Just returned from a superb 8 night stay with the family (Mum, Dad , 4 children aged 11-17yrs, and small dog) at Quintilia's beautiful house in the Garfagnana region of Northern Tuscany. The house was stunning- very typically Italian, with traditional features- the ceiling in the second lounge was stunning. If you like the authenitc feel, then this is for you. The property was much larger than we had expected from the picures, and all the rooms were very spacious other than the kitchen which was small, but perfectly adequate and kitted out for our needs (cooking for a family of 6). The garden was large and very pretty and well kept, with plenty of space for our four children to play- loungers, parasols, and a great pool which was brand new, clean, and a good size- the kids loved it!! There was a beautiful balcony from the main bedroom with breathtaking views into the Apuan Alps and Tuscany Hills- really not done justice by the photos on the website.
Quite a tricky area to get to if you aren't used to windy Italian county roads, but once there, a perfect base from which to explore. The immediate area is perfect for walking- stunning lakes, forests, and hills- plenty of options for admiring the wildlife- we spotted emperor butterflies, hundreds of little lizards, and even found porcupine spines. If you are into cycling, you'll love it- our son cycles competively and the surrounding roads offered perfect training- great hill climbs and some really good hairpins. We took day trips to Florence, Pisa, and Lucca- all well worth the journey (Florence was furthest- approx 2hrs- make sure you leave early to avoid queues and to allow time for parking). Barga is most local and had a lovely authentic Italian feel- we attended the Barga Jazz Fertival- a real treat.
Topping all this however, was the welcome we felt from Quintilia and her husband Roberto (who live about 100 metres away in the village), and Quintilia's wonderful parents (our immediate neighbours). You couldn't ask for more warm-hearted, kind, and obliging people, who respected our privacy, but were equally at hand for anything we needed- for example, Quintilia spent at least half an hour helping us book tickets over the phone for the Uffizi Gallery which we could never have done on our own! Quintilia's father has a small farm and brought us vegetables during our stay, and her mother even made us two amazing fruit tortes- delicious- we felt spoilt! Saying goodbye was hard, as even in such a short time they had made all of us feel like part of the family. We were also lucky enough to come when the village's annual Potato festival is held, and we were so impressed with the community spirit, and the delicious traditional food.
In summary, we loved it. Our first Airbnb experience as a family, and we would recommend 100%. Thank you so much Quintilia. If only we had stayed for longer!!