Stephanie (Los Gatos, California), Summer 2014
"My lifelong dream to go to Italy came true this spring and thanks to Laura and Brandy from the Tuscan Travel Group it was just as I had imagined. Planning can be overwhelming and with their suite of villas we found one that provided the experience we were looking for. We stayed at Casa di Lusso with its beautiful vineyard and olive grove, overlooking the picturesque Tuscany countryside.
Only 3 minutes away from the villa is a charming family owned restaurant where they serve Chianti wine from their vineyard, homemade cheese and pasta. During the summer months you can sit on the patio and enjoy the breathtaking red sunset that is common this time of year. Laura and Brandy made several recommendations for activities and day trips to towns in the local area where we enjoyed sightseeing, history, food and shopping. The on-site staff at Casa di Lusso also provided wonderful concierge service for restaurant reservations, wine touring and museum tours. We stayed 5 days in the Tuscany area and thanks to Tuscan Travel Group with their knowledge and passion for this country, we experienced Tuscany to the fullest and returned home with priceless memories."
Nathan (San Jose, California) stayed at Casa dell’Arte and Casa di Viti Rossi during Summer 2014
"3 generations of our family made the journey to Italy this past summer, and it was truly one of the most memorable few weeks of our lives! 7 of us – ranging in age from 5 to 70 – spent 2 amazing weeks in Tuscany, and we couldn’t have asked for a better trip. Brandy and Laura truly created a spectacular experience – the two villas we stayed at were incredible, but it was really all of the other special touches, recommendations, and simple knowledge of the area that turned our trip into something truly remarkable. Our first villa was Casa dell’Arte, a beautiful villa in Impruneta, just outside of Florence. This was the perfect suburb for us to stay at – a beautiful town and a quiet villa nestled amid vineyards and olive groves, and yet just an easy 20 minute drive to Florence. We loved being able to get to the city easily to explore all the sights, but when it was time to head back to the villa, we could relax with a glass of chianti on the deck and enjoy the sunset. The villa was well stocked with everything we needed, and we had a great time learning to use the antique shutters and doors that made the place truly feel like “a castle” to our boys.
One of our favorite parts of the trip took place a few days in, at another villa that Tuscan Travel represents – Casa di Lusso. We didn’t stay here, but took a pasta making class with two wonderful women at the villa. My boys love pasta and, in fact, love to cook – so this was great. The women were amazing to cook with and just great with the boys – they were smiling from ear to ear as they helped roll out the dough and make ravioli! After the class and a tour of the grounds, we all sat down together to eat our home cooked meal and heard about their lives in Chianti – such a unique and fun experience for all of us.
Our second villa was at Casa di Viti Rossi in southern Tuscany. We chose this villa because it was a relatively short train ride to Rome (1.5 hours) but honestly once we got there, we almost couldn’t leave! Casa di Viti Rossi is more remote from the big cities than Casa dell’Arte, but you have access to amazing medieval towns that were just spectacular. Montepulciano, Montalcino, Monteriggioni, and more were an easy drive – and we all loved these towns even more than Rome or Florence. The people were so welcoming, the food seemed even better than in the city, and certainly the sights of these towns perched on the Tuscan hillsides were nothing short of breathtaking.
Overall we could not have been happier with our trip, and we owe that all to Brandy & Laura. It was their expert recommendations, after listening to the details of what we were hoping to experience, that guided us to this memorable journey. If you’re looking for your own unforgettable experience in Tuscany, look no further – Tuscan Travel Group is absolutely the right team to work with!"
Nicole (Woodside, California) Summer 2012
"I wanted to plan something festive and memorable for my 40th birthday and wanted to bring my family and friends to celebrate. My husband and I ultimately decided Italy would be the ideal country and we found Casa di Lusso to be the ideal setting. Casa di Lusso has 7 apartments (11 bedrooms) that allowed us to bring all our friends and their children and vacation in one place, that we could call our own while we were there. We wanted the luxury and intimacy of a private villa over a hotel environment.
Most nights, we cooked in our individual kitchens and dined family-style in the common areas together. Then, in celebration of my birthday, we had a chef come in and cook us an elaborate, traditional meal. On another occasion, we were entertained with an evening outdoors around the wood-burning oven learning how to cook authentic Italian pizzas. The food was outstanding. We also ventured into Siena for meals and took a nice 20-minute stroll through the countryside to the nearby town of Sant’Appiano. The kids, especially loved the hike through the vineyards and olive groves.
Casa di Lusso was the ideal location, being almost equidistant between Florence and Siena, which are both within a 40-minute drive. We did day trips to a number of the small, medieval towns, such as San Gimignano to explore, shop, and dine. The best part after all our adventures was to head back to Casa di Lusso to sit poolside, watch the kids be kids and relax in the summer sun with a glass or rose in hand.
The on-site staff offered concierge-type services such as directions, restaurant recommendations and reservations, private dining options and amenity services. They were very accessible when we needed them, while we always felt like Casa di Lusso was our own private estate.
I would recommend Casa di Lusso for both a romantic getaway and with a villa-full of friends and family. It was the perfect place to celebrate my 40th birthday…I cannot wait to go back."