Past testimonials  

Wine Tour : "A Great Day in Tuscany with Julian Pio. One of our favorite days on a recent trip to Italy was spent touring the Tuscan countryside with our exceptional guide Julian Pio. Julian picked us up at our hotel just outside of Cortona and we drove through the beautiful hills and valleys of Tuscany to our first wine tasting of the day in Montepuciano at the family owned Nobile di Montepulciano. We sampled several of the wines from their vineyards and met the owners. The next stop on the itinerary included the town of Pienza a charming small medieval town. In Pienza we visited the local market and several of the wine, cheese and textile shops. We purchased pecorino cheese, which the town is known for, and some delicious olives. We then drove on to Montalcino and walked through the town before our visit to a very special small Brunello farm, a vineyard at the top of a mountainside. There we learned how this winery makes their wine from grape vines growing on the rocky mountainside. The tour was followed by a delicious lunch and wine tasting including the famous Brunello di Montalcino. On our way home we stopped at a picturesque Abbey dating back to the 9th century and toured the famous Bagno Vignoni Roman Baths. Throughout the day we enjoyed learning about the local wines, history and culture of the area from our guide Julian. It was Julian’s extensive knowledge and wonderful personality that really made the day so special and memorable. Any return trip would definitely include a day with Julian". Sept. 2014

Wine Tour :  “ A highly personalized way to see Tuscany! We have toured with Julian on two separate occasions. I have also referred other friends to him as we believe that he provides an ideal way to see Tuscany on "the road less traveled." We toured farms and wineries in Chianti, Montepulciano and Montalcino. It was a highly personalized, wonderfully intimate experience. In each case, our group was either the only group on the premise or one of a very few others. We never felt that we were being herded to the typical stops that one would encounter in a travel guide. We found it to be the ideal way to get beneath the surface of Tuscany and to experience it in a fuller and more relaxed manner. Julian quickly oriented himself to the rhythm of our group and then had an intuitive sense for the kinds of things that we'd prefer to see, as well as those things that we'd prefer not to see. Julian is a native English speaker, from the UK, but has the Italian fluency of a resident. He also speaks French and German, though we didn't have to put him to the test! One of the things that adds substance to the tour with Julian is the fact that he's a farmer who raises olives and is completely conversant in the ways of wineries and winemakers. As the old saying goes, "you can't beat local knowledge" and Julian has it in abundance without ever being overbearing. Finally, we tapped into Julian's knowledge of the region to help us find a chef who came to our villa to prepare two magnificent dinners for us. We "lived like Tuscans" during our stay and Julian's partnership was the biggest factor in the success of our trip. Jack R (USA - Oct.‘14)

Apartment : "Typical Tuscany" We flew into Rome and took a rental car for 11 days to relax and tour Tuscany and see Florence and get a feel of an area of Italy we had never visited. Directions were perfect and we got great advise from Julian asnd Anna. The accommodation was as described with a fully equipped kitchen for self-catering. The apartment is situated on the ground floor and the high ceilings and direction made the apartment cool and shaded even though the weather was hot for most of our stay. We ate outside overlooking the fields and hills surrounding the house. The location was ideal for us. Both in the middle of nowhere, quiet and peaceful, but also 10 minutes by car from the Florence tram line and Ring Road for easy access to everywhere. We recommend days in San Gimignano and Volterra to the south and Lucca and Cinque Terre to the north. We visited Florence twice. The tram line is convenient and? great and costs near to nothing. If you want somewhere quiet and off the beaten track, beautiful and good value for money, this is typical Tuscany. Yon, Israel Sept.2013

Apartment : "Peace and Quiet" My wife and I stayed Podere Vigliano Vecchio for 7 days during our honeymoon as a base to explore the region. After being flummoxed by the crowds in Florence itself Julian and Anna recommended some smaller towns and local restaurants to visit which retained much more of the Italian charm we were after. Anna kindly even organised tickets for us to see the main galleries during our stay. Florence was only a short trip by car (10min) and then tram (20min) and yet you arrive back at the farmhouse in quiet and idyllic surroundings and I found myself stranded in the hammock for many an hour during the heat of the day enjoying the rolling olive groves stretching from the terrace. Loved it. Only tip would be to bring some mosquito spray! Nick, Australia Aug.2013
Response to review: Dear Nick, We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. I too love relaxing in the hammock after a busy day especially on a summer's evening, admiring the stars and listening to the different animals. I have bought some extra strong repellent for the mosquitoes so if you come back I hope you'll find it effective. Enjoy your second summer, of course I'm a bit envious, and regards to both of you, Anna and Julian

Apartment : "Authentic Tuscany" We had the recent pleasure of spending just over a month at L’Acetaia. We visit Florence at least a couple of times each year, generally staying in the centre of town for shorter visits. Visiting Italy for longer gave us the opportunity instead to try a different approach: and we weren’t disappointed. L’Acetaia is a welcome antidote to the hot, busy and often stifling centre, and a far more authentic way of experiencing what it is to be in Tuscany. Swap crowds of tourists for the beautiful views of the Florentine hills, with their tranquility and birdsong. And yet here you’re not isolated: head back down the hill to the new tram stop in Scandicci (free parking) and 20 minutes later you’re in the centre of Florence. It was lovely to nip into town for lunch and a little light shopping, knowing that (not without some relief) the peace of L’Acetaia awaited our return. Alternatively, instead of an over-priced tourist pizza, head for the local bar (and deli) in San Martino alla Palma, deceptively sleepy, until you go inside and find the Gucci crowd from their local headquarters down the road. L’Acetaia is a charming cottage, authentically restored from the old vinegar barn which abuts the owners? farmhouse, and is comfortable and well-equipped. Of particular note is the large private terrace, with lovely Tuscan views of Cyprus trees, olives groves and vineyards across the adjacent valley. Julian and Anna, the owners, are so welcoming: nothing is too much trouble. On a number of occasions we returned from our travels to find a jar of homemade marmalade or chutney, a bowl of plums (picked that morning from one of their fruit trees) or some fresh courgettes from the vegetable patch next to the terrace. It is little touches like this that make a stay here so special, and so different from an otherwise anonymous B&B.
Patrick, United Kingdom Aug.2013
Response to review: Dear Patrick and John, It was a real pleasure to receive such a detailed and appreciative review of your stay at our farmhouse ! We try and make sure that our customers are satisfied and enjoy their holiday... It is important to us that our guests feel at home.... Thanks again. Julian and Anna

Apartment : "'Tuscan Dream'" Our stay in La vista was beyond all expectations...the location made Florence exceptionally accessible thanks to the proximity of the new tram system. Again the central location of the podere is ideal for further excursions eg. Sienna, Barga, Lucca, Piza etc. The owners , Julian and Anna could not have been more welcoming and helpful...ideal hosts. The directions given were excellent especially the GPS coordinates. We would highly recommend this well appointed appartment for those who wish to visit Firenze and surrounding area without the high costs and stress of living in the city its self. We will certainly return. Andrew, United Kingdom Aug.2013
Response to review: Dear Andrew and Margaret, Thanks for you very kind comments and remarks ! We are here awaiting for your next visit and hope to be even more present and helpful next time. Our best wishes to you both, Julian & Anna

Guest comments
Apt. 1 ' La Stalla': Dear Anna and Julian, Just a note to thank you for the most relaxing holiday, where I felt totally at home.
We shall certainly plan another holiday with you! Hants, UK. 2013
Apt.2 'La Vista': 'Dear Anna and Julian, Derek and I are settled back in our daily lives in E. We would just like to thank you for a great stay in 'La Vista'! We had a fantastic honeymoon. It was lovely to meet you.' Julia and Derek (Scotland). 2013
Apt. 3 'L'Acetaia': 'A wonderful, beautiful setting in the hills of Florence, at the end of a gravel country road. A comfortable, clean living space in a very authentic series of rolling hills. Excellent location for access to Florence and surrounding countryside. Our hosts were extremely helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. We would be glad to return at any time.' Marc S. USA. George and I would like you both to know how much we enjoyed staying with you. J and G. 2013

Apartment : The wonderful thing about Julian & Anna's Tuscan farmhouse and their attached apartments is that they overlook a beautiful, tranquil valley, with vines and olive trees, yet one is only 15ks from Florence. The terrace is wonderful for breakfast or dinner and the apartment (we stayed at L'Acetaia) is clean, light and airy and has everything you need. This apartment was by far the most enchanting and comfortable of the three different apartments we stayed in in Tuscany, and they were all really good. I think that I liked the authenticity of the farm and its environment the most. If you wants to go to Florence and avoid the traffic then you can drive down and park at the tramway parking lot and take the tram into Florence. The location also gives you easy access to Sienna, San Giminiano, Volterra, Lucca, Pisa, Arrezzo and the Chianti wine growing region. Don't be put off by the gravel track down to the farm, it's a little bumpy but is fine as long as one drives slowly. I would definitely return to Julian & Anna's place and recommend it to my friends. Howard & Wendy (Australia) Oct.2012

Apartment : Magnifique séjour! Nous avons adoré notre court séjour à L'Acetaia, chez Julian & Anna. Le logement était tout à fait conforme à la description du site internet et à un coût très raisonnable en cette saison. Nous avons particulièrement aimé la chambre à l'étage qui ouvrait ses grands volets sur la campagne environnante, un paysage typiquement toscan et de toute beauté. Nous avons aimé être si proches de Florence, mais dans un environnement autrement plus calme que le centre-ville! Un tramway ultra-moderne à quelques minutes (avec parking gratuit) nous emmenait en tout confort et toute quiétude à côté de la gare centrale de Florence. Les hôtes, Anna et Julian, ont été parfaits pendant tout notre séjour et, de plus, nous ont fourni une superbe huile d'olive biologique et quelques unes de leurs succulentes confitures maison, au moment de notre départ. Merci encore pour ce très agréable séjour en terre toscane! Marius & Gérard (Canada) Aug.2012

Apartment : Great location & helpful owners My husband and I stayed in the L’Acetaia apartment for 4 nights in late May. We found the apartment to be just as described and pictured in the listing. The furniture was comfortable, there was plenty of hot water for showers, and the kitchen was equipped to suit our needs. Having a washer was an added bonus so we could do a couple loads of laundry since we were traveling for 2 weeks. It is close to Scandicci and Florence, but far enough away that you can feel and enjoy the calming beauty of the countryside. We would definitely stay here again and would recommend this apartment to others. Anna and Julian the owners (and their dog Alma) were the perfect hosts. They were very helpful leading up to our arrival date. They greeted us warmly, showed us the apartment, gave us great recommendations for restaurants and sightseeing, and even bottled up some of their delicious organic olive oil for us to take home! Overall this was a great second segment to our 2 weeks in Italy! Owner's Response: Thank you, dear Kimberly & Theodore for your kind words ! It really pleases us to see that this hamlet's charm has the necessary appeal needed for nature lovers ! We are very grateful for your appreciative remarks. For us it was a pleasure and joy to have you staying with us. Thanks again and hope to see you in the near future !
Kimberly Y. Norristown, PA, USA Jun.2012

Apartment : A small Paradise ! Julian & Anna, Thank you for such a lovely visit. Your hospitality was so generous and we so comfortable staying there. You have such a beautiful place ! Should you ever want to come visit Arizona, you surely have a place to stay at our house ! Thanks again for everything – our stay far surpassed our expectations ! Fondly, Paul, Amanda and Zach Schneider (Arizona – USA) Apr.2012

Apartment : Un souvenir inouliable! Chère Madame et cher Monsieur Pio, nous sommes bien arrivés à Lagarde-Enval, en Corrèze, où nous habitons....Nous vous remercions beaucoup de votre accueil et garderons un souvenir inoubliable de notre séjour chez vous et en bien sûr à Florence ! Nous espérons bien un jour refaire ce voyage car nous n'avons pas tout vu... Nous vous souhaitons un bel été et vous transmettons nos cordiales salutations. Marcel et Françoise (France) Jul.2010

Apartment : Cheers from Polska ! Dear Signori Julian and Anna, We would like to say THANK YOU ! We had a wonderful time here in Vigliano Vecchio. Beautiful places, sunshine and Tuscany and will remain in our memory. We enjoyed every moment here ! Thank you. Roman, Bozena, Michat & Joanna (Poland) / P.S.: We will return here one day ! Jul.2010

Wine Tour :  “ Julian, Ris and I were so pleased to hear from you. Our day with you was the most memorable of out entire Italy experience. We remember the day and you fondly. My son may be spending part of his honeymoon next summer in Italy, and, if so, I will recommend you to him. We will banter your name about with our travelling friends as well.” 
C. Slate –Florida U.S.A. - Nov.2000

Tour : “...The trip to Chianti was amazing. Mr. Julian absolutely exceeded my expectations, I couldn’t have hoped for a better guide.”  A. Markowska –N.Y.- U.S.A. - Jan.2001

Wine Tour :  “..We loved the Brunello tour and our guide Sr.Pio. He was extremely knowledgeable about wines, winemaking and the history of the region. We really felt liked we learned so much and loved the whole day and the abbeys we saw….” 
Renée B. -  U.S.A. - July 2001

Tour : “…Julian Pio was the best . He took us to Vinci, and touring the Chianti region. That day was well worth it . We  would definitely recommend him.”  
C. Watson – U.S.A. – Oct.2001

Apartment : " Thank you so much for your excellent hospitality, the perfect little cottage, the beautiful surroundings, and for sharing your lovely wine on the last evening.  I enjoyed getting to know you, and hope to see you again in the future."
Irene  - Las Vegas - USA - Sept.'07

Apartment : “A wonderful setting in the hills of Tuscany, at the end of a gravel country road. A comfortable, clean, living space, in a very authentic series of rolling hills. Excellent location for access to Florence and surrounding countryside. Our hosts were extremely helpful and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. We would be glad to return anytime.” Mark Sholnick (Sept 25th ‘08).

Apartment : 'Bonjour Julian et Anna, Nous gardons un excellent souvenir de notre séjour en Toscane, et espérons revenir dès le début d’année prochaine ! A’ bientot'
Famille Le Flaguais (17aout ‘09).

Birthday cooking experience : “Dear Julian and Anna, Just a note to say how wonderful it was to meet you both yesterday. We both feel that you gave us a true flavour of Tuscany which we had been seeking. Both Cassie and I greatly enjoyed learning about the making of your Chianti (which was simply amazing!). I cannot think of a better way to have spent my birthday than cooking with Anna and then eating with you both in your beautiful house in the Tuscan hills. Thank you both so much for giving me such a wonderful experience and a memory of Tuscany that I shall never forget. I wish you both the best of luck in the future, although with your combined talents I don’t think that you will need it. Grazie mille!
Alex and Cassie (Aug.23d ‘09).”

Apartment : “Chers Julian et Anna, Nous avons passé un très beau séjour dans votre propriété et en garderons un excellent souvenir… Nous voulons également vous remercier de votre accueil chaleureux, de votre sympathie et de vos bons conseils touristiques! Nous reviendrons, c’est sùr!....
Bruno et Erika” (about ‘09).

Apartment : “Thank you so much for our stay. We had a wonderful time & your place is a little paradise. We hope to be back some day ! God Bless,
John & Kathleen” Sep.‘11.