We collect reviews directly from our clients via email and publish them here. We hope you enjoy reading through them as much as we do, they are a paper trail of happy memories - and good tips!
From F.B. and Friends, UK, guests October 2017
“ So we had 6 adult guests staying at this villa - mixed friends and one couple plus 2 dogs. We had masses of really useful info before we arrived and Invitation to Tuscany could not have been more helpful. We were really impressed with the service and the planning before our arrival. The owner Jackie met us and guided us up to the villa - she was very concerned about the state of the road into the villa but it was absolutely fine with some careful driving -I wouldn't want to drive a vintage porsche up there but any normal car - we all agreed was no drama at all. The space is fab - really spacious yet cosy living area - great open fire. lots of seating, lovely big table, fab sunset veranda with dining table - we did have some perfect sun-soaked lunches and very enjoyable sundowners looking at the view. The place is jam packed with DVD's, books, jigsaws etc....so generous of Jackie to leave this for our enjoyment and we left a Jigsaw of Florence that we bought with us for others to enjoy. The 3 bedrooms are absolutely lovey - spacious, quiet and calm. The shutters meant we slept till mid morning - something many of us have not done for years! There is a huge garden and loads of sun loungers to relax in. The little rustic kitchen is fantastic - I am a big cook and LOVED cooking there all day with the door open looking at the view. It is relatively basic but I had everything I needed to cook a big lovely dinner - in fact one night we had guests drop in and cooked for 9 people with ease. I took my own sharp knives. Would have liked a big casserole dish but other than that everything was there. We are all big walkers and we managed to have a lovely big walk with great views but the pathways are complex and its easy to get lost - so planning is advised for less confident explorers. Must do's - we went for a tasting session at a little olive oil shop in Scorgianno ? can you help give details? 19 euro per head (with lots of wine!) for fabulous wine and a range of pork tapas sourced form their very happy local pigs - one of the best 3 hours I have ever spent and felt truly tuscan - it was sublime. Donata and donata??? was recommended and did not disappoint...fab proper Italian family restaurant - with great food and great wine and great atmos. Our dogs are very important and we were worried they might not be welcome - but it seemed on the day dogs were essential - all the Italians had them and they were well behaved - the staff and locals were all so friendly and inclusive and the service and price was fab. Despite the fact we speak little Italian we couldn't have been made to feel more welcome and at home. We all had limoncello before we left and all wished we could have stayed there for ever. The local town Colle is a must to explore - especially the market (everyone was so friendly and I LOVED tasting and buying pecorino and ham with the help of very very friendly locals) and the old town - lovely craft shops and coffee shops. I can't tell you how amazing the service was from InvitationToTuscany and how much we loved the villa and the local area - the whole experience was absolutely fab. Sienna is genuinely just half an hour away and Pisa airport- I think 1.5 hours........... If you want to really get away from it all in a lovely comfy authentic rustic stylish villa but still be close enough to a fantastic little unspoilt friendly town with great local produce then this is the place for you.
From A.M., guests September 2017
“ The property is excellent and we really enjoyed our stay. Very comfortable rooms and bathrooms. Annemarie was very welcoming and helpful with much information to share about the house and locality. The pool is splendid and we would have made more use had the weather been a little brighter. Kitchen is well equipped (once we had traced a coffee maker and some adapters for the plugs - thank you Annemarie!). Could do with a knife sharpener and a decent cook’s knife. We were not troubled as we brought our own. Another chopping board or two would also help. We would definitely revisit - the property lends itself easily to a small group or indeed a large family group. I don’t know how you would broach my final point but the road/drive leading to the property is not well maintained and the actual entrance to the property through the gates can be a little tricky to negotiate due to a poor surface and much gravel. Our large car with low profile tyres found that the surface was catching on the underside at times. This is a minor point but other visitors may find it a problem. Overall we had a splendid time - beds are very comfortable and we all slept very well. Location is great for trips around Tuscany with easy access to Siena and Florence by train.
From T&L K from UK, guests September 2017
“ We had a great time with our friends at Docciole. The house worked out well for us, it was charming, roomy and comfy.There was one day when we had some roof leaks due to rain and wind, and a pool issue due to high winds, but it was taken care of by Luciano immediately. Luciano and Anna could not have been nicer! They put on 2 enormous feasts for us in their "atelier" and a wonderful time was had by all. Luciano was always around to answer questions, and I was happy to be able to practice my Italian, though I am sure we could have managed in English, had it been necessary. We cooked several meals at Docciole and had no problem finding the proper kitchen gadgets & appliances. There was a filter coffee machine but it was extremely slow, so if I were to come back I would ask for a new one, I think. Other than that, everything was fine. As far as recommendations go, we had a very nice meal (set menu for 12) at La Bottega di Volpaia. Carla did a great job of organizing our menu and overseeing our evening. Another special place we went to was the Castello di Ama vineyard in Gaiole. We did the wine and art tour, which was led by a very knowledgeable and friendly guide. Interesting pieces, beautiful space and nice lunch too. A special mention needs to go to Luciano and Sandra, the lovely couple who own the enoteca on the main road in Radda. They helped Luciano cook for us and were very kind whenever we popped in their store to ask a question or needed something. We loved the Chianti region. We would love to return to Docciole with our family, probably not next year, but at some point. In any case, if the destination is Tuscany we will surely look up your agency. Thanks for your attentive service. We appreciated it!
From J.G. with Reid Party, Canada, guests September 2017
“ Valdorcia is a beautiful old stone farmhouse sitting high up on a sloping property overlooking the valley of the same name. Access is partly via a bumpy, unpaved road for just over a kilometre, which some may find challenging but we found added to the charm and deterred unnecessary traffic. The house is quite remote with no neighbours close by. Because of the altitude of the property, we found it breezy when we were there in September, but that didn’t stop us enjoying the magnificent view from the front of the house. Rooms are large with high ceilings. Downstairs is an enormous kitchen/dining room with a large table seating eight, as well as a small area with a table for four. The kitchen is “rustic” but well equipped with six gas rings, a wall oven, a large old fireplace for grilling, and a new dishwasher. The pantry, which contains the fridge/freezer (and adjacent powder (cloak) room) is around 15 paces from the kitchen sink which makes for lots of walking. However, given the quality and quantity of Tuscan food, lots of walking is a good thing. The main floor also has a small sitting area at the end of the dining/kitchen and a bedroom with en suite bathroom. Upstairs there are five bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms, and one particularly charming “library” bedroom. The communal bathroom is enormous and its anteroom has a washbasin and a washing machine. There is a lovely sitting room with comfortable sofas and chairs and a huge stone fireplace. A good place to sip Limoncello after dinner. The caretaker lives on the property with his two friendly dogs. He brought us fresh figs, huge fresh eggs from his chickens, dark red, sweet tomatoes from the garden, as well as lettuces and onions. He is a real asset to the property, putting out garden chairs in the morning and maintaining the grounds beautifully, including the large swimming pool. Sarteano, the local town, has a small but well-stocked supermarket, as well as some superb restaurants. We were given a list of recommended restaurants in the area by the owner of the farmhouse and every one was wonderful. On two occasions, Rita from Sarteano arrived with her bags and made three-course dinners of typical Tuscan food – enough for the eight of us for lunch next day as well. The autostrada was fairly close (20 minutes drive) so visiting other areas from this property is relatively easy.
From Neville and Jenny Reid, guests September 2017
“ We have just returned from a wonderful visit to Valdorcia. This lovely house sits high up, with a magnificent view over the Val d’Orcia, which was a constant source of pleasure and inspiration. The house is large, with six bedrooms, but occupancy is limited to 8 people, which means that there is plenty of room for all. There are four shower rooms (two en suite, and one of the others has a bathtub too), and there is the added convenience of a separate toilet on the ground floor. The kitchen is large and exceptionally well equipped, with more than enough pots and pans to satisfy even the most ardent cook. The dining table seats eight comfortably, and there is a very convenient seating area just off the kitchen, ideally placed so that those not involved in meal preparation can provide a stream of advice. The living room, on the first floor, has comfortable seating for at least eight people, with plenty of light and a fireplace for cooler evenings. We were welcomed to Valdorcia by charming owners Matteo and his wife. They are justifiably proud of their house, and pay guests the compliment of furnishing it with family possessions. However, as beautiful and comfortable as the house and surroundings are, most the best thing about our stay was Gelasio, the caretaker. He lives on the premises, and has the knack of being totally unobtrusive unless needed. It seems that he can turn his hand to anything, but we particularly appreciated the way he produced fresh eggs, salad greens and figs almost before we knew that we needed them. Under his care the grounds and pool are kept immaculate. We had two excellent meals prepared for us by Rita, who came in to cook, and also enjoyed several restaurants in the area. It is true that it is difficult to find a substandard meal in Italy, but we would like to say that the restaurants recommended in the house notes were outstanding. Other reviewers have rightly praised Ristorante Santa Chiara in Sarteano, but good as it is, we felt that Osteria da Gagliano also in Sarteano, is even better. All credit to Matteo for these recommendations, and also for sending us to Zi’ Pina in Fiumicino, where we spent our last night in Italy before returning (reluctantly) to Canada. Overall, Valdorcia is a place to be treasured, and returned to as often as possible.