The Frantoio is an old olive mill, for around 160 years it was one of the main employers for the local villagers, men were employed to build dry stone walls along the olive terraces, cut back grass and weeds by hand, prune and care for the olive plants and then at harvest time men, women and children picked the olives and prepared them ready for the pressing. The building and olive groves were sadly abandoned in the 60’s and 70’s, brambles and vegetation took over the land. In the 1990’s the building was initially restored, over time the land has gradually been brought back to life and now the olive plants are thriving once again. In late October/November we harvest the olives by hand in the traditional way to make our own special extra virgin olive oil. This Spring we planted 500 vines to create a new vineyard and we are looking forward to our very own wine in a few years time.
The Frantoio has recently been extensively renovated and refurbished into a unique and stylish home. It is a perfect place for a luxurious and relaxing holiday. You can enjoy walking on some of the paths which lead directly from our doorstep through olive groves and woodland to the nearby village of Castelvecchio di Compito (10 min walk) and over the hills to Buti (7km walk), a hill village with shops and restaurants. Bientina, a small town just a few minutes drive away has full amenities including supermarket, shops, restaurants, banks, weekly market, antiques market (monthly) and in July the town holds a palio (bareback horse race) in the main square. We are ideally situated for sightseeing as Lucca is only 20 minutes away, the nearest autostrada exit in Altopascio is a 10 minute drive and Pisa and Florence are 30 and 45 minutes or you can avoid city driving by taking the train from Pontedera our nearest train station (15 mins).
Following the recent refurbishment the luxury accommodation now consists of six bedrooms sleeping up to 12 guests. The rooms are 2 double suites each having bedroom , bathroom and private lounge area, 2 double bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and 2 twin bedded room with en suite bathrooms.
The new hand built main kitchen has been created to be suitable for guests to use or for professional chef use, there is also a large dining table for relaxed, informal dining. The atmospheric dining hall features the original olive press and grinding wheels, with a large antique table suitable for formal dining, outdoor dining on the main terrace under the shade of the pergola. We can arrange for a local chef to come and prepare a meal or give cooking lessons.
A second ‘Summer’ kitchen has been created at the other end of the Frantoio to conveniently serve the pool, barbeque or lounge area.
A new wine cellar and tasting room has been created – an easy place to while away a few hours. A good selection of wine is available on an honesty bar basis, and we are only a few years away from our own wine, produced here on the estate.
Outside the villa there are a number of large terraces with dining chairs, tables and recliners where you can take full advantage of the views. On its own terrace above the Frantoio our heated salt water swimming pool takes the shape of the original olive mill pond, which originally held water to power the water wheel, the internal workings of which have also been preserved in the main dining hall. The pool is surrounded by grass and landscaped gardens, views over the olive groves and valley below make this an ideal setting to relax under the Tuscan sun.