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Testimonials

  • 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
  • “ 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
  • “ 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
  • “ 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 ”

  • “ 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
  • “ We all absolutely loved the Villa! Within hours it felt like home. I had NO idea that the house-keeeper would be coming every day -- what a luxury. She really spoiled us. Now we have only our photos and stories to reminisce about our stay. Pauline showed us around Florence for several hours, and took us places I had never been before! At lunch the restaurant owner honored us with a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate my birthday! What a wonderful surprise! Thanks again for all that you did for us. Very sincerely, -Ann S, Chicago, Illinois ”

    - Ann S. - Villa Torriani - 2002-07-06
  • “ 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
  • “ Hello Zak, I just wanted to let you know that the entire family had a great time on vacation. The villa was beautiful and extremely comfortable. We did lose a key to the villa which was subsequently found. Could you tell me where and to whom I should mail it. Thank you again for all your help in planning our holiday! Best Regards, Scott ”

    - Scott E.- Villa Torriani - 2001-07-16

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

il Loggiato tavern Bagno Vignoniil Loggiato is our current favorite in the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, it’s more of a wine-bar and a …Jan 4 2017tuscanhouse.com 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). 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

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 but the air is really dry, making the high temperatures bearable. Summer is the most popular time for vacations, while spring and autumn offer better weather for outdoor activities.

Pool Season: June, July, August and September

July and August are the warmest months with average high at 32°C and lows around 18°C while June and September offer comfortably warm weather without it being too hot with temperatures from 27°C high to 16°C low on the average. Some years the summer weather can start already in June and sometimes the summer heat can last well into September. These 4 months make up the pool season, when the sun warms up the pool water for swimming.

Air conditioning and how to keep the villa cool in summer

Many rental villas don’t offer air conditioning, since it most likely isn’t needed (really!).  Farmhouses and villas in Tuscany are often located on top of hills and protected by trees, to enjoy cooling breezes that make it pleasant to be here. Every villa has electric fans that help to keep you comfortable. Italian country houses are traditionally built with thick masonry walls that make them cooler in summer and warmer in winter. In summer, we close the outside shutters during the daytime to keep out the hot sun, and open the house in the evening for a cooling breeze.

Because most of our guests live in their homes with air conditioning, and are used to even temperatures inside, we are starting to see owners in Tuscany adapt their villas to include air conditioning as an additional service (usually metered and paid according to usage).

Autumn and Spring are great times for Tuscany outdoors

October and May offer the best times to outdoor activities, such as bicycle rides, golf and tennis, horse back and hiking the many well-marked tracks in Tuscany. These months usually allow you to enjoy lunch outside, while the cooler evenings would keep you indoors for dinner. Temperatures range from around 24°C high to 13°C low. Late October shows you some pretty autumn colours, while May brings you late spring with red poppies in bloom. Start of October is time for the grape harvest, Vendemmia, at the vineyards.

November and April might bring a few frosty nights while days can still warm up nicely. November is harvest time for olives, and for hunting of truffles with especially trained sniffer dogs. November usually gets the most rain as well. April is a very pretty time in the middle of spring with wild flowers, blooming wisteria and fast green growth in the countryside. Temperatures range from around 18°C high to 7°C low.

Winter and start of Spring for visitors

From December thru February is the winter season with shorter days and rain showers, but also some beautiful clear and sunny days. Light dusting of snow is possible during the cold nights making travel on the roads more difficult. Higher elevations can get snow for several days. Many Italians rent villas for Christmas and New Year, but we see only a few tourists during the winter. Average temperatures are cool to chilly, from about 13°C high to 4°C low.

I mention March separately since it’s the beautiful start of spring, with narcissus, tulip, hyacinth and other bulbs in bloom with also the first of the fruit trees, like cherries, in flower. March also feels better with longer days pushing away the winter blues. End of March and start of April are usually the time for Easter, which the Europeans treat as a major holiday and time for travel, making it the start of the rental season for villas in Tuscany. Average temperatures in March are cool from about 16°C high to 7°C low.

Rain or Sunshine on your holidays

Rain and showers in Tuscany can occur during autumn, winter and spring, while the summer season is very dry. Except, possibly thunderstorms that could bring a few showers also during the summer. This is the general view of the seasons but each year is different, so please have a look at the local weather forecast for Tuscany just before you leave home, so you can pack accordingly.

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Etruscans

Etruscans and Their Origins The origin of Etruscans has been a matter of debate for many centuries, with Roman scholars such as Livy claiming they were either from central Europe or original and indigenous people of central Italy. But DNA testing done in 2007 verified information coming from the Greek historian Herodotus, written around 450 BCE. According to Herodotus, the Etruscans were originally Lydians, who lived in the western half of Turkey during the Iron Age. They evolved in this… Read More

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Osteria Acquacheta Montepulciano

Osteria Acquacheta is a special place among the many good places to eat in Montepulciano. Prices are low for such tasty food, like 6 euros for a plate of fresh pasta al ragu. Standard menu and the daily menu are both worth looking thru. Lots of choices but the reason many come here is the big thick steak the owner chops off and brings to show for your approval before cooking it on the wood burning BBQ you see ablaze… Read More

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Weather in Tuscany in °F

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 vacations, while spring and autumn offer better weather for outdoor activities. Pool Season: June, July, August and September July and August are the warmest months with average high at 90°F and lows around 65°F, while June and September offer comfortably warm weather without it being too hot with… 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

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!

TuscanHouse
http://tuscanhouse.com

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