Open 7 days: 9am - 5.30pm GMT 1-800-454-5922 Toll Free

Sign in


Top Travel Tips

We have decades of experience ensuring that all guests at our villas are well looked after, and we’re well accustomed to the apprehensions of pre-trip planning. For this reason, we’d like to share some recommendations for making your trip easy to manage and, above all, unforgettable.

"Prompt Response to All Questions
In preparing for our trip to Tuscany, we have had some questions about the details and have always received a prompt and courteous response.  More than meets our expectations.  Great experience.”


We made these pages for you, and we hope you find the ideas within them useful, clear and relevant. Our information is constantly being updated to match your requests and queries, so let us know if you have any questions or suggestions that we can add to our guides.

Thank you very much,
Your To Tuscany Specialists
Click here to Contact us

Top Travel Tips

Keep Your Villa Secure

We advise that you keep your villa as secure as you would your own home. Vigilance doesn’t have to get in the way of a great time, so we’ve compiled some easy ideas for keeping your villa safe.
Precautions
● Ensure all windows, shutters and doors are locked. This applies at night, when you’re out during the day, and even when you’re at the pool.
● If your villa has an alarm, make use of it. You can usually set alarms for when you are not at the villa, and during sleeping hours.
● We recommend that you do not bring expensive items of jewellery with you when you travel. However, any valuable items you do bring should be kept out of sight in order to discourage opportunists. Otherwise, they should be kept in the villa’s safe.
● If you are not satisfied with the current security arrangements at your villa, please contact us as soon as possible.
Contents insurance
Please check that you have sufficient contents insurance cover for any valuables and cash you may have with you. It is advisable that you have access to duplicate copies of your personal documents, including your passport and driving license. This will be extremely useful if the original documents are lost or stolen.
Contact us
In the unlikely event of a robbery at your villa, please contact us immediately and we will do our best to help you with the necessary procedures. This security guide is to enable you to safeguard yourself and your property in the event of unlikely misfortune. In other words, its purpose is not to worry you, but to help you enjoy your holiday without fear.
Be safe, don’t be scared - and most importantly, enjoy yourself in Tuscany!

Read more

Guest etiquette

How to be an exemplary guest in your Tuscany Villa. Whether you're a seasoned Italophile or a first-time visitor, you may find a difference in cultural practices at your villa. Your To Tuscany villa owner wants you to have a great time and feel at home during your stay. Together with the To Tuscany villa owners, we’ve compiled some tips regarding common courtesies to practice during your stay.
Communication
The amount of communication you have with your villa owner largely depends on you and your needs. Inevitability some owners will want to communicate more than others. Some owners tell us that they don't want to annoy guests so they try to be brief. However if you want to ask questions and learn more about the surrounding area, owners are keen to engage with whatever level of contact is best for you while you stay in their villa. Should you communicate with your villa owner by text message, try to be responsive and timely.
Group size
Owners will be expecting the group size you have booked. Do not arrive with a larger group size. Check that the owner is okay about any plans you may have for occasional daytime visitors. Provided the request is within reason, the owners will be accomodating and may wish to register guests. Owners will be wary of letting unregistered guests into their villa due to liability reasons. The owners’ insurance might not cover unregistered guests and, if something were to happen, the owner would be responsible.
Punctuality
Be punctual for the fixed meeting times with your villa owner, such as check-in and check-out. We'll pass on your expected arrival time to your villa owner. However, sometimes your villa owner will want to confirm your expected arrival time with you directly on arrival day by text message. Please ensure you reply promptly. If your expected arrival time changes due to flight delays, traffic queues or any change of plans, please let the owner know to keep them from waiting. Similarly, be sure to have packed up and tidied the villa before your official check-out time.
House rules
Most owners will outline a set of rules that they expect you to follow during your stay. Most rules will be designed with your safety in mind or will cover use of amenities. Should any rules be unclear, or if you do not understand their purpose, feel free to communicate your concerns to the owner. They would prefer to offer you clarity from the outset.
Damage
If damage occurs during your stay at the villa, tell the owner straight away. Always be upfront about any damage. Owners tell us that their normal reaction to minor damage is to waive any fees as a matter of goodwill. However, on more substantial incidents, informing the owner when it happens means repairs can be carried out immediately, which eventually lowers repair fees.

Read more

Your health and safety

Your health and your safety are our paramount concerns. Together with the To Tuscany villa owners, we have put together some tips to help you stay safe and healthy during your stay.
Swimming Pool Safety and Hygiene Tips
The swimming pools at our Tuscany villas do not have lifeguards, so it’s important to familiarise yourself with the design and the layout of the pool area prior to use. Take into account any depth changes or unusual features. Accidents at the swimming pool can happen when children are exploring soon after arrival. Make sure you know where your children are at all times.

●    Observe the swimming pool rules displayed on any notices around the pool area.
●    Swimming pools at your villa will not be suitable for diving unless otherwise stated.
●    Observe pool opening hours and do not use the pool after dark.
●    Do not swim immediately after eating a meal.
●    Do not swim after drinking alcohol.
●    Do not use the pool if you are suffering from an upset stomach or are feeling unwell.
●    Take a shower before entering the pool.
●    Ensure children use the toilet before using the pool.
●    Young children and babies should wear appropriate swimwear (i.e. pool nappies).
●    Before using the pool, ensure you know how to get help in the event of an emergency.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors are not common in Tuscany. We suggest purchasing one to bring with you when you travel, just in case your villa doesn’t have one. To view an example of a portable carbon monoxide detector click here
Review the Safety Features
After you have met your villa’s owner, you are invited to review the safety features at your villa so you know where to find the emergency equipment and safety information relevant to you. If you are unsure how to locate the first aid kit or the fire extinguisher are, ask the villa owner. They will want to make sure you are clear on all safety precautions.
Italian Universal Health Care
Italy benefits from a universal health care Nation Health Service (NHS) system known as the Italian NHS. It's healthcare system is regarded, by World Health Organization's (WHO) ranking, as the 2nd best in the world behind France and according to the WHO Italians have the world's 6th highest life expectancy!
Health Advice European Citizens
Italy is a member of the European Union (EU) as such all EU citizens are entitled to receive medical care from Italian NHS. The Italian NHS staff might ask you for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is issued by all EU countries to their citizens. An EHIC is not a replacement for travel insurance. Make sure you have both before you travel.
Health Advice for Non EU Citizens
If you are not resident in the EU, you are recommended to get private travel insurance. Check the latest Health Advice on Tuscany at your own government's website which should provide regularly updated information on how to stay healthy while traveling abroad, including advice on preventative measures and recommended vaccinations.
Emergency numbers
112 is the general emergency number in Italy for ambulance police & fire.
Direct Connection Numbers:
112 - Carabinieri (Federal police)
113 - Local police (plus ambulance and fire)
115 - Fire department
116 - Roadside assistance A.C.I.
117 - Finance police
118 - Medical emergencies
1515 - Forest fires

Read more

Your Heating and Air Conditioning

No need for confusion. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about your heating and air conditioning into one concise guide. There are three ways in which usage is charged:

1.    Included
This means that all heating and air conditioning charges are included in the weekly rental price. There are no extra fees to pay for these services. Sometimes fuel, electricity and/or air conditioning are included in the price if the usage of said facilities is under a certain allowance. After exceeding said allowance, usage will be charged according to consumption.

2.    Fixed Fee
Otherwise known as Forfait, this means that there is a fee which does not vary depending on usage.

3.    By consumption
This means that the fees will be calculated according to how much the service is used. This is determined by meter readings and charged at a rate specified by the villa’s owners or caretakers. Please note that the prices are not always known to To Tuscany staff.
How to stay cool:
•    Close external doors, windows and shutters on the South side or where the sun comes in. This will prevent warm air and direct sunlight from entering the house.
•    Open doors and windows in the night and early morning to let the cool air in.
•    Switch the ceiling fans to anti-clockwise to draw the hot air upwards.
•    Make sure your sheets are changed during your stay. This will help keep them fresh and cool. [Please note that a change in bed linen may incur an extra charge.]

Read more

Useful Italian Phrases

Italians are very proud of their country and welcome tourists willingly to try their wonderful food and wine, to experience their culture and to speak a bit of their language… They just love it. The fathers of modern Italian were Dante, Manzoni and television. Each did his part in creating a national language putting together an infinity of regional and local dialects.

Thank you..............................Grazie 
Do you speak English?...........Parla inglese?
You are welcome....................Prego 
I don’t understand..................Non capisco
Excuse me?...........................Mi scusi
I am English...........................Io sono inglese
Excuse me (may i pass).........Permesso
Yes / No / Please...................Si / No / per favore
Yesterday..............................Ieri 
Today....................................Oggi
How are you?........................Come sta?
Fine, thank you......................Bene grazie
Tomorrow..............................Domani 
Good morning.......................Buon giorno
Morning.................................Mattina 
Good evening........................Buona sera
Noon.....................................Mezzogiorno
Good night............................Buona notte
Afternoon..............................Pomeriggio
Good bye..............................Arrivederci
Evening.................................Sera 
Hello.....................................Ciao
When?..................................Quando? 
What time is it?.....................Che ora è?
How much does it cost?.........Quanto costa? 
Where is it?...........................Dove è?
Could you assist me?..............Potrebbe aiutarmi?
I don’t know...........................Non lo so
All right..................................Va bene 
It doesn’t matter.....................Non importa
I am lost ................................Mi sono perso
Nothing...................................Niente
I am tired ..............................Sono stanco
I am hungry............................Ho fame
I am sleepy.............................Ho sonno
I am thirsty.............................Ho sete
I am ill....................................Mi sento male
I am sorry...............................Mi dispiace
Breakfast................................Colazione
Leave me alone.......................Lasciami in pace
Lunch.....................................Pranzo         
Dinner....................................Cena
Big.........................................Grande
Small......................................Piccolo
Why.......................................Perché
where.....................................Dove
I would like............................Vorrei
I want....................................Voglio
please....................................Per favore
right.......................................Destra
left.........................................Sinistra
hotel......................................Albergo
bank......................................Banca
market...................................Mercato
shop......................................Negozio
beach....................................Spiaggia
hospital.................................Ospedale
chemist.................................Farmacia
station..................................Stazione
train.....................................Treno
platform...............................Binario
ticket...................................Biglietto
one way (ticket)………..........Andata
return ticket..........................Andata e ritorno
bus.......................................Autobus
bus stop................................Fermata
one way (street)....................Senso unico
hot........................................Caldo
cold......................................Freddo
too much..............................Troppo
well......................................Bene
good luck.............................Buona fortuna
parla lentamente....................Speak slowly
What is your name?..............Come si chiama?

PUBLIC NOTICES
Open................................Aperto 
No smoking......................Vietato fumare
Closed..............................Chiuso
Lift....................................Ascensore
Entrance...........................Entrata / Ingresso
Vacant..............................Libero
Exit...................................Uscita
Occupied..........................Occupato
Entrance (trains /buses)...Salita   
Stairs................................Scale
Exit (trains / buses)...........Uscita
Forbidden.........................Vietato
Push.................................Spingere
Do not touch....................Non toccare
Pull..................................Tirare   
Toilet...............................W.C / Bagno
Ladies..............................Donne / Signore   
Gents...............................Uomini / Signori
Not drinkable water.........Acqua non portabile

PRONOUNCIATION
CH is pronounced K
CI is pronounced CH
C + Vowel is pronounced CHI / CHE
CA is pronounced as in English

NUMBERS
Uno  -  one 
Due -  two
Tre - three
Quattro - four
Cinque - five
Sei - six
Sette - seven
Otto - eight
Nove - nine
Dieci - ten
venti - twenty
trenta - thirty
quaranta - forty
cinquanta - fifty
sessanta - sixty
settanta - seventy
ottanta - eighty
novanta - ninety
cento - hundred
milione - million

Read more

Taking your Dog on holiday

Is a holiday without your beloved four-legged friend out of the question? With To Tuscany, holidaying with your dog becomes child’s play. We offer an extensive selection of dog-friendly holiday homes and apartments. https://www.to-tuscany.com/dog-friendly-villas/

Tuscany is the ideal holiday destination for dog owners and their faithful companions. Long beaches and vast landscapes – in short nature at its best make the hearts of owner and dog beat faster.

There are a few things to consider to make a holiday with your dog become an unforgettable experience. And our To Tuscany team can tell you what these are. We are at your side with info and tips!
Before you start – Entry Requirements
For travel to Italy, EU regulations for pets apply. In any case your dog must be vaccinated against rabies and will need an EU pet passport with a veterinary certificate with regard to the vaccination and a microchip. In addition, taking out a dog liability insurance is advisable and necessary. We would also like to point out that in Italy a lead and muzzle are compulsory.
Arrival by Car - Considerations
Travelling by car with a dog is possibly the most pleasant way to reach your holiday destination, as in most cases the animal will be familiar with the car and individual breaks can be taken.
If possible, the dog should only be fed properly at the destination as a full stomach can easily lead to sickness and vomiting. It is preferable to offer a few snacks during the journey so as not to overload the digestive system. The basic rule is: water is more important than food.

Please NEVER leave your dog in a closed car, not even for a short break. In the sun the car body heats up very quickly and dogs are unable to sweat. This leads to a rapid rise in body temperature and blood clotting, almost always followed by death, even after a short stay in the car. Open windows don’t really help. Even if you park in the shade you are acting negligently, as the sun moves.
Arrival by Plane or Train - Regulations
Train: If you decide to travel by train, then dogs of up to 6 kg can travel for free in a transport box of a size of 70 x 50 x 30 cm. Bigger dogs need a ticket, and lead and muzzle are compulsory. The dog is only allowed in a sleeper or couchette compartment, if the owner has booked the whole compartment and in a seating car, too, the whole compartment has to be booked.
Plane: Animals up to 5 kg, in some cases possibly up to 6 – 8 kg can come into the cabin, if they are in a suitable transport box. The box may not be bigger than the usual hand luggage size, i.e. 45-55 cm x 35-40 cm x 20-25 cm. All bigger dogs must go into the luggage area. Transport boxes for the luggage area, so-called kennels, must fulfil strict regulations. The dog must be able to move, stand upright and lie down in the robust, escape-proof and water-tight kennel. Any danger of injury must be eliminated and air supply from two sides must be guaranteed. On long flights the kennel must contain food and water.
If necessary, stress can be reduced by giving sedatives.
The costs of flights are variable and vary greatly. We suggest you contact your airline.
Arrival – to make sure your dog will feel at home
Dog basket – and cushion, blanket and favourite toy will, due to their smell, help your dog to settle into the unfamiliar surroundings. In addition you should initially feed him the usual food in food and drink bowls you brought with you from home.  The less the animal comes into contact with unknown things during the first few days, the better he/she will settle in. Initial walks should be restricted to the immediate surroundings, before longer tours are undertaken.
Vet: You might need a vet due to unfamiliar food, heat and travel sickness or in case of unexpected injuries – even if your pet is healthy. With the following link you will find a vet’s surgery nearby anywhere in Tuscany or Italy generally: www.vetfinder.mobi/
Out and about – successful outings with your dog
To avoid nasty surprises, you should familiarise yourself with the local regulations concerning accompanying animals. Leads are compulsory in all of Italy. You should always have a muzzle with you, but the dog will only have to wear it upon request. In some places, such as churches and museums, dogs are not permitted at all.
Beaches: Dogs are allowed on specific dog beaches. Over recent years the number of dog beaches in Tuscany has increased steadily. These are mainly the Spiagge Libre, i.e. public beaches, which are not leased out, and there the dogs can enter the water to cool down. These beaches are identified by signs.
Parks: Dogs have been allowed in public parks since 2009, if they are kept on a lead.
Museums: In most museum dogs are not permitted. But this prohibition may vary. Please check the local regulations. In Florence you can find a kennel where dogs can be boarded hourly if necessary.
You will find information via the following ink: www.florencepetsitting.com/
Restaurants: Taking your dog with you to a restaurant after a day trip? No problem!  Since 2013 dogs can be taken into specifically identified restaurants in Tuscany. In many bars, restaurants and cafés it now says “Dogs welcome” or rather “Qui Fido è il benvenuto“
Tips for a relaxed time together
Mutual consideration is important for a relaxing stay. Most of our holiday accommodations have house rules in order to avoid any misunderstandings right from the start. 

We want to give a few tips in advance, to make sure that all guests can feel comfortable. For instance, the pool should be absolutely out of bounds for the dog.  Within the property the dog must be on a lead, unless you live in a house by yourself. In any case, you ought to use poop bags to remove the mess your dog leaves behind. Clean and dry the dog after a walk to avoid dirt being taken inside.

The team from to Tuscany would like to wish you and your faithful friend an enjoyable and unforgettable holiday.
„Buone Vacanze!“
For guests from the UK: please contact enquiries@to-tuscany.com before your arrival in Italy so that you can be given the address of the nearest vet who can complete the necessary pet passport requirements for your return to the UK

Read more

Local Customs Tuscany

While travelling in Italy you’ll be able to tell that habits, landscape, cooking and even language change considerably from north to south. Italy is a very young nation compared to other European countries and it’s been divided in several lordships and under foreigner kingdom, not to mention the Papal States, until 1861.

However there are some common habits and customs found throughout Italy and you might find that they are quite different from the ones in your home country. Here are some of the most common to help you understand the locals.

Read more

Power Adapters

Modern day technology devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, cameras and more need regular electric charging so it's essential to take the right charging equipment on your trip. Most of the gadgets guests take to Italy are dual voltage which means they only need a power adapter as the wall sockets may be different from what you are used to.

Power adapters tend to be inexpensive, you'll need the right one for Italy. The most common wall sockets in Italy are the EU standard plug type C, F but you may also find type L. Frequent travellers often have an all-in-one adapter that works all around the world, this would be suitable for all Italian wall socket types.

Electricity in Italy complies to the European standard rules, so wall sockets have 220 to 240 volts alternating at 50 cycles per second output. If your gadget or appliance is not dual voltage and requires a different voltage then you’ll need a power converter (or transformer) to convert to 220 to 240 volts.

Special attention should be given to high power appliances such as hair dryers or styling appliances. Read the manufacturers recommendations before you travel to avoid causing harm to yourself or others.

Read more

Public transport Tuscany

The Italian rail network is reasonable and train travel between cities is definitely possible. Visit the website www.trenitalia.com to purchase tickets and consult the timetables. The best trains to take, even if a little more costly are Le Frecce, highspeed trains between the major cities. The type of train is indicated by the following symbols:

Eurocity (ETR) and EuroNight (EN) – international connection with Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany.

Frecciarossa, Frecciabianca and Frecciargento (Le Frecce) - fast train between Italy's major cities. These cost extra and seats must be reserved. High speed trains, very comfortable but more expensive.

Intercity (IC) and Intercity Notte (ICN)– train between Italy’s medium and major cities. They connect about 200 train stations (leaving from Roma, Ancona, Reggio Calabria/Sicilia, Lecce, Taranto, Torino, Genova, Milano and Napoli). If you want to travel for a lower cost but slower than Le Frecce, these trains run a few times per day but do long trips and take you to almost any town. Reservation are needed.

Regionale (R) and Regionale Veloce (RV) - travel within and between regions. Slow trains which stop at every station within a region e.g. from Florence to Siena, it stops at all stations in between, even the tiniest towns.

The following expressions are useful to understand what is happening in the station:
treni in arrivo - arrivals
treni in partenza - departures
binario - platform
in orario - on time
in ritardo - delayed

If you are travelling with a Regional Train ticket (without reservation), please make sure you stamp your ticket at one of the machines on the platform before boarding.

Read more

Dietary advice in Italy

Travelling abroad or even dining out in your home town is never easy if you have food allergies or if you have opted for a vegetarian diet. Here To Tuscany provides some tips that you may find helpful during your holiday in Tuscany and while travelling in Italy.

Read more
Enquire