Nestling in the wooded hills overlooking the elegant spa town of Bagni di Lucca, Casa Isabella is a former farmhouse with many characteristic features, including chestnut beams and windows, shutters, terracotta floors and Carrara marble surfaces. Because of its elevated position, the house is light and airy, and enjoys a lovely view through the trees over the town’s rooftops, and the surrounding mountains. It’s within easy reach of art cities, ski resorts and sandy beaches.
Although detached and secluded, Casa Isabella is not isolated. Friendly Italian neighbours are close by, and the town, with its shops, spa water swimming pools complex, tennis courts, bars, restaurants and spa treatment centre, is only ten minutes’ walk away.
Bagni di Lucca is a small spa town with Roman origins. Situated around 15 miles north-east of Lucca, it is renowned for the curative powers of its spring water. The town rose to international fame in the early nineteenth century when it was discovered by Napoleon’s sister Elisa, princess of Lucca, who chose Bagni for her summer residence. It was embraced by many famous people including Puccini, Byron, Shelley, the Brownings, Heine and Montaigne.
The Casino (where the game of roulette was invented), old bathing establishments and elegant villas are all reminders of this glamorous era. Spa treatments can still be taken today, at the Varraud centre, a modern hydro with a natural steam grotto.
The town has several excellent restaurants, bars, gelaterie, supermarkets and a variety of small shops. There is also a small twice-weekly market.
Bagni di Lucca has a thriving community of farmers, shopkeepers and artists, and makes a great base for exploring this untrampled corner of Tuscany.