“I didn’t go to Italy in the summer of 2010 intending to buy a house nor to set up a travel business. But it ended up being a chain of events that had an unstoppable inevitability about it.”
My love affair with Italy began years ago and after I sold my law firm I wanted to start indulging my passion in a more serious way. So having completed a month’s intensive Italian course I rented a house and immersed myself in Tuscan life for a while.
A quite extraordinary series of coincidences led, one morning in June 2010, to my turning up in the main street of Montisi to look at Via Umberto I, 108 (which I have named Casa Valerio, after its previous owner, the popular local blacksmith). After a massive reconstruction project, my many visitors and I started to explore Montisi and the richness of the surrounding area.
The village is full of deep local pride and tradition mixed with the influences of artists and musicians from around the world which have made it their home. And there can’t be many villages of 400 people who mount a magnificent 3-day medieval pageant every year. Stunning Siena – one of my favourite places in the world – is just 40 minutes away and the countryside is peppered with hilltop villages, olive groves and wide golden chalky vistas punctuated by the exclamation marks of the signature cypress trees. Then there are the markets, the food, the cheeses, the olive oils, the wine…
“None of my visitors ever wanted to leave!”
Montisi Magica was born to share all this with individuals, couples and small groups of people for whom the colours, tastes and textures of the area would be as magical as they are for me.
A pilot week in October 2012 was a huge success. A group of complete strangers when they arrived left a group of firm friends through sharing the experiences of painting and cooking together, tasting wines, cheeses and olive oils, wandering the streets of Siena and enjoying food and wine at the same table each evening.
And since then I have organised many wonderful holidays for my guests from all over the world who have come to stunning Tuscany to enjoy a huge range of activities. They have stayed in B&B’s, ‘agriturismi’ (farmhouse accommodation), hotels and villas. They have cooked, walked, eaten delicious food, sampled wonderful wines, visited historic towns, simply relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful countryside and much, much more. And I have arranged add-on trips to Florence, Rome, Venice, the Amalfi coast and elsewhere in Italy. Whether you are a single, a couple, a family or a group of friends, I would be delighted to organise a memorable holiday for you. If you would like me to help please do contact me.
At the end of last year, I bought another house in the Village which I am currently restoring and will move into in early 2016. As a result, my beautiful home Casa Valerio which sleeps 8 people is available to rent. Click here for full details.