Desi is a very cordial and active lady who offers guests a charming stay in her country residence, a large 18th century patrician villa about 25 km south of Florence. She is an expert connoisseur of the history of art and can accompany guests on cultural visits to Florence and other towns of Tuscany.
She loves travelling, reading, the theater, cinema, trekking, shopping and is a devotee of bridge. She can invite guests to her social bridge club in Florence. She is a devoted artist, and for many years has attended art classes in a studio in Florence.
Desi is an excellent cook and can give cooking lessons on how prepare the best Tuscany dishes.
The famous Valdarno Outlet Mall is just a few kilometers from the house.
An internal stone stairway leads up to the first floor of the house. The spacious living room has a large stone fireplace. The rooms are all comfortably furnished with antique furniture and the guest’s bedroom and bathroom have all modern facilities in an original architectural design. The villa is surrounded by a lawn and garden. Guests can spend their own time in the large house or in the garden.
Desi speaks English. No smoking in the house. She has a cat living around the house but not in the private rooms.
The house can be reached by train from Florence. Desi will meet you at the local station near the house, free of charge.
•Homestay prices (minimum 3 nights)
One guest. Single bedroom, private bath
breakfast and dinner with the host family € 110,00/per night
Two guests travelling together sharing bedroom and private bath
breakfast and dinner with the host family € 190,00/per night for two persons
Two guests travelling together – two separate bedrooms – one private bathroom
breakfast and dinner with the host family € 210,00/ per night for two persons
•Guided visits and walks
Walks and excursions can be planned together with you, each walk lasting about 3 hours, either in the morning or the afternoon. Trips planned to Florence will be by train.
€ 55,00 each walk for one guest – € 75,00 each walk for two guests travelling together
Classical Florence walk (3 hours) Piazza S. Croce, Piazza della Signoria con Loggia dei Lanzi, Piazza del Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery exterior.
Streetwise Shopping in Florence (3 hours) With Desi along the fashion designer streets, or along the less frequent streets with Florentine craftsmen workshops.
Shopping at the nearby Mall (3 hours) Not far from Desi’s home is “The Mall”, a luxury design Outlet set in the Tuscan countryside and offering high fashion discounts, exclusive international brands of clothing, accessories for men and women.
•Excursions by car -(total 3 hours)
€ 80,00 for one guest – € 120,00 for two guests travelling together
Greve in Chianti Itinerary over the hills of the Chianti Classico wine area with a visit to Greve in Chianti the most important town of the Chianti area and Montefioralle, one of the most characteristic Tuscan hamlets representing mediaeval architecture.
San Giovanni Valdarno A small town with elegant shops and the birthplace of the artist Masaccio, with its museum reminding us of his life and works. Visit to the Romanesque church at Cascia where one of his works can be seen.
VISIT to a wine producing farm and castle. Discovering typical local products.
•Train Excursion to Arezzo (total 5/6 hours)
€90,00 for one guest – €150,00 for two guests travelling together
Formerly an Etruscan town, with prominent works of art. Walk around the city, paying particular attention to the historical and artistic painting of Piero della Francesca. Visit to Piazza Grande, Arezzo’s splendid square, and the Pieve of Santa Maria, the largest Romanesque church in Tuscany.
•Italian and Tuscan Cooking Activities – 3 hours each lesson
€ 85,00 for one guest – € 140,00 for two guests together – including ingredients
Individual Italian cuisine lessons, including visits to local stores and markets to identify and select the appropriate ingredients for the recipes.
Understanding the language of Italian recipes, the technique used in preparing the ingredients for cooking, tasting and setting the table in the traditional Tuscan manner.
Prices do not include personal bus or train tickets, entrance fees to museums, churches, cinema, theatre, lunches and food or wine tasting visits.
What my guests said
– My stay at Desi’s house was unique, inspiring and relaxing. To > actually live in the Tuscan countryside, not in a hotel, but in 18th century royal hunting lodge is a privilege few will ever experience. The lodge is set in the incomparable Tuscan landscape which has inspired painters and writers for centuries. It’s a lovely place to relax in it’s quiet gardens or wander amongst the surrounding farms and villas. The local markets are filled with the bounty Tuscany; luscious vine-ripened fruits and vegetables, traditional breads and pastries and local cheeses and wines. The location is very central. It is just 10 minutes to the designer outlets and half an hour from Florence, and it is surrounded by charming, historic medieval towns, wineries, fortresses and castles. It is easily accessible by train or car from Florence.
If you treat yourself to this unique experience, you will also have the pleasure of meeting Desi. Desi is a supremely gracious hostess. She will make you feel at home and at ease. She is also a delightful tour guide. She knows the surrounding area like the back of her hand and is willing to take you on tours in her own car or provide you with information and maps. Sincerely, Connie Early
– Staying at Desi’s is an unforgettable dream Tuscan experience….a must repeat!
Desi is fluent in English and such a gracious hostess who provided attention to every detail during my stay there. Her culinary skills are divine…a must to experience her authentic, delicious
Tuscan cuisine. The villa is meticulously beautiful and comfortable in every way. The gardens provide a most tranquil setting. Desi so generously shares experiences that a tourist would miss without her direction. My visit couldn’t have been more fun and meaningful.
It would be difficult to not return after the peak experiences that Desi provided in her lovely villa. Connie Ratliffe, PhD.Santa Barbara, CA