Tuscany is vast: nine thousand square miles in western Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Crossed by sharp mountains, rich with fortified cities, coastal enclaves with long empty beaches, and embarrassment of medieval treasures, Tuscany is a place everyone longs to visit and, having a villa here, is the idyll.
To the north near the glorious walled city of Lucca with its cobbled lanes, Romanesque churches and ancient bell towers, we have luxury villas created from grand palazzi that once were the country retreats of the wealthy traders of the Arno. In the untamed rolling hills and vineyards of Chianti populated with wild boar and porcupine, there are ancient stone farmhouses that have been magnificently restored as holiday rentals with divine infinity swimming pools. Further south-east in the Val d'Orcia, the province of wide-open vistas and cypress trees, choose from a selection of honey-hued converted farmhouses or a contemporary property. From here discover the famous hill towns of Pienza rebuilt as an "ideal town" by Pope Pius II in the 15th century, and Montalcino renowned for its prestigious Brunello de Montalcino wine.