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INVITATION TO TUSCANY 2014


WELCOME TO TUSCANY AND THE ITALIAN LAKES

The drawings in this brochure are all done by me, Dan Wrightson – you can see more of them at www.danwrightson.com

We hope you enjoy looking through our brochure. We have rented beautiful properties in Tuscany for many years and this year have also found a selection of wonderful homes for rent in the Italian Lakes – the drawing above is of the charming village of Cannobio, on the west coast of Lake Maggiore. We hope you enjoy them. Tuscany is a magical and unique region, where the power of the towering influences that shaped the region during the Middle Ages and Renaissance seem to have spread to every valley and village. The great works are well known and iconic, but it is the pervasiveness of this artistry and delight that make the region so exciting. Every village has their maestro; every small church seems to harbour a work worth seeing. The landscape, carefully shaped by man over the centuries speaks of a deep and engaged love for the production of food and wine, and every small trattoria will remind you how true this is. This is a region to explore, and to immerse yourself in – the experience of the everyday is striking and beautiful. Renting a self-catering, independent property is a wonderful way to visit the area: remove the layer of protection and become part of one of the most fascinating cultures of the world. The local markets are treasure troves of fresh food, and cooking and eating al fresco under your own pergola will be an unforgettable experience! Should you need any extra help or something more to do, we have cooks, wineries, bike rentals on hand to make your holiday even more enjoyable.

We have also added tips on restaurants, activities and places to go for each of the areas in this brochure, and every house comes with its own ‘house notes’ giving you invaluable local advice on what to do and where to go. We are a family run company, and are proud to say that we have been in business for over 30 years. We have long standing relationships with our clients and have even had young couples with their babies come to stay, and later seen those very babies come back when grown up to get married in Tuscany! We choose and rent houses that we would like to stay in ourselves, giving us a very wide range, from simple cottages to luxurious villas; all of them have something we think makes them special, be it a particularly splendid view, a beautiful historic building or a great location. We visit all the houses personally and go back to them regularly, so we can give you good, first-hand advice on finding the best place for your stay; we love to hear from you so, even in this age of online everything, feel free to pick up the phone and let us help you. As well as in this brochure we publish these and other properties on our website: http://www.invitationtotuscany.com. You may search, filter, check availability and even book online, and you will also find further details and more photographs of all the properties.


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THINGS TO NOTE WHEN CHOOSING A PROPERTY Car hire Our properties are mostly in positions that make a car essential, and many properties will have at least a short stretch of dirt track for access. We have found, after extensive testing, that hire cars perform best on these types of roads! We have arranged good car hire rates with Europcar, whom we have found reliable and helpful. Remember that in Italy you must always carry personal identification such as your passport with you, as well as proof of insurance for the car.

What’s included Properties are let fully furnished and equipped, including crockery, cutlery, bed and bath linen. Our prices generally include final cleaning; exceptions will be noted. Fuel for lighting, cooking, refrigeration and hot water is normally included in the rent, but not, except in a few properties, fuel for air conditioning or heating, the cost of which must be paid directly to the owner or his representative before departure. Air-conditioning and heating are extra in most properties. In this brochure “showerroom” means that the room has a WC, a hand basin, a shower and probably a bidet. “Bathroom” means that the room has a WC, a bathtub, probably a shower fitting as well, a hand basin, and probably a bidet.

Minimum rental period The minimum period of rent is normally one week, though sometimes owners will accept bookings for as few as three days. Most properties are let from Saturday to Saturday, but some specify a Friday arrival and departure. Bookings of two or more weeks are preferred. With very few exceptions rentals start between 5 & 8 p.m. on the first day and end before 10 am on the last day of your holiday.

Cleaning Properties are consigned clean and tidy for your arrival, and you are responsible for leaving them tidy and in such a condition that a normal clean will prepare them for the guests following you. Please separate your rubbish and take it in bags to the nearest village collection point. You will find different bins for recycling paper, glass, plastic, metal and organic household waste. There is a daily collection from these bins, but no individual house collection. Please do not leave any rubbish behind in your holiday property!

Cautionary deposit A cautionary deposit is required, in the form of credit card authorisation or at some properties in cash, to cover any unforeseen damages or extra charges applicable to your booking. At the beginning of your stay you should inspect your property with the owner or the custodian. At the end of your stay you should again inspect the property with the owner or custodian, settle any costs or damages and sign the appropriate forms with him/her. A property left dirty may incur extra cleaning charges. 2

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

Insects, animals and pets Bats, flies, ants, spiders, scorpions, wasps, hornets, mice, millipedes – no, there aren’t great hordes and swarms of them, and they won’t all be in full march, bent on entering your house and disturbing you; but they are all part of country life, and, sometimes, some of them find their way indoors. Even the smallest crumbs especially attract ants and mice. It is a great help if you try not to leave scraps or crumbs around, and inform the custodian of your property if you see signs of mice, so that appropriate action can be taken. Some of the properties, especially on a farm, will most likely have some farm cats wandering around and possibly a dog or two. Please note that the company has no control over this so ask your agent to check if you feel this might be a problem. A few properties will allow pets but permission must always be given by the owner. Ask your agent to check this when you book.

Passports and Visas You must be in possession of a valid passport to travel to Italy. We recommend that you allow at least twelve weeks to obtain or renew your passport. Children under 16 years may not travel unless accompanied by an adult. Holders of non- European passports should check Visa regulations with the Italian Consulate.

More information After your balance is paid you will receive a leaflet of Introductory Notes, telling you about driving, telephones, shop hours and other useful tips to help you feel at home in Italy. Please read these notes carefully. Since very few shops are open on Sundays, you will need to do at least basic shopping before arrival. Details of local shops for each property are included with your directions. The easiest and cheapest way to withdraw cash is with your bank debit card from any ATM. Most towns and villages have them.

And finally - have a wonderful holiday!


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WHEN TO GO 30.0 22.5 15.0 7.5 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

April, May and June

September, October and November

Our favourite time of year is probably spring: bright crisp sunny days, when you can feel the sun’s warmth increasing every day, the air is clear from the heat haze of summer and the flowers and blossoms are bursting with energy, colour and life. These pictures were taken in March and April. June is really early summer and the temperatures are already increasing. If you’re coming to sightsee but you like to do it in your shirtsleeves, this is an excellent time. The great cities of Tuscany are a little calmer than in high season, restaurant owners welcome you with open arms and the museums are perfect.

Another of our favourite periods – the stones of the farmhouses and village walls have now been heated through by a summer of sunshine, and radiate the heat back. The swimming pools and the sea feel like a warm bath and as the sun lowers on the horizon it bathes the landscape in a golden glow. This is also the season when the grapes are harvested and when the olives are picked – some farms will be happy for you to come along and join in, so do ask us if you’d like to participate.

Tuscany is beautiful in many seasons, and enjoys a warm and sunny climate for much of the year. We have often eaten out on the terrace on Christmas day, bathed in wonderful sunshine. We want to give you a little idea of what to expect if you are lucky enough to be able to come out of season

December, January and February

July and August This is high season and the heat is on in more ways than one. Shimmering pools promise a tan, the wine is quaffable and al fresco meals beckon. The museum lines may be a bit longer and waiters a tad shorter of patience, but town festivals sprout everywhere and music and dancing can while away your evenings.

These are the coldest months of the year, and with the most variable weather. You can be cycling along in a T-shirt, or gazing out at a wet landscape – it changes from day to day. These are the months for those who really want to see the artworks of Tuscany without interruption, and for those who enjoy collecting chestnuts in the woods and roasting them over an open fireplace.

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

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VISIT OUR WEBSITE Though you may find just the holiday home that suits you in these pages, there are many reasons to visit our website, www.invitationtotuscany.com

More information You will find much more information and many additional photographs of the properties listed in this brochure. To find properties just insert the reference number (in the round dot) into our search box in the top right of the home page.

More pictures Under each property listing you will find even more information about the property, including services and facilities available to the guests during their stay. Some properties offer cooking classes, catered dinners and other activities. You can filter our properties by area, by size and also by type - we have categorised them to make it easier for you to select what you’re looking for, from Romantic Retreats to Family Friendly, or even whether they are close to Restaurants and Shops.

Book online It is now also possible to book online. Your property will be held free of charge for up to 48 hours to allow you time to check flights and times with family and friends. You can then choose to confirm online or you can ring or email us for any other details you might like to discuss.

Book offline Make a wish list While you are browsing through the website, you can add the properties you like to your wish list - just click the “add to wish list” link at the top right of each property’s main photo - you will then have a page of your favourites to discuss with us or with family and friends.

We also still like doing things the old-fashioned way - feel free to ring us or any of the agents to discuss which house we think would be best for you - we can help you make a shortlist and give you the lowdown on the quirks of the various areas and of the various properties - we visit them all personally.

Find things to do Check reviews We now use FlipKey to gather independent reviews so you can see what people who have visited think of the properties too. Just select the “Read reviews” link at the top right of the property’s main photo.

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For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

We can help you organise activities for when you arrive; from wine-tasting to cycling, hot air ballooning to catering, even yoga and guided walks. Have a look at the “Things to Do” section of the website for inspiration.


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ABOUT THE DRAWINGS

Dan Wrightson has been illustrating the Invitation to Tuscany brochure since the very early 1980s, progressing from simple line drawings, to line and wash and finally, when the budget allowed it, to full colour watercolours. Dan draws and paints the properties and local scenes on site, in one sitting.

The ethos of the company from the very beginning has been to show the properties exactly as they are, while at the same time celebrating their beauty – Dan’s approach seems to achieve both these objectives, to carefully observe and to celebrate the properties and places of Tuscany. We hope this still shines through in the current brochure. Dan’s works have been exhibited in London, Rome, Naples and Florence, and have been bought in Europe, Australia and the US.

He is presently working on a series of paintings of North London, mainly High Barnet where he now lives. Commissions are also current on places and houses in Tuscany, where he grew up, as well as in Provence and on the Ile de Re. He accepts occasional commissions and runs popular watercolour courses in Tuscany – further details and current works are on his website, http://www.danwrightson.com. Dan was a Rome Scholar at the British School in Rome, and has an MA in architecture from Cambridge University and a post-graduate diploma in architecture from Sheffield University.

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

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INDEX TO PROPERTIES IN TUSCANY PAG E RE F NAME

SLEEPS

8-9CENTRAL TUSCANY

SLEEPS

42

10

42

27dei Fichi 43Casa

11

39

Torrevista

10

12

21

Cristoforo

4 to 5

44

44

Bernardino Torrevecchia*

246 45Lookout Tower

4

260 * 13Casale 23

Agriturismo Elvira - Noce2 to 3

4647FLORENCE AND AREZZO

14

25

Agriturismo Elvira - Pinolo4 to 5

287Silvia 48Casa

15

158

Agriturismo Elvira - Rustico4

49

15

12

Agriturismo Elvira - Fagiano4

26 for 18 50Eremo

16

202

Bellavista - Camelia4

51

200

Avventuriero

17

203

Bellavista - Olivo4

52

194

Valdambra - Arcata2 to 4

17

204

Bellavista - Erica4

52

197

Valdambra - Stalla

18

33

Ragnana

8

52

199

Valdambra - Pagliaio4 to 6

19

208

Frutteto

8 to 9

126Allioni 53Casa

71 del Merlo 20Torre

4 to 6

155Piera 54Villa

21

187

Montagnola - Villa Padronale22

21

188

Montagnola - C. Gaia/LaContadina18

21

189

Montagnola - Casa Gaia10

25

48

Belcanto

129 Vecchia 26Vigna

27Villa91da Vinci 125Chiara 28Casa

28San327 Francesco 29

175

Sognatrice

30

94

Casa Fiorentina - Giotto 6

30

95

Casa Fiorentina - Cimabue8

30

96

Casa Fiorentina - Botticelli6

31

328

Custode

56 57

275

Argentone

170 Romano 35Ponte

291

Murella

39Pian190della Chiesa 128GuelďŹ 40Casa

58

Montestigliano - Virginia A4

81

59

Montestigliano - Virginia B4

8 to 9

81

60

Montestigliano - Casa Marta6

7 to 8

81

61

Montestigliano - Massimo4

81

62

Montestigliano - Adriana4

81

63

Montestigliano - Ropoli Sopra4

4 to 5

81

64

Montestigliano - Ropoli Sotto6

10 to 12

81

65

Montestigliano - Damiano3

18 to 21

81

261

Montestigliano - Luisa10

8 to 11

143 Le Mandrie 82Podere

8

142 di Calbello 83Cava

8

4 to 6

8485SOUTH OF SIENA 5 to 6

86

198

Pozzo

8 to 12

87

140

Poderuccio

10

88

108

Caminino - Scuola2

88

109

Caminino - Casa della Maestra2

88

110

Caminino - Bifora2

CHIANTI

302

Casolare - Gialla

6

88

111

Caminino - San Romito4

Casolare - Azzurra

8

88

112

Caminino - Sacrestia2

59

304

Casolare - Arancio

8

88

113

Caminino - San Genziano2

10

61

146

Lornano - Sangiovese6 to 7

88

114

Caminino - Casa del Guardia2

8

61

147

Lornano - Canaiolo

4

88

156

Caminino - Belvedere4

10 to 12

61

148

Lornano - Malvasia

4

88

157

Caminino - Scuderia2

4

61

149

Lornano - Trebbiano

2

88

308

Caminino - Libreria2

89

173

Morellino

2

5

38 62Gatto

4

4

63

47

Brogino*

64

177

Stomennano - V. Stomennano6 to 8

64

178

Stomennano - Tinaione12

92

65

181

Stomennano - Volta A & B12

231Fortunato 93San

65

182

Stomennano - Cortile

66

Sassaia - Sasso

66

229

Sassaia - Roccia

90 91

4 to 5 4

4 or 6

68

144

69

195

Piaggione

70

274

Dimora

10

71

238

Roseto

12 to 14

14

Castellaccio*

8 to 9 10 to 11

10

72 73 75

15

SIENA Fienile

86Strega 76Villa

77Villa53Corsano 78

247

Pipistrelli

54 di Sotto 79Pastine

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

8

273

UMBRIA Castelonchio

6 8

9495ITALIAN LAKES

286Oliveto 67Villa

2

8 to 10

4

2 to 3

6

4

8 to 10

Weddings 227

11 74Costafabbri

6

81

8

303

3637THE COAST 38

10 to 12

59

4 to 6

SLEEPS

Montestigliano - Villa Donati14

59

65

34

NA ME

4

32THE MOUNTAINS 33Casa8Anna

Pietrina

123Michelangelo 55Casa

2223LUCCA AND PISA 262 4 24Casina

209

REF

55

6 to 8

14

PAG E

81

41SOUTHERN COAST

196 la Senna 10Molino

228 12Rondine

PAGE R E F NA ME

6 10 10 to 11 20 14 12

502 Cottage 96Eva’s

97

505

Prisma

504 Meina 98Casa

4 to 6 8 6

99 506 Marea

2 to 14

611 del Lago 100Riva

8 to 9

601 del Pescatore 101Casa

6 to 8

102 612 Archimede

11 to 12

103Varenna Estate

2 to 47


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HOW TO BOOK You may book online or contact either the Head Office in London or one of our local agents around the world. All our agents visit the properties, and can give you personal, up-to-date information to help you decide what would best suit you. You may place an option on a property for 48 hours while you reach a decision, check flights or gather family members. Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an email confirming the details andwith a

link to a web-page where you may pay your deposit. Alternatively, contact your agent and deal directly with them. The balance is due ten weeks before rental start date. Your receipt and invoice will be the confirmation of the property owner’s contract with you. When the balance is paid you will receive your final travel documents including a voucher, directions to your property and your Introductory Notes.

Agents’ contact details

Head Office: Invitation to Tuscany Ltd Winston House 2 Dollis Park, London N3 1HF Tel: +44 (0)20 8444 9500 Fax: +44 (0)20 8444 9550

Invitation To Tuscany Ltd. Winston House 2 Dollis Park London N3 1 HF Tel: +44 (0)20 8444 9500 Fax: +44 (0)20 8371 5949 info@invitationtotuscany.com www.invitationtotuscany.com Registered No. 05399312

UK BOOKINGS 020 8444 9500 e- mail: laura@invitationtotuscany.com lyn@invitationtotuscany.com

CANADA Neville and Jenny Reid 46 Four Oaks Gate Toronto, Ontario, M4J 2X2 Canada Tel: +1 416-424-2190 Fax: +1 416-424-2190 Mobile: 416 897 8346 Email: reids@invitationtotuscany.com USA WEST Colleen Lamont, CTC Mgr Journeys Peak Travel 1675 SW Marlow Ave, Ste 401 Portland, OR 97225 Tel. +1 503 352 8018 Tollfree: 866 297 1058 Fax: +1 503 546 1111 Email: colleen@invitationtotuscany.com

Holiday insurance is obligatory. Insurance cover is essential for your peace of mind on holiday. Personal insurance is a booking condition. We must receive full details of this cover when you pay the deposit for your holiday. For more details please refer to insurance conditions through the link on our website.

USA EAST Barbara & Hugh Barton 6301 Stevenson Avenue #1206 Alexandria, VA 22304 Tel: +1 703 370 3868 Fax: +1 703 751 1731 Email: bartons@invitationtotuscany.com NEW ZEALAND Michele Roberts Eurovillas and Tours Limited PO Box 109415, Newmarket AUCKLAND Tel: 0508 387-684 Email: michele@invitationtotuscany.com AUSTRALIA Marian Stanley, Director South Melbourne Travel Pty Ltd 409 City Road (PO Box 111) South Melbourne, Victoria 3205 Australia Tel: +61 (0)3 9690 2133 Fax: +61 (0)3 9699 9326 Email: marian@invitationtotuscany.com convenience, and while we take care to ensure the accuracy of information, the Company can accept no responsibility for such information. Our website is a source of extended information, not only about our properties, but also about other activities and connected interests. Visit it at: http://www.invitationtotuscany.com

Local Amenities Descriptions in the brochure, in the Introductory Notes and on our website will usually advise you about such things as museums, shopping, restaurants, transport, swimming pools and other amenities. Such references are made for your

Please send us your comments and suggestions for updating and improving it; bring your laptop on holiday and keep up to date on concerts, festivals, local weather and much, much more.

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

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MOLINO LA SENNA Casole d’Elsa, Siena Sleeps 10

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196

3 double bedrooms, 2 twin bedrooms, 3 shower rooms, Private swimming pool, Satellite TV. Restaurant, bar, shop under 2 kms, Casole d’Elsa, with shops, museum, tennis, theatre 4 kms, Colle Val d’Elsa 15 mins, San Gimignano and Siena 40 mins, Florence 1 hr. Map: page 9, ref D3

A large country house in a sunny hollow Molino La Senna is a large country house with a welcoming friendly atmosphere, right in the heart of Tuscany near our favourite hill village of Casole d’Elsa and one of our favourite restaurants in the area, ‘La Speranza’.Situated in a picturesque sunny hollow with a stream running at the bottom of the garden, the house is surrounded by lawns and fruit trees and has views across the surrounding hills and woods. WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“One of the highlights of our stay was standing outside one evening with a clear sky and the field alight with fireflies darting about making it an amazing sight.”

The fenced pool has a wide furnished surround, the old bread oven makes a wonderful barbeque, and an enchanting small stone amphitheatre, where once the waterwheel turned, has great acoustics for music. The building is on two floors topped by a central tower. Entered from a furnished patio with a wisteriacovered pergola, the ground floor is an arched openplan kitchen/dining room with a central workspace, and an area furnished for comfortable relaxation with two divans. The underground larder/wine cellar is reputedly Etruscan. On the first floor, reached both by a wooden staircase and by the original external stone stairs, the sitting room takes up a whole wing of the house and has a large open fireplace. There are evocative country views from the windows and the

loggia. A double bedroom and a shower room with two washbasins are on this floor. On a slightly higher level are one double and two twin bedrooms and another shower room. A central staircase leads to the tower. Once a dovecote, this is now a beautiful double bedroom with a shower room and a raised private study area. One of the loveliest sounds at Molino La Senna is the murmuring of the stream at the bottom of the garden, overlaid with birdsong. But though positioned for long undisturbed walks in nature, it is handy for excellent roads to the major attractions of Tuscany.

10 For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com


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CASA FIORENTINA

San Miniato Entire estate accommodates 20 Shared swimming pool (8 x 15 m), Wine tours available. Cooking available, Insect screens. USB internet key available. Village with bus stop, restaurant, church Nearest shop at Dogana 3 km Supermarkets, restaurants and train station in Castelfiorentino 8 km, San Miniato 6 km and Empoli 10 km. Pisa, Florence, and San Gimignano 40 min.

GIOTTO

94 Sleeps 6 3 double bedrooms, 2 ensuite shower rooms and 1 ensuite bathroom. CIMABUE

Sleeps 8 1 double bedroom and 3 twin bedrooms, all with ensuite bath or shower rooms.

BOTTICELLI

Sleeps 6 3 double bedrooms, 3 shower rooms.

95

96

Map: page 23, ref G4

Three large apartments in a hilltop wine-growing estate Midway between Florence and Pisa, Casa Fiorentina is an ancient farming estate, ideally placed on an open hilltop, with glorious views of the countryside. The main villa, with entrances on two sides, is divided into two large apartments that can also be rented as a whole. In the third building there is an apartment that the owner uses occasionally and another large apartment for guests.

GIOTTO WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“We had a truly fabulous time and Paul and his wife were wonderful hosts!”

GIOTTO

BOTTICELLI

From the ivory facade side of the main villa a glass door leads into a large living and dining room, a spacious and comfortable room under a vaulted ceiling. From the hall, a corridor leads to three large double bedrooms, all with private bath or shower rooms. Large beds, colourful walls, antique tables and wardrobes, but most of all silence and breathtaking views from all windows, will envelop you in the calm and family atmosphere seemingly far from the frenetic rhythm of everyday life.

The main entrance to this apartment leads into a comfortable living room with fireplace, a nice dining room with sunny green windows and a fully equipped kitchen that opens onto the back of the house where a private veranda, completely surrounded by shrubbery is the perfect setting for breakfasts, dinners or barbeques. On the first floor three double bedrooms, each with a small but comfortable shower room, are furnished with elegance and simplicity and a great care to tapestry and bed linens. In the same building there is an apartment that the owner uses occasionally at the weekend or in winter.

CIMABUE One side of the main villa at Casa Fiorentina is made of bricks and a wide glass door is a welcoming entryway to the largest of the apartments. A stone staircase leads to the first floor living room, which is dominated by an enormous fireplace and a group of sofas and easy chairs near large windows. A large kitchen reminds you of ancient times, when large families used to eat all together at the end of a long day of work in the fields. Three of the bedrooms, each with private bath or shower room, are situated at the top of the staircase to the left, while the fourth bedroom is off the living room.

CIMABUE

30 For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com


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CASA ANNA

S. Anna di Stazzema, Camaiore Sleeps 4

8

1 double bedroom, 1 bunk bedroom, 2 showerrooms. Jacuzzi, covered terrace. Small bar/shop Sant'Anna 300 metres away, Camaiore (shops, restaurants) and Pietrasanta (marble sculpture centre) 20 mins, Coast 25 mins, Lucca 50 mins, Pisa (closest airport) 50 mins. Map: page 23, ref C1

A romantic hideaway in the Tuscan mountains Casa Anna is a converted cottage above the tiny hamlet of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, high in the Apuan Alps of Tuscany and above the coastline of Viareggio. It has a delightful terraced garden with a Jacuzzi, and a covered pergola with lovely views of the surrounding hills. The small village is a brief walk away and has a tiny cafe/restaurant with a few simple supplies. The owners have carefully converted and modernised their family retreat to make an excellent base for a holiday in these fascinating mountains. Approached up a steep drive, the house is terraced into the hillside: one can enter through the lower door to the sitting room, or more naturally from the covered terrace a floor higher, with its magnificent views. The ground floor has a lovely kitchen/dining room. Upstairs there is a double bedroom with beautiful views over the local valley and a smaller bedroom with bunk beds and a shower room. Back down the stairs, a further flight leads down to a comfortable sitting room, with sofas surrounding a central coffee table. This room also has a sofa that can easily become a double bed, and a second

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

shower-room. The garden is to the left of the house, terraced cleverly into the hillside. The Jacuzzi is on the highest level, gazing out over the valley from its private position.

“Casa Anna is truly a hidden gem, the kind that one would wish to keep secret for themselves.”

The Apuan alps are a great undiscovered playground of walks, climbs, restaurants, and historical villages. Reaching as high as 1700 metres (over 5500 feet) these are the mountains from which Michelangelo carved the marble for the David, astoundingly white and still highly prized. The quarries may still be visited, and nearby Pietrasanta is a centre for sculptors, with a lively programme of exhibitions throughout the year.

For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com 33


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ARGENTONE

Sant’Anna di Stazzema Sleeps 2-3

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275

2 double bedrooms, 1 with king-size bed 1 with queen-size bed. 1 bathroom with en-suite W.C. and hand-basin, 1 shower- room. Jacuzzi. Small bar/shop Sant’ Anna 1 km away, Camaiore (shops, restaurants) and Pietrasanta (marble sculpture centre) 20 mins, Coast 25 mins, Lucca 50 mins, Pisa (closest airport) 50 mins. Map: page 23, ref C1

An idyllic house perched high in the Apuan alps Argentone is set in a fold above the village of S.Anna di Stazzema. The house is part of a small group of buildings once used for the nearby medieval silver mines. Now many of the houses are no more than ivy clad ruins, but Argentone has been beautifully restored and is a stylish retreat, either as a base for invigorating mountain walks or as a restoring refuge from city life.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“Argentone was absolutely fantastic. I don’t think that anyone could ever tire of waking up to that view in the mornings.”

Argentone may also be rented for 6 people, as Casa Argento (ref 277). Approached by a gravel path, steps lead down to a blue front door, which gives directly onto the light-filled living room, with a curved-front fireplace, typical of the area. To the left is a wellequipped kitchen with another open fireplace, and a dining room with a window to the view of the sea. Because of the slope the house is built upon, these ground floor windows are actually high above the slope, giving a wonderfully airy, high feeling to the rooms. A flight of stairs leads to a large master bedroom with a curved-edge double-ended bath and a double bed. A small W.C. and basin is also off this main bedroom. There is also a further bedroom with a queen size bed and a shower room. Both bedrooms enjoy stunning views of the coastline and sea.

To the right of the house a large wooden sun-terrace has a warmed Jacuzzi in its centre, with sun-loungers surrounding it, and a shower housed nearby in a small cave carved out of the silver bearing rock. The Apuan alps are a great undiscovered playground of walks, climbs, restaurants, and historical villages – but you may just prefer slipping into the warm Jacuzzi with a glass of Champagne to watch the sunset!

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PONTE ROMANO Fivizzano, Massa Carrara Sleeps 4-6

170 171

2 to 4 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom and 1 shower room. Markets and restaurants at Fivizzano 5 min drive or 15 min walk., Restaurants, bar and Spa in Equi Terme 16 km. Sarzana 35 km, La Spezia 40 km, Massa Carrara 50 km. Lucca and Pisa 100 km, Florence 185 km.

A simple stone house and an ancient Roman bridge with fairy tale charm In a charming hidden corner of Tuscany, seemingly tucked away in time, and across an ancient stone bridge is the large gently restored stone house that is perfect for people seeking a country holiday, where they can savour a simple life, the sun, the trees and and walks in an area of Tuscany that is still quite undiscovered. The house can be taken either for four or six people. Situated in the north of Tuscany, among the Appenines, the Lunigiana is a land where the charm of the Middle Ages is strongly felt - in the castles belonging to the powerful Malaspina family, in the Romanesque country churches and in the elegant tower built by the bishops of Luni. It is a borderland where different cultures have mixed and you can feel this in the landscape and in the traditional food of the area.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“'We love the rustic tranquility of the place: it feels secluded and yet is a walk away from the welcoming, friendly and bustling Fivizzano!”

The grounds of the property rise on three easily reached levels towards the hillside through which an ancient stone path is nowadays used by the occasional hiker. There is a swimming pool close to the house, and, on a higher level, is a small patio, furnished for eating alfresco or relaxing with a good book. The owner has chosen to keep interiors simple, choosing details with care and this, accompanied by the solid walls and the glimpses of wilderness through the windows has translated into a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for its visitors. On the first floor, situated along a corridor, are an eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom that serves them all. While two of the bedrooms are of modest size, a third is large and luminous.

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MURELLA

Zanego, Montemarcello Sleeps 6

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291

2 Double bedrooms (1 King size, 1 twin/ double), 1 Twin bedroom, 1 bathrrom, 2 shower-rooms. WiFi internet. Heated Swimming pool. Shop, restaurant, bar in Montemarcello 10 mins Tellaro, Lerici 15 minutes, Cinque Terre 45 mins, Genova, Pisa, Lucca 1 hr, Florence 1hr 45 mins. Map: page 37, ref B3

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

“Murella is like something from a movie, it is too perfect to seem real at first glance. The setting, the house, the trails and the nearby towns exceeded even our highest expectations.”

A beautiful house in a forested dell near the coast Murella is a beautifully restored house set in a national park crowning the hill of MonteMarcello, in a small dell surrounded by Holm oaks. Set in its own terraced garden, this house is in an ideal position for exploring the hill villages and coast of the Cinque Terre, Liguria and Northern Tuscany; it’s also the perfect place to return to after your travels and relax under the pergola with a glass of local white wine. All ground floor rooms have French windows, making the outside pergola and garden part of the everyday use of the house and giving a very summery feel. An elegant living room leads to the kitchen, with a Smeg fridge and an antique glass cabinet. From the kitchen a door leads to a bathroom and to a high-ceilinged double bedroom, with French windows to the garden. Upstairs there are two twin bedrooms and two shower-rooms, one ensuite. In the garden a beautiful heated swimming pool is kept at a constant temperature of between 25 and 29 degrees centigrade from the 1st of May to the end of September. The area around MonteMarcello is the epitome of Mediterranean coastline - the smell of resin from the umbrella pines drifts around the limestone outcrops that hang high above the coast. Boats can take you round to secret coves at the bottom of the cliffs, and then on to little villages with wonderful fish restaurants. There are miles of walking paths on the craggy coastline, punctuated by villages clinging to the edge of the coast, from which one can swim in rocky outcrops or sandy coves, and eat in fish restaurants with local white wine.

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BOOKING CONDITIONS

reflects the rental charges as set out in relation to your particular property or properties in our current Price List and as confirmed on our Booking Form and invoice.

1. Accommodation

6. The Party Leader

1.1 The descriptions in our brochure and on our website of the properties to let are made very carefully and in good faith. We visit properties to ensure the accuracy of descriptions of properties. We also rely upon information given to us by the owners. However, we shall not be liable for any modifications introduced by the property owners without our knowledge. Should we be notified of any significant modifications, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible. Please see also condition no. 15.

The Party Leader is the person or agency who holds the booking, to whom all correspondence and invoices are addressed and who is responsible for the rental.

1.2 Properties are let fully furnished and equipped, including crockery, cutlery, bed and bath linen sufficient for the number of people indicated in the Booking Form, but usually excluding beach towels. Fresh linens and towels are provided weekly. Fuel for lighting, cooking, refrigeration and hot water is included in the rental price, but not, except in some houses identified in the price list, fuel for air conditioning, heating or Jacuzzis, the cost of which must be paid directly to the owner or his representative during the holiday.

2. Number of Persons 2.1 The number of persons who can be accommodated in each property is clearly indicated in each description and further clarified in the text. This number may not be exceeded in any circumstances except by prior consent of the owner, either directly or through our representatives. Often local bylaws or water supplies etc. preclude the possibility of any increase in accommodation. Tents are NOT allowed without the owner’s permission.

3. Minimum Period of Rent The minimum period of rent is normally one week (in some properties two weeks), and renting starts and finishes on a Saturday, unless otherwise specified in the description of each property. Rentals start at 5 p.m. on the first day and end at 10 a.m. on the last day of the holiday. Guests are asked to arrive between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and to leave before 10 a.m. in order to allow the property to be prepared for the next guests. The owner has the right to refuse arrivals outside the above times if he or she finds the alternatives inconvenient. Some owners may charge for late arrivals. If you find your journey taking longer than you expected, please contact the owner or ITT’s representatives in Tuscany and they will contact the owner. This is a very personal business and we do worry about the possibility of accidents!

4. Bookings Bookings can be made through our head office, agents or directly through the website. Reservations will be confirmed upon receipt of the fully completed and signed Booking Form (or acceptance on website by ticking), the deposit or full payment of the rental charge according to the schedule set out in Paragraph 5 and the details of a credit/debit card to be provided as security. Until that time no contract or agreement will be considered to exist between us. If significant changes need to be made in the Booking Form after the reservation has been confirmed, an amended set of forms must be completed and signed.

5. Booking & Payment Upon confirmation of availability we will require 30% of the holiday cost and a completed booking form. If the holiday is less than 10 weeks away the full amount will be required. We will send you a receipt and invoice by post or email. These constitute confirmation of the booking which is confirmation of the contract between you and the property owner. The balance is due no later than ten weeks before the first day of stay at the property; if full payment is not received by this time we reserve the right to cancel your booking. You may pay by cheque, credit card or bank transfer. Cheques must be made payable to Invitation To Tuscany Ltd. We reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled if the balance of the price remains unpaid ten weeks before the firstday of the stay at the villa and cancellation terms may apply. Receipts will be sent upon receipt of the total Invoice Price. The Invoice Price 104 For full details see www.invitationtotuscany.com

7. Cautionary Deposit A credit/debit card (the Security Card) in the name of the Party Leader must be given as security for the rental and related charges.Some properties (usually the larger ones and listed individually) will also require a cash deposit upon arrival that will be returned at the end of your stay after the final inspection. The security card details will be held for that purpose and debits will only be applied under the following circumstances (administration charges may apply):a. To settle an outstanding balance, invalid or unpaid cheques, or payments not received according to the Payment Schedule; b. To settle amendment or cancellation fees; to settle cancellation fees for extra services. c. To settle the Final Bill if payment cannot be made in local currency or Travellers’ cheques. d. To settle any invoiced amounts that you specifically indicate should be debited against the card. e. Should you wish to alter the name of the Property Leader or substitute a different credit/debit card for the one provided in the Booking Form an amended set of forms must be completed and signed. f. The security card must have a validity that extends a minimum of 15 days beyond the end of the rental period. If the Security card provided expires before that time, a Credit/Debit card Form with the details of the replacement card and signed prior to the expiry date must be provided, failing which the Accommodation documents will not be released. It is always easiest to settle any breakages or charges while at the property. Please call a local rep if you’d like help translating and/or explaining.

8. Prices Payments are accepted in British Pound Sterling (GBP), in Euro (EUR) and US Dollars (USD). A booking must be assigned to a currency and may not then change. Prices in GBP are based on the rate of exchange with EUR at the time of going to press. If on the day the balance becomes due the value of the GBP has dropped below €1.14 = £1:00 we may impose a surcharge to a maximum of 10% of the total Rental Invoice. We accept Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Debit, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express credit cards. We do not accept Diners Cards. Payments may be made with a different credit card/debit card from the one provided as security. The Final Bill, which is presented by the owner/ caretaker of the rental property at the end of the rental period, should be paid directly to him/her in Euro or Euro-denominated Travellers’ cheques. Credit card payments by non-British residents will be debited by the credit card authorities to customers’ accounts at the exchange rate on the day of the debit. Payments made directly to our bankers MUST bear your Booking Reference number and be transferred stating ‘without charge to the recipient’. GBP Account: No 40539023 sort code 20 74 09 EUR Account: No 52492966 sort code 20 74 09 USD Account: No 48667477 sort code 20 74 09 Our bankers are Barclays Bank plc, West Herts Business Team PO Box 87 St Albans AL1 3HJ

9. Advance Bookings for the Following Year During particular special offer periods, clients may make early bookings with just a 10% deposit. The remaining 20% will be required by the end of January. However, should you cancel prior to the 15th of December, providing your departure date

is further than 70 days away, you will be liable only for 10% of the total price of the booking. All other conditions still apply. Many of the owners will confirm early bookings at this year’s prices and we do our utmost to convince them to do this. If the owner wishes to retain the right to change the prices, we will inform you and the booking will be PROVISIONAL until the owner has confirmed his/her prices. If the price varies by over 10% you may cancel and your deposit will be returned to you.

10. Final Accommodation Documents Directions to the property together with any relevant vouchers and documents will be sent no later than three weeks before the start of the holiday, by post or email, provided the invoice has been settled in full. The accommodation package also contains the Final Bill which is to be completed and left with the property owner/caretaker at the conclusion of the rental period.

11. Property Inspection On arrival guests should inspect the property with the owner/ caretaker and ensure that they understand the use of any appliances, equipment and utilities. Please read House Notes carefully before using appliances as frequently Italian appliances are different from those you may be used to at home. Washing machines and dishwashers have a timed safety catch on doors, for instance, which, if forced, may break the door. The owner/caretaker will usually arrive at the property at 9 am on the day of departure in order to inspect the property and present you with the Final Bill if there are any damage or charges due. If you intend leaving before 10 am on the last day of your rental period, please notify the owner/caretaker at the beginning of your rental period in order to arrange an alternative time for the property inspection. If you choose not to be present at the inspection you will not be entitled to query the Final Bill and we will automatically debit your security card for any outstanding amount indicated plus the £20.00 administration fee.

12. Tidiness and Cleanliness Properties will be assigned clean and in good order and should be left upon departure in the same condition. Please note that especially during a dry summer, dust collects quickly in old country houses. While guests are not expected to scrub floors, a general sweep and tidy-up is expected. Many owners will arrange for a cleaner if you ask. If the property has not been left in an acceptable state, the owner/ caretaker at his/her discretion may add up to €20,00 per person to be added to the Final Bill for the extra cleaning and tidying required beyond that normally expected between a change of guests. The Party Leader is responsible for the civilised behaviour of his party. Should the party behave in a manner that is not acceptable the owner/caretaker has the right to ask you to vacate the premises.

13.Substantial Amendments or Cancellation by You Substantial amendments to bookings, such as a change of dates or properties, or cancellations must be conveyed in writing and are subject to penalty charges as follows: Such amendments requested more than ten weeks (70 days) before the first day of the rental period are subject to an administration charge of £20.00 to be debited against the security card together with any difference in the cost of the revised arrangements. Notices of cancellation or of substantial amendments received within ten weeks (70 days) or less of the first day of the rental period are subject to a penalty of 100% of the Invoice Price. a. Notices of cancellation received ten weeks (70 days) or more prior to the first day of the rental period, for bookings in the current year or for bookings in the following year made after December 15th, are subject to a penalty of 30% of the Invoice Price. b. Bookings for the following year made and cancelled prior to December 15th are subject to a penalty of 10% of the Invoice Price, provided the notice of cancellation is received at least ten weeks (70 days) before the first day of the rental period. c. Bookings may not be deferred to the following year.


BOOKING CONDITIONS (continued) 14.Alterations to Your Booking If, after your booking has been confirmed, you wish to transfer it to another person, we will make every effort to accommodate you but cannot guarantee that such transfer will be possible. In order that we may try and accommodate a change, you must advise us as soon as possible in writing of your intention to transfer. If such a change is made, an amendment fee of £20 will be payable which is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. Should you wish to change the date of your booking, then we will endeavour to arrange this but should it not be possible and you wish to cancel your holiday then the cancellation charges in paragraph 17 will be applicable. We must be advised of any proposed amendments as soon as possible in order to see whether they can be accommodated. If you move independently to other accommodation or alter the duration of your stay without informing the property owner/caretaker or us of the situation or allowing reasonable time for rectification, then no refunds will be made except at the discretion of the property owner.

15. Insurance We highly recommend that you take out Travel Insurance. For non-European citizens we highly recommend that you obtain coverage for medical and personal liability, as well as loss of luggage, monies and repatriation.

16. Swimming Pools Most private swimming pools are not heated and most are open from mid May until mid September, depending upon the weather and the owner's discretion. Some public pools are open only for June, July and August. Use of the Swimming Pool is strictly at the clients’ own risk and children must be supervised at all times.

17. Breakdown of Equipment In the event of breakdown of mechanical equipment such as pumps, boilers, swimming pool equipment etc, please contact the property owner and inform him of the problem. Should the property owner be unable to be contacted, then you should contact the ITT representative or, as a last resort, the ITT office to inform us of the problem. We shall try to get the fault corrected as soon as possible, but you are asked to bear in mind that it may take some time particularly if it occurs on a Sunday or public holiday. Whilst we will endeavour to assist if the property owner is not available, Invitation To Tuscany cannot be held responsible for such breakdowns as it acts only as agent for the property owner. You should be aware that in Italy, occasional problems in relation to public utilities such as electricity and water can be experienced.

18. Force Majeure The property owner can accept no liability whatsoever in respect of any alteration, delay or cancellation or any other loss or damage of any kind caused by wars, revolutions, terrorist activities, riots, civil commotions, strikes, lockouts, industrial disputes, natural disaster, fire, floods, storms, failure of public utilities, mechanical breakdown, acts of any Government or Public Authority, changes imposed by rescheduling or cancellation of ferries, railways, airlines which are beyond its control or any other circumstances or events amounting to ‘Force Majeure’ and/or acts of God.

19. Complaints The property owners ensure that their property is in a reasonable condition at the beginning of the season and that they will take all reasonable care to maintain them in such condition throughout the season. If there are any problems, it is the client's responsibility to notify the owner/caretaker of the property promptly so that he/she can take the action required. If the problem is not or cannot be resolved satisfactorily within a reasonable time, the client should contact Invitation To Tuscany and ensure that they can be reached while the problem is being handled. The owners must have an opportunity to put right any issues as soon as they arise. Should the owner not be available, please contact our representatives and they will endeavour to contact the owner.

In the event you are dissatisfied you must in the first instance contact the owner or the keyholder of the property. If, after doing so, you still feel that the problem has not been resolved to your satisfaction, then you must contact Invitation to Tuscany. Vacating the property without speaking directly to the property owner or an Invitation To Tuscany staff member will void the client's right to claim compensation or refund for costs or rental charges. Invitation To Tuscany will not offer a remedy for any issue, problem or complaint raised after the rental period and cannot be held liable for any dissatisfaction with the holiday unless any such liability is in accordance with paragraph 25.

20. Breakage & Damage The Party Leader is liable for any damages caused to the property, its contents or the grounds by any member of his party. Guests are asked to tell the owner, custodian, or our representatives, about any damage or breakdown AS SOON AS IT OCCURS, so that replacements or repairs can be effected as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to leave the property rented with all its furniture and effects clean and in good condition, and you must undertake to inform the property owner/caretaker of any damage to accommodation or its contents. You may be required to pay for any damage or missing items or for any extra cleaning made necessary by the property being left in a dirty condition. These are private homes. Please respect the trust which the property owners have afforded to you: look after the property while you are there as you would your own home, and please do not remove books or any other private items. Any damage or breakages should be paid to the owner or caretaker directly. If they are to be calculated later or were discovered subsequently, they will be deducted from your credit card and a £20 administration charge levied. Some owners prefer to handle the cautionary deposit themselves and in this case you should hand a cheque or cash to the owner on arrival. Your agent will advise you if this applies to your chosen property. We also require your credit card details and authorization so that in the event that the cautionary deposit does not cover the cost of any breakages or damage, the cost may be paid by credit card.

Should we make any arrangements on your behalf with third parties for services, we will do so on the basis that it is an agent to the contract and any contract is between you and the supplier. As such, we will have no liability to you unless it refers to personal injury or death which is caused by our negligence.

25. Liability Given that ITT acts only as agents for the property owners, we can accept no liability whatsoever for any death, personal injury, loss or damage of any kind, unless caused by our own negligence. Insofar as we have any liability to you, then proceedings in respect of any such liability shall be governed by English law and the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. Service of any such proceedings as referred to in the paragraph above should be sent to Invitation to Tuscany Ltd. Winston House 2 Dollis Park London N3 1HF.

26. Acceptance of Booking Conditions and Choice of Law and Jurisdiction Invitation to Tuscany acts as the booking agent for the named owners of the properties featured in this brochure and on our website and as such your rental contract is with the relevant property owner. The contract between you and the property owner comes into existence when the confirmation invoice is dispatched by ITT and is subject to these booking conditions. The signing of the booking form implies acceptance of the property owner's booking conditions for the property.

27. Copyright All content available through www.invitationtotuscany.com and in this brochure is provided by Invitation to Tuscany Limited. The contents of both are copyright © Invitation to Tuscany Limited. All rights reserved. The contents of this brochure may not be reproduced, modified, transferred, distributed, republished, downloaded, posted or transmitted in any form or by any means including but not limited to electronic, recording or mechanical photocopying without the prior written permission of Invitation to Tuscany Limited. You agree that the material and content contained within or provided by invitation to tuscany is for your own personal use only and may not be used for commercial purposes or distributed commercially.

21. Pets No pets are allowed without the express permission of the owner of the property concerned. There may be a charge for pets and this should be paid directly to the owner of the property concerned with the Final Bill.

22. Noise Almost all our properties are in quiet, peaceful country situations. However, in the country you are likely to hear birds, nightingales, owls, dogs, sheep bells, poultry, insects, frogs, tractors etc. all making sounds which are different from those in the city and which may disturb unaccustomed ears. We suggest that you take earplugs if you feel that these country sounds may disturb your sleep. Villages regularly hold festivals during the summer, which can be very noisy until late at night. The best way to support this is to join in and enjoy the festivities. ITT accepts no liability for noise or disturbance experienced whilst at the property.

23. Access Roads Isolated country properties are often reached by rough and bumpy roads. If you intend driving your low slung or sports car to the rental property, please ask about the access roads to your chosen property.

24.Other Suppliers’ Terms & Conditions We do not arrange air travel, ferry travel or rail travel We can assist you in respect of car hire and we have an arrangement with EuropCar whereby customers booking properties through us can also arrange car hire at the same time. We act as the booking agent for the car rental broker that supply the vehicle(s) you rent, and as such, bookings for these services will form a direct contract between you and the car rental broker, and will be subject to the car rental broker's terms and conditions.

All drawings by Daniel Wrightson Photos by Jane Baker, Ela Bialkowska, Sally Fee, Hamish Niven, JoAnn Warren, Susan Wrightson, et al. Comacina photo (pg 95) courtesy of Daniele Marucci Villa Taranto Garden photo (pg 95) courtesy of Ente Giardini Botanici Villa Taranto Text by Susan Wrightson, Daniel Wrightson and JoAnn Warren Edited by Daniel Wrightson and JoAnn Warren The Invitation to Tuscany logo by Sally Fee Designed by Sutherland-Hawes McLean Produced and printed by Travelprint Limited Copyright © 2013 Invitation to Tuscany Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright holders.


Invitation To Tuscany Ltd. Winston House 2 Dollis Park London N3 1 HF Tel: +44 (0)20 8444 9500 Fax: +44 (0)20 8371 5949 info@invitationtotuscany.com www.invitationtotuscany.com Registered No. 05399312


2014 Invitation to Tuscany