a vacation home in Tuscany with My
Holiday Home in Lucca. An agency based in the Garfagnana specializing in
holiday villas and apartments in the Lucca area of Tuscany, Italy.
Modern Italian was born in Tuscany, from the great literature of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. It was in Tuscany between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries that the great era of humanism and the Renaissance was born. Tuscany, starting from the regional capital Florence, bears the greatest witness. Great works of civic and religious architecture, sculpture and paintings of extraordinary artistic value, testify to the creative genius of great artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and
But Tuscany is not just Florence. There is Siena too, with its Piazza del Campo, the theatre each summer for its famous Palio. In the province of Siena (also famous for its great wines, such as Chianti and Brunello) Montepulciano and Pienza stand out, extraordinary gems of renaissance art, and San Gimignano, with its famous towers and turreted houses. Then there is Pisa with its world-famous leaning tower; Carrara, with its Duomo clad in the precious marble that takes the name of the city; and also Lucca, Pistoia, Arezzo, Grosseto, Livorno, and Prato,
that all boast churches and other monuments of great architectural and artistic value. The beauties of the Tuscan countryside are innumerable. Above all, its landscape: the typical, unique, gentle and warm Tuscan countryside.
February 2003 Newsletter
Tuscan Resilience: Wines of Tuscany
Tuscany and Umbria Links
Ercolani Real Estate Agency Plc, head office in Tuscany:
Montepulciano - via di Gracciano nel Corso, 101 tel 0039 0578 757756 fax 0039 0578 752728
Chianciano – viale Roma, 37 tel/fax 0039 0578 64304
Pienza – p.zza Dante Alighieri, 14 tel/fax 0039 0578 748794
Besides our presentation web site
www.ercolani.it (email@example.com) we have a real estate portal, specific for the whole Tuscany
- Agricola Sforni’s Farmhouses
A set of restored farmhouses on two different locations near the hilltop town of Lorenzana (Pisa province). Rental by the week, variable prices.
Apartments ‘Il Merlo’
Two privately-owned holiday apartments in the village of Casole d’Elsa near Siena. Rustic farmhouse decor; reservations by phone only.
Eight holiday apartments in a restored farm complex on Lake Trasimeno on the Tuscany/Umbria border. Online booking form. Convert prices from Lire with Currency Converter.
CasaClub Tuscany & Umbria
Extensive choices for farmhouse and apartment rentals, some moderately priced. The Siena-based company’s details lend credibility.
Casina di Cornia, Chianti
Two self-contained apartments in a converted haybarn on a vineyard estate at Castellina in Chianti. The owners may treat you to Tuscany tours by horse-drawn carriage. Email for details.
Classic Tuscan Homes
British rental company with a real showcase of converted millhouses and the like in the Cortona area. Various prices: view them at a glance in the Index.
Holiday apartments on a 200-acre vineyard estate in Chianti, with swimming pool and plenty of beautiful views.
Cottage Holidays Le Torre
Nine apartments in a 14th-century residence in Chianti. Photos, faqs, online reservations. In English and German.
Large farmhouse on an olive-oil-producing estate in the Chianti hills, with four guest apartments. Online form for booking.
Fattoria Il Contuccio
Several small apartments for rent in a beautiful old farmhouse 30 km from Florence. Online reservations.
Fattoria La Loggia
Vast Renaissance farmhouse on the Montefiridolfi hill, 15 km south of Florence. Twelve independent apartments, plus an arts center and wine production.
Four apartments for rent in a winery farmhouse in Chianti, with shared swimming pool. Online booking form.
Forte dei Marmi Villas
Britalia Plus, a British holiday rentals company, offers these holiday rentals which are, like much of the resort town itself, highly reminiscent of 1950s America.
Holiday Villas ‘Peralta’
From Italian View, choose from several reconstructed medieval buildings in a hillside cluster near Lucca (Pisa province).
Holidays in Tuscany
Two farmhouses. One sleeps 16, the other is divided into two apartments. Email for reservations details.
Invitation to Tuscany
British agency specializing in holiday rentals in west-central Tuscany and along the coast. View the partial selection online, or request a full print brochure.
Villas and apartments in and around Lucca. Online reservations.
From Giovanni’s Vacation Homes, a four-bedroom holiday house near Cortona. Availability chart and booking form.
Milligan Holiday Homes
Help finding holiday rentals in Florence and Tuscany. Little online info; requires Housing Request form or email.
Mura di Sopra
Restored 15th century farmhouse near Bagni di Lucca. Sleeps 10, swimming pool. British owners; email for reservations.
Apartments and farmhouses in and near the medieval Umbrian village of Panicale. Beautiful photographs.
Prices and availability calendars are available.
Podere San Luigi
Two villas for rent on a vineyard estate in Colle Val D'Elsa. Email for reservations.
Priello B&B, Arezzo
This bed-and-breakfast inn in a 17th-century farmhouse at Localita Priello is a short drive from Michelangelo's birthplace. In English and Italian.
Reflet Villa Rentals
A range of villas and apartments with one-week rentals in Tuscany and Umbria. Extensive information on each, but reservations are only by telephone.
Directory of farmhouse accomodations in Tuscany. Highly sophisticated site includes online booking. In English and Italian.
ToscaNet Villa Rentals
From Livorno-based SeaView Travel, an online booking service for villas and apartments in Tuscany. In English, Italian, and German.
Apartments, villas and farmhouses in and around Barga. Email reservations info.
Renters of a select list of quality villas, farmhouses, and cottages in the central Tuscan countryside. Plenty of photos and a good reputation make this a pretty safe bet.
Tuscany.Net Castles & Villas
This lovely and thorough site from a company based in Florence, Italy, offers a selection of castles, villas and farmhouses (and apartments therein) in the Tuscany countryside, with online booking.
Historic vacation apartments in Tuscany and Umbria. See the prices page for rates.
TuscanyNow: Private Villas
A large selection of private villas in Tuscany and Umbria. See the prices page for rates.
Three 350-year-old farm villas recently restored and divided into guest apartments. 18km from Florence. Site has lots of photos and video clips.
Vacation Rentals in Chianti
Six holiday villas (sleeping two to six) within a castle which dates back to the 11th century or thereabout.
Vacation Rentals in Cortona
From Italian View, a large selection of holiday villas and apartments in and around this Etruscan town. Requires advance payment in full.
Vacation Rentals in Siena
From Italian View, several holiday villas and apartments. Requires advance payment in full.
The Villa Collection: Tuscany
From Travel-Italy, a huge, easy-to-use directory of villas and apartments throughout inland Tuscany. Check availability online.
The Villa Collection: Tuscany Sea
From Travel-Italy, villas and apartments in the Venice countryside, Friuli and on Lake Garda. Check availability online.
Villa La Nievolina
Thirty minutes from Florence by car. Sleeps up to nine people. Online booking form.
Villa Rentals Tuscany
A selection of high quality villas and farmhouses for rent by International Chapters. Most are spacious and pricey.
Apartments on Elba
Residence hotels throughout the island, with photographs, prices and special discounts. Also a booking form. From ElbaLink, in Italian, German and English.
Camping Valle S. Maria
Camp ground with 11 apartments a beach near Portoferraio. Current prices and email; in English, Italian, and German.
From Elba Link, ferry timetables and online reservations for Moby Lines ferries to and from the Island of Elba. Key: Piombino is the mainland port.
Elba’s Illustrious Past
Minus the illustrations. From ElbaLink, a guide to Elba’s history and archaeology. Probably not beach reading. In English.
Explore Elba’s Reefs
Sirena Diving Center, near Portoferraio. Prices and some photos. In broken English and German.
At quiet Magazzini, near the main port city of Portoferraio, this hotel has a private marina and beach. In several languages.
Hotels on Elba Island
Hotels throughout the island, with photographs, prices and special discounts. Also a booking form. From ElbaLink, in Italian, German and English.
Bike and motorbike rentals in the three main cities on the island.
Unica Diving Center
Diving school based at Magazzini with half-day, whole-day and longer programs for divers at every level of competency. In English, Italian, and German.
The largest network of bike and motorbike rental shops on Elba, with eight locations.
From Elba Link, the facts you’ll need to get your bearings on Elba. Includes a guide to beaches.
Beyond the Tower
From your Guide, Pisa's main attraction isn't the only attraction this vibrant university town has to offer.
Experts Wrangle Over Best Angle
From The London Times, a July 1998 report on controversial proposals to correct the Leaning Tower’s tilt.
Frommer’s: Pisa Lodgings
A few recommendations across four pricing categories, with short reviews.
Frommer’s: The Tower
On arrival, want to make a beeline for the Leaning Tower? Arthur Frommer tells you how.
History of Pisa
The story of Pisa in three pages with a handful of clickable images, from Pisa Online.
Images of Pisa
From Knowital, some nice still shots of the sights in Pisa.
Know about Pisa
From Knowital, some basic information to help you get your bearings in Pisa.
Leaning Tower Information
Guaranteed information overload, from Great Buildings Online. Stats, essays, history.
Leaning Tower News
A digest of tower-related news clippings going back to 1991.
Leaning Tower of Secrecy?
A heated editorial from Art Watch International accusing Pisa offficials of shutting the public out of preservation efforts.
Museum of Natural History
The University of Pisa’s collection of 200,000 natural objects, housed in a Baroque religious building 10km from Pisa city center.
Museum of Scientific Instruments
With special focus on instruments of the 18th and 19th centuries and the inventions of Galileo. In Italian, translate with Alta Vista.
Pisa City Map
From Commune di Pisa, a usable street map with good navigation but no index.
Pisa in Virtual Reality
From ComPart, excellent 360-degree views from Piazza dei Miracoli, with an aerial map for perspective. Requires QuickTime.
The story behind four traditional events staged in honor of the city’s patron saint and the river's role in Pisa's past.
From Knowital, a pictoral directory of notable Pisan monuments and museums. The text is sparse but useful.
Rough Guide: Pisa
A quick, no-nonsense look at what's worth seeing in Pisa.
San Matteo National Museum
A fine museum in a medieval convent, with works by Giovanni, Della Robbia, and Donatello, among others. Images of the major works.
Torre di Pisa
Website by campaigners against the current Tower of Pisa project who believe the restoration work will only make the famous lean worse. In Italian, translate with Alta Vista.
Assisi Photo Tour
From the Order of the Franciscans (USA) a quick photo tour of Assisi, with clickable, captioned photos of holy sites.
Lucca Photo Gallery
Epicurious captures the lush, romantic side of Lucca in these artistic photographs.
Preview Travel: Tuscany Photos
From Preview Travel, a handful of nice images of Tuscan countryside and villages.
- No town in Tuscany is too small to have a museum, and many are tucked away in the most unlikely places.
- Renato Alessandrini: A contemporary master, in the Museo Marini, which is beautiful too.
A Tu per Tu con il Grande Blu: Genova's Acquarium is the largest in Europe.
I Macchiaioli: An exciting group of Tuscan artists, contemporary to the Impressionists.
Looking Closely at Piero: Two more of his masterpieces can now be seen in all their glory.
San Gaetano, one of Florence's Baroque churches, has reopened after decades.
Duccio's Stained Glass masterpiece has been restored, and is now on exhibit in Siena's Santa Maria della Scala.
Il Corridoio Vasariano: Built to join the Court with the Seat of Florentine Govenrment...
An Etruscan Enigma: Murlo's Poggio Civitate. A fascinating museum, in a beautiful setting.
Bibbiena: a new museum, and a nice day in the country.
Piero Della Francesca: His masterpice, the Story of the True Cross, is being restored, and can in part already be seen!
Benvenuto Cellini's Perseo is being restored. But all is not lost -- you can find out how things are going on the Net, or visit the labs in person.
- Chasing, the art of working the surface of a metal, is all but lost. However, there still are people who know how to do it in Florence.
The cultural and historical impact of Florence is overwhelming. Close up, however, the city is one of Italy's most atmospheric and pleasant, retaining a strong resemblance to the small late-medieval centre that contributed so much to the cultural and political development of Europe. Unfortunately, it can be one of Italy's most clogged tourist traps, with up to 2000 tourist buses arriving daily in the peak season.
Where Rome is a historical hot-pot, Florence is like stepping back into a Fiat and Vespa-filled Renaissance: the shop-lined Ponte Vecchio, the trademark Duomo, the gem-filled Uffizi Gallery host to the finest art in Italy, the turreted Piazza della Signoria and the Medici Chapels. Thankfully, these unforgettables are all within walking distance of each other.
A selection of online Florence maps and tips for getting around on foot and by public transport.
Florence museums, galleries and other sights, with pre-purchase ticket information.
Tours & Itineraries
Guided tour packages, custom tours and visitor itineraries for Florence.
What's happening in Florence? Links to the best of the cultural calendar, plus art news and ticket info.
A collection of hotel listings and links to individual properties, quirky small hotels and vacation rental pages.
Shops & Services
Florence has Italy's most comprehensive shopping. Links to some of the city's most interesting shops, plus business services and more.
Food & Drink
Restaurant reviews and individual restaurant pages. All proof that Florence's culinary scene is one of the best in the world.
Florence is a city that can seem to roll up its sidewalks after dark, but with the right leads you'll easily find the city's hot spots.
Stunning Florentine photos, 360-degree images, and live Webcam views from the city's most famous lookout point
- The Hotel Pendini Homepage helps visitors to the city navigate their way through the many sights, galleries, festivals and services.
is utterly cool. There's info on the city's cafés, books, galleries and happenings.
- Sore feet? Virtual Uffizi will save you legwork with it's catalogue of every work in the museum. Only problem is, artists are listed alphabetically by their first name.
The Florence Art Guide
not only takes you through some of Florence's most celebrated art and architecture, it also gives you info on what's happening in cinemas and theatres throughout the city.
- The best way to experience Florence and get oriented is to take a walking tour.
- Siena and San Gimignano: A Tuscan Photo Safari by Sims Brannon
- The Uffizi Galleries are perhaps the world's greatest museum of Renaissance art. Michelangelo's David, perhaps the most famous sculpture in the world, is at the Accademia. Here's how to avoid standing in line for up to three hours before you even get in!
- From Florence the Magnificent to tiny Montepulciano, there are hundreds of Tuscan towns you'll want to visit. Come with us on a drive through a land few travelers ever forget.
- Saturnia is one of the most popular spa retreats in Europe, but it wasn't always that way.
- Ceramics, kitchen utensils, hand-made linens, antique bric-a-brac: what better place to find souvenirs for your friends and yourself than a flea market, set in the shadow of a 16th-century cathedral, perchance? Keep this calendar of outdoor markets in Tuscany for your files.
- Here are some of our favorite places to eat in Florence and Tuscany.
- Want a day off from culture? Visit one of Tuscany's many natural parks.
- Michael Brouse spent years looking for a mystery church, one of the most significant structures of the Renaissance.
- If you have an extra day to spend in Tuscany, think about dedicating it to the charming town of Lucca.
- What's it like to spend an evening in a real Tuscan farmhouse? Come along, and find out how to make panzanella while you're at it.
- Interested in Renaissance frescoes? Then join us for a unique kind of scavenger hunt in Florence.
- When Wild Bill Hickok needed the best cowboys in Europe to compete against his own performers, he took the whole troupe off to Maremma, Tuscany's Wild, Wild West.
- When the Manetti brothers bought their 22,000-acre estate, most Chianti wine was being served in straw-covered bottles. Now Fontodi Vigne is a prestigious wine known all the world over.
- Most travelers spend their Tuscan vacations in Florence, Siena or Pisa, but there are countless historical jewels in southern Tuscany too, including Pienza, Montepulciano and Arezzo.
- In Tuscany, every farmhouse has been sheltering families for centuries. Their memories linger in every stone and rafter.
- In Italy reader John Yacovelle has some great suggestions for how to have the very best time on your Tuscan vacation.
- Useful WWW Links.
- A year-round calendar of the colorful festivals and pageants held throughout the region of Tuscany. Download this for your files.
- As always, we have selected an assortment of hotels you might like to stay at, and they range from the inexpensive to the extravagant.
Choose your accommodation:
Hotels in Florence
Apartments in Florence
Bed & Breakfast
Countryside in general
Near San Gimignano
Bed & Breakfast
Facilities for disabled
Restaurant in the villa/hotel
Congresses & Meetings
Wine & Oil Tours
Wine and Olive Oil Production
Activities & Sport:
Mountain bike rental
Horse riding in the villa
Golf & Tours
how to book online
how to book via fax
Other line buses
Stores: Hyper, Super and Minimarkets
(open air) Markets
Pharmacies in Florence open 24 hours
Useful Phone Numbers
Post offices in Florence
Churches & Masses
ART & CULTURE:
Museum & Galleries:
Uffizi Gallery in Florence
Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus Restoration Online
Italian language schools:
Scuola Palazzo Malvisi - ITALICA
National parks and wildlife reserves:
Choose by Area:
Chianti Senese, Valdelsa and Volterra
Siena and surroundings
Prato and the Pistolese highland
San Miniato and l'Alta Valdelsa
Valdarno and Valdichiana
Mugello, Valdisieve and surroundings
Typical tuscan recipes
Chicken liver canapès
Canapès with spleen
Mock meat sauce
Minestra di Pane
Pasta bean soup
Chicken pea soup
Wide noodles with hare sauce
Risotto with cuttlefish sauce
Florentine- style kebabs
Florentine steak - Bistecca al la Fiorentina
Frogs à la Lorenzo the Magnificent
What we Tuscans Produce:
HOW IS THE WEATHER?
Weather averages in Celcius and Farenhiet
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Massa - Carrara