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  • “ The stay at the Villa il Palazzotto was great, our group had a fantastic 2 weeks in Italy. The house was very clean and neat, Maurizio prepared two wonderful meals and your referral of Kate Singleton was really appreciated. She took us to 3 vineyards, we learned a lot and all agreed it was one of the highlights of our trip. She is super at what she does, we highly recommend her. We appreciate your help in our trip planning, thank you for all your suggestions. -Lee ”

    - Lee and Page O. - il Palazzotto - 2004-10-06
  • “ 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
  • “ Ciao, Zak! We had a wonderful time in Tuscany and enjoyed our vacation immensely. Monticchiello is quite a charming town - ate at La Porta twice - yum!! Did try many other restaurants on your list, too. We spent one day on Siena - lovely city! Hope to do this all again! ”

    - Gail L. from Atlanta USA at il Torrino - 2001 October
  • “ Zak, Wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed Villa il Moro! It was fantastic house and a great location to see most of Tuscany. We cannot wait till we can return! The pizzeria you recommended in Torrieni was fabulous and we also discovered a very good restaurant in Buonconvento called the "Duccio Osteria". The food there was VERY good and the service very friendly. You may want to add it to your list. Thanks for all you help! Bill ”

  • “ Hello Zak: Incredible week at Costa Della Luna in July. The house was magnificent and offered everything we had hoped for in our vacation dreams! Your pointers on where to eat were excellent. Marianne was enlisted to cook for us and did so with great flair and charm. We enjoyed our time immensely! Regards, -Craig and Kay ”

  • “ 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. ”

  • “ Zak and Gary, I just wanted to write about the amazing time that my partner Joe and I had on our holiday. The experience exceeded our expectations. Villa Monte is amazing in all aspects, from the interior to the architecture. It was a real treat to have the use of such a beautiful house. I also want to thank you and Gary for making the arrangements so easy. The owners have a truly spectacular property and have put their  home in good hands. I know that we will be back to Tuscany many times. If you are ever in the Boston area please call so we can meet and thank you in person. Best regards, Tom & Joe   ”

    - Tom T. & Joe C. - Villa Fallerini - 2002-10-22
  • “ We did have a fabulous time, Bartolo was a great house. Thank you for all your recommendations! You were so helpful and made it so easy for us. The woman who takes care of the place brought us some eggs from the hen house one morning. Actually, all eight of us are getting together this weekend, cooking a big meal together, and sharing all our photos of the trip. I plan on renting the house again! Thanks, Bill. ”

    - Donne K. from San Francesco USA at San Francesco - 2001 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. I (Zak) come from Finland and worked as an architect after graduated 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.

Find news by category or tag

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

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. This restaurant specializes in steaks from the famous local Chianina cattle, and also serves homemade pasta and pizza, and opens only in the evenings. Vita Nova is a good place for dinners with family and friends.  Tel: +39 0575 652307.  Closed on Mondays. Località Brolio, 52043 Castiglion Fiorentino AR, Italy ($$)

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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

Heinz Beck Seasons at Ristorante Castello di Fighine

From the famous “La Pergola” restaurant in Rome, we are delighted to have the Michelin starred chef Heinz Beck open his “Seasons” at Castello di Fighine in southern Tuscany. You’ll find it just 15 minutes from the Fabro exit off the A1 Autostrada. Castello di Fighine is  an imposing 11th century castle remodeled into a private home over the past 15 years. A two minute walk from the Castle brings you to the restaurant. Sitting 650 meters above sea level, the Castle is… Read More

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il Loggiato tavern Bagno Vignoni

il Loggiato is our current favorite in Bagno Vignoni spa town, it’s more of a wine-bar and a tavern, than a restaurant, so you don’t have to follow any rules of formal dining. In summer the best tables are outside shaded by big umbrellas, while in the winter the inside bar and dining area are downstairs. There you’ll find 2 dining rooms with rustic brick walls and cozy atmosphere. Very informal menu of bruschettas, cheese plates and other light meals… 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