“We loved Florence!!! The apartment was super cute and functional. The price was fantastic and it felt like home away from the touristy parts of Florence. The bathrooms were small but the washing machine was great to have and we did a load of laundry. Great place for just the two of us and it would be great for a family with a couple kids/tweens/young teens. The owner was so friendly and helpful, easy to work and communicate with and her restaurant recommendations were great. The bottle of chianti she left for us was very much appreciated. The San Frediano neighborhood was very hip. The location was great as it was not far at all to walk to and from city center and there were many things to do on our side of the river too, including a patiscceria (Bar Marino and Patiscceria) where the owner was very nice. We also enjoyed the friendly local wine bars Santino and Le Volpi e l’Uva. I’d totally stay there again.”
– Caroline (Burlingame) stayed at Appartamento San Frediano in fall of 2017
“Trip was fantastic. The entire family had a terrific time visiting Italy. Weather was incredibly hot, but was manageable by sightseeing in the morning and relaxing in the afternoon. The villa was gorgeous and the owners were fantastic hosts. The cooking class was outstanding and was enjoyed by those that attended.
The villa was very comfortable (although very warm) and accommodated us well. The pool was a key and was enjoyed for many hours by most of us. We used your guide to help us decide the towns to visit and although my parents had a tough time climbing all the hills and streets in the towns, we were able to work through it. We drove up from Rome on the first Saturday and made a couple of stops along the way in some beautiful towns. One of the owners of Casa dell’Arte met us in Impruneta and gave us the local info. We ended up having one of our dinners at a restaurant she recommended and we had an awesome seat on a balcony overlooking the square. Florence was great with lots to see and certainly convenient from the villa. Some of us spent an afternoon in Forte dei Marmi on a day trip to Pisa – nice change of pace that was enjoyed by all. One of the highlights was the full service meal at the villa – the butler was great and the food was spectacular. My dad (whose 80th we were celebrating) was really happy to have the family together and this meal was particularly special. Also, the breakfast on the first Sunday was a great idea – and was delicious too!
Overall, the trip was absolutely fantastic – we would love to go back at some point and spend more time eating, drinking, sightseeing, and laughing in Tuscany. It is hard not to be impressed with the intoxicating beauty of the countryside and the villages. The people we met along the way were all really nice and, of course, the food was awesome.
Thanks again for your help as we planned and executed our trip – your insights and suggestions were invaluable and we all look forward to going back again!”
– Chris (Ontario, Canada) stayed at Casa dell’Arte during the summer of 2017
“Such a fantastic vacation! Thank you for all you did in helping to plan and organize our trip to Tuscany. Everything went incredibly smoothly! The villa was spacious and beautiful, the people friendly, food & wine fabulous, and all of our outings went as planned. Diana, the owner, and her assistant were easily accessible and very responsive to our requests for recommendations, assistance and reservations. They helped us plan dinners out in neighboring towns, recommended local hikes, tracked down a lost camera, and assisted my husband with mapping out bike rides.
The pizza nights at the villa were wonderful. We loved our pizza dinner so much the first time that we did it again – once with each group of visiting friends. The table set at the villa was gorgeous, the server efficient and the pizzas delicious! Another highlight was the cooking class, hosted right at the villa. They accommodated our large group of 18 and the head chef was fantastic with all of us – particularly the kids. The kids LOVED making the fresh pasta and bruschetta, then were so proud when we all sat down to eat. We also really enjoyed hanging out in the local town of Monticiano. We ate at the restaurant right down the hill several times – very casual and friendly, great for groups of kids. Most evenings we ended up in town for gelato after dinner. We all got a kick out of sitting in the square with our gelato, watching the locals talk, laugh, smoke, ride bikes and play soccer.
Definitely a trip to remember. Thanks for everything!”
– Nancy (Woodside) stayed at Casa di Loggia during the summer of 2017
“Florence was perfect. The apartment was in a great location and so comfortable for our family of four. We loved the restaurant you suggested, Buca Mario, and had gelato three times a day! Our guide in Florence was awesome, knowledgeable and so engaging. We didn’t want it to end! Our transportation service was perfect. We stopped in Greve and went wine tasting on the way to Siena. In Siena, we had an amazing lunch, probably one of our best in Italy, at Taverna San Giuseppe. We made a quick stop only, but really loved San Gimignano. While waiting for us, our driver, Massimo, called ahead and booked a tasting at Saint Appiano winery, which was amazing. We are definitely going back, we absolutely loved it.Thank you so much for all of your help. We couldn’t have done it without you!”
– Karli (Menlo Park) stayed at Casa dei Fossi during Summer 2017
“Many thanks for finding us this magnificent estate. Our family and several friends found Casa Storica to be extraordinary in every way. Ten days seemed to short. We will return.”
– Jeff (Los Angeles) stayed at Casa Storica during Summer 2016
“We had a wonderful trip! I can’t say enough about how much we loved Casa di Lusso. It was absolutely perfect. Victoria and Dory were both so helpful, and the cooking class was amazing. My friend and I did the class with another family visiting from New Zealand. We loved the cook, Suzanna, and I hope to recreate the entire meal-sometime this summer. Definitely not enough time, and I really hope to go again next summer-I’m Italy obsessed! I can’t thank you enough for all your wonderful tips, and arranging for our stay. Everything was perfect.”
-Dana (San Francisco Bay Area) stayed at Casa di Lusso during Summer 2016
“Our trip was amazing! Thank you Brandy and Laura for all your time and assistance coordinating Casa dell’Arte and your Tuscany recommendations. We’ve been on-the-go since we returned, but haven’t stopped talking about it! The villa was magical. The owners went above and beyond as gracious hosts. Italy has changed our approach to food and cooking (especially for the kids)! We all want to return asap! (I wish we were still there). Your recommendations for museums and walking tours were perfect. The guides connected with the kids and made it a memorable experience. Geoff and I loved the wine tours, and we’re enjoying the wines now at home.
Thanks again for such a wonderful experience.”
-Kathy (Portola Valley) stayed at Casa dell’Arte during Summer 2015
We have now returned… back into reality indeed but have made some incredible memories these past 3 weeks. (thanks to you!) Casa Storica was more than what we had hoped and expected. So much more!
The ‘welcome pack’ of bread, oil, fruit etc followed by a freshly baked apple dish a few days after; The friendly greetings throughout the week; The wine readily available; The incredible food and room we celebrated the birthday dinner in; The extra available activities both on the grounds and out.
We visited Pisa and Lucca in a day for our Girls day which was awesome. The surrounding castles were knocked off the list too. Your suggestions made the planning of this trip just that much easier and better – I owe many thanks to you!
I’m happy to share our experience with the rest of the world, but part of me doesn’t want to share this particular piece of paradise!! 🙂 Although we’re not a family to return to the same place due to other options out there – this is not the case with our newly found and loved Villa!
All of your help and advice over the past months of planning was incredible!
THANK YOU AGAIN”
-Karen (Ontario, Canada) stayed at Casa Storica during Summer 2015
“First and foremost the picture does not do the house justice-the surrounding vista is absolutely gorgeous.The house is comfortable for two people. Relaxation PLUS and memory making experience. If you want to relax or be on the go, the choice is yours. The property owner is on the property and respects your privacy as desired, and there when you may need her. Kate adds special touches to make your stay even more delightful such as fresh flowers from the rose garden, a bottle of olive oil grown from the trees on the property, as well as a food hamper with some great Tuscan delicacies.
My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary at Casa Piccolina. The local chef Simona and her son Lucca came to the villa and prepared a remarkable dinner with wine pairings. We have new friends for life.
We did not rent a car, but relied upon a local livery. He always made himself available to us.
The town of Sancepelcro is very lovely, in fact our favorite. Small , but the people allow you to experience the true Tuscan people and culture. The restaurants were wonderful and all the food is fresh and prepared to be served.
Kate the owner seems to know everybody in town and can arrange for whatever youlike. She has a friend Anne, who acted as our guide when we went to La Verna-a wonderful place,that is spiritual as well as educational. Anne made the difference that enhanced our visit. in fact we saw her in town the next day ,and we greeted each other as if old friends.
Casa Piccolina is a wonderful place!
We enjoyed working with Tuscan Travel,they helped to coordinate some of the outings we did-they are great (great people attract great people)-such as the owner Kate (a good match).”
-Bob and Pat (Chicago, IL) stayed at Casa Piccolina during Spring 2015
“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.”
-Stephanie (Los Gatos, California) stayed at Casa di Lusso during Summer 2014
Casa dell’Arte, Casa di Viti Rossi & Casa di Lusso (cooking class)
“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!”
-Nathan (San Jose, California) stayed at Casa dell’Arte and Casa di Viti Rossi during Summer 2014
“We had a great experience with Tuscan Travel Group! Brandy and Laura were so enthusiastic and helpful and found us the most wonderful, charming, peaceful and historic villa. As we came up the long cypress lined driveway to these beautiful grounds, gardens and buildings I couldn’t believe my eyes. We stayed in a comfortable 2 bedroom apartment in one of the old farmhouses right next to the larger villa. I never thought I could afford to stay at a villa and assumed we would need a whole week, which we didn’t have time for. But they knew of this treasure I never would have found on my own. It was one of the more affordable places we stayed in Italy.
Our villa was close to so many wonderful places to visit: right next to the castle-like town of Monteriggioni, close to Siena, San Gimignano, and less than an hour from Florence. There are wonderful wineries to visit along with charming Tuscan hill towns and the absolute best food of our trip was in this area. The trick was to make plenty of time during our 4 days there to relax and lounge by the beautiful infinity pool with gorgeous views of the hills and vineyards. It was hard to leave.
Before making the decision, (which I will never regret!), to book the villa with them, Brandy and Laura were so patient with answering my questions and offering information about restaurants, places to see, and even suggestions for Rome and Florence. They made the whole process easy and inspired much excitement because of their obvious love of the area.
I highly recommend Tuscan Travel Group!!!”
-Susan (Portola Valley, California) stayed at Casa Storica during Summer 2013
“Our family held a reunion this past summer at the delightful Casa del Cortile estate in Tuscany, Italy, which consists of a cluster of small apartments around a pleasant courtyard. Each family had the privacy of their own space, yet the intimacy offered by being just steps away from one another.
Each apartment is traditional in look and feel, yet updated with modern conveniences, which made the stay both charming and comfortable. While the estate itself is beautiful, one merely has to look out the window or take a short walk around the property to enjoy breathtaking views of the estate gardens and surrounding area.
The caretakers were quite easy to communicate with and were able to provide excellent recommendations for daily excursions as well as activities to entertain the kids. We were also given the option of having our meals cooked for us, which we gladly accepted. Each night we gathered in the courtyard to sit under the stars and enjoy an authentic Italian meal, prepared using fresh local ingredients. Molto gustoso!
Each day we took walks in the early morning, swam mid-day, toured local wineries and hilltop towns and returned to the villa by early afternoon for another swim before dinner.
It was a very special holiday, which our family will cherish for many years to come.”
-Kerry (Hong Kong) stayed at Casa del Cortile during Summer 2013
“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.”
-Nicole (Woodside) stayed as Casa di Lusso during Summer 2012