I can’t tell you how often we are asked that question and how difficult it is to answer. There are so many beautiful places and art treasures in Tuscany. Sometimes you can turn a corner in a little village and have your breath taken away by the beauty you behold.
Here are some recommendations from Tuscany Accommodations on the top places to see in Tuscany. If you are a first-time traveler, this is a great list:
According to Italian news sources ASCA-AFP, ruins of a villa in all probability belonging to Emperor Vespasian (Roman emperor from 69 – 79 AD) were discovered about 70 kilometers (circa 44 miles) northeast of Rome on August 6. Coincidentally, Italy is commemorating the two thousandth year of Vespasian’s birth this year.
The villa is situated in the little village of Falacrine in the province of Rieti in what used to be the Sabine territory in antiquity.
Leading the group of international archeologists on this dig is Filippo Coarelli, a professor from the University of Perugia. Coarelli stated:
“The villas of this period generally don’t bear any inscriptions which makes it difficult to attribute ownership. But there are many indications, including the location, that lead us to believe that this is the villa where the Emperor Vespasian was born.”
Are you holding back on your travel and vacation dreams because of the economy? You may want to reconsider your position. The current price offerings of villas in Italy are at an historic low. If you have ever had a dream of taking a vacation with a loved one, your family, business colleagues or a group of friends, now is the time to book your Italian fantasy vacation.
Remember the Seinfeld episode where there were no villas in Tuscany available for renting? That is no longer the case as the world’s purse strings have tightened. This year, we have seen villas from as low as €36 (about $52.00) per person, per night for beautiful properties in idyllic surroundings. Try finding any luxury hotel room in Italy (or anywhere else) at this price! Heck, this may even cost less than the currently popular ‘staycations!’
Ultimate Tuscany Villa Rental – What To Do With That Extra €200,000.00 (Circa $320.000.00) You Have Laying Around!
If you have been on my website www.toscanamia.biz in the Italy villa rental section, you may have seen the ultra-luxury villas of the Coselli collection. These are very impressive Tuscan villa rentals situated on two hillsides near Lucca. They have been restored with the utmost care: each bedroom is painted in a different color, the walls are hand-decorated, the latest high-tech equipment is available, there is a chef available for each property and many 5 star services are offered for guests.
These villa rentals in Tuscany are truly luxurious and range in price from €11,000 to €45,000 per week (depending on the time of year). All of this was made possible because Mr. Fanucchi (the owner) who made his fortune with mozzarella had the vision and means to convert some crumbling estates into luxury resorts.
Needless to say, many of the rich and famous have crossed these thresholds.
With this in mind, you may imagine how curious I was to see the new villa being added to their collection that will rent for €50,000 per week, for a minimum of 4 weeks!
I spent about half a day with Nicola Fanucchi (one of the owner’s sons now CEO of the Coselli business) going through all the villas again to see the latest upgrades for myself. I must say the villas and grounds are truly beautiful and the maintenance is top-of-the-line.
The last villa we viewed on our tour was Villa Lenka (named after Mrs. Fanucchi, Nicola’s mother) which is the actual family home in the winter. The family has decided to offer this property for rent during the summer.
So what does €50,000/week for four weeks get you? The grounds are amazing. The park spreads over 13 Hectares (around 32 acres) of manicured grounds, beautiful trees, two large ponds (they call them lakes) and a pool. The outdoors could not be more breathtaking.
The villa itself is beautifully restored and is a classic Lucca “Villa Padronale.” (Villas occupied by rich landowners of the past centuries). There is antique furniture, signature paintings, beautiful ceilings and floors, custom draperies and high-end finishings. I noticed both a Maserati and another car with the “Diplomatic Corps” emblem on the back parked under the car port. This is not a place for the faint of wallet!
Now for my honest opinion: While the villa is incredibly beautiful and the surrounding area unparalleled among any properties in Italian Villa rental portfolios, I am hesitant to say it is the best of the best. If I had my choice of high-level villas in the Coselli Group, I would be looking at Villa Controni or Borgo Bernardini. Why?
While this is a very subjective opinion, the main villa felt “lived in.” I did not feel like I was stepping into a space that was prepared specifically to welcome me. All through the villas were signs of the family that occupies it – pictures, closed-off armoires, and, to be honest, a bit of clutter. This is very different from the other properties Coselli offers.
This takes away nothing from the fact that Villa Lenka is an amazing property and is my own personal reaction. If you like the idea of stepping into the home of a very wealthy family for a few weeks, then this may could be the property for you.
As always, I welcome your comments, reactions and opinions.