relaxing by the pool
The owners of Villa di Mezzo love cooking and it shows in the care they have lavished on the kitchen
There is plenty of space for outdoor living - and an excellent barbecue too
The house and outdoor dining area overlook the pool, allowing for easy supervision of playing children.
Once a farmhouse, now an elegant villa
The comfortable living room has a fireplace, making this a perfect villa for shoulder season stays too.
The arched doorway leads to the kitchen and dining room, while to the left there is a downstairs shower room and access to the garden and pool
Handy for those coming in from the pool, this shower room is on the ground floor
The kitchen is comfortable and well-equipped
The master bedroom has an en-suite bathroom
En suite bathroom for the master bedroom
The second double bedroom
The main twin bedroom upstairs
This room is smaller and has a single bed plus a single sofa bed, making the last twin
The upstairs bedrooms share this bathroom with its claw-footed tub - except for the master bedroom which has its own ensuite.
There is a wonderful covered arched area for outdoor dining, with a barbecue to the right. The pool is through the arch so one can lunch while keeping an eye on the children.
The swimming is 8 metres by 5 and a perfect spot for relaxing by
The garden is well looked after and a delight to see.
There is even a vintage fussball table to keep everyone entertained!
One of the great conveniences of Villa di Mezzo is how close it is to Pisa, making it easy to reach and also putting many of Tuscany's cities within easy reach by train as well as by car.
After you land it is less than 30 minutes drive to get to the villa.
Livorno is close by, a very interesting and largely undervalued Mediterranean port, with some stunning fortifications and excellent fish markets.
Pisa and its tower are close, as are the encircling walls of Lucca and all the treasures they embrace. From Pisa Central station you can reach Florence's central station of Santa Maria Novella in under an hour, or head north to La Spezia and the Cinque Terre, also reachable by train in under an hour.
Beautiful beaches are within 20 minutes drive, including the National Park beaches of Migliarino.
Live Opera can often be found at Lago Massaciuccoli, once home to Puccini. Or head south-east to Lajatico, home to Andrea Bocelli's "Teatro del Silenzio", both around 45 minutes drive away.
The famous leaning tower of Pisa is less than half an hour from Villa di Mezzo
The birth-place of Andrea Bocelli is now a renowned live concert venue where the singer regularly performs.
Lago di Massaciuccoli, close to Lucca, was the residence of the opera composer Puccini. Now it regularly welcomes stunning live opera performances - as well as being a beautiful lake in its own right.
Livorno is an undiscovered gem, with canals, forts, light-houses and excellent fish restaurants.
This is the "Gombo" beach in the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore - less than 30 minutes away from the house.
Florence can be easily reached in under an hour from Pisa Train Station.
The famous town of medieval towers is just over an hour away
The beautiful city of Lucca is 45 minutes drive away
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