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  • “ Dear Zak, what a wonderful time Carol and I had in Tuscany! By the end of our stay there we were looking at farmhouses for sale. The information and maps you sent were perfect, particularly your restaurant list. Most mornings I rode my bike for hours on end throughout the Val D'Orcia, these are the best roads for cycling I have ever ridden on. And of course, we sat in the natural bath at Bagno Vignone, drank gallons of Brunello and Nobile, and, well I could go on and on .... looking to do something similar next year, but hopefully for at least two weeks. Best, Marc ”

    - Marc M. - il Torrino - 2001-06-20
  • “ 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
  • “ 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
  • “ 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
  • Villa Manafiore: We couldn’t imagine a better location, a more charming villa, or a more beautiful setting. The house itself, along with the grounds, the pool, the vineyard and the view of the countryside, make for a magical place ... ”

  • “ 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
  • “ Dear Zak & Gary, I want to thank you for your help in making this one of our most memorable and enjoyable vacations. La Casella is fabulously renovated and has fantastic views from every window. Cetona is a perfect town for us, with the mix of restaurants and shops within a quick walk is appealing. On occasions that we wanted a change from dining out, we bought fresh pasta, meat, cheese, and wine in the town and cooked at home. Great experience! Warm Regards, - Peter & Chris ”

    - Loretta R. - Torre Cetona and Casa Anna - 2002-11-16
  • “ What a magnificent dream! Each little town perched on a hill with vista that seems to go forever. Pienza was the perfect home-base for our explorations and the house Arpicella exceeded all our hopes, and with such a lovely owner. We'll be back some day! ”

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

Ristorante La Terrazza Chiusure

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 and Adriana, that Zak recommended! The covered terrace has panoramic views over Tuscany and you see the huge Monte Oliveto Abbey illuminated down the valley in the evenings. During the summer you need to call (+39) 0577 707103 for reservations on the splendid terrace. Via delle Piazze, 3, Chiusure , 53041 Asciano SI  ($)*

Osteria 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… 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

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

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