7 Helpful / 0 Not
If in Italy then Tuscany Disc Golf is nice & if you arrange lodging here then you'll have an extended Italian disc golf experience.
Pros: Pietrabuona is a 9 hole course that starts at the bottom of a mountain and works it's way up to the top. Most of the course is in an oval area with ascending levels of olive trees, which are no longer farmed since this area is now dedicated to disc golf. I suppose there are other olive groves on the property since there are private label olives and olive oil you can buy in the clubhouse, along with their private label wine.
When you finish at the top don't forget to empty your bag throwing down the mountain at either the second or 4th basket. Otherwise you just walk down the mountain and miss the opportunity. It is a long way down so keep an eye on your discs since they really sail here.
Basket 5 exits the mountainous olive grove area and ducks into a little wooded meadow, which feels more like a real course that forces you to find a line around the trees there.
If you aren't careful on the first hole and you hyzer down the hill to your left then your disc may find its way into an apiary of beehives. I drove past the start of the course by mistake and discovered these beehives on the remote dirt road just down the hill from the first basket. These hives probably contribute to the private label honey sold in the clubhouse that I talk about later. If your plastic hits one of the hive boxes the residents might not appteciate it and you'd be in for a surprise trying to retrieve your disc.
The views of the surrounding Tuscany mountains from just about anywhere here are stunning.
Cons: The last basket is quite far from the first. With a little consideration a top of the mountain tee could easily have been included to take advantage of the elevation and also allow you to finish closer to where you started.
This course is steep! You need a good pair of shoes. I was somewhat prepared after reading The Valkyrie Kid's review, but I found myself laughing as I slid down the hill a little bit and was lying on my back. This brings the word "scramble" to new heights in a round of disc golf at Pietrabuona.
Other Thoughts: This place deserves more than being referred to as "Stella's bed and breakfast." My goodness, it has seven different farms to choose from on the side of a mountain with beautiful Tuscany views. Their website has this description, "SEVEN OLD PODERI FULL OF ATMOSPHERE FATTORIA DI PIETRABUONA HAS 7 FARMS THAT HAVE PRESERVED THEIR ANCIENT NAMES (ZANO, CIMA A ZANO, CASETTA DI ZANO, SONDINO, PIASTRICCIO, TREMIGNANI, VILLA) THAT HAVE BEEN RESTORED, MADE COMFORTABLE AND FULL OF ATMOSPHERE."
Under the description of 1 of the 7 it says, "Our disc golf course starts here in the Podere Zano." If you have time and money then it's worth considering to spend time here, especially if you like disc golf.
Stella has a pro shop next to her house like none other. In it she sells her custom labelled discs, honey from her acacia and chestnut trees, olives and olive oil from her olive groves, chestnut flour, and private label wine. Wow!
I had emailed Stella ahead of time so she'd expect me. But she wasn't home when I got there. She had to make a trip into town so I waited awhile for her to return. She was occupied a little with a situation so I told her she didn't need to escort me to the course but to just point the way. She pointed and gave directions then I went up the road, crossed over to the left and wound up the mountainous road for ten minutes before reaching the Tuscany Disc Golf sign.
A rating of 3.5 for this nine hole course is generous, but I'd rather err on the side of kindness. Plus, I enjoyed my time at Pietrabuona.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
3 Helpful / 0 Not
A MUST PLAY COURSE
Pros: Challenging and Beautiful.
Cons: No restrooms. Course is not beginner friendly....Errant throws are very tough to recover.
Course is tough to find, thinking since it's on private property helps keep track who's playing the course.
Other Thoughts: Call ahead so somebody knows you're coming.
This is the most beautiful, scenic course I've ever played. This is an awesome course AND
It's run by a bed and breakfast...not a city or park district.
If this course was flat it would be easy, but it's not flat, an error in a throw or a kiss of a branch will send your disc on a journey hundreds of feet off, down a mountain side. (wife lost a Shark)
I wish I had more time on my schedule to play it again. The people at Pietrabuona Farms are wonderful and I would have liked to have stayed there.
Had I known the door bell was to the lower left on the gated entrance I would have played an hour longer.
We played and ran, due to a tight schedule, traveling with other people. I LOVE THIS COURSE!
When driving to this course be careful the roads are narrow and super curvy and on a steep incline, listen for drivers tooting their horns letting you know they are coming around a blind curve that only one vehicle can fit. THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
18 Helpful / 0 Not
Best Course In Italy-Only Course In Italy!
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 would 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.
18 of 18 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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