A River Runs Through It: The Top Ten Riverside Gîtes For A Spot Of Wild Swimming

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9Il Mulino, River Marecchia, Tuscany, Italy

Il Mulino Exterior
Hidden away, in this remote corner of Eastern Tuscany lies a delightful water mill. There has been a mill here for over 700 years and a holiday here really is a step back in time. As one of the many gushing reviews on the owners website described it;

The perfect place for children to play in the river, make dams, catch baby fish/bugs, swim etc. A proper country holiday like we had as kids.

Il Mulino

The river running below the mill will lull you into a sleep like you haven’t had since you were a kid. For entertainment, watch the fireflies perform. Feeling inspired? Then paint the wildflowers and the stunning mountain scenery. Want to expand your mind? Take a cooking lesson or learn Italian. Best of all, cool off by jumping into the clear blue river from the rocks above.

They have a “nature log” at Il Mulino and guests have reported seeing Honey Buzzards, Black Redstart, all 3 species of Shrike, Dippers and Egrets. Hoopoes have even nested in the walls of the mill itself. There are porcupines, wild boar and deer roaming in the woods round about. Look out for Silverwashed Fritillary and Southern White Admiral, fluttering by while you picnic by the river.

Badia TedaldaThere is a lovely village, Badia Tedalda, five minutes drive away with all the local shops you need and the best wood-fired pizza you’re likely to find outside Naples, plus many other reasonably priced eateries. Five minutes in the other direction is Rofelle. In this hamlet you can have an amazing Sunday lunch at Il Castello, Piero and Manuela’s award-winning restaurant. 15 courses of locally, historically sourced dishes, washed down with excellent wine chosen by Piero (a qualified sommelier) for €30. An experience everybody should try at least once in a lifetime!

It may be remote but this is Tuscany and there are wonderful places for daytrips; even cities like Urbino, Siena, Arezzo, Gubbio with their wonderful art and architecture can be reached in less than two hours. But take our advice; don’t rush around trying to fit it all in when you are in paradise already…

Sleeps 5. From £550 per week rising to £750 in peak season. Book through Holiday Lettings.

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