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The definitive list of Tuscany’s Best Villas

A villa in Tuscany is still one of the world’s great travel fantasies. Margaret Barca delves into the best villas on offer, each one their own piece of paradise.

Residing in a stunning Tuscan villa is repeatedly on too many people’s bucket lists to simply ignore. It’s something about the picturesque landscapes and feeling a sense of ownership of your dwellings that has everyone sharing the same dream, we imagine.

So when it comes to living out the fantasy, where does one start? Well, thankfully we’ve done the research for you, pulling together a list of incredible villas in Tuscany that’ll give you the push you need to finally make your dream a reality.

An illustrated map of Tuscany

A map of Tuscany and our 20 Best Villas

Villa Firenze

Where

10 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

The villa’s luxury and aristocratic pedigree. Built by renowned Florentine architect Poggi in the 1700s, it sits serenely at the end of a one kilometre cypress-lined driveway, enveloped by an estate of formal gardens, ancient olive groves and woodland, just 15 minutes’ drive from Florence. Colour-washed and frescoed walls, baronial fireplaces, Murano glass chandeliers and heirloom furnishings, not to mention a steam room, games room, gym and divine infinity pool, offer a glimpse into patrician country lifestyle.

Don’t miss

Live the life… arrange a private tour of the Uffizi Art Museum, a hot air balloon for floating over the Chianti countryside, or a private chef.

Who for

Those seeking a luxurious hideaway with classic Florentine style.

The details

Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $26,240 per week in high season. Also available for eight guests.

 

Vespro

Vespro, Tuscany

Bedroom at converted farmhouse, Vespro Tuscany

Where

Walking distance from the borgo of Settignano, four kilometres from Florence.

What we like

The brilliant location – a quiet retreat where a 15 minutes away by bus lies Florence, with its Renaissance riches (plus markets, food, fashion). The stylish, design-savvy interiors of the converted farm building meld classic with just enough contemporary Italian pizzazz – feature wallpapers, edgy colours, fine Italian linens, a hip pool for chilling out and captivating views.

Don’t miss

The fantastic Fiorentine owner, Claudia, can arrange exclusive tours of the remarkable Villa Medici Fiesole, and give the lowdown on how to shop, wine and dine like a local (invaluable).

Who for

Art lovers, style mavens and those seeking refuge from Florence’s summer madness.

The details

Three bedrooms and bathrooms, sleeps six. From $6248 per week in high season.

 

Villa Il Colto

Where

25 kilometres from Arezzo, 36 kilometres south of Florence.

What we like

Relaxed country style meets Tuscan sophistication: spacious, sun-filled rooms, smart furnishings, MasterChef kitchen, tower room with 360-degree outlook (heavenly views, naturally), welcoming owner and five-star heritage credentials (once owned by the aristocratic Medicis). For fashionistas, designer outlets (Fendi, Armani et al) are a mere wallet’s toss away.

Don’t miss

Arezzo (Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful was filmed here) for its Roman ruins, Renaissance architecture, Piero della Francesca’s masterly frescoes, and sprawling monthly antique market.

Who for

Keen cooks, fashionistas, antique aficionados, extended families.

The details

Six bedrooms, five bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $4121 to $4873 per week.

 

Villa La Quercia

Where

Walking distance to Impruneta, 16 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

Location, location, location. Villa La Quercia is perfectly positioned between the Tuscan trinity of Florence, Siena and San Gimignano, on a small wine- and oil-producing estate. The villa’s comfortable summerhouse aesthetic features crisply white walls, pale sofas, clever lighting and book-lined shelves. The country-style cucina is well equipped and the pool is perfect for Campari at the end of the day.

Don’t miss

In summer you’re superbly placed for Chianti’s many sagre (festivals) and markets, or perhaps a hit of golf (Ugolino’s course is less than two kilometres away). If you visit in autumn you’re at the heart of the vendemmia (grape harvest) and raccolta (olive harvest).

Who for

Golfers, food and wine lovers, cultural tourists, families.

The details

Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, sleeps nine. From $4689 to $7034 per week.

 

Le Porciglia

Le Porciglia, Tuscany

Quirky and atypical of Tuscan interiors, at Le Porciglia

Where

Four kilometres from Casole d’Elsa, 20 kilometres from Siena, 58 kilometres from Florence in the Val’Elsa region.

What we like

The whimsical style – the atypical palette of pale colours, limed beams and blonde wood, the grand spaces and eclectic décor – quirky chandeliers, weathered stone sculptures, a gold bedhead. There’s a separate pool guesthouse, and a flourishing garden of lavender, rosemary and herbs. Beyond are wine-producing vineyards. If you must tear yourself away from the infinity pool and its sublime views, the narrow streets of Casole d’Elsa are near, or head to Siena for some serious cultural overload.

Don’t miss

The Lorenzetti frescoes in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico. Amazing.

Who for

Those seeking a central spot for touring but a stylish abode to retreat to.

The details

Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $10,711 to $16,061 per week.

 

Villa Pinetta

Where

Eighteen kilometres from Siena, 70 kilometres from Florence in the Val’Elsa region.

What we like

We love the privileged position, high on a hill in Chianti wine country – cross-hatched by vineyards and silvery olive groves, studded with pines. The 13th-century villa is spacious, airy, light and elegantly furnished with arched and shuttered windows, terraces and balconies opening onto sweeping vistas. Cooks will appreciate the well-planned kitchen, gardeners will admire the terracing and topiary, while sybarites can retreat to the pool with a chilled prosecco.

Don’t miss

Walking in the pine forests and a picnic on the nearby river Arbia, away from the madding crowds.

Who for

Cultural tourists, nature lovers, food and wine buffs.

The details

Five bedrooms, four bathrooms, sleeps 10. From $6836 to $9834 per week.

 

Castello del Chianti

Where

Three kilometres from Castelfiorentino, 30 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

Perched on a hill, in a sea of picture-perfect Tuscan scenery, this refined country villa began life as a castello in the 13th century. It still boasts a medieval tower and its own flower-draped chapel. Inside, the villa’s vaulted ceilings and cotto floors are a foil for swashbuckling family portraits, mounted hunting trophies and traditional furnishings. The overall effect meshes Italian country charm with noble heritage. Siena, Florence and the vineyards of Chianti are easily accessible.

Don’t miss

Lucca, an hour’s drive away, for museums, cathedrals, cycling around the town’s Renaissance walls, boutiques (ultra-fashionable Via Fillungo), markets and more.

Who for

History and architecture buffs, cyclists, families.

The details

Six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $12,498 per week high season.

 

Archipettoli

Where

One kilometre from Santa Cristina, 25 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

OK, you have the kids in tow, you want something special but not too precious. You need space but why shouldn’t you have a fantastic view? You want to visit Florence but can’t be in the car for too long. Archipettoli may be just your villa. A centuries-old stone manor house, with carved beams and traditional cotto floors, comfortably furnished, with all mod cons, plus table tennis and badminton, a private pool and endless views of the lyrical Chianti countryside.

Don’t miss

Enjoying the Italian rhythm of life with the family.

Who for

Families and laidback friends.

The details

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, sleeps six adults, three children. From $2475 per week.

 

Villa Casole

Villa Casole, Tuscany

Thermal heated pool at classic Tuscan farmhouse, Villa Casole

Where

Twenty-three kilometres from Volterra, 45 kilometres from Florence in the Val d’Elsa.

What we like

The textbook Tuscan conversion, farmhouse to villa: a fusion of rusticity and contemporary style, plus a touch of whimsy (amusing little trompe l’oeil paintings). And it’s eco-friendly, with geo-thermal heating. Plenty of space, cook’s kitchen, generous pool, herb-laden garden, characteristic Renaissance views with pencil pines and hills fading into the misty distance. The location is tranquil but offers easy access to Volterra, San Gimignano, Siena, Florence and Chianti for cultural, food and wine forays.

Don’t miss

The lofty fortress town of Volterra, with its amazing Etruscan museum and ancient Roman amphitheatre.

Who for

History and architecture buffs, families, friends.

The details

Seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, sleeps 13. From $7499 per week.

 

Villa Allegra

Where

Thirteen kilometres from Siena, 85 kilometres from Florence in the Val d’Elsa region.

What we like

The vineyard-enveloped, off-the-well-trodden-track locale is a large part of this villa’s allure. Sophisticated Tuscan interiors with dark polished timbers, cotto floors and plump sofas convey the feeling of a much-loved private house. An independent wing and separate guesthouse mean there’s room to share with family and friends. And the owner/culinary expert can cater for you, or divulge the secrets of Tuscan cuisine in private classes.

Don’t miss

Walking in the nearby woods and the quaint village of Sovicille. This is hunting country – sample the hearty wild boar dishes that star on local menus.

Who for

Foodies, wine lovers, families, groups of friends.

The details

Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $1396 to $1908 per week.

 

Molina Santa Lucia

Where

Five kilometres from San Gimignano, 65 kilometres from Florence. The steep one-and-a-half kilometre gravel driveway is a minor challenge.

What we like

A clever transformation the former 18th-century former mill is now a spacious villa, with rustic vaulted ceilings, airy spaces and designer-style sofas. Above all, we love the privileged sense of tranquillity, the walled garden, lush valley and birdlife attracted by the villa’s bucolic surrounds. If you decide to leave, follow the winding local roads through undulating hills, past vineyards, olive groves and serried rows of pencil pines to San Gimignano or ancient hill town Certaldo.

Don’t miss

Climbing the torre of San Gimignano’s Palazzo Comunale for a medieval perspective.

Who for

Nature lovers, walkers, families.

The details

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, sleeps eight. From $2949 to $4974 per week.

 

Palazzolaccio

Where

In the Val d’Orcia region, 125 kilometres south of Florence.

What we like

A swag of audacious designer touches are concealed behind the unassuming stone façade of this villa. We love the lime green wall washes, bold red bands, striped fabrics, deep-cushioned sofas and modern art. It’s not conventional but it’s eminently modern Italian. And the villa’s lofty location overlooks the serene Val d’Orcia landscape. The region is dotted with villages and hamlets – tiny Castiglioncello del Trinoro (two kilometres away), Pienza, Sarteano, Montalcino, Montepulciano, San Quirico d’Orcia, as well as vineyards, wineries and restaurants.

Don’t miss

Pienza’s renowned sheep’s milk cheese, pecorino, lovely with the fragrant local honey.

Who for

Style mavens, architecture and history lovers, food and wine buffs.

The details

Five bedrooms, Five bathrooms, sleeps 11. From $5936 to $10,467 per week.

 

Villa Bianca

Where

Monte Argentario peninsula, Tuscan coast, 10 minute drive from Porto San Stefano, around 185 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

We love the cool white walls and East-meets-West-meets-Moroccan sensibility of the interiors – clever but never clichéd. There are breathtaking views, a rustic path reaching right to the pebble beach, endless little nooks and lavish seating (indoor and out), a sweeping terrace and fragrant Mediterranean garden. Add an infinity pool, tennis court, games room, even a modest soccer field (really!), plus a staff of five or so for a truly elite holiday.

Don’t miss

The seriously chic Italians in vacanza in Porto San Stefano and Porto Ercole or the lively passegiata in Orbetello. The agent’s concierge can craft an itinerary to suit the most demanding.

Who for

Those with deep pockets seeking an Italian beach vacation par excellence.

The details

8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, sleeps 12 to14. Rates on application.

 

Tombolino

Tombolino, Tuscany

Lunch on the patio at Tombolino

Where

In the Val d’Orcia, 125 kilometres south of Florence.

What we like

This quintessential Tuscan farmhouse has been transformed by über-interior designer Ilaria Miani into an idiosyncratic and fabulous villa that reflects an unerring sense of 21st-century Italian country chic (we love the plum-hued sitting room). Gourmet kitchen, luxury linens, vast patio, hot tub for when you tire of the infinity pool, separate two-storey barn and peerless 360-degree views. A raft of cultural or sporting activities can be arranged.

Don’t miss

Montalcino’s legendary Brunello and the vino nobile of Montepulciano, and check out the region’s myriad of thermal spas.

Who for

Style mavens, oenophiles, keen cooks, culturati, outdoor enthusiasts, wedding groups.

The details

Nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms, sleeps 18. From $9372 to $18,245 per week (includes daily buffet breakfast).

 

Il Sambuco

Where

In the Val d’Orcia, 136 kilometres south of Florence.

What we like

The owners of a distinctive contemporary art collection have transformed this 18th-century farmhouse into a supremely comfortable yet hip villa – all white walls, edgy artworks and urbane furnishings, with an infinity pool and breathtaking views. The surrounding World-Heritage-listed landscape of rolling hills (bleached in summer, emerald in spring, mist-shrouded in winter), fortress towns and castles is mesmerising in any season. Walk, cycle, tour or just indulge in some zen-like chill-out time.

Don’t miss

Sambuco blends high art style with homely comforts – there’s a herb and vegetable garden, fruit trees and even chickens for fresh eggs. Locavore indeed!

Who for

Art aficionados, foodies, cyclists, wedding parties.

The details

Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $15,175 per week.

 

Torre di Belforte

Where

Belforte, 45 kilometres from Siena, 77 kilometres from Florence in Val d’Orcia.

What we like

The fact that you are literally on the wall-edge of the medieval hilltop hamlet of Belforte, but also ensconced in this three-level villa’s superbly stylish architect-designed conversion. Subtle colourings, restrained furnishings, gourmet kitchen, fabulous terrace and panoramic, soft-edged Tuscan views create a true oasis. And there’s an indoor spa-pool and trendy rain shower. Perfetto.

Don’t miss

Speak with the Australian–Italian owners for a warm welcome and expert local advice. And you are within easy striking distance of Siena’s striped marble-clad cathedral and shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, site of the traditional Palio horse race.

Who for

Art lovers, keen cooks, families.

The details

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms, sleeps eight. From $3200 to $4000 per week.

 

Villa Laura

Where

Five minutes drive from Cortona, 116 kilometres from Florence in Val di Chiana region.

What we like

The villa’s movie-star credentials (Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed here before the 17th-century estate’s meticulous restoration) and idyllic location just outside the hilltown of Cortona. The consummately Tuscan interiors are all low-key sophistication with plenty of thoughtful touches. Fantastic kitchens (there are two), well-stocked cellar, organic kitchen garden, pool table, garden-rimmed swimming pool. And more.

Don’t miss

Cooking classes, here or at Relais il Falconiere, a spa hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant nearby. Or perhaps history, art, cycling or wine tours? Just ask.

Who for

Foodies, friends and families, wedding parties and celebrations.

The details

Villa sleeps 10, farmhouse sleeps eight, limonaia sleeps two. From $15,996 per week. merrioncharles.com

 

Casa La Quercia

Casa La Quercia, Tuscany

The gardens and pool at Casa La Quercia

Where

One kilometre from Porto Santo Stefano, 190 kilometres from Florence on the southern Tuscan coast.

What we like

The villa is lovely, but it’s all about the views – across the dazzling azzuro Mediterranean and the islands of Giglio, Giannutri, Elba and on a clear day, Corsica. Stunning. Inside, villa and guest quarters are classic, almost beachy, with ample creature comforts. A herb-filled ‘meditation’ garden, olive groves and acres of Mediterranean maquis cushion this wonderful retreat. You can laze by the pool, play boule, try a hand of table tennis. Golf, coastal walks, cycling, and mountain hiking are energetic options.

Don’t miss

Porto Ercole, which exudes that chic Italian resort feel with its boutiques, bars and yacht-filled marina.
Who for Sunlovers, beachgoers, walkers, families, friends.
The details Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, sleeps 12. From $7435 to $17,181 per week.

 

 

Villa Hotels

If you don’t feel like renting an entire villa, or perhaps there are just two of you, why not consider a villa hotel?

 

Villa Bordoni

Where

Two-and-a-half kilometres from Greve in Chianti, 22 kilometres from Florence.

What we like

Joining the cognoscenti. This 16th century villa, refurbished with brilliant colours and a certain hip flair, is Florentine shabby-chic at its best. Everything is bold, beautiful, bespoke – or sometimes just quirky. We also like the thoughtful service, the smart but not stuffy ristorante, its lovely position above Greve rimmed by Chianti’s olive groves and vineyards, hidden along an unmade road. The effortlessly chic Florentine guests will do dolce far niente, but for others there are walks, wine tours, tastings, the villa’s Chianti Cooking School, or just sunbaking by the pool.

Don’t miss

Nearby Montefioralle, one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.

Who for

Italians in-the-know, design aficionados, walkers, honeymooners, wine and food buffs.

The details

Deluxe room for two, from $306 to $406 a night, including breakfast.

 

Villa il Poggiale

Where

Seventeen kilometres south of Florence, in Chianti.

What we like

A hotel that exudes flawless Tuscan style – an ambience of aristocratic family tradition pervades the villa with its frescoes and tapestries. There’s a wellness centre (blissful treatments), and endless romantic vistas. You can take cooking lessons, or dine on the restaurant’s fresh-picked produce. Visit Florence for its myriad treasures (cultural, culinary, retail), or explore smaller towns, such as Greve, Gaiole, Castellina in Chianti. In autumn, join a truffle hunt.

Don’t miss

A tour of the cellars below the ancient abbey and wine tasting at the legendary Antinori bottega to sip a true Chianti Classico.

Who for

Wine lovers, honeymooners, couples.

The details

A Country Superior room, sleeps two. Including breakfast, about $1249 per week in June.

 

More? The essential questions to ask before booking your Tuscan villa.

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Comments

  • Helen Edwards says:

    Be very careful when booking Villa La Quercia – we are still waiting for our security deposit several months after our stay