About Time: You Discovered Tuscany Now & MoreBy Angelica Malin
Planning your summer break for 2019? What about grabbing a group of friends and renting an incredible villa in Tuscany? We don’t think there is a more perfect way to spend your summer holiday than sipping wine and eating cheese under the Tuscan sun. Here’s everything you need to know about Italy’s premier villa rental company, Tuscany Now & More:
Tuscany Now & More is a family business, started in 1990 by Simon, his wife Barbara and their family. Over three decades, the company has allowed visitors to connect with Tuscany – the food, the wine, the local people – through their amazing rental villas. They work in partnership with home owners to help them surprise and delight renters, with a very 21st century approach to holiday rentals. What’s more, every Tuscany Now property is exclusive to the company and you won’t see it advertised elsewhere – meaning you’re getting a very unique experience, every time.
All the villas are fully staffed, meaning you can relax into your holiday with all your needs taken care of. In 2014, they re-launched at Tuscany Now & More, with new properties outside of Tuscany, including Umbria and Portofino, Venice and Verona. The company has a dedicated English-speaking travel concierge team, who can happily arrange all your Italian experiences for you, including wine-tasting tours, truffle-hunting adventures or special romantic meals out. What sets Tuscany Now&More apart from other rental companies, is their connection and relationship to the land and people – they personally visit every one of the rental properties, so there’s always a team member who’s seen the villa with their own eyes. With a team of 17 staff across London and Barcelona, over 400 people who assist with the properties and 145 villa owners, love, care and attention is at the beating heart of what Tuscany Now&More is all about.
We stayed at Villa Atena; an incredibly beautiful restored farmhouse in the heart of Tuscan countryside, which sleeps up to 20 people. This villa is like something out of a fantasy; an old, recently restored stone-built farmhouse which sits on a hill top surrounded by woodland, only 25 miles north of Florence. This villa has everything you could dream of – converted into a fantastic country retreat with private swimming pool, beautiful garden, modern kitchen, air-conditioned bedrooms, a second professional-grade kitchen for events or parties and a huge shaded terrace, perfect for winding down with a glass of local red wine.
There’s something so quaint and inviting about this villa, the marble-floored living areas leading onto the vast terrace with picturesque views of nature, where we enjoyed a divine Italian breakfast of local cheeses, yogurt, and fresh bread every morning. The vast size of this villa makes it the perfect choice for a large group – with its own self-sufficient guest house with living areas inside and out.
Something that really struck me about the villa was the incredible peace and tranquility it offers, with beautiful views of the Mugello Countryside. A favourite country escape for wealthy Florentines, the Mugello, 30 minutes’ drive north of the city of Florence, is the Chianti’s low-key cousin. Blissfully off the beaten tourist track, come here for amazing landscapes and of course, delectable wine.
What can you expect at the villa? In the main house, there’s a dining room, opening to a gorgeous terrace and small summer kitchen, plus a kitchen, breakfast room, TV room, sitting room with fireplace and double bedrooms with en-suite bathroom. There’s more twin and double bedrooms on the first floor, and in the Forestry guest house, even more twin bedrooms, sitting room with dining area and bathrooms. Throughout the property, you’ll be surrounded by the most beautiful information garden with trees and, of course, a large swimming pool to soaking up the summer sun. This villa can also be hired for an intimate wedding, which we think is the most perfect idea ever.
Our experience of Tuscany Now & More couldn’t have been better; the property itself is beyond words, every inch of it oozes style and Italian flair. We loved spending days on the sun-soaked outdoor terrace and dipping into the private, secluded swimming pool, as well as exploring the Tuscan countryside with the villa as our luxury base. The Tuscany Now & More staff were great, always attentive, friendly and helpful, and the whole experience felt like a total dream. We really couldn’t recommend the company enough: a must-try next time you’re planning a luxury holiday in Italy.