We collect reviews directly from our clients via email and publish them here. We hope you enjoy reading through them as much as we do, they are a paper trail of happy memories!

Virginia A

Virginia A

...cannot recommend the estate more highly

I stayed here in April 2011 and cannot recommend the estate more highly. Our accommodation was a wonderful Tuscan experience - with the real feel of old Tuscany with all the modern conveniences (lack of TV being a blessing). The hospitality of the family was very generous and genuine. Francesco, the manager, was extremely helpful and had such a vast knowledge of everything local. He guided many of our adventures through the neighbouring villages and cities - explaining the must sees and dos. The entire complex is so peaceful and the scenery beautiful from almost every window. The facilities were excellent and the weekly dinner a really great way to meet fellow travellers and make new aquaintences - as well as indulging in the local fare, not to mention the beautiful different Italian wines!!!I would recommend Montestigliano to any traveller, but know any fellow Australians will really enjoy the friendliness and genuine Tuscan hospitality and beautifully renovated estate.

Anonymous guests, Australia staying in Virginia B. Dec 2011
Villa Ascarello

Villa Ascarello

...a marvellous week and really loved the Villa

We had a marvellous week and really loved the Villa. There was plenty of room and the kitchen was fitted out with everything we needed. It was a great location and very child friendly. The owner cooked for us a number of times upon request and the food was excellent. All fresh ingredients from her garden.

I have no hesitation in recommending this villa to anyone else. It was perfect.

J.D. staying in Villa Ascarello. Feb 2018
Pipistrelli

Pipistrelli

..it's safe to say that Pipistrelli was fantastic

I won't make this long but it's safe to say that Pipistrelli was fantastic. Better than expectations which were very high. The villa is absolutely incredible & the level of service was amazing. Francesco is a star. He took amazing care of us. The group dinners they do two nights a week are a must and having breakfast and dinner prepared at the villa was perfect. I would 100% go back again. Thank you for the help.

M.L. from USA staying in Pipistrelli. Dec 2018
Pipistrelli

Pipistrelli

...we enjoyed the trip of a lifetime

A beautiful 17th century villa located on a 1500 hectare estate of olive groves and vineyards. Manager Francesco greeted us and catered to our every need supplying a breakfast cook, a catered dinner, and some excellent wines from the estate's cantina. The villa accommodates up to 14 people with 5 bedrooms c/w bathrooms in the main villa, a dining room, a large kitchen and two living rooms while the annex has two more bedrooms and a large open living area. The views over the Tuscan hills are beautiful, especially at sunset, and we enjoyed the trip of a lifetime with 5 couples using the villa as base to tour other Tuscan towns. It is located 15 minute from Siena and only an hour drive to Florence, Volterra, San Gimgnano, Castellina, and Cortona, to name a few towns. Nearby towns like Rosia, Orgia, and Stigliano offer reasonable and tasty dining options and groceries.

Mr. B.L with family and friends, Canada staying in Pipistrelli. Feb 2015
Pipistrelli

Pipistrelli

I agree the pictures do not do it justice!

I agree the pictures do not do it justice! We stayed 1 week with extended family, including children between 3 to 12 years, we hardly saw the kids, they were so entertained playing around the property with so much to explore yet in a very safe setting. The rest of us had plenty of space to hang out with each other or do our own thing. Plenty of exploring to do around the area, by foot bike or car! We are going back for more this year :)

Mrs. E.L. and family, UK staying in Pipistrelli. May 2010
Pipistrelli

Pipistrelli

A truely beautiful house in a stunning setting

A truely beautiful house in a stunning setting,the pictures do not do it justice. Silent at night with no light pollution, classic unspoilt tuscan views buy day all finished off elegantly furnished rooms that will break your heart when you have to leave.

Mr. D.B. with friends and family, UK staying in Pipistrelli. Dec 2009
Sangiovese

Sangiovese

...excellent location in Tuscan countryside

Lovely, spacious and interesting accomodation for 4; excellent location in Tuscan countryside (although only good view from inside house from shower room); great access for Siena and Chianti towns; good local restaurant. Beautiful gardens for relaxing, and great pool. Kitchen equipment OK, but would have preferred electric kettle and toaster. Main drawback was patio area; access via very steep outside staircase proved tiring re need to carry food/drinks/glasses/crockery etc for every meal/snack for 2 weeks. Of particular concern, patio area did not, as described in brochure, feel very private. As directly in front of wine tasting room, lots of visitors milling around, and our "private" patio used regularly, mainly by guides/drivers I think, for smoking and telephone conversations. Unfortunately, my husband was unwell during most of our holiday, as a result of which we stayed around the property more than planned, hence more aware of patio issues. He did however enjoy and benefit from sitting reading in lovely garden under umbrella. Many thanks for your help.

Mrs. J.H. and family, UK staying in sangiovese. Dec 2014
Noce

Noce

...perfect choice for solo or two-person travel

Noce is the perfect choice for solo or two-person travel. Private, well-maintained, with very hospital owners. Location is breathtaking, and super convenient for day trips to Siena, Florence, Pisa and Lucca. Make sure to make time for an afternoon by the pool!

Ms. M.R., USA staying in Noce. Sep 2010
Noce

Noce

This cottage was ideal in so many ways...

This cottage was ideal in so many ways...beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, a shared pool where we generally the only swimmers, easy walk to the superb local town with a quality restaurant/café and shops. The accommodation was simple and very comfortable. We hope to return! The owner even brought us apricot pie on Sunday evening!

Mrs. J. R. and family, U.K., staying in Noce.
Noce

Noce

An idyllic holiday destinaiton

After a long hot journey by motorcycle we arrived to an extremely friendly welcome. We were low on fuel and the owner very kindly offered go to the local garage with a jerry can. This was the start of a perfect stay. We found our time at Noce very relaxing. The owners respected our privacy but we knew they were there and happy to help had we needed anything. This is an idyllic holiday destination.

Mr. F.B. and family, UK staying in Noce. Dec 2011
Noce

Noce

..a romantic getaway in the tuscan countryside

My wife and I stayed at Noce for one week for our honeymoon and it was absolutely perfect. The Italian owners are so friendly and warm, the cottage is cosy but has everything you need. The location is wonderful, right by Volterra and San Gimignano with Sienna an easy journey by car. The local village (which is walkable) is gorgeous and boasts stunning views and an excellent local restaurant. The cottage is surrounded by a vineyard and olive grove - the owners provide you with thier own olive oil and red wine both of which are superb. The views are wonderful, a great swimming pool and BBQ, basically everything you need. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to any couple who are looking for a romantic getaway in the tuscan countryside.

Mr. J.S. and family, UK staying in Noce. Nov 2011
Noce

Noce

..perfect for us as a couple wanting privacy

Agresto is a beautiful little haven set amongst a vinegard and olive trees with amazing views over the valley. The owners were lovely (although they don't speak English), and pretty much left us to it apart from the odd 'hello' when we saw them which was perfect for us. The pool area was beautiful and we had the fantastic terrace a few steps from Noce all to ourselves. Noce was perfect for us as a couple wanting some privacey. It was small but provided everything we needed. The walk to the beautiful old town of Casole d'Elsa is about 20 minutes but well worth the hike! All in all we had a fabulous time there and would certainly go back.

Mrs. D.H. and family, UK staying in Noce. Sep 2011
Noce

Noce

...setting and amenities were fantastic

The setting and amenities, particularly the pool, were fantastic. Watching the stars at night sitting by the pool was unforgettable. We hit a very hot spell so had to adapt plans to visit lots of places but Il Noce is very convenient for all the main sights. Casole is about 20 minutes walk, a torch is needed at night, but worth visiting as it was quite lively in the evening. The cottage was small but had everything we needed. It was comfortable with a lovely shaded area for eating outside. The Italian owner was extremely friendly but perhaps we need to learn some Italian for next time!

Mrs. S.Y. and family, UK staying in Noce. Feb 2011
Noce

Noce

Had everything one could want

Cannot fault our stay in the cottage. Had everything one could want. Very comfortable, very clean and beautiful views. We loved it! The owners were delightful and very friendly. Doesn't get much better when you get home made baking while having a swim! No air conditioning, but with the thick stone walls and shade, we didn't miss it, and it was hot weather! Pool is wonderful and we loved the quiet, quaint village of Casole d'elsa. Wifi was also good, bed comfortable! I will be coming back!

Mrs. S.K. and family, NZ staying in Noce. Feb 2014
Noce

Noce

...ideal in so many ways

This cottage was ideal in so many ways...beautiful views of the surrounding countryside, a shared pool where we generally the only swimmers, easy walk to the superb local town with a quality restaurant/café and shops. The accommodation was simple and very comfortable. We hope to return! The owner even brought us apricot pie on Sunday evening!

Mrs. J.R. and family, UK staying in Noce. Jun 2014
Noce

Noce

the most wonderful little house

We stayed at Noce for two weeks in September 2015 and have to say this is the most wonderful little house. Its a bit like a tardis - tiny from the outside but huge on the inside. We had a very warm greeting on arrival from Elvira and she presented us with a bottle of their own Agresto Wine - make sure your buy more, its delicious !! The facilities are all spot on and had everything you need including a toaster and kettle which is very rare to find in an Italian self catering property. Really pretty gardens with a fantastic swimming pool and lots of loungers to use. The hill top town of Casole D'Elsa is only a 15 minute walk away and is well worth a visit, There are a couple of restaurants that are a must to eat at - the best one is Caffe Casolini. They only do a set menu. 4 courses with soup, pasta, meat and then dessert. Live Jazz on a Thursday. Food is absolutely delicious and the atmosphere is very chilled. There is also a pizzeria 5 minutes away from the house called La Stagione. Very tasty pizzas !! Not a lot of inside tables so make sure you book. Volterra, San Gimignano and Siena are all approx 30 minutes drive away. Make sure you visit Noce as its the most wonderful holiday home to visit.

Jane, UK staying in Noce. Dec 2015
Noce

Noce

Lovely location, well managed property

Lovely location, well managed property, nice pool. Walk into the town via country paths or main roads with lots of activities, bars, restaurants. Takes about 20 minutes. The family who own the farm invited all guests for pizza and wine - lovely of them. Stone baked pizza followed by far too much cake, lovely chat. The house is small but gives some privacy, with the patio facing away from the main buildings and overlooking the vineyard. Nice hill towns an easy drive away. Just a chilled, lovely holiday. Invitation to Tuscany also very attentive, easy e-mail contact with real people and great advice and help - we arrived later than usual time and they sorted with the owners for us. Tuscany is just great. Wine, olive oil, fabulous food, great places. If you have never been, go. Just two of you? Go here!

Paul, Glasgow, UK staying in Noce. Dec 2015
Noce

Noce

Wonderful stay at this property

Had a wonderful stay at this property. Signora Dal Porta was absolutely terrific in making us welcome and making sure we had everything we needed. The location was ideal with magnificent views on the property. It was a short walk into Casole d'Elsa, an absolutely delightful little village perched high on a hill with terrific places for a coffee and a wonderful restaurant.

Mr. and Mrs. K.M, Australia staying in Noce. Feb 2015
Noce

Noce

....what a wonderful holiday we had!

Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful holiday we had! Noce and Elvira were lovely - she made sure any little hiccups were sorted out immediately and we sampled a bottle of their home made wine! Caffe Casolina was wonderful- so much so we went twice! The English chef/owner was very welcoming and even came to say goodbye to us on our last night when we ate there. The area was beautiful! We discovered the local grocery shop just outside the village so there were not any problems shopping on the Saturday of arrival. Thanks for the email support and suggestions. I have recommended the accommodation and website to many of my friends since we came back!

Mr. and Mrs. H.T, UK staying in Noce. Dec 2015
Massimo

Massimo

Highly recommend this estate

Montestigliano was recommended to me by a friend, who said great things about her stay there in 2010. I looked at other sites in the general area, but nothing seemed better than her recommendation. The villa had everything we needed for a very comfortable week's stay in the Tuscan countryside, and bucket-loads of charm as well. The whole estate is picture-book perfect. There are numerous walking trails, including one to the nearest village where good coffee can be had. 2 pools (one designated for families) operate in the warmer months. We did not miss having a TV. Good WiFi kept us connected with the world (when we wanted to be). The estate is a short drive from the nearest small town for essential supplies, and less than 30 minutes' drive from Siena - a magical place that we went back to a number of times over the week. The opportunity to join other guests for a traditional Sienese dinner was fantastic. The estate's own olive oil is a wonderful product, which we made use of while we were there (and would have liked to take home, except our baggae limits wouldn't allow it!). Highly recommend this estate - I doubt you will have a better experience, and staff will do everything they can to make your stay memorable!

Anonymous guests, Australia staying in Massimo. Dec 2012
Villa Amorosa

Villa Amorosa

Definitely our best villa in Tuscany all round in over 30 years.

Our stay was relaxed and trouble free. Very well equipped kitchen, BBQ and Pizza oven all worked well to ensure everyone was happy. AnnaMarie cooked two evenings - her food is delicious and very local in its style and ingredients. Only suggestion would be to put a toddler proof closure/latch on the gate to the pool enclosure to make the most of the fencing and to provide maximum peace of mind. The tennis court and equipment and pool were all excellent.

Definitely our best villa in Tuscany all round in over 30 years.

John and Melanie staying in Villa Amorosa. Jun 2022
Villa Amorosa

Villa Amorosa

We'd highly recommend it to others looking for a relaxed, family-oriented stay.

My extended family (6 adults, 1 infant) had a beautiful stay at Villa Amorosa. We especially enjoyed the swimming pool (completely fenced in; a plus for those with children!) and the screens in all of the windows (there were some bugs in the house, as it's a in a pretty rustic, remote locale, but the screens in the windows significantly cut down on that and allowed for a nice breeze). We also had a cook come in and prepare a beautiful meal (thank you for helping us set this up, Kim and Dan!) The house is a bit of a drive from the grocery store and town, but it worked wonderfully for us, and we'd highly recommend it to others looking for a relaxed, family-oriented stay.

J.P. staying in Amorosa. Jun 2022
Villa Donati

Villa Donati

...exactly what we were expecting from a Tuscan villa

We are members of a social dance group and 12 of us stayed here a few weeks ago. This is the second time we have stayed there and it is a wonderful place. Tuscany is beautiful and this villa is in the middle of all this beauty. It is exactly what we were expecting from a Tuscan villa. Rustic feel; amazing family who own it and the manager Francesco is a wonderful host for anyone staying there. He is most attentive and looks after everyone. The views first thing in the morning over the valley are stunning, especially as the mist clears. We were very lucky and the weather was superb.

L.B., N.F. and friends, UK staying in Villa Donati. Mar 2014
Modernista

Modernista

I cannot recommend it enough

Let me start by saying that I have had the pleasure of staying in many villas throughout Italy. I have to say my stay at Modernista was joyous the property was better than I anticipated. The rooms were airy and modern and the pool was a great resource. The location in the small town of Peregine Valdarno was perfect enabling us to walk into the town for basic shopping and the bar in the evening and the restaurant. Yet it was only a short drive away from Florence and Siena. Our hosts were attentive and helpful and in no way intrusive. The whole region is wonderful and for me Certona was an unexpected bonus as was Civitella. Modernista helped me connect with Italians and the Italian ways in a way I have not been able to from other tourist type villas. I cannot recommend it enough.

Mr. T.M. with family and friends, UK staying in Modernista. Feb 2015
Archimede

Archimede

Wonderful time at Lake Como

Just wanted to send you a note to let you know we had a wonderful time the other week at Lake Como! What an amazing location! We didn’t really want to leave the house it was so beautiful there with the view. We did manage however to se some of the beautiful gardens and villas as well as take a tour around the lake by a boat Greta arranged for us. Thank you for all your assistance. We look forward to our return.

Melissa Y and family staying in Archimede. Jun 2018
Archimede

Archimede

Fabulous place for a multi-generational holiday

We loved Archimede - we stayed here for two weeks for a big family reunion with grandparents, two siblings' families and grandchildren with ages that varied from 20 to 1 year old. It suited us all perfectly, the house is spacious with really large living areas for us all to eat and chat together, with the airy terrace over the lake and close to the barbecue a popular place for evening meals. The pool and Jacuzzi have stunning views and were very popular for relaxed catch-ups, sitting in the bubbles with a drink.

The surrounding area has some fabulous restaurants as well as plenty of activities for the more energetic in the family. I got a lot of cycling done, and also braved canyoning in Val Bodengo with the younger adults. There were boat trips, relaxing walks and an excursion into the higher alpine valleys by funicular.

A wonderful villa in a great spot, I can highly recommend it.

Dan Wrightson from ITT staying in Archimede. Aug 2016
Villa di Mezzo

Villa di Mezzo

...the best Villa I have ever stayed in

This is without doubt the best Villa I have ever stayed in in all my years travelling to Tuscany through Invitation to. From the size to the furnishings, layout, kitchen and ambience. Down a track surrounded by trees the seclusion is excellent. It is a little slice of heaven. The personal touches inside the Villa no doubt collected over the years by the owner gives the villa a homely touch with many interesting things to look at (Check out the downstairs bathroom to learn a bit about the owner!) even that piqued our interest 😊. The pool is an oasis in the garden with shaded areas to escape from the midday sun (parasols not necessary!) During our time there we didn’t once eat inside - the arched covered outdoor table will accommodate all your needs with a handy barbecue for alfresco dining adding to the delight.

We arrived to a welcome hamper from the owner with delights including the usual authentic Italian delights, local honey, Jam and of course a lovely local Red Wine with Prosecco chilling already in the fridge. Sonia - with limited English (better than my Italian) showed us around the place but we are experts on Tuscan Villas. Everywhere was of course safe (Covid) and immaculately clean. With fresh sheets after the first 5 days it was a home from home.

If you want somewhere close to the Airport at Pisa this is the perfect place. With the coast also near a day at the beach is highly recommended. There is good information in the Villa on local shopping, eating and touristic stuff with personal recommendations included.

All in all, considering the times we are in this is the perfect retreat to get away from it all. The Villa is so special you wouldn’t actually need to leave it as long as you had enough food and drink in stock! We certainly didn’t want to leave.

J.K. and family staying in Villa di Mezzo.
Villa di Mezzo

Villa di Mezzo

...struck by the calm serenity of the place

I first visited this house in September 2019 and I was struck by the calm serenity of the place, surrounded by a Mediterranean forest, within its own fenced grounds. It feels like a real retreat from the world, yet Pisa, Livorno, Florence and Lucca are all close by - and the coast is at less than 20 minutes drive too. The house itself is elegantly decorated - the owners are diplomats and there are clues to their postings around the world in the decor. Since then we've had guests staying here for long "workcations" as well as shorter week-long stays for family get-togethers - it works well for either, with easy access to Pisa Airport, fast wifi and air-conditioning throughout. In May 2021 I pass by again mainly to check how long the walk is into the village, and whether the cafe/bar was still open. It's a beautiful house and I can highly recommend it.

D.W. staying in Villa di Mezzo. Feb 2021
Valdorcia

Valdorcia

...a jewel in the Tuscan countryside

We had a really lovely time in Valdorcia - all the family thought the house and location was great - a jewel in the Tuscan countryside. Our daughter and son in law would like to revisit with friends at some point in time. All yours and Sarah's assistance was much appreciated with the wonderful catering we had one night and all the travel instructions. Matteo the owner was charming and helpful also on the 2 occasions we had to reach out to him . We spent most evenings either having a barbecue or other in house cooking as we had the grand kids with us but obviously we were out three nights with the family wedding and also tried a recommended restaurant in Sarteano on the Valdorcia house list which was great.

L.R. and family, UK staying in Valdorcia. Jan 2019
Valdorcia

Valdorcia

... a beautiful old stone farmhouse

Valdorcia is a beautiful old stone farmhouse sitting high up on a sloping property overlooking the valley of the same name. Access is partly via a bumpy, unpaved road for just over a kilometre, which some may find challenging but we found added to the charm and deterred unnecessary traffic. The house is quite remote with no neighbours close by. Because of the altitude of the property, we found it breezy when we were there in September, but that didn’t stop us enjoying the magnificent view from the front of the house.

Rooms are large with high ceilings. Downstairs is an enormous kitchen/dining room with a large table seating eight, as well as a small area with a table for four. The kitchen is “rustic” but well equipped with six gas rings, a wall oven, a large old fireplace for grilling, and a new dishwasher. The pantry, which contains the fridge/freezer (and adjacent powder (cloak) room) is around 15 paces from the kitchen sink which makes for lots of walking. However, given the quality and quantity of Tuscan food, lots of walking is a good thing.

The main floor also has a small sitting area at the end of the dining/kitchen and a bedroom with en suite bathroom.

Upstairs there are five bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms, and one particularly charming “library” bedroom. The communal bathroom is enormous and its anteroom has a washbasin and a washing machine. There is a lovely sitting room with comfortable sofas and chairs and a huge stone fireplace. A good place to sip Limoncello after dinner.

The caretaker lives on the property with his two friendly dogs. He brought us fresh figs, huge fresh eggs from his chickens, dark red, sweet tomatoes from the garden, as well as lettuces and onions. He is a real asset to the property, putting out garden chairs in the morning and maintaining the grounds beautifully, including the large swimming pool.

Sarteano, the local town, has a small but well-stocked supermarket, as well as some superb restaurants. We were given a list of recommended restaurants in the area by the owner of the farmhouse and every one was wonderful. On two occasions, Rita from Sarteano arrived with her bags and made three-course dinners of typical Tuscan food – enough for the eight of us for lunch next day as well.

The autostrada was fairly close (20 minutes drive) so visiting other areas from this property is relatively easy.

J.G. with Reid Party, Canada staying in Valdorcia. Sep 2017
Valdorcia

Valdorcia

...a place to be treasured

We have just returned from a wonderful visit to Valdorcia. This lovely house sits high up, with a magnificent view over the Val d’Orcia, which was a constant source of pleasure and inspiration. The house is large, with six bedrooms, but occupancy is limited to 8 people, which means that there is plenty of room for all. There are four shower rooms (two en suite, and one of the others has a bathtub too), and there is the added convenience of a separate toilet on the ground floor.

The kitchen is large and exceptionally well equipped, with more than enough pots and pans to satisfy even the most ardent cook. The dining table seats eight comfortably, and there is a very convenient seating area just off the kitchen, ideally placed so that those not involved in meal preparation can provide a stream of advice. The living room, on the first floor, has comfortable seating for at least eight people, with plenty of light and a fireplace for cooler evenings.

We were welcomed to Valdorcia by charming owners Matteo and his wife. They are justifiably proud of their house, and pay guests the compliment of furnishing it with family possessions. However, as beautiful and comfortable as the house and surroundings are, most the best thing about our stay was Gelasio, the caretaker. He lives on the premises, and has the knack of being totally unobtrusive unless needed. It seems that he can turn his hand to anything, but we particularly appreciated the way he produced fresh eggs, salad greens and figs almost before we knew that we needed them. Under his care the grounds and pool are kept immaculate.

We had two excellent meals prepared for us by Rita, who came in to cook, and also enjoyed several restaurants in the area. It is true that it is difficult to find a substandard meal in Italy, but we would like to say that the restaurants recommended in the house notes were outstanding. Other reviewers have rightly praised Ristorante Santa Chiara in Sarteano, but good as it is, we felt that Osteria da Gagliano also in Sarteano, is even better. All credit to Matteo for these recommendations, and also for sending us to Zi’ Pina in Fiumicino, where we spent our last night in Italy before returning (reluctantly) to Canada. Overall, Valdorcia is a place to be treasured, and returned to as often as possible.

Neville and Jenny Reid staying in valdorcia. Sep 2017
Valdorcia

Valdorcia

We would love to come again!

We loved Valdorcia – the house and grounds had the most wonderful atmosphere which we fell in love with as soon as we arrived and met the owner. So many glorious things about it but perhaps above all the view from the property which is stunning whether sitting under the big oak tree in front of the house which provides such marvellous shade or from down at the pool. I absolutely loved early morning walks up to Castligioncello del Trinoro where the staff were always very friendly and it was possible to get coffee and a pastry on the terrace with the spectacular view back down over the house. We were also fortunate enough to catch one of the concerts there – quite amazing – such an astonishing quality of musician performing without charge to the audience and in such an intimate venue.

One of our guests and myself are keen walkers so we also enjoyed walking through the woods above the property to La Foce (War in Val D’Orcia is such an interesting read if you have visited the area).

The house itself was very comfortable and we all loved the fact that it felt like such a home – several of us are avid readers and would have loved to be able to read Italian as just seeing the depth and range of books was amazing. The kitchen was very well equipped and we ate in a great deal but we had a good dinner at Santa Chiara in Sarteano, a wonderful lunch at Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello and a very good casual lunch in Radicofani.

Above all though we would all like to say a huge thank you to Gelasio who was such a kindly and humble presence throughout the week – our Italian was almost non-existent as is his English so I was constantly anxious that when we tried to ask him something we sent him to a paroxysm of anxiety, however, he communicated particularly well with one of our number who is a wonderful listener and a great gardener and I will never forget him bringing her a wonderful basket of figs – so beautifully presented with the basket all lined with fig leaves.

We would love to come again!

E.H. and friends, UK staying in Valdorcia. Dec 2017
Valdorcia

Valdorcia

We had a great time at Valdorcia

We had a great time at Valdorcia, and could not fault the house. In particular, the owner Matteo and his wife were very helpful in showing us around on arrival. The housekeeper, Gelasio, was around most of the time but we didn’t find this intrusive. Despite the language barrier, we were just about able to communicate with Gelasio when needed. The gardens were really well kept and the views across the valley were fantastic.

The house is along a rough steep track, about 1 mile off the main road. This was not an issue for us but might be worth warning people about this.

We ate out at Ristorante Santa Chiara in nearby Sarteano which we would recommend. Good food and service in an interesting location of an ex convent.

Mr. P.C. with family and friends, UK staying in Valdorcia. Jun 2016
Convento

Convento

We are already planning a return

We had an amazing time! There are a lot of things to discuss, but overall it was a magical place and Paolo is just the best!! He helps with EVERYTHING - train schedules, reservations, you name it, and he is just a lovely human. I think that having so many of us (demanding people) probably gave them a good breaking in...

Hopefully Joan hasn't bothered everyone any more - she was quite a pill...but, we dealt with it :)

The house is truly unique and beautiful kept/manicured gardens, etc... However, it is much farther to the train in Prato than we thought, so you may want to make sure you tell people how far away it is positioned from points of interest. Over a half an hour to Florence (especially with commute traffic) and about 20 minutes to the Prato train, etc.. Picking up the rental car in Prato went well, sweet Paolo took us both ways.

It's a pretty steep and graveled walk to the little town of Bacchereto - too rough for the 80-85 year olds - but, with our car we brought them down the hill, we liked hanging out at the little bar/store, super cute area. We thought it would be a bit easier to get to the town and that there might be one more restaurants a bit closer-by, but we made the best of it and we cooked a ton of food, even used the BBQ. We also had the cook come in one night which was delicious, she is a joy. The owner is very sweet as well, but only Italian speaking.

The apartments are lovely, however, there's quite a bit of a steep uphill to the main villa, it was a bit tough for Mary Ann because she has a bum knee, so most of the time my husband fetched her in our rental car. Jean also commented that they told her she had to buy dish soap and toilet paper and all that in the apartment, which seemed odd for a home rental? I hear they are wildly popular, almost all booked for 2019!

Also, the 12th century (rocky bumpy) floor in the bar room was a bit hard to maneuver for the older folks. Rooms were all spacious and the air conditioning was appreciated in them! The place is well-kept and very clean and you definitely feel like you are having a truly special experience. They are all very friendly and it was comforting knowing the caretaker was always there in case of emergency.

We Americans are very different when it comes to paper consumption. We had to ask them (a lot) for more toilet paper, because we were using so much to blow our noses, from allergies LOL. I am sure they thought we were eating the stuff - we had to bother them a lot for tissues as well. We also bought paper towels and even some soap ourselves, so it may make sense to tell renters what they do or do not provide. When you go to Co-Op or the PAM supermarkets they pack the groceries in plastic bags which they use for inside the garbage cans, they also did not provide garbage bags which seems a bit odd. We told Paolo the owner should keep a closet full of toilet paper and paper towels and tissue so that when guests ask for it Paolo can hand it to them, rather than waiting for her to get to the market and bring it back :) The only napkins were cloth so we purchased those as well. All in all the kitchen was fairly well-stocked with the exception of paper products. We used the dishwasher so much we broke it - just kidding, I think the electrical got overloaded and blew it out. All ended up being fine, but would have been nice to know what we needed to buy, sort of set expectations.

We loved L'Amante Bistecca there and thought Carmignano is really charming - we enjoyed Osteria Su Pei Canto there...we had a great agriturismo lunch at Fattoria Bacchereto Winery - the daughter took us around and a delightful man prepared us the most delish, fresh bruschetta we've ever had - and it's VERY close to the villa. In Florence we fell in love with the truffle pasta at Osteria Pastella a friend had recommended, just delicious...

The only thing I would tell people is that it takes quite a while to get anywhere - and it's a bit of a walk to the town, and steep and to shop ahead. We thoroughly enjoyed our lazy days at the pool and it's really a very popular winery called Collina San Biagio, we loved the table red wine at 10 euros a bottle we drank more than 22 bottles of it!! They have won a ton of awards and many restaurants serve it. Not sure why you don't promote the villa as that name instead of Il Convento?

I also have the names of the drivers we really liked - there's a local guy, Massimo, Paolo had him take us to the restaurant our first night - he was lovely and speaks pretty good English :)

We are already planning a return in 2020 or so - thank you for everything!!

N.G. from USA staying in Convento. Dec 2018
Scaparzi

Scaparzi

The property was amazing

Hello Dan, I have been meaning to drop you a line to thank you so much for donating this to Battersea. I had the most wonderful time. We all thought the property was amazing (the views were spectacular) and loved the impressive driveway. Everything was well appointed (particularly the bathrooms). We loved the outdoor living, and used the pizza oven twice (and were very pleased with the results!)

A.B from UK staying in Scaparzi. Sep 2019