• at Villa Stabbia
  • Places to Visit
  • For Children
  • Those small things
  • For Food Lovers
  • Trekking & Biking
  • Well-being & Spa
  • The Beach & Skiing
  • Tennis & Golf
  • The Local Markets

Activities at Villa Stabbia

So what is there to do - well during the long summer, enjoying the sun and the swimming-pool, which has a complete panorama of the valley is always top on the list. For the children, there are toys as well as play-area adjacent to the common BBQ.
The games room
, with a increasing selection of games available besides the table-tennis and "table-football". Likewise, for your entertainment, we have Croquet, Giant Mikado and Petanque (Boule).
In addition, a small library has been started, which is steadily growing.


BBQ or Picnic

Each house obviously has it's own barbeque, but there is also the common barbeque as well as a covered terrase.

There are the bikes (mountain and normal) and although the area is hilly, it offers opportunities for wonderful outings - just remember to pack the picnic basket.


Time to Study and Learn

Some study time - a chance to improve on the Italian language - a teacher can come to Villa Stabbia for individual lessons.

Some cooking time - a chance to try and taste true Italian dishes - why not take some cooking classes? Your own chef will come and cook with you - or even cook for you here at Villa Stabbia - www for more details and contact.

Always wanted to know how olive oil was made - we regularly make presentations with visits to our mill and tasting of our oil.
These events can last between 30 min and 2 hours - for more details have a look here www. For guests staying at Villa Stabbia, attending these presentations is of course free of charge

Then last but not least - there's our horses.
Riding lessons and treks are always available



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Places to visit whilst at Villa Stabbia

So what is there to do outside the estate - A LOT.

Besides the well known sites and cities Florence - Lucca - Pisa - Siena - Cinque Terra ..... there are hundreds of wonderful places and sights to explore - Just too much to do and see in a week!!!!

In each house you will find a binder with local information and general tourist information. However - below a small list of some of them...


Driving Race Karts indoor in Montecatini Terme

MyKart in Montecatini Terme is an indoor racing track with electric Karts - www for more details.
Although these karts are smallish, some of the great international drivers on the scene today in sports such as Formula 1, Indy cars, Formula GT, still love the fun and thrills of driving these electric vehicles.

The Karts can reach beyond 90 km / hour with accelerations from 0 to 90 in 4.6 seconds.

For those that have not tried driving an electric Kart before, courses are available with professional instructors. Minimum age for attending is 6 years old. There are 24 karts for adults and 8 karts for children.


Museum and House of Leonardo da Vinci

Perched in the mountains west of Firenze, Vinci is an unimposing little town known best for being the birthplace of the first great artist of the Renaissance - Leonardo da Vinci.

Most definitely worth a visit is the Leonardo da Vinci museum. The museum, located in the castle Conti Guidi, is filled with copies of Leonardo's drawings, and detailed (and working) models made from Leonardo's designs. The Romanesque castle setting adds to the flavour, with stone walls, wooden beams, and a tall bell tower.

About 3 kms from Vinci in Anchiano, the house where Leonardo was born nestles into a landscape that has changed little since he lived there as a child.


Pistoia Underground Museum

Just a few metres under the city, Pistoia conceals a second reality still unknown to most. One part of it is always accessible and, via an archaeological route almost 700 metres long, it unveils striking stories.

The Pistoia Underground Museum has several features that make it attractive to both children and adults. One of the most interesting is the Ceppo Hospital of Pistoia, one of the oldest continuously operating hospitals in the world since its founding in 1277.

The visitor, accompanied by a guide, which is included in ticket price, is led to the discovery of the oldest architectural remains of the city, now only visible along this underground route, which winds for about 650 meters, below the hospital.

Thereafter through the historic rooms of the hospital, a testament to the great medical tradition of the city. The Anatomy Amphitheatre, the world's smallest, has been perfectly preserved since its founding in 1785 and the Medical Academy Room “Filippo Pacini,” which houses a remarkable collection of surgical instruments from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries will be stops on the tour. Indeed, it was in Pistoia that an improved cutting tool, the modern knife or “Pistoian knife” was developed.


Minigolf - for the whole family

The miniature golf course is always popular with both the young and the young at heart.

It is the perfect opportunity during the summer season for outdoor sports, relaxation and fun, in an original and enjoyable setting. Situated less than 2 km from Villa Stabbia, it offers great fun for all ages. During the summer, the opening hours are in the late afternoon until almost midnight.


The Padule

Padule di Fucecchio - The Fucecchio Marshes cover an area of about 1.800 hectares divided between the Provinces of Pistoia and Florence and is the largest inland marsh in Italy. A paradise for bird watchers.

It is actually one of Europe's most important wetlands with over 200 species of birds and throughout the year guided bird watching Tours are arranged, however the best months to visit are February to May.


The Funiculare - Cable Car

When in Montecatini Terme - why not try the cable car from 1898 to reach Montecatini Alto.

This little medieval town has lots of interesting shops as well as wonderful restaurants and will give you a beautiful panoramic view of Montecatini Terme and of all the Valdinievole area. The Funiculare ride takes about 10 minutes.



Montecatini Terme is well known for its spas, so it's hardly surprising that this small town gets a little sleepy at night. For those who don't mind a more relaxed evening atmosphere, there's still plenty to do. To find the cafes and bars, the best bet is to head towards the centre of town. One advantage to Montecatini Terme is that it is small enough to walk everywhere.

For more lively music, the two most popular nightclubs are Lido, le Panteriaie and La Villa Resort.


Grotta del Vento - the Wind Cave

Grotta del Vento is in the north of Tuscany, in Garfagnana. Here the weather conditions have constantly dug, carved and modelled the limestone rock, creating impressive natural sculptures.

Immersed in these awesome surroundings, the Grotta del Vento offers an exceptional variety of underground karst aspects ranging from living and shining stalactites and stalagmites, to little lakes, water courses, forms of erosion, mud formations and even perfectly-vertical shafts which can be visited with practical walkways.

Grotta del Vento (the Wind Cave) has three natural entrances, at an altitude of 600m, 800m and 1400m asl. The height difference between the entrances and the temperature difference between inside and outside, create a convection stream of air - hence the name.



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Mainly For Children - whilst staying at Villa Stabbia

Sometimes the pool, the toys, the playground, the animals and the big fields are just not enough for children to get rid of all the energy, so luckily there is a playground and football field just outside the estate.
Both are situated less than 500 m from the main gate; in the small village of Vangile.



Termeland is a park, with inflatable slides, toy cars, trampolines, a little train... everything for little kids. Closed in the middle of the day when it is really hot – but open until midnight and situated right in the centre of Montecatine Terme. It offers children the chance to use most of their energy. A nice and well equipped amusement park. www


Collodi and Pinocchio Park

Collodi has become a major tourist resort thanks to four main distinguishing features: the Old Borgo, the Garzoni Villa and Gardens, The Butterfly House and Pinocchio Park. These four different and independent sightseeing itineraries share similar characteristics: they are in complete harmony with the Tuscan landscape and stimulate the visitors' imagination towards unusual, fantastic and fairy-tale dimensions. www

The Collodi Butterfly House
A lush tropical garden with nearly a thousand butterflies from all over the world. Inside, an audio-visual introduction prepares the visitor to understand the animal and vegetable life that can be admired within the Collodi Butterfly House. This educational introduction then continues with insectaria and a formicarium (ants). In the interior the visitor can admire a beautiful exotic garden where around a thousand of the most beautiful butterflies in the world, originating from Amazonian, Neotropic, Afrotropic and Indo-Australian environments, feed, court and reproduce.

Pinocchio Park.
This park is not the usual amusement area but the stirring and precious collective work of great artists where visitors, thanks to the beauty of art and nature, walk through a living fairy-tale enjoying themselves in a most natural and spontaneous way.

The Old Borgo.
It is a collection of small houses clinging to a steep hill: higher up is the ancient Fort, while down below stands the imposing Villa Garzoni. The houses along narrow streets paved with stones still preserve medieval features. Ruins of age-old fortifications can still be seen and tourists should not miss Saint Bartholomew's Parish Church, Pieve di San Bartolomeo (13th century), at the top of the village.

The Garzoni Villa and Gardens.
This Villa is famous all over Europe thanks to its amazing baroque gardens, among the very few in Europe that have preserved their original structure and features. The Gardens won immediate renown due to their extraordinary visual impact. The steep slope of the hill was cleverly exploited in order to create an ideal backdrop for staircases, water fountain displays, allegorical sculpture sets and a thousand minor paths with caves, small buildings, terra cotta statues, etc.

Piccolo Mondo

Located near Pisa is the amusement park Piccolo Mondo. It can offer entertainment for children of all ages - actually it boasts of having the highest slide in Tuscany! There is free parking and free entrance – but you pay for each ride/activity you do.

Some information can be found here www



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Those small Things .... found at Villa Stabbia

Those who love to indulge in the simple things in life can...

...follow the path which winds through the fields, revelling in the experience of an early morning run among olive and fruit trees;

...lay a rug on the grass together with an old-style picnic basket containing all the essentials for an enjoyable light breakfast;


...go for walks in the countryside, and gather meadow flowers, or pick fruit like blackberries, cherries, figs and maybe even find some wild asparagus;

...read a good book whilst lying in a comfortable chair listening to the sounds which nature freely offers us;

...sip a cool aperitif beneath the olive tree, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere;


...swim in the pool under the star filled night and fill the lungs with refreshing cool air;

...taste a glass of good wine, whilst nibbling at cheeses, some bread - maybe even with some olive oil drizzled over;

...play ping-pong for fun;

...look at the horses grazing in the olive groove and sense how they live and enjoy the moment;



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For Food Lovers staying at Villa Stabbia - Pick your own fruit, herbs, mushrooms.....

Fresh-grown vegetables, fruits and herbs are tastier, crisper and even healthier than what can be found at the supermarket. They contain more flavours and nutrients. It is also a special feeling to pick the fruit or the herbs and then serve them prepared for friends and family.

Whether you visit Villa Stabbia in spring, summer, autumn or winter, you will always be able to find and pick fresh fruit and herbs - maybe even some mushrooms.

For an overview of what is growing in our fields and when, have a look here www.

Picking the fruit directly from an organic grown tree, not only has the bonus of avoiding all of those pesticides and chemicals that simply aren't healthy for us, but also connects you with the food you eat. For children that may not be too fond of fruits, once they have enjoyed picking the fruit of the tree, they are more than likely also to check out how good it taste.

On a small side-note, a study released in the American journal Paediatrics concludes, exposure to organophosphate pesticides at levels common among America's children are more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that is common in today's children..


Fresh eggs, cheese and milk directly from the farmer

Within a relatively short distance, you can find a small farm with plenty of sheep and cows, producing fresh milk for drinking and cheese. In addition they have free-range hens for egg production.

The available cheeses change regularly, but usually there are various types of pecorino and almost always ricotta. The milk is right from the cows and the eggs freshly laid.



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Exploring the area around Villa Stabbia by Foot or Bike

The area surrounding Villa Stabbia invites you to take long and relaxing walks or a nice bike ride to really enjoy the countryside.

Silence and peace reign all over the place.


Valdinievole offers a variety of hiking routes and itineraries. Mountain, hill, plain, river routes, forest, marsh, historical, natural and gastronomic routes. There's something for everyone, for all ages and all needs.
Villa Stabbia is suitable for its natural vocation to be a point of departure and arrival for a large number of hiking trails on foot and by bicycle to see the ancient villages of Buggiano Castle, Massa, Cozzile, Colle, Monsummano Alto, on the Tuscan countryside with beautiful olive groves and vineyards, enjoying the birdsong and the faint roar of streams.

Valdinievole is a distinctly Tuscan territory located in the westernmost part of the Province of Pistoia and confined to the north by the heights dell'Appennnino Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, east and west respectively by torrents Nievole and Pescia and from South Fucecchio Marsh. It is a fairly large territory that includes areas of high hills, terraced land, vineyards and olive groves, and cultivated and urbanized floodplains that makes this corner of Tuscany an area rich in history and nature.

In each house there is a  detailed map of some of the hiking routes in the area plus a description of the route and whether suited for a slight stroll with the family or filled with steep climbs and fast descents - for the crazy lover of mountain biking and cycling.

All the routes are indicated by signs with white and red stripes, placed on trees or rocks, however should you prefer to go "slightly away from the beaten track", just ask us for suggestions.

Villa Stabbia has 8 bikes available for free usage for our guest. Should you prefer a more "professional bike", they can be hired from cicloidea in Pieve a Nievole.

For guided tours in the area, we collaborate with two guides (one specialises in hiking, but also cycles, the other specialises in bike-trips but also does the occasional hike - look here www for more details). Just ask us for more details...



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Well-being & Spa in the vicinity of Villa Stabbia

If you need to recharge your vitality, we recommend a visit to either  "Terme di Montecatini" or "Grotta Giusti".

Terme di Montecatini is probably the better known and with it's 9 spas, health therapies, beauty treatments and general well being programs, there is something for everyone. www


Grotta Giusti in Monsummano benefits from its very own thermal grotto, a fascinating natural cave with a hot water underground lake in which guests can enjoy a relaxing and detoxifying steam bath.

In addition to the steam baths, the Spa offers mud therapy, ozonised baths in thermal water, massages, inhalation treatment, a new area for Oriental Disciplines, a gym centre, an avant garde Aesthetic Medicine Centre and a spacious relaxation zone.

The new open-air thermal swimming pool, a high-tech facility measuring 750 sq. m., with a large and spectacular waterfall and underwater hydromassage in spa water. www

Guests staying at Villa Stabbia can enjoy a reduced entrance price at Grotta Giusti.



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The nearest Beach & Skiing in the Apennines whilst staying at Villa Stabbia

Marina di Vecchiano has one of the few remaining stretches of unspoilt beach in Tuscany. The four kilometres golden sand offers a welcome, safe way to relax and is free to the public.

This public beach is set in the beautiful nature reserve of San Rossore Massaciuccoli and here, visitors can appreciate breathtakingly picturesque views all year round and sample some of the local culinary delights at the various bars and restaurants situated at 3 of the small public beaches.

The beach was formed in the course of the millennia through the changing of the tides.
The sand dunes, which are still present, form a line of great banks almost parallel to the coastline. The most ancient of them reach a height of 18 meters and are still intact within Palazzetto Nature Reserve in San Rossore.


With the central position of Villa Stabbia in Tuscany, the major skiing slopes on the Apennines - Abetone is just 60 km away - less than 1 hours drive. www

The skiing complex is divided into the centres of Abetone, Val di Luce, Sestaione, Lima and Scoltenna, which are all linked by a single ski pass.

In each location there are ski schools with experienced and skilful instructors. Ski lifts go up to 1892 m and can carry a total of 18,000 people per hour. The numerous runs are of varying difficulty and have a total distance of 50 km.

There are two routes for cross-country skiers, with a total length of 13 km. There is good skiing on a number of attractive routes for Alpine skiers as well, including traversing the Libro Aperto, the Tre Potenze climb and the Cimone, which is the highest mountain in the Apennines (2165 m) and the route that most skiers want to be able to do.

Number of blue runs: 20 - Number of green runs: 8
Number of red runs: 12 - Number of black runs 1 .



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Tennis & Golf under the Tuscan Sun - all near Villa Stabbia

The Montecatini Terme Tennis Club - Torretta, situated in the early 20th century art deco building in the gardens near the health spa Torretta is just less than 4 km away from Villa Stabbia. The nine red clay courts (3 covered during the winter) can be used all year long and host the "Coppa De Galea", the Davis Cup for the "under 20" category.

The art deco building itself is fully decorated with amazing paintings and murals. Actually the inside of the building is under the protection of the "Fine Art". www


The Montecatini Terme Sporting Club was started in 1975 by a group of professionals, today the club can offer 7 tennis courts (6 red clay and 1 artificial - both open and covered), sauna, pool etc.

The Sporting Club is situated outside Montecatini Terme, around 2 km from Villa Stabbia - in the countryside and also offers tennis lessons. www


Tuscany and Golf - what a perfect combination. Play on beautiful golf courses and at the same time discover Tuscany's enthralling variety: its natural beauties, its medieval hilltop towns, its inspiring villas, its authentic cuisine designed to nourish the soul and the spirit as much as the body.

Villa Stabbia is surrounded by golf courses, where the closest is the Montecatini Terme Golf Course (just over 15 km away).


The course follows the natural hilly form of the area and each of the 18 holes has individual features. It is famous for its splendid landscape, where the natural obstacles such as the old stone walls, the brooks, the bushes and the hills, and the often available dog-legs require a savoir-faire of high level, that must be able to adapt itself to the continuous different situations. This course makes the heart of all golf-players beat faster and is a must play once golf course. www


But there's plenty more golf course to try...... A different golf course each day

Golf Club Poggio dei Medici (18 holes: 6,220m: par 72.)
The purest of Tuscan settings for this great test of golf. A modern design which utilises the contours of the sweeping terrain. Scene of the Italian Ladies Open.

Cosmopolitan Golf Club (18 holes: 5,830m: par 72.)
Close to the sea just south of Pisa the Cosmopolitan is a level course on reasonably open land that starts fairly easily and then toughens up as more and more water comes into play on the back nine.

Golf Club Fontevivo (9 holes: m : par 31)
The numerous and most various types of trees alongside the fairways could render the game difficult on this hilly course. Most of the greens are up-hill and surrounded by bunkers. This 9-hole course was designed by Sergio Baldi.

Golf Club Tirreneia (9 holes: m: par 36)
Since its opening in 1968 the Golf Club enjoys an excellent reputation. One of the reasons is its exceptionally beautiful position in the middle at the centre of the "Macchia Mediterranea". The tall pine trees and the old oak trees accompany the player with their shade and their scent along the narrow "fairways" make this course so unique. The total silence is only disturbed by the singing of the birds and the sound of sea-breeze.

Golf Club Pavoniere (18 holes: 6,137m: par 72m)
On the estate inspired by Lorenzo dei Medici. Among green fairways and splendent lakes, fruit of a Renaissance fancy. The 19th century villa houses the Club House.

Golf Club Montelupo (9 holes: m: par 36)
Alongside the Arno river lays this rather flat 9-hole course. The course features a most beautiful view on the Montalbani hills of Chianti and the lake alongside the 4th hole can play a decisive role in one's game.

Golf Club Ugolino (18 holes: 5,676m: par 72.)
In the very heart of Chianti country, Ugolino is the birthplace of Italian golf, occupying its current site since 1933. A club rich in tradition.



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The Local Markets in the neighbourhood of Villa Stabbia

The markets obviously very in size and duration, some consists of 3 stalls (Margina Coperta) others of more than 50 (Montecatini Terme), and at some it is mainly food products that are sold, others have household items as well as clothing and shoes.


Tuesday Borgo - piazza Coluccio Salutati
Wednesday morning Margina Coperta - piazza della Resistenza
Thursday Montecatini Terme - P.le Pietro Leopoldo Zone Stadio
Friday Ponte Buggianese - piazza XXIV Novembre
Saturday Pescia - piazza Mazzini
Wednesday & Saturday Pistoia

In addition - last Sunday every month, Pescia holds a market of antique furniture. The atmosphere is lovely, filled with antiques but also other stalls in the old Piazza Mazzini.



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