Villa Michaela Review – Traditional Tuscan Villa with Rustic Charm
- our review
- the property
- location & Amenities
Rustic Chic. Old-World Tuscan Villa. Honeymoon hideaway.
I couldn't decide which title to apply to Villa Michaela - a quaint villa perched on the Tuscan hills, south of the historic walled city of Lucca.
Driving along a narrow snaking road in the early July heat, one is reminded of the simplicity of a rural lifestyle as it may have been lived many years ago. One where modern technology, gleaming architecture, or a fast paced lifestyle seem rather out of place.
Push the buzzer and the electric gates swing open. A young bikini-clad girl walking down the driveway to welcome us indicates that this is a different sort of luxury accommodation option. If traditional five star service is what you are after, that's not Villa Michaela.
And that's not a bad thing. Sometimes slowing down to take in each moment – free from internet, TV, and all things digital – allows the freedom to relax.
Having never stayed in an actual villa in Tuscany, I had no real basis to form expectations. Certainly, one anticipates the obligatory characteristics of charm, rustic beauty, and old-world decor.
Villa Michaela certainly delivers on the unspoken promises of a Tuscan Villa. More than that, it satisfies an inner nostalgic yearning to connect with a foreign people and simplistic way of life that seems untouched for centuries.
When you can boast, "I'm off for a summer stay/wedding/vacation at a villa in Tuscany," the cache and allure attached to that phrase is immense. Even if you've never been to Tuscany, the phrase 'Rustic Tuscan Villa' creates all kinds of fantastic worlds and dreams in your mind's eye.
Villa Michaela is remote in the sense that there are not many neighboring buildings, save for a few other villas and a church. Yet, a short drive down the road and you'll find yourself in the heart of the wonderful city of Lucca.
Its character and charm stem from a farmhouse rustic chic style – both inside and out.
Take the opportunity to roam freely around the property and indulge on your own Tuscan Time. However, the fantastic pool area will likely occupy the majority of your relaxation time.
I wanted to glimpse the lifestyle and allure of a Tuscan Villa for myself. And I feel Villa Michaela was the perfect partner who whispered her many secrets, leaving me wanting more.
Villa Michaela is an excellent accommodation option in Tuscany for friends and family to come together for an authentic, laid-back experience under the Tuscan sun.
About the Villa
Nestled among olive groves and a pine forest, Villa Michaela is a listed nineteenth century villa with immense charm. The main house accommodates 22 guests in 12 bedrooms, each furnished in the style of an English country house and all offering their own authentic Tuscan experience.
There is an adjacent coach house to the villa that sleeps another 6 guests.
Adjoining the villa is Casa Uno, one of the oldest houses in the village, which was fully restored in 2013 to the highest standards. Its 6 bedrooms make for the perfect private getaway retreat for the whole family.
Casa Uno facilities:
- Large living room with fireplace and views
- Large garden with original 18th century wood fire pizza oven.
- Kitchen with AGA cooker, AGA fridge, etc.
Due to the estates overall large size and privacy, the villa makes for an amazing choice for large groups such as family/friend reunions, weddings, or corporate meetings.
While staying at Villa Michalea, a large group with children rented out Casa Uno and had hired their own personal chef for the whole stay. Of course, the group had a pizza night to use the original eighteenth century wood fire oven!
The property also boasts extensive gardens, a floodlit tennis court, a large swimming pool, and several different al fresco dining areas. Get lost meandering one of the many paths that lead to a fragrant flower garden, a pond, or a pergola.
Along with stunning Tuscan valley views, make use of the villa's central heating, air conditioning, cable TV, pool table and cinema / party room in the ‘sound proof’ basement -- perfect for late night activities. The villa includes buffet breakfast in the morning, WiFi in public areas, and free self parking.
The property offers cooking classes put on by The Rhode School of Cuisine. The über rustic kitchen with wood beam ceilings and hanging kitchenware is sure to enthrall any foodies in the crowd.
The Deluxe Suite goes by the name Dante, and has 'romantic honeymoon' written all over it!
Its easy to add a little romance to a room that houses an oversized bed and massive (double) Jacuzzi bathtub.
Beautifully decorated ceilings, rich drapery, and vantage points from three separate windows to take in the Tuscan views means honeymoon bliss just got a lot closer.
A lovely couple from the UK happened to be staying across from our room. They were on their honeymoon and chose Villa Michaela for two nights as part of their trip. The choice was forged from a combination of factors: location near Lucca, the picturesqe hillside setting, and the romantic notion of a villa in Tuscany.
No matter which room you choose at Villa Michaela, each is uniquely decorated and offers charming character and comfort.
Finding a wedding venue that speaks for itself, without the need for rentals and store bought decor clutter, is like finding a hidden pot of gold at the end a rainbow. If you are looking for a romantic, rustic, whimsical wedding retreat, you have hit the proverbial jackpot with Villa Michaela!
With rooms for up to 40 guests to stay on the property, and up to 150 guests overall using nearby accommodation, the property presents itself as an amazing destination wedding venue!
Choose to have a ceremony inside the wonderfully decorated consecrated chapel (seating for 100), or outside among the beautiful buildings and garden.
A team of professional staff help plan and execute your wedding to perfection. Choose to have a reception beside the pool, outside under the stars, al fresco style. Or, move the party indoors to the main dining room surrounded by impressive frescoes and chandeliers.
A wedding at Villa Michaela means you will have space to entertain and party. A ‘sound proof’ party room in the basement allows guests the opportunity to have a blast until the wee hours of the morning. Certainly something to think about. Do some research and you'll quickly see that many other wedding venues don't allow you to have a late night celebration until dawn.
Villa Michaela offers extra curricular activities beyond the beautiful pool, long strolls through the hillside, or intense tennis match at the private court. Why not sign up for a cooking class or join one of the painting and drawing workshops?
Additional services that can be arranged on-site include: massages, private or group yoga classes, manicure and pedicure services, and even baby sitting for the little ones.
Villa Micheala is perfectly situated for day trips to the following areas: Lucca, Florence, the coast at Forte dei Marmi, or Cinque Terre.
- Pisa International Airport - 33 Kms
- Lucca - 9.5 Kms
- Forte dei Marmi - 42 Kms
- Florence - 85 Kms
- Montecatini Terme (famous thermal baths) - 30 Kms
- Viareggio - 33 Kms
- San Giuliano Terme - 12 Kms
- Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and Palazzo Pfanner - 10 km