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  • “ Dear Zak wanted to express our thanks for your organization on our behalf. We had a delightful holiday and much enjoyed the beauty of Tuscany, its delicious food and wine,  and the generous company of our landlady. She was particularly helpful to me with a frail invalid in our party. She went to a lot of trouble on our behalf and her care will be remembered. Yours sincerely, Isobel ”

    - Isobel and Donald from Scotland at Casa Anna - August 2005
  • “ Well, we did it and Villa Ciupi was the perfect spot. The rooms were spacious and all of the amenities were outstanding. Andrea and Tiziana were very gracious, from the welcome Vin Santo and Biscotti to the parting kisses they were perfect hosts. Where else can you drive home past two castles and a monastery and sit on your back yard and view the beautiful Tuscan landscape. We kept saying "It's like walking in a postcard." The villa exceeded our expectations and met all our needs. Thank you for making it easy to accomplish. Ciao, Cliff ”

    - Cliff S. - Villa Ciupi - 2002-05-16
  • “ Zak, Thank you for all your help for our vacation in Italy. At the end of the 3 weeks, we didn't want to leave. The Tower in Monticchiello and the surrounding area are truly magical. We want to go back NOW! The owners were charming hosts. And thanks for the outstanding restaurant tips. I'm sure we will be in contact in the future. -Steven and Kate ”

    - Steven and Kate R. - il Torrino - 2003-10-06
  • “ A wonderful time was had by us all at the magnificent Manafiore. The Villa was even more beautiful than in the pictures. We loved the pool and dining areas outside, and that stunning view! The housekeeper was helpful and we had a couple of excellent dinners prepared by the cook. The rest of the meals we had in Monticchiello at Osteria La Porta. ”

  • “ We had a glorious time in Italy, and I just wanted to tell you that La Casella  was just amazing. We felt truly at home there, we cooked at the villa most nights. Loved the area around Cetona. We can't wait to return to Tuscany again. ”

    - Carol and Phil P. from Australia at La Casella - 2009 July
  • “ The villa couldn't have been more wonderful! Villa il Moro turned out to be in a perfect location for touring. The area itself is absolutely breathtaking. It was the perfect combination for relaxing and experiencing Italy. The talented cook provided the most fabulous meal of the trip. We had such a fun and delicious time! Thanks, Ann. ”

  • “ What a magnificent dream! Each little town perched on a hill with vista that seems to go forever. Pienza was the perfect home-base for our explorations and the house Arpicella exceeded all our hopes, and with such a lovely owner. We'll be back some day! ”

  • “ Hi Zak, How wonderful this property is and what a good time we had. It is virtually impossible to capture in words the feeling of the place and the hospitality offered. The nature and the stream, the un-restored mill on the property...everywhere you looked was something else to take in. Lucca is beautiful...what a jewel. Please feel free to use us as a reference. Thanks for your assistance. ”

    - Jack B. from Ohio USA at La Stregaia - 2002 July

About Us

what we do

Planning a vacation in Tuscany is an exiting task filled with expectations, and butterflies in the stomach! You’re the one put in charge by your family and friends, and since this trip to Tuscany is usually the biggest break in a year from the routine of work and study, you want to make sure that things go smoothly. We’ve been helping people like you for decades in choosing the right rental villa in Tuscany that becomes your home for this dream vacation. Living here in the central Siena Province for a good part of each year since the 1990’s, has given us the chance to explore this storybook region in fine detail. We know the villas we rent, their owners and care-takers, the nearby towns and villages, the roads around for detailed directions, the best places to eat and shop, and the local guides and cooks that add to the success of your vacation. We are happy that so many of our clients come back, some for several times, since enjoying a vacation in Tuscany only once in your life is just not enough! Next, read a bit about us, to help dispel those butterflies.

who we are

Gary is Australian and had a career in the airline industry (PanAm, Qantas). He set up a corporate travel agency in New York City that he moved to the Gulf Coast in the 1990’s. Zak comes from Finland and worked as an architect after graduating from Ga Tech in Atlanta in the 1980’s. After long vacations in Tuscany and trips all over Italy, in 1997 we purchased a property in the small Tuscan village of Chiusure, now rated as having one of the best views in Tuscany by Travel & Leisure (March 2015). We became residents here for almost half of each year. We formed TuscanHouse in 1998 due to many requests from friends in Tuscany on how to find people to rent their villas. Now in 2017, Gary and I operate the business from Australia, where we live while away from our home in Tuscany.

Thoughts for travellers

A selection of hopefully helpful posts about travelling in Tuscany.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Restaurant guide for Siena Province

Restaurant guide for Siena Province Updated June 2017. This list is our personal recommendation for eating well. The restaurants where you should make reservations are noted with *. During the summer call at least one day in advance for dinner (cena) reservations (pre-notazione). Kitchen is typically open for lunch from 12:30 to about 2:00 pm, for dinner: 7:30 – 9:30 pm, and later on weekends. In restaurants, pizza is served at dinner only. During the day, buy pizza by the… Read More

Things you need to know

Please read thru these helpful hints for a happy holiday! PERSONAL SAFETY Italy is generally considered to be a safe country. Most Italians are courteous and helpful, especially in the countryside and small towns of Tuscany. If you are ever in trouble, people would probably go out of their way to help you. Just look at the way they care for immigrants arriving by the thousands on rickety boats from Africa every week … Besides road accidents, the main concern… Read More

When you arrive in Tuscany

ARRIVAL AT YOUR VILLA Plan to arrive as close to 4pm as possible and please read the arrival details that are included at the bottom of your driving directions. Upon entering, please take a look at all the appliances and ask the Manager to show you how they work. Ask them to show you where the electric fuse box is located and how to reset the electricity. You should report anything broken or out-of-order in the first 24 hours and… Read More

Latest posts

Among the many, many good places to eat is a local favorite, that may not always be right for tourists. Osteria Acquacheta is a place that encourages you to bring your own wine. They will charge 1.5 euros per person as corkage. They serve wine in simple glasses. You would sit at long communal tables and be served some of the best local food. Pici and several other pastas and soup are made with pure homespun goodness, all local stuff. The big Fiorentina steak dominates the long list of mains, and would be a meat-lovers dream come true (shared with 3 or 4 people). Grilled pigeon, rabbit, pork, sausages … deer, duck, salt-cod, truffles, beaked cheese … and the excellent choice of many greens and vegetables. Giulio, the owner is a famously grumpy-looking guy, but has a sense of humor and speaks English. Some customers don’t get it, so their reviews can be mixed. Take my word for it, Acquacheta is an excellent place for a hearty and delicious meal. Closed on Tuesdays and 3 months in winter. Via del Teatro, 22 – 53045 Montepulciano (SI), Tel:+39 0578 717086,  Fax:+39 0578 717086, no bookings by email.

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Weather in Tuscany

Weather in Tuscany and best times to visit The climate in Tuscany is generally mild and very similar with another famous wine region, that of the Napa Valley in California. The summer is hot and the most popular time for vacation, while spring and autumn offer better weather for outdoor activities. Pool Season: June, July, August and September July and August are the warmest months (90°F high to 65°F low) while June and September offer comfortably warm weather without it… Read More

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Ristorante Vita Nova

Vita Nova is a good restaurant in the Province of Arezzo, located in the countryside near Castiglion Fiorentino. With a nicely furnished spacious restaurant and covered outside tables on a panoramic terrace, Vita Nova serves traditional Tuscan food with a modern touch. It’s located at a farmhouse estate in the hamlet of Brolio, in one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of the Valdichiana, just 14 kilometers from Cortona, and a short 10 minute walk from Villa de Michelangioli. Read More

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Ristorante La Terrazza Chiusure

The best deal in 2017 is at  Ristorante La Terrazza Chiusure (on Facebook) same as  Osteria Pizzeria Delle Piazze (on Tripadvisor), serving classic meals on the north side of the village in Chiusure, with big portions of inexpensive tasty food. Bring everyone with you, this is a great place for kids, too! 4 people can eat for 50 euros total, and the pizza is superb. I always ‘splurge’ and order the Antipasto Goloso and the Pizza Pazza. Tell the charming ladies, Giovanna… Read More

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Locanda il Paradiso

Locanda il Paradiso Locanda il Paradiso (on Facebook, Google) has been here in Chiusure for decades (10 km to Asciano and Buonconvento). It’s located on the edge of the village and offers a simple menu of summertime food with cold starters, hot soups and pastas at fair prices. Nothing is over 8 euros . The Paradiso has a wide covered terrace up front and a great view down to the Monte Oliveto abbey. This humble local cafe has become a favorite… Read More

Contact TuscanHouse

Gary and Zak are now in Tuscany for the months of June, July and August 2017. Please send your request by email and we’ll get right back with you.  And you can call Zak at (+39) 348 338 1656.  Thanks!


Italy (+39) 348-338-1656
US fax / voice (+1) 801-640-5012
Australia (+61) 0418-190-853
Skype tuscanhouse.com