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Making the Most of Your Tuscany Villa Stay (Guide)

When traveling to Tuscany, it’s a good idea to book a villa. These privately owned and fully restored farmhouses are large, often sleeping up to a dozen people, and suited to a larger group.

They also have extra services that make a trip easier. Some of these include cooks, bikes, spa experiences and more.

Book Your Villa Early

Tuscany is the quintessential Italian vacation, a place to indulge in fine wine and food. But it’s a popular destination, and the best villas book quickly. To ensure you get the villa of your dreams, make sure to reserve well in advance.

Depending on your preferences, consider the following factors when choosing your Tuscan villa:

Privacy – Choose a villa with plenty of space and seclusion for a tranquil experience away from it all. Access to nature – A villa near parks, natural reserves or hiking trails can provide you with a sense of the area’s beauty. Local culture – Villas located within walking distance of a quaint town can give you an authentic taste of local life; making the action of finding a villa to rent in tuscany pretty cool.

A few unexpected costs – Be aware of local tourist taxes that aren’t included in the price of the villa. In addition, many villa owners charge a final cleaning fee at the end of the stay.

The right size – Large villas can accommodate up to 38 guests, making them perfect for family reunions or group trips. Often, these homes are converted from restored Tuscan farmhouses and feature classic features like terracotta floors and limewashed walls. Most also come with a private pool and landscaped gardens. A few smaller homes are also available for groups of friends or couples traveling together.

Book a Personal Trainer

A villa in Tuscany is the ultimate luxury getaway, but it’s important to think about your specific needs and preferences before booking. For example, do you want to be able to walk to a local village or town for daily essentials like fresh bread, wine and produce? How much privacy do you require? Do you need a pool or extra facilities to relax? Luckily, Haute Retreats has many different Tuscan villas to choose from, each with unique features and amenities to suit every traveller.

Expect a few quirks –

Fully restored Tuscan farmhouses (or agriturismos) tend to be large, with villas that sleep more than a dozen people not uncommon. They also often feature a lot of character, from terracotta floors and limewashed walls to antique furniture and quirky layouts. In addition, a/c might not be available in all rooms, as the stone walls and thick windows keep them naturally cool. And don’t be surprised to find that WiFi is spotty or limited and doesn’t always work with U.S. cell phones.

It’s also worth remembering that power is relatively expensive in Italy, so don’t waste energy by putting too many lights and appliances on at once. It could also be tricky to find a villa with enough water for everyone, especially during the summer months when it can get quite hot in Italy. We recommend preparing a list of your top priorities for your trip and asking your villa owner if they can supply anything that you might be missing.

Book a SPA Experience

When many people dream of renting a Tuscan villa, they picture wide open spaces and a lot of privacy. But these are not always available. The majority of villas (especially those in rural areas) are located within walking distance of a small town centre, where guests can immerse themselves into local life and get a taste of the real Italy.

It’s important to consider your options carefully. For example, the majority of villas do not have air-conditioning – although it is occasionally possible to book one, there are some limitations. Air con in these homes is normally run on a power system where you pay for what you use. Putting it on full and opening the windows to cool down will just make it work harder and cost you more money!

A holistic spa experience in Tuscany is a wonderful way to relax and connect with the area. From nourishing and nutritious wellness meals to mindfulness and meditation journeys and yoga classes, luxury spas in Italy offer an amazing range of activities designed to help you feel your best.

Similarly, an agriturismo (an Italian farm stay) is another option to consider for your Tuscany trip. These traditional farmhouses usually have on-site staff and can be a great budget option for those seeking a relaxing experience. They can also be a good choice for groups, with some offering large apartments that are able to accommodate multiple families or couples.

Book a Cook

Having a Tuscan chef cook for you is one of the most popular Tuscany villa experiences. You will enjoy a 3-course meal with appetizer, main course and dessert in the comfort of your villa. This is a great way to experience culinary culture like locals, save money and to avoid dining out everyday at restaurants.

A cook can also help you to make the most of your villa’s amenities and features, such as private pools and luxury interior design. They can also arrange exclusive experiences, such as a wine tasting with a professional sommelier or a pizza party with a professional pizziolo.

Most Tuscan villas are converted farmhouses and they have their quirks. For example, they may have a terracotta floors or a peculiar layout. They can also be quite remote, meaning that you will have to travel to a nearby village or town to stock up on supplies.

It is a good idea to read the fine print carefully and make sure that all extra charges, such as cleaning fees, air conditioning etc. are clearly spelled out in the listing. In addition, look for signs that a website has visited and written about the villa, such as unique photos and text and personal observations.

The best time of year to visit Tuscany is either spring (April-May) or autumn, when vineyards are in full bloom and the countryside is a riot of color. You will also avoid the summer tourist crowds.

Book a Driver

A chauffeur is not only convenient but an excellent way to get to know the countryside and learn about Tuscan culture and traditions. Some villas have in-house drivers available, while others will help you arrange a driver through one of their preferred partners.

The cost of a driver is not included in the rental price but can be easily added when booking. Be sure to check this with your rental company prior to arrival to avoid any surprises.

Most villa owners will require a security deposit and local tourist tax to be paid in cash on your arrival. These costs are often overlooked but are worth calculating into your overall villa cost.

Another hidden fee is the cost of electricity in a villa. While most villas have a generator to ensure power, this can add up quickly if you’re using multiple appliances and lights at once. Some villas will include the cost of electricity in the rental while others will pass it on to guests.

If you’re staying in a fully catered villa with a chef, all meals are prepared for you and served indoors or on your private terrace. The cost of ingredients and wine is not generally included in the rental price so this is something to keep in mind. Similarly, some villas will charge for laundry service while others will provide this complimentary. Be sure to ask your villa rental agent about these additional fees before arriving.

Book a Limousine

Imagining yourself lounging on your Tuscan villa’s private terrace with an aromatic glass of wine in hand is one thing, but if you’re looking to make the most of your trip even further then there are many exclusive experiences that can be booked. For example, our concierges can arrange private wine tours to help you discover the region’s rich history of wine production or cooking classes with a local chef. They can also book in-villa massages, childcare and extra car hire.

The best way to ensure the perfect trip is to map out your priorities with your onefinestay Concierge and discuss them with the villa owner/caretaker prior to booking. This will ensure that you’re not caught off guard by any unexpected costs (e.g., the local tourist tax) and that you’re aware of all available services and activities.

You should also decide if you want to stay near particular sights and attractions so that you can walk to them or easily catch a bus, train or taxi. For instance, if you’re keen to experience Renaissance Florence then consider staying in the historic centre of Borgo San Lorenzo. Alternatively, you may wish to be based in northern Tuscany closer to the Medici’s original home at the Mugello or southern Tuscany close to Montalcino or Montepulciano. Different areas of Tuscany offer a unique flavour that may appeal to specific interests and you’ll find that sights are far less crowded in the off season.