villa moorings

by | Oct 12, 2018 | a slice of life | 25 comments

While staying in Barga, Italy, this was our temporary home…

It is Villa Moorings, a family owned and operated hotel that has more of a bed & breakfast vibe.  Because it’s family-owned, it feels personal.  I would pop my head in the kitchen and ask for ice for my water bottle or plates and flatware when my mom and I had a dinner of fresh food collected from the local shops on the balcony one night.  They also adjusted breakfast times for our group when we needed to leave early for our trip to Lucca or to the airport.

And the breakfast spreads were a literal feast.  Parts of the table looked more like a snapshot from a dessert potluck with pies, cakes, cookies, and sweet rolls, but they also served meats, cheeses, made-to-order eggs, cereal, yogurts, fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed juice, etc.  You could be as good or a naughty as self-control would allow.

While the delightful mother-daughter duo and their staff make the place inviting and comfortable, it’s the building, the grounds, the views, and the location that make Villa Moorings stand head and shoulders above the average hotel.

They even have a pool, which was a refreshing spot to sit and soak my feet during a September that was warmer than usual.

Somehow, beyond any logical explanation, I don’t have pictures of our room!  I filmed a tour and saved them to my Italy Instagram Highlights, but they aren’t showing up there, for some reason.  I did take some pictures in the bathroom, of all places!  I was in love with how the light passed through the open window onto the clawfoot tub.

And opening the windows and shutters first thing in the morning was a perfect way to start the day in Tuscany.  I would take in the view for a minute and the air that had a bite to it before the warmth of the September sun overtook it.  You could hear the chatter from neighboring homes – dogs barking, men having a boisterous conversation between balconies, and boys listening to the radio.  I’m sure it was a sporting event commentary, but the words were spoken with such fervor that it sounded like a passionate political speech.

Noises that invade a private space could annoy on a typical day, but here, they were the soundtrack that cued me into the fact that I was in Italy.  I sunk down in the bathwater up to my neck and listened.

I did take some pictures around the interior of the hotel, though.

It’s a place that feels grand with the high ceilings, tall windows, and transoms, marble steps, and the art nouveau papers adorning the walls and ceilings.

Somehow it still has a homey, hospitable feeling…like nothing is too precious and everything is there to be used and enjoyed.

If you want to get some amazing pictures of Barga, climb up the circular staircase to the roof terrace at sunset…


…and you will not be disappointed.

The golden light falls over Barga, so the entire town almost glows.  I stood on the terrace one evening, trying to absorb all of the beauty.  I wished I could set up an easel and oil paints there to take advantage of the impressive landscape, just begging to be painted.


The only downside to staying at Villa Moorings was we had to “hike up the mountain” to get to the walled part of Barga, which is where most of our events took place.  We had to be strategic about bringing everything we needed for the day and, for the sake of my mom’s inflamed achilles heel, we left ourselves plenty of time to walk wherever we needed to go.  It gave me a good excuse to stop and take pictures frequently.

(Villa Moorings is the tall building in the picture below.  This is taken from the top of the hill to give you an idea of why we called it a hike!)

By the end of the week, though, the walk was easier and I came to enjoy the time outdoors and the exercise.  We were fortunate that we had good weather because walking in the rain would’ve been a bummer!

When we packed up our bags to leave Barga and Villa Moorings for Florence, it was a morning of mixed emotions.  I was sad to be leaving such a beautiful place and the lovely people I had spent time with there, but I was also ready to be home.

As I walked down the path lined with flowerpots for the last time, I was filled with a sense of satisfaction.  My time in Barga was everything I hoped it would be and more.

That leg of the trip felt complete.  I swung my suitcase into the trunk of our taxi, now heavy with linens, copper, art supplies, leather goods, and other purchases I made in Paris & Lucca, and I got into my seat brimming with wishes for things I’d like to experience the next time I’m able to visit that corner of the world.



  1. Connie

    Oh how beautiful this town looks! And your photos from the terrace look like a perfect painting! I have loved this virtual trip, many thanks again for including us! Have been to Italy twice but feel I must go back and visit Barga!

  2. Kim

    Simply marvellous. I love the sunset photos and the light.

  3. Linda

    Marian…your trip photo”s look amazing…so beautiful….it makes me want to go!! ha..Your photography is so good…you have “captured”…warmth and beauty at the same time…Thank you for sharing your experience….My family and I are planning a trip to Germany next year..(going back to where I met my husband while he was in the Air Force 50 years ago)..seeing your trip is really inspiring me..Thank you!

  4. Stephanie

    You have the artists eye

  5. Barb

    In a word, “beautiful!”

  6. mary m

    I remember floor in Italian was Piano…………..funny what one remembers!
    Lovely pictures.

  7. Karen K from Buffalo

    How disappointed I am that there are no more pictures of your trip! The ones that you posted are beautiful & enticing. How I would love to go on that exact trip & savor all the people, the sites, the food & of course, the markets. You are one lucky woman & I hope you do get to go back & I will love reading your posts all over again & seeing your wonderful pictures!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  8. Terri

    I am just mesmerized… just seeing this place thru your lens.. and your description.. is amazing !!! How beautiful … and peaceful looking……

  9. Kris

    I have a great idea. Go on another trip and let us all live vicariously through your pictures! 🙂 I’m sure you wouldn’t mind! All it takes is time and money. All kidding aside, I have thoroughly enjoyed the pictures of your travels. Thank you for sharing them!

  10. Carol P.

    Lovely, lovely, lovely…

  11. Pat

    Don’t you love how they don’t need screens in their windows over there… delightful!

  12. Pat

    Stunning so glad you can share light and beauty of Barga with us. Thank you!

  13. Denette

    I’m oddly fascinated with the little feet under the terracotta pots. Such a cute and practical little detail. On a trip to England I brought home three sets of brass door knobs and a brass door knocker among my souvenirs. It weighed a lot and caused some comments at the airport but I was never drawn to the more touristy souvenirs so I have enjoyed seeing your treasures.

  14. Debbie

    What a fit and satisfying ending to a wonderful trip! Beautiful and memorable.

  15. Patricia

    Trip of a lifetime….so appreciate your sharing your adventures and the photos…..

  16. Rebecca

    Every photo is stunning! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Kerri LaFornara

    Bellissimo !!!!!

  18. MaryLisa

    Incredible setting!

  19. Robin

    Where ya going next time?

  20. Kelley

    So gorgeous. This is going on my list for my next trip. You’re a lucky girl. Love all that you’re sharing about your trip.

  21. Diana Roberts

    What a blessing to have experienced such an amazing trip and how blessed we are that you have shared it with us! You have put a dream in my heart to go to Italy and Paris. I would love your exact itinerary! Thank you for all of your beautiful pictures and your descriptions that stir our imaginations!

  22. Cindy A Redman

    Sigh… i enjoyed that so much. What an amazing place


    • Marian Parsons

      It really was a lovely place.

  23. beverlee lyons

    like a painting in real time.
    Did your Mama buy anything to bring home? Buy anything for your boys?
    Such a wonderful adventure, thank you for sharing.

    • Marian Parsons

      My mom bought some leather goods, mostly for gifts, olive oil, and she bought a couple of t-shirts for the boys. I bought the boys mini-Eiffel towers and a flag from each country. She lived in Germany for 10 years, so she’s done plenty of shopping in Europe!


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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