La Dolce Villa

as a family home; Casa Nirvana is very much lived in, loved, and equipped for comfortable living.

La Dolce Villa

Welcome to Casa Nirvana, a charming and traditional stone house in the medieval hill village of Villecchia in Lunigiana, Italy.  This lush and fertile region of northern Tuscany is an area of spectacular natural beauty; where wildlife thrives, and castles lie around almost every corner. Villecchia is one of its remaining hill villages, where the inhabitants still work the land using traditional methods; producing food and wine in the Mediterranean climate.

The village nestles on the south facing side of the hill and Casa Nirvana sits on the eastern edge : enjoying hours of lovely Tuscan sunshine; and breathtaking panoramic views across the valley and hills, extending to the Apennine Mountains beyond.

Casa Nirvana

Lovingly restored and refurbished and features cotto floors and an open fire, together with a pleasing blend of traditional and contemporary styling.

Accommodation is provided on 3 levels: ground floor cooking and living, first floor bathroom, master bedroom and second bedroom, and second floor mansarda. The landscaped garden boasts a spacious terrace for alfresco dining, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the magnificent scenery; and the enclosed lawn provides a safe play area for children.

Within easy reach of Pisa airport and with excellent beaches & skiing just 40 minutes away, the house is centrally located in Lunigiana. It is the perfect hillside retreat for those not inclined to venture far, yet is ideally situated for the more adventurous to explore this beautiful part of Italy


I Gatti

Following another tour around the property, an explanation of how everything worked and where everything was located, the taking of several photographs to mark the occasion and tears all round, the previous owners of Casa Nirvana entrusted the house to us and handed over the keys in the front garden.

At this precise point two tabby cats made themselves in evidence, which apparently served as a reminder to Signor and Signora Balloni, to introduce and promptly hand them over with the keys. These, then, were now our cats!

They were extremely inoffensive little cats, but we were very disconcerted. What would happen to these animals while we were in the UK and even worse; had they been neutered?

In common with many other countries, Italy does have a problem with strays and neutering is not commonplace. However, with great relief we realised over time, the problem in Villecchia is on a relatively small scale. There are no stray dogs in evidence and the cats do not come in hordes.

Suffice to say, we have felt morally obliged to neuter and spey at will, and the veterinary practice in Aulla has moved to grander and more spacious premises since we became clients!

The cats have at various times been the subject of much talk. No doubt the Italians are greatly amused at the time and money we have and still do spend on what are essentially feral felines. Nevertheless, without exception, our very British attitude has been accepted and supported.

Our caretaker Colette, feeds them all year round and throughout the lengthy refurbishment of Casa Nirvana, the various tradespeople, who, without exception, have all been of the highest calibre, have inexplicably found themselves feeding and watering…And so it remains to introduce them. There are now 4 cats for whom we accept responsibility: Dolly; Dot; Rosa and The Doctor.

Tiny little Dot gave birth to kittens in the garden before we arrived one June. We took her and her two female kittens to be speyed and they have remained ever since.

The cats keep a low profile, have all been neutered and get regular treatments for fleas and worms. They do not come in the house unless invited.

Whilst visitors are staying at Casa Nirvana Colette feeds the cats in her garage. If you do not mind the cats and would like to feed them please let us know. They will be only too glad of a little attention but will not seek it out unless it is welcome.

Location & accessibility

Tuscany is a region in Central Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of around 3.7 million. Its regional capital is the wonderfuly romantic and historic city of Florence. Famous for its beautiful landscapes, its rich artistic legacy and its vast influence on culture; Tuscany is widely regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

In the northernmost tip of this region lies an area called “La Lunigiana”. It is an historical territory, which today falls within the provinces of La Spezia andMassa Carrara and covers an area from the Apennine mountains to the Magra river. Lunigiana belongs in part to Tuscany and in part to Liguria. It is a lush and fertile land; an area of outstanding natural beauty. Picturesque and not yet commercialised, the pace of life is slow, the food and wine robust, and the smiles as warm as the sunshine.

Villecchia is a modest hill village dating back to medieval times. It nestles in the rolling hills of La Lunigiana, and Casa Nirvana sits on the eastern edge of this village, looking out across the chestnut covered hills, towards the Appennine mountains.

The main commercial town in La Lunigiana is Aulla. It is dominated by the ancient and impressive 15th century “Fortezza della Brunella” , but also offers a complete range of modern shops and banks, plus a market, sports complex, garage and medical facilities.

By car Aulla is 20 minutes drive from Casa Nirvana, while the historic town of Pontremoli is 25 mins away. La Spezia can be reached in 20 mins, Old Sarzana 40 mins, Pisa and Lucca 1 hour and Florence 1½ hours. Transport links are good and a reliable bus service runs regularly from Villecchia to Aulla. From the central train station in Aulla the rest of Italy is within easy reach.

The nearest village to Casa Nirvana with an alimentari (grocers) selling fresh bread to order, is a 10-15 minute walk. It is a 10 minute drive down to the small town of Barbarasco which boasts several bars, restaurants and a bank, as well as a doctor, pharmacy and post office.

Bookings & enquiries

To view current availability, check the Casa Nirvana calendar on Owners Direct.

To book or enquire, send me a message via Owners Direct, or get in touch via the contact page of this beautiful website!


La dolce villa is self catering and includes:

wireless broadband
a welcome pack, including locally produced essentials
all towels and bed linen
all utilities
central heating AND a supply of firewood for the open fire in cooler months
travel cot or single pull out child’s bed if required
helpful, friendly and multi-lingual local caretaker

A deposit of 25% is required to secure a booking with the balance due no less than 8 weeks before the date of your arrival.

Full terms of booking are given on the booking form

To book or enquire, send me a message via Owners