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Writers’, Artists’ & Study Retreat in Tuscany

An Idyllic Rural Getaway for Solo Travelers & Small Groups

Welcome!

Welcome to the website of Casale di Clio (literally, ‘the farmhouse of Clio’), offering rooms for Writers, Artists, Creative and ‘Cultured Folk’ in the Apennines of Northern Tuscany, Italy – we also welcome Hikers and Lovers of Nature! Casale di Clio is our house in the hills above Bagni di Lucca, on the sunny south-facing side of Lima Valley. The house is named after the Muse Clio – see below – and is set within a small and picturesque hamlet with wonderful views of hill-top villages. We think it’s the perfect place to stay in Italy for those wanting some time for study or reflection; the Casale is cosy, characterful and quirky rather than sleek and modern, as some ‘high-end’ (and much more expensive!) retreats and residencies may be.

Come and explore a new creative path this Winter in Tuscany
The library has lots of resources for self-study

We offer short-term occasional accommodation (room rentals) for those wanting to be creative and/or to have time and space to reflect – particularly for those wanting to focus on literary, artistic, musical, historical, cultural or land-based endeavours (for more details on What We Offer look right on your desktop, or click here if viewing on your mobile). ‘Sustainable Land Use’ might appear at first to be a little incongruous, but we have an interest in the land and Permaculture, which is quite useful since in addition to the garden we have parcels of woodland that have been neglected for a little while, and a wonderfully-located parcel of partially-terraced land that we are developing as an ‘orto‘, or growing area – it is worth remembering that land and landscapes have provided inspiration in many creative disciplines!

Our Yamaha keyboard is available for experienced or would-be composers (along with self-study resources) – headphones supplied!

Come to write, draw, paint, compose your ‘musical offering’, or to study; come with a specific project to work on, or come to play with new ideas and to seek inspiration; come and stay in a cosy and quiet base for a hiking holiday – maybe come with no other aim than to ‘kick-back’ and enjoy some ‘time-out’ in a lovely environment. We hope that your stay here will, paradoxically, be both stimulating and relaxing!

La Musa Clio

Our residence is named after the Muse Clio; she appealed to us because when the Muses were assigned specific literary and artistic spheres she was named Muse of History (and hence story-telling), with the specific role of ‘making famous’ and celebrating success! We hope that our residents will be inspired by Clio – and by the achievements of the various polymaths and creative icons that our accommodation rooms are named after: Leonardo (da Vinci), Dante (Alighieri) and Hildegard (of Bingen)!

Your Hosts

We are husband and wife partnership Adrian (British) and Tiziana (Italian), and we moved from the UK to Italy in late 2022. We have a breadth of experience that includes writing, organising village Art Shows, permaculture, sustainable land use and smallholding. We welcome folk to stay throughout the year – not just in Summer/High Season. Between us we speak English and Italian, and welcome those of all nationalities.

Tiziana & Adrian – taking a break from working at the ‘orto’

Retreat, Residence or Holiday?

We recognise the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between what might be termed ‘Retreats’, ‘Residences’ or ‘Holidays’, all of which you will find available online for writers, artists and those with areas of study or special interest. At Casale di Clio in offering occasional rooms to rent we embrace this ‘blurring’ of the lines between these experiences, and aim to provide accommodation for people seeking a little of each of these.

The public swimming pools at Bagni di Lucca are not too far off – and have a spectacular backdrop! The pool’s opening dates for 2024 are yet to be confirmed as of May 2024 – please check this if you are hoping to visit the pools during a stay here.

What We Offer

We offer comfortable rooms (each with a desk) and what we hope is an environment that will encourage and inspire your literary, artistic, cultural or other endeavours. As well as your comfortable study-bedroom you will have access to the living room, dining room, kitchen, library, garden, and various other spots suitable for work or relaxation – with amazing views that are likely to inspire you to take up pencil, paintbrush, pen, camera – or keyboard (computer or musical!).

Our library holds books, games and the Yamaha keyboard

We do not provide meals – you will have to cater for yourselves; there may well be the opportunity to share cooking with any others who might be resident at Casale di Clio. If you would like to eat out, Bar Santina at neighbouring San Cassiano di Controne is within reasonable walking or cycling distance (with other local food options available, including local stores – see our Location page for details).

The main entrance to the house overlooks the internal courtyard

We do not offer any taught courses, though it may be possible to coordinate classes of various types with your stay here – we are not far from Yoga, Massage and Outdoor Adventure opportunities at Canyon Park. Instead, we focus on providing rooms for those who have a project to work on or an area of interest to study and reflect on – as well as for those who just want to relax in an atmosphere conducive to the appreciation of art, literature, history, culture and the land. We welcome and encourage autodidacts (self-directed learners) who might wish to make the most of the interesting resources in our library.

When we have writers, artists or other ‘creatives’ resident here – or those bringing studies/research – we encourage ‘quiet hours’ at the Casale on weekday mornings and afternoons (see Terms and Conditions). Accommodation rooms do not have televisions or radios – nor is there a television set up in the living room (though one is available for watching the occasional DVD in the library). This is not a monastery, however!; we just ask residents to respect one another’s wish to enjoy a relaxing stay here.

There is wifi internet here – although we are currently also installing (ethernet) internet sockets throughout the house.

Group Bookings

We encourage you to consider coming and residing for a week or more with like-minded folk – people who share an interested in a particular literary, artistic, historical or other creative/cultural topics; maybe you are a member of a writing circle, book club, art or photography group – or even a history group. Contact us if you would like to discuss coming as a group with a shared interest – we usually have special offers available.

A Private Bathroom?

We now offer offer the option of securing exclusive use of the guest bathroom for a supplement of 100 Euros per week (on top of the rate for single or double occupancy of Rooms Leonardo or Dante); in such cases we would not let another guest bedroom for the week.

The internal courtyard at Casale di Clio – with greenery even in the depths of Winter!

A Warm Welcome!

Our 2 wood-fired stoves provide welcome hygge from Autumn to Spring!

In Autumn 2023 we had a new heating system installed – including a five-star efficiency rated combined solar water panel and wood-fired boiler system that heats radiators and our domestic hot water. This is complemented by the similarly fuel-efficient Jotul wood-burner for the living room, and small wood-burning stove in the kitchen. This will allow us to provide comfortable accommodation for tenants whatever the time of year.

Booking to Come & Stay

Maybe consider our suggestions, below, as to why you might wish to come and stay – or go straight to our Booking Enquiries page if you are already interested in coming to stay at Casale di Clio.

Why Come and Stay at Casale di Clio?

  • Writing Retreat
  • Art Retreat
  • Musical Composition Retreat
  • Photography Retreat
  • Study Permaculture & Sustainable Land Use
  • Write up Dissertation/Thesis
  • Sabbatical
  • (Small) Team-Building
  • ‘Retreat with a Treat’ (concert, spa visits yoga classes)
  • Local History Study & Appreciation Holiday
  • Creative Contemplation/’Relax & Recharge’ Holiday
  • Walking/Nature Retreat Holiday
  • Italian Language Self-Study Holiday
  • ‘Build-Your-Own’ Retreat
  • Research the area when considering a Move to Italy!
  • Reading Week
  • Tennis Retreat: coaching and matches at local club
  • ‘Digital Nomads’ welcome!

All while enjoying the lovely countryside, villages, footpaths, food and culture!

Our Location

Casale di Clio is in the small hill village of Vetteglia, on the sunny South-facing side of the Lima Valley – above the historic spa-town of Bagni di Lucca. Vetteglia is on the signposted Cammino di San Bartolomeo footpath that links Pieve di Controni (just a few KM down the Cammino from Vetteglia) with other local villages – and on to Pistoia, a little further afield (worth a visit in its own right); the Cammino passes directly past our front door! From San Cassiano, just a few KM up the Cammino from Vetteglia, further signposted footpaths and trails head up onto Monte Prato Fiorito (Flowery Meadow Mountain!) for great hiking with wonderful views. On a separate page we set out more reasons why we think this is the perfect location for writers’, artists’ and study retreats.

The House & Facilities

We aim to provide a welcoming and relaxing environment, especially for those engaged in creative endeavours – with ‘study and reflection spaces’, inside and outside, including a small library.

At Casale di Clio, in addition to your own study-bedroom (with desk), you will have access to the following:

  • living room
  • dining room
  • kitchen (with allocated fridge/freezer space)
  • shared guest bathroom (option to secure exclusive use)
  • library/study room
  • balcony with a view
  • dining terrace
  • garden
  • the ‘orto’: south-facing growing area with a view!
  • woodland and mountain walks

The Casale, with its nooks and crannies – many with spectacular views – has been described as ‘like something out of The Game of Thrones’ – not familiar with the series, we hope that is a good thing! (We think it’s probably due to the ‘tunnels’/covered passageways and internal courtyard.)

Orto & Bosco

We are lucky that Casale di Clio has land: both woodland (bosco in Italian) and cultivatable land for fruit and vegetables (our orto) – and residents are welcome to explore both; indeed, the Cammino di San Bartolomeo passes through our woodland towards San Cassiano. With an interest in Sustainable Land use and Permaculture, and a background that includes setting up and running a smallholding along organic lines in the UK, we have accrued a well-stocked library of relevant books, which residents are free to study; we welcome those who might want to come and stay for a ‘land study holiday‘.

Casale di Clio has a range of flatter, terraced and sloped land – including mixed woodland, containing ‘overstood’ coppice and plenty of acacia
One of our early tasks was to start preparing an orto for food production
Our library contains classic permaculture and sustainable land use books (how many of them do you recognise?!) …
… as well as related magazines and periodicals

Gallery of News & Images

Stay up to date with us by coming back to view our gallery feed once in a while (or click through to follow us if you are on Instagram)

Tuscany CIR: 046002LTN0117

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Casale di Clio
Average rating:  
 6 reviews
 by Moira
PACE E SILENZIO

Luogo ideale per staccare dalla frenesia della vita quotidiana, casale molto ampio e ben ristrutturato, camera confortevole (voto 10 al materasso!), bagno ampio e super funzionale, locali comuni molto caratterstici, sembra di entrare in un altra dimensione. Tiziana e Adrian super ospitali e disponibili, consigliatissimo anche come punto di partenza per escursioni giornaliere sui colli e borghi confinanti. Grazie per il bel soggiorno!

*

Ideal place to escape from the frenzy of everyday life, very large and well-renovated farmhouse, comfortable room (10 for the mattress!), large and super functional bathroom, very characteristic common areas, it feels like entering another dimension. Tiziana and Adrian are super hospitable and helpful, also highly recommended as a starting point for daily excursions to the hills and neighboring villages. Thanks for a nice stay!



 

Thank you very much for your kind review Moira - we enjoyed having you here!*Grazie mille per la tua gentile recensione Moira: è stato un piacere averti qui!

 by Daniela
via dallo stress

E'stata un'ottima idea allontanarmi da tutto e prendermi questa settimana tutta per me. Al casale ho trovato anzi ritrovato del tempo di qualità, niente corse niente orologio. Buoni libri , buona musica e buon cibo per riscoprire il buono vero della vita.

- - -

It was a great idea to get away from it all and take this week to myself. At the farmhouse I found, or rather rediscovered, some quality time, no racing, no clock. Good books, good music and good food to rediscover the true goodness of life.
 

Thank you very much Daniela, we are so glad you made the most of your stay with us - be sure to tell your friends about us!- - -Grazie mille Daniela, siamo così felici che tu abbia sfruttato al massimo il tuo soggiorno con noi: assicurati di parlare di noi ai tuoi amici!

 by Chiara Bechis
Lovely retreat

Tiziana and Adrian are wonderful hosts with a great knowledge of the area. The place is a little oasis of peace and quiet with incredible views of the Apennines.
During our stay we sampled some great authentic food and we had a wonderful day in Lucca which is less then an hour away by car.
Casale Di Clio is a hidden gem! We can't wait to go back.

Thank you for such a lovely review Chiara - it was great having you here, and we look forward to seeing you here again someday!

 by Jean-Philippe
Batteries fully recharged!

A wonderfully relaxing stay at Adrian and Tiziana’s old Tuscan stone property, part of a small hamlet tucked away in the hills. The view from my room was spectacular! A lovely way to recharge the batteries. Location is great as there is plenty to do and see locally too. Thank you both for a very warm welcome. I shall definitely recommend to friends!

We are so glad that you enjoyed your time here, and took the time to leave a review!

 by Annie & Keith
Wonderful relaxing stay

We were just looking for a nice place to stay after a very stressful move and we found it in the Casale di Clio. Set in the most wonderful countryside and hosted by Tiziana and Adrian who could not have done more for us to achieve our aim. We also enjoyed nice walks, nice restaurants and the peaceful surroundings. A special mention to the library that offers an incredible choice of reading material. Well done and hope to see you again.

Thank you Keith and Annie - we so much enjoyed having you here! Yes, the Rifugio Fiori restaurant at Pieve di Monti di Villa is one of our favourites - you were lucky to get in a meal at Cavalino Bianco at Benabbio before it closed! If you stay again we will take you to our closest, Bar Santina, who always deliver a great meal.

 by Placido
Godersi la tosscana

Posto molto bello e tranquillo, dove trascorrere momenti in serenità e relax.
Osti cortesi e disponibili alle esigenze dei clienti.

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Very beautiful and quiet place, where you can spend moments in serenity and relaxation. Courteous hosts available to meet customer needs

Thank you so much Placido - it was a pleasure having you stay - we hope to see you here again!---Grazie mille Placido, è stato un piacere ospitarti, speriamo di rivederti qui!