Best Course In Italy-Only Course In Italy!
14 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Pietrabuona Farms is Stella's Bed and Breakfast and vacation rental homes property located about 20 km from Lucca ( Lucca is about 20 km from Pisa). Stella is a wonderful lady and a great ambassador for disc golf. She welcomes you. She has loaner discs. She has a pro shop on site stocked with both new and used discs. She gives you a map, offers you wine afterward and THEN either she personally escorts you up to the course or her assistant does. She had her assistant, Patricia, lead us up the steep winding road to the course. It's maybe 3 km up the road.
The course is set in an old olive grove on a very steep side of a hill. There are a couple of course signs on the way. The tee pads are concrete blocks, complete with weeds growing up through the cracks. The tee signs are laminated giving you the hole number, a basic map and the distance in meters. Do I need to explain to the readers again how to convert meters to feet?
There are some fun throws to be had here. # 9 is a fun, twisting hyser going slightly downhill.
Most of the holes are short, around 160' or 50-55 meters. Olive trees are the main obstacle here, as well as fatigue and the fear of throwing an Annie downhill three terraces or more.
Cons: The course is fairly overgrown. The grass is high in places.
With the course built on terraced land, you're basically following these terraces. Sometimes, it's very steep when you're climbing up to the next terraced area. I mean steep, like scrambling up hands and feet in places. I was exhausted after my round.
I never found the # 5 basket. According to my map, it should have been set back among a thicket of olive trees but I couldn't locate it.
Several of the laminated tee signs are either missing or weathered badly making them impossible to read.
Location and ease of getting here. From Lucca, I rented (way overpriced) a car and my wonderful wife used google maps to navigate the 20 km to get here. Once, we were close, we talked to to three people, with different levels of success, before finding a young girl who spoke a little better English. She gave us the final directions.
Other Thoughts: Stella is such a sweetheart, I hate to diminish this course in any way but if the course was located in the US, it merit 1 star, but because it's the only listed course in Italy, I'll give it a 2 and because Stella is so proud of her course and so incredibly wonderful, I'm bumping my score up to a 2.5.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
6 Helpful / 2 Not
Pros: Open and wooded holes. Nice hike and climb on the mountainside. Large concrete tile pads. Good signage. Beautiful view. Worth the drive from Florence.
Cons: Only 9 holes right now but looking to expand to 18. Gravity not kind to discs rolling down the mountainside. Terraced so hopefully a roller will stop on a level.
Other Thoughts: Beautiful view from the mountainside. Owners are wonderful people. Made the mistake of following the GPS to the top of the mountain. Stop in the 1st structure at the bottom on the road. Discs were available for sale. Played on a 100 degree day and was invited to take a dip in the pool. Looks like a great place to stay. Email or call ahead.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful.
13 Helpful / 0 Not
Italian mountainside disc golf
Pros: Setting - the course is literally on top of a mountain (not a huge one, granted, but definitely still a mountain), with great views of the surrounding valley and Florence far in the distance as well.
Variety - very good mix. When we first arrived and I saw the holes going back and forth on switchbacks up the open mountainside with scattered olive trees, I thought it would be that way for all 9 holes, but the last half is actually in the woods higher up the mountainside.
Teepads, baskets, and signs - the teepads were very large and made of some kind of big patio stone. Definitely ample room for a good approach
Difficulty - the level of difficulty was not huge, but enough to keep it exciting. There is certainly a risk of losing a disc down the mountainside if you aren't careful. I'm sure if the grass would have been more mowed when we were there, we would've been in danger on the first few holes of a few discs rolling all the way down to the valley. Hole 9 is a very dangerous hole in fact, throwing downwards around a blind curve, with drop-offs on 3 sides of the basket - Send someone down ahead of you to watch your disc on that one.
Cons: Only 9 holes - in reality this isn't a true con, but it sort of is. This course would definitely go up at least half a point in my book with another 9 holes.
Difficulty - I mentioned this as a pro above, but only half-heartedly. All of the holes are quite short, albeit some of them with decent obstacles and dangers as I said above. A little distance on some of them would help though.
Other Thoughts: We stayed in a house there on the mountainside that is actually on the dg course itself, right below basket #9. It is one of the houses for rent at the agriturismo (Italian bed and breakfast type thing). So, that was cool staying in a house on a mountain with a dg course in your backyard.
The lady in charge of the Pietrabuona agriturismo, Stella, is very nice and accommodating, and speaks good English.
Overall, definitely the best of the 3 courses in Italy. Granted, I haven't actually played the Talamone course yet, but from the looks of it, I think I'm safe making this assertion about Pietrabuona.
Lastly, it doesn't cost anything to play - just e-mail Stella in advance and ask her if you can play there. Her e-mail is on the Pietrabuona website.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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