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Testimonials

  • “ 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
  • “ 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! ”

  • “ 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. ”

  • “ 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
  • “ The stay at the Villa il Palazzotto was great, our group had a fantastic 2 weeks in Italy. The house was very clean and neat, Maurizio prepared two wonderful meals and your referral of Kate Singleton was really appreciated. She took us to 3 vineyards, we learned a lot and all agreed it was one of the highlights of our trip. She is super at what she does, we highly recommend her. We appreciate your help in our trip planning, thank you for all your suggestions. -Lee ”

    - Lee and Page O. - il Palazzotto - 2004-10-06
  • “ 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
  • “ 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
  • “ Zak: We just returned from our stay in Tuscany at your wonderful home La Casella in Cetona and it was exactly like we were told it would be. We much appreciate the prompt and excellent service we received from you. We will certainly contact you for our next trip to Italy. Thanks again for everything. John ”

    - John P from South Carolina USA at Fitto - May 2004

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!

TuscanHouse
http://tuscanhouse.com

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