Staying at Casa a Corte, Gugliano, and dining in and around Lucca

Casa a Corte is a large restored property of Roman origin near the hamlet of Gugliano, 15 minutes north of Lucca. All the neighbouring towns have Roman names – Gugliano, Mastiano, Aquilea – as the Roman armies travelled north along the west coast of Italy staying in little farm house fortifications. The house is encircled by thirty acres of olive groves, vineyards, fruit trees, chestnut woodlands, mountain streams. From three large terraces and swimming pool there are views of the surrounding countryside and the distant sound of church bells and choir from over the valley can be heard.

Fifteen minutes away, Lucca is a beautiful historic medieval walled city and former capital of Tuscany during the wealthy silk trading days and it is also the birthplace of Puccini. The city is mostly pedestrianised and during the passeggiata, or pre and post prandial walkabout, both cyclists and walkers tour around the walls of Lucca, looking at the views and into the courtyards and gardens. Lucca is famous for its art, architecture, shops and restaurants.

Medieval villages perched on wooded hillsides and surrounded by vineyards can be seen in and around the countryside north of Lucca.

In the summer there are Sagras, local village dinners and dances and there are also many musical events, the Puccini operas are staged at Torre del Lago, as well as jazz festivals in Lucca.

Lucca has two food and sundries markets a week as well as an antique market on the third Sunday of every month. The nearby market of Ponte a Moriano is held every Tuesday morning, showcasing fresh seafood, local cheeses, honey, fruit, vegetables, tools and clothes.

Where to eat and drink in and around the area

Antica Locanda: Situated on the river, just before Ponte A Via Ludovica, 1660, 55100, west side of Ponte a Moriano. Tel: (0039) 0583 578181

This is a family run trattoria, originating back to 1368. The Head Chef produces simple, delicious food and his father makes all the wines and olive oil. All the pasta and puddings are homemade and the most popular dish is the grilled meats.

Villa Volpi: a hotel, spa and restaurant nearby in Mastiano. Tel: (0039) 0583 406137 Address: Via di Mastiano e Gugliano, 47, 55029 Mastiano

The food served here is more international, but the views are beautiful.

Butterfly: Tel: (0039) 0583 307 573 SS.12 del Brennero, 192 Marlia, Lucca

Michelin starred, predominantly fish restaurant in Marlia, run by a husband and wife team.

Da Pinza: Via Nazionale, 1207 – Ponte a Moriano (Ponte A Moriano Square). Tel: 0583 577 760.

It serves good pizzas baked in a wood oven, local and Tuscan dishes as well as take-aways.

Erasmo: on the other side of the river. Via Nazionale, 1782 Ponte A Moriano, Tel: 0583 406362.

This restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in the area, dating back to 1760. It is very simple and traditional with a lovely spacious garden on the river where you can eat during the summer months.

Il Botteghino: Via di Matraia 1505, San Pancrazio 55100. Tel: 0583 406 406

This is a simple restaurant with no menu. The waitress recites the daily dishes. Pasta is wonderful – tagliatelle ai fungi, tortelli al ragu – and there is also a seasonal vegetable soup. For main courses the rare roast beef is a real winner, served pink, finely sliced with a drizzle of olive oil {do not try to change it to well done as it will not happen}. There is often a fish, probably Baccala {salt cod}, maybe tripe and a steak. Via di Matraia 1505, San Pancrazio 55100. Tel: 0583 406 406 Closed Monday

If you want local wine then you can buy this from a plant shop on the river just as you drive into Ponte a Moriano. It is by a little roundabout & car park setback on the right as you get near the river as you drive from Casa a Corte

Lucca restaurants:

Buca di San Antonio Via della Cervia 3, Lucca Tel: (0039) 0583 558 81

A well known, very good Tuscan restaurant.

Giglio : Piazza del Giglio 2, Lucca Tel: (0039) 0583 494058

Excellent town traditional restaurant.

Buralli : Piazza S.Agostino 10, Lucca.

Another good restaurant with a more alternative menu. Tel: 0583 950 611

Casina delle Rose: Via dell’Acquedotto, Sorbano del Giudice, Lucca. Tel: 0583 946 41.

South of Lucca is a very good restaurant situated under the huge aquaduct. The Padaletta {a big bowl of mussels and shell fish with bread tucked in the sides to absorb the broth} is the perfect dish for a hungry fish eater.

L’Enoteca Marcucci, Tel: 0584 791 962 La Cantina dell’Enotecca Marcucci, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 40, 55045 Pietrsanta

Designer Paul Smith’s favourite place to eat. You can eat outside or inside in the wine shop. It is not cheap but the quality is very good. Arrive early to avoid disappointment or book, as it is very popular with the Milanese. The restaurant really captures the arty Mediterranean atmosphere and is very trendy

Further Information


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