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About Us

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, drivers 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! Here’s a bit about us, to help dispel those butterflies.

Gary was born in Sydney, Australia, and after a career with the airline industry; Pan American in New York, Windward Island Airways in St Maarten, and Qantas in Sydney, Gary returned to New York in the mid 80’s to become a partner in the corporate travel industry. In the late 90’s Gary moved his travel business to the Gulf Coast.

Born in Lapland, Finland, Zak with his family lived in both countries, moving to the USA in 1979 to start university education. He graduated in architecture from Georgia Tech, traveled, studied a year in Paris, and returned to practice in Atlanta and Washington DC with design firms and privately.

After many long vacations in Tuscany and all over Italy, in 1997 they 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 several months of each year. With requests from friends on how to rent their villas, Zak and Gary formed TuscanHouse in 1998.

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

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 main course I had a steak cooked to succulent medium rare topped with porcini mushrooms, but leave space for their home made ice cream. Tourists are treated well with friendly service. Tel. 0577-377912. Via Corsano Grotti, 574, Loc. Ville di Corsano 53014, Monteroni d’Arbia, Italy.

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

Alicina Hosteria Tuscany restaurant

Alicina Hosteria in Porto Ercole is an unmissable treat for the lovers of fish and seafood. In this small and simple Tuscany restaurant the menu is refined and interesting, and our waiter was very helpful and spoke quite good English. The tasting plate for starters is an eye-opener into Mediterranean seafood delights! Food is fresh and delicious so the prices are higher, but it’s well worth the price for a marvelous authentic experience. If you’re in Porto Ercole and love … Read More

il Poggio Tuscany Restaurant in Celle sul Rigo

Located in the south end of Siena Province at the village of Celle sul Rigo, il Poggio is a country hotel and a horse-riding destination with an excellent large restaurant, with well spaced tables and covered outside seating. Comfortable and well furnished, this is the perfect restaurant for long lunches and late evenings when you combine excellent food and wine with fun & conversation. Charming staff serve delicious local food and the classics prepared by skilled chefs, so it’s sure … 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 2015. Please send your request by email and we’ll reply to you as soon as possible.  Thank you!


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