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  • “ Zak The whole family wish to thank you for the chance to stay at your wonderful Villa La Chiusa in Lucca, I could not have wished for a better location or setting for my 70th birthday. It was perfect. Our young grandchildren gained so much confidence in the user friendly pool and achieved much. We were very impressed by the meal prepared by Chef Alberto who did us proud indeed. I would ask you to pass on our grateful thanks in Italian. Again very many thanks to you, David S. ”

    - David S. - Villa Torriani - 2004-09-13
  • Casa Collina was great and just as we envisioned an old Tuscan house would be. The gardens not only look great, they smell great. Rosemary as tall as we are blooming everywhere. Great big yard - kids played a lot of soccer. The owner is wonderful, very friendly and warm. On a couple of occasions when we were gone touring for the day, she brought our laundry in for us when it was going to rain. We would highly recommend this villa to anyone. Thanks, Suzanne ”

    - Suzanne S. - il Convento - 2002-04-30
  • “ Dear Zak & Gary, I want to thank you for your help in making this one of our most memorable and enjoyable vacations. La Casella is fabulously renovated and has fantastic views from every window. Cetona is a perfect town for us, with the mix of restaurants and shops within a quick walk is appealing. On occasions that we wanted a change from dining out, we bought fresh pasta, meat, cheese, and wine in the town and cooked at home. Great experience! Warm Regards, - Peter & Chris ”

    - Loretta R. - Torre Cetona and Casa Anna - 2002-11-16
  • “ Hi Zak, Just a short note to tell you how much we enjoyed Villa Manafiore and the service your company provides. We had a great meal by the cook, all enjoyed the bedrooms with private baths, and the fact that your refund check arrived so timely just topped our experience! You are welcome to use me for a reference at any time and we hope we can do business with you again. Sincerely, Gary B. ”

    - Gary B. - Villa Manafiore - 2003-10-28
  • “ Dear Gary, thank you so much, Arpicella was beautifully situated and the views from the garden are spectacular. We are still enjoying the fruity olive oil pressed from the local groves. Pienza is our favorite Tuscan town, so the close proximity was a plus. Your restaurant recommendations were invaluable.  Again, thanks for your help. We would recommend Tuscanhouse.com without reservation. ”

  • Villa Anna was so beautifully appointed vacation home - inside and out. It was a pleasure to travel such a distance and arrive at a place that felt like a home rather than a bare bones rental. The owner has worked magic with the gardens and his collection of art work is lovely. Dinners at the villa by a local cook were fabulous. It felt like we brought the restaurant to us. Warm regards, Beth ”

  • “ Hi Zak: I just wanted to let you know how happy we were at Villa Anna & thanks for all your detailed arrangements made on our behalf. The villa was even nicer than described & the photos on your website don't do it justice. The kitchen was so fully equipped that we ate in most evenings - the pool & the gardens were just lovely. This is obviously a house that is loved & wonderfully tended to by its owner. Our mistake was not to stay 2 weeks! We would like very much to return one day soon ... I will contact you again. Best regards. Beatrice & Larry ”

    - Bea and Larry S. from New York USA at Villa La Selva - June 2002
  • “ Zak: We just returned from our stay in Tuscany at your wonderful home La Casella in Cetona and it was exactly like we were told it would be. We much appreciate the prompt and excellent service we received from you. We will certainly contact you for our next trip to Italy. Thanks again for everything. John ”

    - John P from South Carolina USA at Fitto - May 2004

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 mid 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 worked for years in the airline industry (PanAm, Qantas). He set up a corporate travel agency in New York City in the 1980’s moving it to the Gulf Coast in the 1990’s. Zak is from Finland and came to the US to study, graduating in architecture from Ga Tech in the mid 1980’s. After long vacations in Tuscany and trips all over Italy, in 1997 Gary and Zak purchased a property in the small Tuscan village of Chiusure, (rated as having one of the best views in Tuscany by Travel & Leisure March 2015) and became residents here for about half of each year. With requests from friends in Tuscany on how to find people to rent their villas, Zak and Gary formed TuscanHouse in 1998. Now in 2016 the business is operated from Australia where Gary and Zak live while away from their 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

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 slice from the snack-bars in towns. House wine … 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 news

In Montepulciano you should go to La Grotta, a highly recommended and pleasant restaurant with refined cuisine and courteous professional service. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the splendid Vino Nobile wines with your meal. Seasonal ingredients feature truffles, porcini mushrooms, and game. We like them for their delicate hand made pasta and the chef who cooks the best rack of lamb for the main course. Delicious deserts, too. The 2 vaulted dining rooms are spacious and tables are placed far apart to allow for easy movement and privacy. They also have outside dining is a lovely garden setting. Easy parking in front. Last visit in 2011. Closed on Wednesdays. Next to the San Biagio church, below the town on the west side. Tel: 0578-757-607. ($$$)*

Olive oil harvest in Lucca Tuscany

The arrival of late autumn in Lucca, Tuscany, signals the season of the olive harvest. Most of the area’s farmers are deeply committed to organic and biodynamic agriculture, using the ancient method to cold-press the olives under a mill wheel on the day of the harvest. Have a look at this recent story in the New York Times:  Olive oil in Lucca Tuscany Going to Lucca for a vacation? Here we offer the beautiful Villa La Chiusa … Read More

Osteria il Ristoro Tuscany restaurant

Osteria il Ristoro is the only cafe-restaurant in little village Ville di Corsano just south of Siena, but it’s the perfect example of how good the authentic local cooking can be in modest Tuscany restaurant. This is a charming country eatery, with the popular coffee shop in front and the dining room in the back. Many ingredients are from nearby farms – most vegetables and ingredients of pasta dishes, such as tagliatelle with bacon and a hazelnut sauce. For the … Read More

Al Botteghino Tuscany restaurant

Al Botteghino is an established road-house restaurant on the way from Torrita to Pienza, near the town of Montefollonico. Simple but excellent cooking, very popular with locals, one of our favorite Tuscan “truck-stops”. We had dinner there on 4th of June 2014 and it was superb. Try the anjovy starter and warm crostinis (can be shared), for pasta course the surprisingly light and small gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, heavenly! This established Tuscany restaurant is the best place in the area … Read More

La Locanda del Castello Tuscany restaurant

Half and hour south of Siena, the restaurant at La Locanda del Castello in San Giovanni d’Asso is a magical experience! The setting by the ancient castello is very romantic, helped by the wide vaulted ceilings and the lovely outdoor balcony for dining al fresco. Lots of care and talent went into decoration, the tables are large and spaced far apart allowing for privacy. Food is cooked with flair, the menu is local and seasonal. Look especially for their truffle … Read More

Contact TuscanHouse

Gary and Zak are currently traveling in the US and Australia, coming back to Tuscany for the months of June, July and August 2016. Please send your request by email and we’ll get right back with you.  Thanks!


US fax / voice 1-801-640-5012
Italy (+39) 348-481-2544
Australia (+61) 0418-190-853
Skype tuscanhouse.com