On finding Eden

By Carol / May 20, 2011 /

We’re half way through our stay here in Italy. Can you believe it? I can’t. So it’s time for a shout out to our home and hosts and the way we all came together.

Le Macine, as our house is called, has become our own little slice of heaven. We have the entire house – three bedrooms, two baths, a well-stocked kitchen and living room. Once an old stable, the entire space has been remodeled and made modern while retaining the charm of Tuscan tiles and construction.

Outside, our patio and private garden are bordered by a stream and nestled in hills covered with olive trees and vineyards. Since our goal was to write, we knew we’d need different writing venues. In addition to the kitchen table, we have four tables outside. My favorite place is a large easy chair I’ve positioned in front of French doors that open out to my inspiration – the green expanses of nature.


When we told our hosts we would not have a car, they arranged for two bicycles, which have worked out perfectly. These one-speed beauties ensure I will tear up the roads when I get back to Iowa and my 10-speed. Our hosts have been phenomenal.

Cristina made herself available to respond to our many questions both before and since we arrived. In addition, she takes us to Lucca to visit and to catch the train. On each trip we learn a little more Italian and she learns a little more English.

Her parents – Ansano and Brunetta – take care of bedding, recycling, and the garden, as well as being delightful sources of history on the buildings, local restaurants, and the appealing art on our walls.  What a bonus to be on a creative outing and find ourselves hosted by a family of artists.


To find them, we used, otherwise known as Vacation Rental By Owner. Mary used this service before to find a condo in California. VRBO is a clearinghouse for properties all over the world. Exceptionally easy to use, VRBO lets you search by geography, property type, cost, and amenities.

We recommend Le Mecine – our home – or their other property just across the street – G&G Mill – a former olive and grain press. We also recommend

We hope you find your little piece of heaven.

Buon Viaggio!

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