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  • “ 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
  • “ 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 ”

  • “ Our family had a heavenly time in that beautiful Villa il Moro. Nothing could have been better ... such character, comfort, space, views. It was much more than we had imagined, the beautiful furniture, the lovely paintings, everything really! Basking by the pool, sipping wine, the sound of the sheep's bells tinkling in the fields beside us ... we were in heaven. ”

  • “ Dear Zak--our stay at Villa Monte was excruciatingly perfect--the landscape and everything involved--people, food, villa, pool were all as beautiful as they could possibly be, such a remarkable place. Picking ripe figs off the trees for a snack was a pretty incredible experience in itself for us New Yorkers. Thanks, Carol ”

  • “ Zak, Words are not adequate. Villa Riccardo was spacious and picturesque, we would sit out on patio and marvel at the views and the long tree lined gravel road across the valley before climbing up to our bit of heaven. The people were friendly and warm, especially in the villages, where walking the main streets was serendipity at every turn. Each day we would venture out in two cars (four couples) to the surrounding towns and villages or abbys to view the renaissance art, frescos or paintings, or sculptures, etc, a perfusion of opportunities. We never seemed to tire of them. One marvelous storm came through at night and lit up the sky with blazing fireworks and thunderous roars. Exciting, not scary! All in all we had an unforgettable three-week experience with wonderful friends, laughter almost continuous, and driving thrills to rival the fastest racetracks. We can't wait to see the pictures that will help us hold those thoughts for some time to come. Ciao! Regards, -Jim ”

    - Jim F. - 2001-10-18
  • “ Hi Zak, How wonderful this property is and what a good time we had. It is virtually impossible to capture in words the feeling of the place and the hospitality offered. The nature and the stream, the un-restored mill on the property...everywhere you looked was something else to take in. Lucca is beautiful...what a jewel. Please feel free to use us as a reference. Thanks for your assistance. ”

    - Jack B. from Ohio USA at La Stregaia - 2002 July
  • “ 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
  • 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 ”

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.

Find news by category or tag

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 posts

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 and snacks, but also soups and meat dishes at reasonable prices. Newly opened next to the famous open pool, and just below the bookstore drawing in a younger crowd. Attentive service by the owners, one is a sommelier and the other is a proper cook. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Thursdays. Tel 0577-888-973. www.illoggiato.com ($$)


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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

Osteria il Ristoro Tuscany restaurant near Siena

Osteria il Ristoro Tuscany restaurant near Siena Osteria di Ristoro is the only restaurant in the little village called Ville di Corsano. It’s near Siena, just 15 minutes drive south from town. This is the perfect example of how good the authentic local cooking can be in a modest Tuscan restaurant. This is a charming country eatery. It has a popular coffee shop in front and the dining room in the back. Many ingredients are from nearby farms. Most vegetables… 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