The first thing that strikes you when arriving at L'Antico Borgo di Matraia (after the steep climb!) is the warm welcome from Marina and Paolo - what a lovely couple. There are two houses in which to stay - a larger family-sized home and a smaller place, ideal for couples. Marina had kindly left us a welcome basket of home grown fruit and vegetables and the holiday rental 'Il Forno' was lovely and clean and spotless when we arrived. The thing that struck us was the fantastic view from the dining area - breathtaking. The double bedroom is furnished in rustic Italian style, with antique furniture and is quite large. There is also a twin bedroom in a more contemporary style. The kitchen, although small, is well-equipped, even with a dishwasher and plenty of crockery.
Not to be missed is the swimming pool, that Paolo cleans lovingly each day. There are two cute changing cabins painted in pastel colours and plenty of private places to sit and relax, eat or drink. On top of that there are 5 lovely cats at the property, who saunter by from time to time for a nose! Il Forno is about 25 minutes from Lucca, a city to be enjoyed, but if you get chance do take a trip to Barga and the Garfagnana mountains too.
The only thing I would say is do not go in a sports car as the shale drive up to the Borgo is quite narrow and bumpy. Having said that it is worth it as the setting is beautiful, and the hospitality from Marina and Paolo wonderful. There is a couple of bars locally and a restaurant /pizzeria, but several other places en route to Lucca. Also good for walking and taking a picnic. Highly recommended.
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