Lucca is very close to the house and easy to visit for sightseeing, shopping or dining. Lucca is famed for its perfect city walls, the 13th century façade of San Michele and the elliptical shape of Piazza Anfiteatro. It is well worth renting bicycles and discovering Lucca’s streets or cycling round the city on its ramparts (4kms). There is excellent shopping on Via Fillungo, especially for fashion, shoes and delicatessens. Equally there are very good restaurants. During the summer, there is an outstanding music festival, with concerts in the Piazza Napoleone. There is always an impressive line-up of singers and musicians. Leonard Cohen, The Killers, Diana Krall, Bryan Adams, Neil Young, Mark Knopfler and Earth, Wind and Fire all performed during 2013. There is also an extremely good Puccini Opera Festival.
The nearest town is Ponte a Moriano about 3 kms away, which has a very good supermarket, Esselunga, several restaurants and bars, a great butcher and delicatessen and a gelateria. Very convenient for local shopping. Close to the house are beautiful palazzos and mansions, which are well worth visiting. These were the summer houses of the wealthy Luchesse merchants. The hills around A Parino are great for mountain-biking and hiking. During the summer, there are many "sagras" - village festivals, which are fun to attend - excellent food and music. Cookery classes can be organised, which can be fun for all the family.
The beach is 30 minutes away and there are several resorts to try. Forti dei Marmi is more upmarket but Viareggio is closer. The Appenines are a beautiful range of mountains and easy to access from A Parino. It is well worth driving up to Barga or Castelnuovo.