Sit on the terrace with a glass of Chianti
and enjoy the view across the valley and the mountains on the other side.
The little town of Barga is only about 20km away,
with lovely walks and great views over the surrounding hills. Be sure to round off the tour with an ice cream from La Gelateria - guests rate it the best in Italy!
Follow some of the tiny country roads
that take you up and over the Alpi Apuane and down towards the coast. Pick a clear day and you will have beautiful views of the countryside.
The small town of Camporgiano is on your doorstep
and can supply all essential shopping. Locals recommend the fruit and vegetable stall which sets up on Mondays, near the church.
Pack a picnic
and go up to the hills where you can enjoy some marvellous panoramic views - Lake Gramolazzo, Campocatino and the Parco del Orecchiella are all recommended.
Castelnuovo du Garfagnana is a lively little mountain town
and known for its local produce - typical mountain food such as chestnut flour, spelt, local cheeses and hams. Don't forget to visit the big market, which takes place in the old town centre every Thursday morning.
Go hill walking along the many trails
to the high peaks and visit the hillside villages along the way. In fact, you can walk from the village following the 'Sentiero del Fungo" (Mushroom trail). It takes about an hour to reach the village of Roggio - stop for lunch or a coffee at La Guardia and be sure to admire the views from the church at the top of the village.
Visit the underground caverns of the Grotto del Vento
with its fabulous curtain stalactites and exploration of the caves with an English speaking guide.
Spend a day in Lucca -
either drive or catch the train from Camporgiano. You will fall in love with this beautiful walled city. Take a stroll along the city walls, do a bit of window shopping then relax with a cappuccino in one of the many cafés - Piazza del Anfiteatro is the best spot for people-watching.
Sit on the terrace at Ai Noci and watch the mist clear
as the morning sun breaks through ... or lie in the sun-warmed grass and count the stars in the deep blue velvet night sky.
Visit the marble quarries of Carrara,
where Michelangelo himself got the marble for his creations. Visit the villages of Fabbiano and Azzano where sculptors still work.
Be sure to visit Pisa
Its numerous piazzas and narrow streets lined with lovely buildings are sometimes ignored as people flock to see the Tower, but it is worth taking the time to have a wander.
For mountain views take a drive to the Parco dell'Orecchiella
1200 metres above sea level, this natural park has a vast number of flora and fauna. There's an animal museum and children can fish for trout and see the eagles. Whilst in the area, visit Castiglione di Garfagnana, an ancient village with fortified walls and the most fantastic views of the Alpi Apuane.
A trip to the seaside
The coastal resorts of Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore are easily reached from Ai Noci. They have sandy beaches, long promenades and all manner of cafés and restaurants - in the summer filled with life as Italian families throng to the coast.
For a romantic day out, go to Torre del Lago
and visit the home of the famous composer Puccini on Lago di Massaciuccoli. Breathe in the atmosphere of this place where he lived and worked on the music for his operas. The house is now an interesting museum and there's an open air auditorium where classical concerts take place during the summer.
Visit La Spezia and Lerici
Go north along the valley to Aulla and then down to La Spezia. The jewel to be visited near to La Spezia is Lerici, a fascinating little fishing village at the foot of a cliff (there is a road down, but parking in the village is severely restricted).
Take a boat trip
from Lerici across the bay to Portovenere - a charming little village with narrow streets to wander through and plenty of interesting shops.
Continue from Portovenere by boat to visit the Cinque Terre
... five villages at the foot of cliffs (which have made them mostly inaccessible by road). Each village has its own distinct and quaint character and some of them have a few shops and excellent restaurants specialising in seafood, naturally!
Take the train for a day out in Florence
Its artwork and museums (in particular the Uffizi) are known all over the world. Wander its streets and you take in the cathedral, the Piazza della Signoria, the Ponte Vecchio with its jewellery shops. Walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo from where you will have the most splendid view over the city.
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