Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 22, 2012

Villa Rosalena, Ponte a Serraglio



Rod and Caroline Swail bought their beautiful B&B in Ponte a Serraglio about 5 years ago. Of course it wasn’t beautiful back then. It was a very run down 19th century villa overlooking the Lima River.

There was a single outdoor bathroom and bits of the floor were missing. Rod became a tiler (among other things) and laid the terra-cotta tiles they found in the attic himself.

Bathrooms were added and gradually the old house became their little bit of heaven in Bagni di Lucca. Luckily they and their 2 boys are happy to share it with others.

They have four lovely rooms with ensuites to offer along with a comfortable sitting room, kitchen and a gorgeous terrace with views over Ponte a Serraglio.





The most popular room has a wonderful view over Ponte a Serraglio. If you squint you can see my balcony.




A view of Tuscan rooftops is always good, especially with Ponte a Serraglio in the background.



Caroline and Rod go out of their way to make their guest feel at home at Villa Rosalena. They have excellent local knowledge and can direct you to places of interest in Bagni di Lucca. The terraced garden is a beautiful place to sit and there is a pool in summer.

Rod and Carolyn at Villa Rosalena.


Carolyn also writes a blog about the area.
From a Tuscan Villa…


  1. Looks a great place to stay when I finally make it to Ponte a Serraglio

    • The views are excellent, you can see my place.

  2. Beautiful. What a wonderful looking place to stay. An espresso on the terrace per favore!

    • Their terrace is very lovely.

  3. Caroline does really a great job! I specially love her balcony! I also heard her breakfast is really delicious! Hugs Carol!!

    • With spring coming quickly it will look even better soon.

  4. That is a wonderful vista- the view from the arched window at Villa Roaslena almost rivals the view from your first bedroom and balcony overlooking Ponte Serraglio. Can’t wait to come and see for myself again soon.

    • The arch in their loggia is gorgeous.

  5. I love the view through the balcony doors. It looks like they’ve found their piece of Heaven too!

    • They love being part of Ponte a Serraglio and they are a great addition to the community.

  6. It looks terrific and shows how a great building can be restored.

    • Yes, it just requires lots of hard work and lots of money.

  7. Rod and Caroline have certainly turned their villa into a comfortable place. It’s lovely to see the fruits of their labour being advertised through your pictures, Deb. I love the arches overlooking Ponte a Serraglio. I remember passing some of those lovely old homes and wondering what they looked like inside. Your pictures do credit to those people who make their homes so welcoming.

    • We can see Villa Rosalena from our place. It looks over Ponte a Serraglio from the other end of the village.

  8. Great post thanks Debra & love your new website! We were lucky enough to be among Rod & Carolines first guests and knew instantly that they would make a great success of their B&B. Quite simply a lovely couple. They helped us enormously by doing the first viewing (and encouraging us to come and see for ourselves) of what is now our lovely home on the hill above them. See you all soon.Liz & Jim

    • This blog is a couple of years old now. Bella Bagni di Lucca is just a month old and is focusing on Bagni di Lucca and surrounds. See you at the bar for breakfast soon.

  9. Gorgeous Deb – would love to meet them when I come next – well done with your dedication to all things beautiful in our beautiful piece of Italy

    • Carolyn sometimes joins me for a sfoglia at Il Monaco. Look out for her.

  10. Thank you!

    • No problem, you have done wonderful things with Villa Rosalena.

  11. This looks like it would be a great place to stay, if Sara and I were ever able to make it to your lovely town. I love stories about houses brought back to life–brought back from the edge of ruin.

    • Rod and Caroline have done a great job on their villa. It is an ongoing process, there are still things they would like to do.

  12. Beaautiful place again you introduced us, dear Debra. I noted now. Maybe one day I can visit your lovely town and knock their door. They seem so lovely too… Actually you are the beautiful lady and traveller guide, I can follow you wherever you go… Because I love what you love or like… Thank you so much, have a nice day, with my love, nia

    • I hope you do come to visit us one day in Bagni di Lucca one day, and I hope you come when I am here.

  13. […] Who wants to travel to Italy! Published March 22, 2012 by niasunset […]

  14. Their B & B looks really nice. Thanks for sharing the details – I hope to get back to Italy one day and this looks like a good place to stay.

    • It is a great place to stay in Ponte a Serraglio, I’m sure you would love it.

  15. Beautiful place!

    • Now that spring is just around the corner, those views will be even better.

  16. Very nice post Debra and thanks for sharing the link to their place too. Ahhh, add to the bucket list!

    • Those lists just keep getting longer.

  17. I love seeing the finished product of other people’s efforts – it gives me hope for Godzillavilla!

    • I don’t think anyone realizes how much work some of these old place take.

  18. The gate looks so welcoming, and the views are charming. I think this is going on my must visit list!

    • I hope to come to visit us in Bagni di Lucca.

  19. A fantastic place, and fantastic people. We stayed there last January 2011 and loved it, and they pointed us in the right direction for longer term accommodation for our stay in April/May this year. And yes, breakfasts are great!

    • I hope to meet you in April.

      • We will be there from 28 April for almost 4 weeks so I’m sure we catch up!

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