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Testimonials

  • “ Hello Zak, just like to let you know that Palazzotto was absolutely fantastic. Maurizio was charming and hospitable. The food was the best around the area and the little restaurant next door was wonderful. Everyone loved everything. You can't ask for more than that. Much thanks from the whole crew. Ciao from Ben! ”

    - Carolyn R. from Chicago USA at Palazzotto - 2001 July
  • “ 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. ”

  • “ 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
  • “ Words are not adequate, La Casella was spacious and picturesque, we would sit out on the patio and marvel at the garden and views across the valley up to our bit of heaven. The people in Cetona were friendly and walking the main street of the village was serendipity at every turn. Grazie! ”

  • “ 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 ”

  • “ 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
  • “ Hi Zak, after having an amazing time in Tuscany last week, I wanted to drop a line to you and Gary and say thank you. After being spoiled at our villa, some in our group have already decided that we would like to come back to Tuscany next year in June! I will follow up with more details. ”

    - Eric G. from Arizona USA at Villa Toscana - 2001 July
  • “ 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

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Restaurant guide for Siena Province

Updated May 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 slice from the snack-bars in… 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

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 worth a visit even for its panoramic views over Southern Tuscany alone.

Managed by Heinz Beck with Gianluca Renzi as head chef, the restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and features home-made Tuscan pasta with locally sourced ingredients.

Inside the restaurant is handsomely furnished., but outside under the large wisteria covered pergola is a most beautiful place to sit and enjoy either a simple plate of fresh pasta or a gourmet/tasting menu.  The wine list features a number of the spectacular Super Tuscan wines beside the many locally produced wines of excellent quality.

The restaurant is open from Friday 31st March 2017 to Wednesday 1st November 2017.

Lunch: Wednesday to Sunday
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday
Closed: Monday

Telephone: +39 0578 56158
Email: ristorante@fighine.it

Read more ...

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

Canta Napoli seafood restaurant near Cortona

Canta Napoli seafood restaurant near Cortona When your travels take you to Cortona, in the valley below is Canta Napoli, a superb seafood restaurant just north of the town called Camucia. We discovered this memorable restaurant in June of 2014. It’s unusual to find excellent seafood this far inland, therefore this restaurant owned by 2 Neapolitan brothers should get every seafood lover’s attention. The shellfish was superb, featured first on the antipasto that we shared as a starter. It had… Read More

La Grotta restaurant best dining Montepulciano

La Grotta restaurant best dining Montepulciano In Montepulciano you should definitely go to La Grotta for the best meal. This is 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 lunch or dinner. 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… Read More

Olive oil harvest tradition Lucca Tuscany

Olive oil harvest tradition Lucca Tuscany The arrival of late autumn in Lucca, Tuscany, signals the season of the traditional olive harvest for pressing oil. Most of the area’s farmers are deeply committed to organic and biodynamic agriculture. They use 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… 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