Villa of the Month
Have a look at Casa Glyn in Cotto, Lunigiana, Northern Tuscany, or contact Merrion for more information.
Casa Glyn, Lunigiana September 2013
Our stay at Casa Glyn was a marvelous experience. The property is well equipped, very nicely organized and decorated with very special touch. The property is very spacious and easily accommodated our family. The pool is just great and the hot-tub, especially in the evening, is a unique experience. Cotto is a very very small village located in the mountains of Liguria. Surrounded by green and open nature, this location is really a small heaven of relaxation and tranquility. The nearest town to Cotto is Fivizanno which we really loved; it is small and easy going place with very relaxed atmosphere.
Merrion, the owner, was really helpful, available 24/7, she provided us with great advice and hints and each and every one of them became a memorable experience. There is no doubt that one of those moments which we will never forget was the cooking with her local friend Daniella. The food was outstanding and the kids really enjoyed the experience of making fresh pasta. …..
We would definitely recommend this special place for anyone looking for a special Italian vacation.
Sharon Haran & Family, Israel
Villa Roncone, Umbria July 2013
We were planning a family holiday in Italy for ourselves and our grown up children and their partners. We had previously rented a villa in Tuscany which we liked but it was no longer available and with so many villas advertised on the internet – all of course showing their ‘best sides’ on their websites – we couldn’t decide on where to go, let alone which villa to choose. With great luck my wife found Merrion’s name in a travel magazine and made contact. The motto on her website says ‘nothing is too much trouble’ and the service that she provided to us certainly bears that out. With knowledge of our needs, she immediately recommended the Villa Roncone on the shores of Lake Trasimeno in northern Umbria as the most suitable for us and she was absolutely correct!
The villa is a farmhouse painstakingly restored by its architect owner and stunningly located in the middle of his family’s olive groves. It is certainly a magical place with amazing views from a large terrace looking out over Lake Trasimeno towards Tuscany in the distance. It is perfectly suited to a large family group (or a group of friends for that matter) and there is another smaller building if more accommodation is required. The facilities are outstanding. The large kitchen has everything needed to prepare meals for 8 or 10 people and there are several options as to where to eat – indoors or out – but our favourite was the terrace with stunning views. We enjoyed an alfresco breakfast there every day served by the delightful maid. The pool was stunning; not only is it a wonderful pool in its own right but the architect has located it in a masterful way so as to benefit from its beautiful views of the region.
Merrion also recommended the hotel Il Salviatino in Florence for us to spend a quiet week and again she came up trumps. This hotel is certainly expensive but it is worth it – the staff are amazing and the food is excellent.
We cannot recommend Merrion too highly. She has a deep knowledge of Italy and all of its customs and peculiarities and the properties on her books are second to none.”
I wish I were sitting on the terrace at Roncone with cool drink in hand watching the sun go down right now!
Adrian Pilton & family from Sydney
Bespoke tour (Villa Barone, Grand Hotel Continentale, Monteverdi, L’Orto degli Angeli) September 2013
Feed back time, as promised ! Overall we had a fabulous holiday and a great , relaxed and informative trip. Thank you so much for the varied recommendations which went from luxurious private accommodation in the Baron's home at Penzano , to the fabulous mountain top resort at Monteverdi ,to the quaint and old fashioned hotel in Sienna and finishing up at the quiet, museum of accommodation in Bevagna. All had their plus points but Monteverdi had EVERYTHING and suited us to the letter!.......Everything at Monteverdi was perfect: the owner was there who was very laid-back and relaxed and the staff were very friendly and efficient and we enjoyed the dining room experiences. We are recommending Monteverdi to everyone and anyone who wants to listen !!....Every trip from any hotel to a surrounding town or village was an experience and delight and nowhere disappointed us and we mean nowhere !....We have no hesitation in recommending you to others who might want to undertake a similar trip and all I would add is ensure your car hire has sat nav and believe it when it tells you to turn onto an unmade 'track' because it was nearly always right !!
Thanks again for all your help and advice !
Kind regards and our best wishes,
John & Bridget
Mr & Mrs John Home, Norfolk, UK
Bespoke Honeymoon September 2013
Hi Merrion !
Sorry - already back into full swing at work! We had such an amazing time !! I must really say we were not at one place where we were not treated like kings !! Thanks so so much for you arrangements and recommendations! I honestly can say that we could not have asked for better!!
Appreciated and greetings !!
Annette Von Schalkwyk
Casa Glyn, Lunigiana, Tuscany June 2013
John and I had a great stay at Casa Glyn. It was lovely to be welcomed by you and MoJo and have flowers and prosecco waiting for us after a long drive. To then rest and enjoy the magnificent views of the mountains was so restorative. We were able to totally unwind and relax and we very much enjoyed just pottering and exploring the lovely villa, gardens and pool. One of the reasons we chose Casa Glyn was for it’s location. We were able to walk in the mountains and enjoy the wildlife and wildflowers; take a boat trip with you around the Cinque Terre and visit Lucca, Padua and Milan. To then rest again in the evening with spritzers and enjoy the fireflies from the hot tub was fab. It was a wonderful holiday all round and we thank you very much for your hospitality and generosity.
Every best wish to you and Mojo.
John and Clare, Oxfordshire
Villa Il Sogno, Tuscany August 2013
The property was fantastic, especially for a family. The location, very close and convenient to Florence, the rooms, the windows and amenities created a fantastic family experience. The service and support provided by Rosella, Danny and Thelma, made us feel welcome,, almost part of the family, especially for our 4 year old and added to the enjoyment of the 10 days. The property, gardens, outdoor dining area and pool were almost out of a vacation picture book. I strongly recommend anyone staying there have at least one night of Rosella’s excellent cooking at least one night (we took advantage of it 3x!). The bruschetta, beef and wine, pesto are to die for!
Merrion Charles did a fabulous job in arranging our holiday. One 100% first class and professional, it was a great location and her recommendations, her guides etc. created a once in a lifetime experience, especially for our Uffizi tour and vineyard tour at Volpaia. .
Bret and Family, London
Podere Sant Adele, Tuscany August 2013
We had the most amazing villa outside of an adorable old town, Cetona. We visited briefly the towns of siena, montepulciano, chiusi, citta della pieve, san casciagno di bagni and sarteano. Saw a lot and also chilled a lot in the villa which was sooooo perfect i will forever dream of it. Chickens laying eggs for breakfast, picking san marzano tomatoes from the garden and grapes and plums from the poolside. Gorgeous and plenty of different dining tables for al fresco enjoyment. There were hammocks about for afternoon naps, lush rosemary and lavender creating a heavenly smell and great views in all directions. We felt very comfortable inside the home which was decorated in elegant and traditional tuscan fashion. I could have stayed forever.
Darcy Lowen & Family
Vico Basso, nr Siena, Tuscany August 2013
We had a wonderful fortnight at Vico Basso. A truly excellent villa in a superb location. Many thanks.
The villa is beautifully kept and much more spacious than we had thought given we wanted a “small” villa. There is ample room for two couples and probably for another guest too. The study is fairly large and the living room has two large sofas. It is all very well-equipped whilst being authentically rustic.
The location is very pretty: on a large estate of olive groves and rolling hills, in which the lovely swimming pool nestles. We had acres of grounds just for ourselves. Also, the villa is opposite a little farm with many chickens, geese and cows nearby. Our daughter loved that and the farmers were happy for her to visit the animals whenever she liked. It’s a very easy to drive into Siena (c. 10mins) and close to the motorways. The owners were very charming and helpful although not interfering. We will definitely return; it vastly surpasses even demanding, high-end expectations. Many thanks.
Jeremy Brier & Family, London UK
Casa del Borgo & Casa Glyn, Tuscany - August 2013
Hi Merrion - amazing to think that it is only a week since we left Italy!
We had a fantastic holiday - and as I said before, many thanks indeed for everything that you did for us to make it such a success. We would recommend you without any hesitation…. At Casa del Borgo Marissa was charming and kept the house beautifully clean, though sadly we weren't able to communicate with her properly due to our lack of Italian - and we can recommend her cooking which is simple, tasty and reasonably priced ... At Casa Glyn, Daniela was also charming and her cooking was delicious and whilst she over-catered that did mean that we were able to get two meals out of each one, so in fact it was very economical! Our pizza evening was excellent and you should recommend that to all of your clients. The boat trip was a great success - the boys are still talking about jumping off those high rocks! - and we were very grateful for your company to translate for us! Both houses were exactly as we were expecting from your details which is obviously very important as there were no shocks or surprises on arrival. That's it for now I think. Thanks again. I hope you're keeping well and talk to you soon. Marcus
Wells Family, London
La Vielle Amie, Provence, France - July 2013
Hi Merrion, We had a great holiday in France, thank you. The villa was really lovely and suited our needs very well - the children loved their room there and the pool in particular. The location was good and we found plenty to see and do in the area - we could have easily spent more than a week there! We also appreciated the food and wine which the owners left for us to enjoy which we thought was a nice touch. Thank you very much for recommending it to us. Best wishes, Johanna
Casa Glyn, Lunigiana - July 2013
I felt compelled to write and thank you for yet another wonderful holiday with you, as ever, nothing was too much trouble and you made us feel so welcome. David and I managed to completely switch off, which wasn't difficult being in the perfect setting of Casa Glyn, the views were breathtaking, especially from the hot tub! Daniella made our trip for us, what a lovely woman and an amazing cook, we have gone straight out to purchase our own pasta making machine and will attempt to try and replicate the dishes she showed us how to make! The children are already missing Mojo and the beautiful pool and we very much look forward to booking again with you next year. Once again, thank you.
The Farries Family, UK
Torre della Quercia, Tuscany July 2013
We all had an amazing holiday in Tuscany and want to thank you so much for arranging the villa for us. It was beautiful! We loved everything about it from the moment we arrived and Enzo and Anagloria were such warm, welcoming people.
The setting of the villa was spectacular. As we were driving in after passing through Tavernelle, we would round a bend to see the most gorgeous villas commanding impressive views and would say to each other “we hope ours is as good as that” and so our anticipation was building and building the further we drove. When we finally turned down the laneway and came to the end where the villa was perched looking out over the entire valley and across to San Gimignano in the distance, we were thrilled to see that both the location and the villa itself were in fact superior to all those we’d seen on the way in! Rosanna, the cook you’d help arrange, was already in the kitchen preparing our dinner, so the wonderful aroma that greeted us as soon as we stepped from the cars, as well as all the flowers in the garden in full bloom were the perfect entrée to the property itself. The furnishings and finishes, the manicured grounds, the sparkling pool, the spaciousness, the cool interiors on warm afternoons – everything was perfect. And the proximity to great vineyards and markets in local villages meant there was always something interesting to do nearby too.
Greg Wilkins & friends!
Casa dei Pipistrelli, Tuscany July 2013
Villa Pipistrelli was AMAZING.
We had the most fantastic time and everything was perfection. Francesco was brilliant and so very helpful NOTHING is too hard for him and he has a delightful personality and is extremely accommodating. I have no complaints whatsoever…. The breakfast and cleaning everyday was such a plus and really made the holiday special. I would DEFINITELY return without hesitation. I am thoroughly missing my time in Italy and given half the chance would go back tomorrow!
Pipistrelli is magical!
Thanks so much for everything, you were so helpful and accommodating as well and I truly thank you for your undivided attention to detail with all aspects of the trip. Thanks and hope to go back soon
Elise Garland & friends, Sydney, Australia & beyond!
Casa Glyn, Lunigiana - June 2013
Words cannot express the pure and total magic of my stay at Casa Glyn with my grandchildren, Alexa 14 and Julie 9, for two weeks, and then with my daughter Suzanne for the second week.You totally enchanted Alexa and Julie, they fell in love not only with Casa Glyn but with you. Suzanne and I are full of admiration and praise for your attention to every little detail, not only in the comfort and decor of Casa Glyn, but in your charismatic personality. I wish we had had more time to exchange ideas and experiences. I'm at home, sitting looking out at the ocean but my heart and soul are still sitting on your terrace, gazing at the Apuan Alps. And I have been home for two weeks. Early morning swims were glorious, my dream relized - I could have easily spent another two weeks, but alas back to reality. Julie in particular felt that she had been there before or imagined that she had dreamt about Casa Glyn, and judging by the number of times she was at your door for more of your olive oil, etc., without any hesitation, she certainly was at home. We all enjoyed playing the piano and were delighted to hear you play. I will never forget you playing "An affair to remember" at 8am at my request), as we were leaving for the airport, most of us crying, remembering the exquisite time we had at your home, forever fixing in our minds this beautiful memory of our time together, not wanting to leave. Being there was like having our own home in this beautiful setting. Thanks for all your help, from arranging airport pick-up with Paolo and dinners with Daniele to entertaining my grandchildren in your hot tub, music, lights, star filled sky, and let's not forget the fireflies. You have created a very, very special home and I'm so thankful that I was able to enjoy it for two weeks-perhaps next time a month? Having you next door was an extra, it wouldn't have been the same without you. We loved having you nearby and let's not forget Mojo. I've never met a dog like her - so much presence. I am already suggesting to everyone I meet that Casa Glyn is the only place to stay in Italy.
Wishing I was there now,
Lots of love from Francesca, Suzanne, Alexa and Julie, Canada and Italy
Villa Tombolino, Tuscany - July 2013
Spencer and I have just arrived at our own house in Bass Harbor, Maine. On our way we have visited Rome, London, and New Hampshire. Our friends and family joins us in expressing awe that the week at the Villa Tombolino was amazing, a once in a life time, truly memorable, magical time. We are all wishing we could continue to have that breakfast tart. Giovanna and her team treated us to delicious meals. Elisa went out of her way to help us. She took my daughter, Margaret, to a doctor who successfully treated her dislocated hip. The five children were delighted with the swimming pool.
Thank you for all your patience, expert planning, and attentive correspondence to make the week such an outstanding success. It was a very lucky day nearly two years ago when I saw you mentioned in "Departures.".
Florence Ervin & Family, Maine, USA
Villa Roncone, Umbria
“We absolutely loved Roncone. The villa works really well with 11 people which is what we had. There are lots of areas to escape and have your own space. The kitchen also is great for a lot of people to work in. I think the most glorious thing about the house are the various places to take in the view which is spectacular. The pool area in particular is gorgeous..All and all a 10 out of 10!”
Kiki Delaney, July 2013 – The Delaney party from Toronto
The holiday at Villa Mojo was great…we thoroughly enjoyed it. Location was superb and the villa itself very well equipped. Even though the water was freezing, having such a big pool is a real asset. Felt very energized after my week doing lengths in the pool! Also, Anna the housekeeper is a real gem. She kept the villa in tip top shape and really looked after us. Great restaurants in the area as well….All in all, a wonderful holiday…we both came back very relaxed.
Mr & Mrs Driessens, France, May 2013
Hotel Il San Salviatino, Florence
What a place! Accommodation, food, staff, understated quality, fabulous location in terms of views across Florence and distance to the City centre. Difficult to fault. We even had pretty good weather. Really great trip. Can see ourselves going back.
David & Aimee Farries, U.K. May 2013
October 2012 – La Torre della Limonaia, Amalfi coast & The Inn at the Spanish Steps, Rome
We had a wonderful time with perfect weather. We loved La Torre- it was really perfect for our group and as you know, so beautiful….Michela is fantastic…I would certainly recommend it to friends, it is a very special place. We LOVED the Inn at the Spanish Steps. The roof terrace is lovely and the location is perfect. And quiet at night. I will stay there again and recommend it to friends. Thank you again for all your help- the trip was everything we wanted it to be!
Kathryn Gabriel & Friends, USA
Villa Tombolino, Val d’Orcia, Tuscany November 2012
“We enjoyed our time at Villa Tombolino and the beautiful vistas from every room. Giovanna's cooking was fabulous! Elisa was always checking in to arrange the next day and we loved all the places we visited and everything we did. It is a beautiful area and we hope to get back!”
Carol Doll & family New York
September 2012 Casa Glyn, Tuscany
We had the most perfect week on our honeymoon at Casa Glyn. Merrion did everything she could to make our stay a special one - we arrived very late to a warm welcome and a bottle of fizz to her beautiful villa that you instantly feel at home in and awoke the next morning to THE most magical of views, one that will stay with us for ever, it is truly incredible. Merrion's advice on which local stores or restaurants to visit was invaluable and made our stay all the more memorable. The house is extremely well designed, very comfortable and is appointed with everything one could need on holiday. We would recommend it to anyone and will no doubt be returning again in the future. Thank you very much Merrion and Mojo for a wonderful stay.
Stay in touch and all the very best.
Guy & Annalise De Glanville, London
Casa Cavalleggeri, Castagento di Carducci, Tuscany. August 2012
We had a most wonderful time in Tuscany. Thank you very much for arranging everything so well, including our very well-organised excursions to Siena and Florence. We liked the villa. The spacious grounds provided plenty of playing space for the children, and the proximity to the lovely beach was ideal. Ante, the cook, was superb. He is a wonderful cook and was also very good company. Same with Olga, the cleaner and Antonio, the housekeeper. We have nothing but praise for all of them. We look forward to more Tuscan holidays in future and look forward to your assistance with organising them.
Ogbubude Family, London
August 2012 Casa Glyn, Tuscany
We loved our stay at Casa Glyn. In a 3 week holiday where we were staying mostly in hotels, your beautiful villa really was like a home away from home. It is very comfortable and well equipped. We loved preparing our meals in your kitchen or “braai-ing” on your terrace, but most special of all was eating at your outside table enjoying the spectacular views.
We love the outdoors so living in your little hamlet was great for us in terms of access to walks and river swims, not to mention your pool which was very well used. My only complaint is that we didn’t have a longer stay. You planned such great day outings for us to really special places like Gabriella’s castle, the Cinque Terre and Lerici that we didn’t have enough time to just relax at “home” or to go to Siena. The location of Casa Glyn really is brilliant as you can easily access the beach and the mountains as well as beautiful old towns and villages. You were so helpful with all your maps, directions and restaurant bookings. Thank you, our stay definitely would not have been the same if we had not been able to pick your well travelled brain! I still miss the owls – their hooting across the valley at night is so special!
Tasioulas Family, South Africa
Villa Rignana July/August 2012
After three weeks away we hit the ground running on return home!!! We had a truly wonderful time. The villa is absolutely magnificent and it was perfect for the kind of holiday we wanted. Everyone got a good room with space and decent bathrooms etc. The peace and tranquility of the location is amazing combined with the fantastic restaurants - so close. We ate in the Michelin star one three times. Could not believe it was on our doorstep. We really did not want to go off anywhere or sight see in cities as we'd done all that before so was wonderful to remain in the comfort of the villa. Support staff were fantastic too - because that can often be a down side of renting a villa that you end up doing more of the domestic work than you do at home.
Nothing was too much trouble for them - and our 8 year old granddaughter was never lonely with LJ & Rosalee to keep her company. They were brilliant.
With thanks for all your help.
Lady Robinson & Party, Northern Ireland
July 2012 Casa Glyn, Tuscany
"We had such a fabulous stay at Casa Glyn. The house made us feel welcome the second we entered and within a few hours we felt completely acclimated. The views are spectacular and after Rome it was a real treat to be out in the countryside.
We had a ball cooking and especially enjoyed the pizza oven. We enjoyed our outings to town as well as further out and always found lots to do in the area. One of our best days was just lazing by the pool and deciding what to have for dinner.
The town of Fivizanno was charming and had everything we needed to make fabulous meals. Our daily run to the corner bar for an expresso and a pastry quickly became a ritual. We look forward to returning and can't wait to see Mojo once again."
Jonathan & Devon Wayne, Dallas, USA
Bespoke tour of Italy – Florence, inland Tuscany and Venice. August 2012
“Thanks for a wonderful trip to Italy – everything was so well organized...the best trip we have ever had!”
Mr & Mrs Kirkinis – South Africa
Casa Glyn August 2012
“Two weeks is just not long enough! We have just had an amazing holiday at Casa Glyn and have left relaxed; refreshed and even more in love with Italia. The experience starts as you approach the villa driving through beautiful countryside and as you climb up the hill through ancient woodlands and cross stunning ravines you catch glimpses of the enchanting borgo of Cotto with its striking church Dome glinting in the sunlight and then you arrive at one of the most stunning Casa. Casa Glyn is not just a beautiful house in a stunning location it is a welcoming home in paradise that makes you feel at ease immediately; with an unrivalled position and provides a real haven away from the hustle a bustle of everyday life. It is remote and private but also accessible to numerous sites from the beach; rugged coastlines; mountains and interesting towns and villages. On first look there appear to be less “big attractions” than other areas although it is easy to reach Florence; Pisa; Lucca and Parma as well as the Cinque Terra (which is a stunning).The area’s charm is really in the fact that it is not very touristy and provides a more authentic Italian experience with interaction with “real” Italians. The towns and villages in the vicinity have a lot to offer and are all beautifully located with some fabulous restaurants; every drive off the main roads is a wonderful voyage of discovery supported by some of the most stunning views in Italy. The whole pace of life in the area is slower and more relaxed and informal and you have no choice but to relax. Casa Glyn is so beautiful that there were several days when we stayed at home soaking up the sunshine; using the fabulous salt water pool; savoured the views; eat well; drank well and just chilled. At night you really appreciate being in an area of no light pollution as the sky appears filled with stars (and shooting stars) and the only sound is the local wild life bliss My seven year old daughter loved the property and especially loved playing with Mojo. The choice of restaurants within a reasonable distance of Casa Glyn is very good concentrating on local cuisine and whilst there is a marked reluctance to accept credit cards the prices are much lower than many other prime areas of Italy.
The local town of Fivizzano has all the shops you need for provisions a number of good local restaurants and a superb gelataria sitting on a really beautiful piazza where we whiled away many an hour after dinner.
Having Merrion next door was fantastic and not at all intrusive and in fact we saw her as more of a friend than an owner. Nothing was too much trouble and she has a superb knowledge of the area and was able to make some great recommendations of places to visit and places to eat.
For a relaxed taste of La Dolce Vita and a flavour of the real Italy I would strongly recommend a visit to Casa Glyn.”
Bruce Burnett & Family, Gloucestershire, UK
Villa Roncone, Umbria, August 2012
Thank you so much for yet another truly amazing holiday. We cannot recommend you and your company highly enough. The moment we chose to book our holiday you were on hand offering us advice and support with regards to our needs and matching our brief completely.
The villa was absolutely stunning, well equipped and spacious, whilst the layout was perfect for staying with friends. The grounds and views across the lake were breathtaking and watching the sun set each night with a bottle of prosecco was just magical. The grounds and pool were outstanding. Our holiday was made even better by having our food shop delivered upon our arrival. Tina the maid was very helpful and obliging, bringing our breakfast every morning and having Gina, the cook, prepare our delicious evening meals, to our own menu meant that we didn’t have to lift a finger, we all completely relaxed and unwound and the only regret was that we didn’t stay another week, we just didn’t want to leave!
With warmest regards, The Farries Family x
Aimee Farries, Friends & Family, Bucks, UK
Villa Maramai, Tuscany June 2012
It is about a month we returned back from London after visiting Tuscany. The arrangement you made was really superb. Our grandchildren enjoyed staying in the villa and used all the amenities to full extent. It is very nice place, away from humdrum of city life, yet so near to Rome that even we made a day trip there. The surrounding little hamlets were so pleasant that we feel to go there again. Our big thank you to you for the great arrangement you made and the coordination with my daughter, Mousumi for timely booking of the villa. Mousumi is busy with her family, so I am extending a big thank you on her behalf.Should you have some other property (smaller) elsewhere in Europe, do not hesitate to drop us a line. Our friends having heard our experiences in Tuscany have requested your details. May I forward your email address with your permission.
Thanks and best regards
Chatterjee Family, Canada & London
Villa Lucertola, July 2012
The villa was lovely. Everything from the minute of our arrival to our departure was seamless. We adored James and Rebecca who could not do enough for us and made every effort to make us feel as if we had been many times. James' cooking was impeccable. Indeed, all 10 us put on at least 2 kilos but it was worth every bite. The beds were extremely comfortable and the villa was always spotless. We did some lovely walks the lake temperature was perfection for swimming. We simply adored our first ever Lake Como holiday thanks to you and the wonderful staff at Villa Lucertola.
Von Hurter Family, Switzerland
Villa Roncone, Umbria July 2012
The villa was perfect: beautifully designed and thought out, with so many different spaces and zones to use according to one's mood, a space for the whole extended family to spread out in and relax in. The pool is spectacular, and how lovely for the children to be able to play in the shallow pool too. Stunning views over the lake, such a beautiful vista when dining at lunchtime and in the evening the sunsets were just wonderful. The kitchen was so well equipped, specified for even the most seasoned of cooks to really enjoy. All the appliances were great and made everything so easy, even dealing with all the washing children create. The whole villa is such a fantastic balance between rustic charm and modern comfort. We enjoyed visits to San Gimignano, Siena, Orvieto, and Montalcino, all very accessible from the villa. We dined at Da Massimo and Da Luciano because of the very useful information book provided by Andrea, and both were great recommendations. Tina was just wonderful – so helpful and friendly, and really added to our overall enjoyment of the space by keeping everything so clean and tidy. Thank you very much for a wonderful holiday which the entire family enjoyed so much.
Mortlock Family, UK
Sant Andrea del Carpine, Tuscany July 2012
I promised some feedback, but frankly I don't have anything to add in the way of suggestions for your services since they were all perfect. Having someone at the end of the phone/blackberry who could sort out car hire, restaurant reservations, places to visit etc was absolutely fantastic and removed completely the little anxieties that usually come with being abroad. We can't wait to get back to Italy and you will definitely be our first port of call.
The boat trip was excellent and on the Wednesday we were blessed with perfect weather. Silvia and Andrea were superb hosts. Excellent lunch too. I'd thoroughly recommend this. Jane and I loved Sant Andrea.... all in all it was a marvellous holiday, made all the more enjoyable as you were there
to help us out. Thanks again
Rupert Yardley & Family, Reigate, UK
Inn at the Spanish Steps (Rome), Granaio (Siena), Londra Palace (Venice) and Villa d'Este (Lake Como), June 2012
Merrion, thank you for planning the most wonderful holiday adventure for our family: the Inn at the Spanish Steps, with it's magical rooftop terrace overlooking the fabulous Via dei Condotti; beautiful Granaio in the heart of the golden Tuscan countryside (with Barbara as our gracious hostess); a delicious dinner after the Palio (Siena's most famous and exciting horse race); the Londra Palace, with its magnificent concierge service and hotel bar Bellinis (think summer-sweet, sliced white peaches soaking for days in freshly squeezed lemon juice); and the extraordinary Villa d'Este, lapping up the pristine waters of Lake Como. We thank you for your professionalism and attention to detail. All our transfers were effortless, all special requests accommodated and all promises delivered on this amazing family holiday. We look forward to our next visit to Bella Italia!
With our thanks, the King family.
Patricia King & Family – Sydney Australia
Villa Roncone & Torre della Quercia, June 2012
Our vacation was great.
We loved both Villas very much.
Roncone is an exceptional Villa renovated, finished and furnished with exceptional taste and to exceptional standards. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able rent it and live in it for a week. We also found that having a full time staff is a huge plus and makes it very pleasant to live there. Both Tina and Gina are extremely pleasant and helpful. We would recommend Roncone to anyone.
Torre di Quercia is also a beautiful Villa. It is a dream for lovers of modern architecture. It is very well furnished for a vacation rental with an exceptional kitchen. The views are forever (so much so that I thought for the first time it was possible to have great views without seeing the water) and impressive. The location is also extremely convenient, being so close to all major attractions and the highways. Also we had a great time both watching the Euro cup final in the centre of Tavernelle and having dinner during the festival in Barberino Val d'elsa. We also found this location to be more breeze and and somehow had very few mosquitos. We were able to enjoy several wonderful dinners outdoors.
It goes without saying that we enjoyed the food and Wine in both locations. The quality and price relationship in these regions are unbelivale.
We would not hesitate to recommend both of these Villas and your services.
Thanks again for everything.
Arkun Durmaz and Family, Toronto Canada – June 2012
Palazzolaccio, June 2012
I can't recommend the experience we had at Palazzolaccio more highly.
From the first contact with Merrion Charles via the internet to our sad, final drive down the driveway it was an experience we will all remember forever. The villa is beautifully decorated, very clean and the attention to detail exceptional. Palazzolaccio is in a perfect position to explore all that beautiful Val d'Orcia has to offer an area full of so much to see, a hidden paradise. We were aware that much of driving is on dirt roads and it was a perfect area for much of our group, who loved cycling. Those of us who didn't were happy to sit by the pool, go for walks or find a cosy spot in one of the many comfortable rooms.
When we arrived we had thought we would have a couple of meals 'in house'. As it turned out Cristina was such a sensational cook we had every evening meal at the villa..they were all exceptional and unbelievable value! Christina was more than happy to cater to all our needs including time, menu and special dietary needs. The wine selection was great and very reasonably priced.
Elisa greeted us when we got there, her English was very good. She was on hand all hours to help us with all our needs. She organized bike hire, booked restaurants, organized spas and arranged a very memorable wine tour in Montelcino.
I can't recommend the villa highly enough and the wonderful crew of people that come with it to make it the perfect stay. Merrion Charles being the lynch pin, was on hand all hours and always responded quickly to emails and enquiries.
Katrina O'Grady & friends – Perth, Australia
Tuscany and Umbria, August 2011
"My family and I recently returned from a wonderful two week holiday in Tuscany and Umbria. We stayed in two different villas that we booked through Merrion Charles. The holiday was memorable for all the right reasons, and it is a testimony to the experience that our three daughters-aged 20, 17 and 15- really began to relax and discover the joys of slowness which is pretty alien to them coming from a fast-track London environment. It was such a lovely opportunity for us to spend time together over leisurely meals and evening drinks and get to know each other again. This is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that at no time were they agiatating to go and find the local night-life-just as well because the only 'action' was a drink the the piazza of a local village. "
Kim & Family, UK
Sicily Tailor Made Tour September 2011
"Well ... you excelled yourself for us and I was going to email you today. Everything worked perfectly ... from our arrival in Palermo (and wonderful restaurant recommendation from our taxi driver ) to final lift off in Catania. Having known little about Sicily beforehand, we were impressed that after a conversation with us on the phone, you ascertained our needs and built a package for us that really worked. All the accommodation was very comfortable and you took into account our need for spacious rooms. We appreciated not having to carry hotel vouchers around with us to book in at each hotel, as one often has to do on package deal holidays. It's always an added chore to have to keep documentation safe when travelling. Also, we liked the people and it was great to feel safe and not to be 'watching one's back' all the time.
Thank you so much for organising it all for us. You have been terribly efficient all the way through and your attention to detail has been superb. We appreciated your message at our hotel half-way through the holiday. It was kind of you to think of us. I hope you received our reply via the receptionist.
Thank you again for working so hard for us. Nothing went wrong, but we were aware that you were only a phone call away if it did. This was a great advantage compared with booking with a large travel firm. We also thought you gave us very good value for money."
Mr & Mrs David Wharton, Oxfordshire, UK
Casello, Tuscany September 2011
"Our holiday in Casello was fantastic, wonderful and all the superlatives you could think of. It is a magical place with oceans of room, beautiful views and a sense of tranquility. We all loved it and all had different favourite rooms and places. Jon and Leanne loved the pool, Anthony and Alice the Loggia and Glenys and I the verandah. George, who has just learned to walk, loved the long corridors of uninterrupted exploration. He worked so hard during the day he slept really well at night making it a doubly good holiday for his Mum and Dad.
Alfio, the cook, was brilliant. He even managed to defeat Jon who has a large appetite. At the end of the Friday extravaganza main course Jon held up a white flag pleading for mercy before Alfio produced a another splendid dessert. The two vegetarians have never eaten so well either. Anton the cleaner was very friendly and helpful too. Barbara was lovely, very welcoming and helpful………You have provided an excellent service. You recommended the right villa for us. It is great but not so lavish that we would be on tenterhooks in case George knocked over a priceless objet d'art. Your willingness to follow up on my queries and rapid responses made me confident that everything would go well. …..You exceeded my expectations thank you.
As you know we celebrated our ruby wedding anniversary on September 11th. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on THE September 11th in Alaska. As you can imagine that was memorable! However our fortieth anniversary is more memorable because of the sheer joy watching our children and grandchild in raptures at Casello.
In summary I would say that we had high hopes of a fabulous holiday. Everything about Casello exceeded our expectations tenfold."
Malcolm Barnett and Family, Chesterfield, UK
Villa Tombolino, Val d'Orcia, Tuscany August 2011
"Thanks again for organising such a great holiday for the Champions, they all had a great time."
Will Champion & Family, UK
Casello, nr Siena, Tuscany August 2011
We had a fabulous week staying at Casello, Vico d'Arbia. Barbara and her family were excellent hosts…. special mention must go to Anton, the Indonesian house keeper, who was cheerful, helpful, extraordinarily polite and a real hard worker, his tomatoes were historic. The house itself was wonderful, stunning views, loads of space (both inside and out) and with excellent facilities, the pool is beautiful and the gardens, especially the fresh plums, perfect. Sitting in the loggia watching the ever moving light on the lovely Tuscan landscape is something we wont forget in a hurry. I would thoroughly recommend Alfio the chef who Barbara arranged to cook for us one evening, he was brilliant, just go easy on lunch. Location wise the spot just East of Siena is remote enough to be very private but close enough to Siena…..Your help in booking the property was second to none, I would recommend your service to anyone, fast informative and really understanding of our particular requirements – even at the short notice we gave you….As you can probably tell we had a marvellous time and will definitely be calling on your services again the next time we travel to Italy-if you'll have us. Thanks from all of us.
Ashley Kirk and Family, Chesterfield, UK
Casa Glyn, Tuscany July 2011
“Thank you for a wonderful stay in Casa Glyn which we shall both treasure. The view from the bedroom in the morning is imprinted in my mind as if it were a dream – I have never woken up to anything more beautiful. Thank you also for taking me on our sun worshipping trip to Eco del Mare – I was very glad to be there with you. We hope to return some day soon.”
Nikki & James, London
Palazzetto, Tuscany July 2011
“Firstly, your services were outstanding. I was very impressed by the speed of your responses and would definitely recommend you to friends looking for somewhere in Italy. Turning to the house, we generally had a great time and would also recommend it to friends. The setting and proximity to Siena were perfect.”
Mr David Hudd and Family, London, U.K.
La Collina del Sole, Garfagnana, Tuscany – July 2011
“Villa was charming, clean, fantastic views and pool, nice touches like toiletries, free wine and a meal, in fact the additional catering was brilliant in quality, quantity and value.”
Rihll Family, Devon, UK.
Palazetto (Siena), Londra Palace (Venice) and JK Place (Florence)
"It is a rare event indeed to organise a trip where the reality is better than the anticipation. But so it was for our family when we set out on a three week trip to Italy that started and finished in Rome over the busy June/July Australian school holidays. We booked all our accommodation, transfers, car hire,chefs and even birthday cakes(!) through Merrion and literally nothing was too much trouble. Our fantastic holiday included a week at the unimaginably beautiful and relaxing Palazetto- a Villa situated just outside Sienna in magnificent countryside that you could just feast your eyes on all day ( when you weren't distracted on the literal feast that was presented before us every day by our very own local Italian chef, Alfio). No over dried flower arrangements in sight at this Villa, it was Italian charm and style at its best - just as Merrion had promised. Not only was the Villa picturesque it came with a wonderful pool and great bedrooms and bathrooms, terrific living areas, kitchen and the added bonus of the wonderful owner Barbera who was readily available with great local advice, her very own local wine and fabulous restaurant recommendations, and the charming housekeeper Bouidin who kept us comfortable and smiling. Merrion also selected and arranged fabulous accommodation for us at JK Place in Florence, which is hotel you have to stay in before you die, the wonderful Londra Palace in Venice where you literally watched the boats glide by from your bed with St Mark's as the backdrop and the hip Locarno Hotel in Rome where you felt you really were experiencing Rome as the Romans would. Thank you so much Merrion. We will definitely be booking all our Italian holidays with you again and hope that you expand into France, Britain and America post haste so you can cover all our holiday plans."
Georgina, Peter, Sam and Sebastian Braham. Sydney. July 2011
Villa Quercia, Umbria
“… thank you very much for all of your help with the villa, and arranging dinner for my husband's birthday.Villa Quercia was fabulous - and the chefs who cooked us dinner produced a terrific traditional Tuscan meal - and were incredibly friendly. We really appreciate all of your help, and would definitely use your service again.”
Greg & Jennifer McMahon, July 2011
Casa Glyn June 2011
"We cannot recommend highly enough the villa of Casa Glyn if you want to get away from it all and find your own little spot of paradise up in Northern Tuscany. You have all the benefits of being up in the mountains and yet are only an hour or so away from the sea as well. The location is far enough off the tourist track to make you feel like one of the locals yet close enough to key attractions such as Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre and The Apennines that you can do as much or as little as you want! We certainly made as much use as we could from the wonderful pool but also ventured further afield and headed for some of the more traditional tourist haunts as well as some slightly more energetic activities including a couple of walks around the villa itself plus an excursion into The Apennines!
Merrion is an absolute font of all knowledge when it comes to places to visit and restaurants to eat in and was just so helpful and patient with all our questions - each restaurant just seemed to get better and better. However, Casa Glyn is such a beautiful and peaceful place to be that we often just ate in having bought all our food from Fivizzano. This is certainly not a tourist trap but a wonderful example of local Italian life! We bought all we needed in the Alimentari, ate as much Gelati as we could and just soaked up the atmosphere of the local Italians going about their everyday lives. The villa has its own pizza oven and we even managed to make our own using dough bought from the local bakery – absolutely delicious and so much fun to cook as well – everyone should have a go!!
We can certainly see why Merrion fell in love with this part of Tuscany – if you want a relaxed holiday in a wonderful villa with Merrion just next door to help you out as much or as little as you need, then you really can't go wrong with Casa Glyn. The crowning glory – a fabulous little Border Terrier called MoJo who is, without doubt, absolutely adorable and is a little taste of home from home!! "
David & Anne-Laure Green & David & An De Ganck from UK & France
Honeymoon Palazzolaccio April 2011
"As the sun sets over Palazzolaccio on our final night, Marischa and I are in your debt for selecting the most idyllic paradise we could possibly imagine for our honeymoon. We truly had the most memorable stay. Every morning waking to the spectacular view, with such a sense of quiet and peace, we could not have imagined a more perfect sanctuary.
And Christina's food! We are on crash diets starting tomorrow. Elsia was also exceptional in her welcome and in totally dealing with our car fiasco. It would have been a nightmare without her. Great thanks to Ilaria and Giorgio for such a wonderful stay, and for our lovely and memorable lunch in Montalcino.
We are coming back. The only question is when!"
Riccardo & Marischa Mestres, California, USA
Hotel Hermitage, Elba September 2010
"We loved Elba and the Hotel Hermitage – the food was absolutely delicious and the staff were so friendly and kind. We loved our stay it was a real break and a treat - I am not addicted to Hendrick's Gin and tonic with a wedge of lime and slice of cucumber! I could not fault a thing we all had a great time. Until the next holiday
Rawlinson Family, Hampshire, UK
Florence, Siena & Sant Andrea del Carpine October 2010
"Our trip to Italy was truly magical and made so much easier because of Merrion's terrific planning and recommendations!
We had asked for Merrion to find an old church in Northern Tuscany that had been converted into a villa ... and ... she did! It was absolutely spectacular and complete with a summer home where I spent some wonderful hours doing yoga and looking out over the Tuscan hills.
The attached pictures show the incredible view and foliage ....couldn't have asked for anything more!
Merrion also helped us to find 2 lovely hotels in Florence and Sienna, both within walking distance of everything we wanted to see and do! Hotel Hermitage in Florence overlooked the Ponte Vecchio and the Hotel Duomo in Sienna had incredible views of Sienna and the countryside
Merrion and Mojo made our time in Italy a wonderful and memorable experience !”
Linda & David, Toronto, Canada
Palazzetto, Tuscany July 2010
"We had the most unbelievable time at Palazzetto, the house and its situation lived up to and beyond my expections, I could not believe how near to Siena we were but so totally in the countryside surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. We had many driving excursions to see many of the beautiful hill towns, Thank heaves for the beautiful swimming pool as we arrived over the hottest week of the year so far!!!. Pisa airport was a bit of a crazy busy nightmare! The owners/manager were unbelievable and so helpful and friendly and welcoming. The Tuscan food - all I can say is thank heavens for elastic!!, was out of this world, Alfeo did us proud, our italian was somewhat lacking but we managed to get by!!. Last but not least Merrion thank you so much for all your expert help and advice in finding this idyllic place to stay with my family and friends to make our 10th Anniversary truly memorable.
Our very best wishes and thanks to you, i can't thank you enough for your help and easy to deal with manner.."
Jo and Ian Thomson, BC, Canada
Col di Casale, Umbria August 2010
"Merrion listened to our requirements and we felt we had a very personalised holiday to meet the needs of our family. The house and location were stunning and definately the most impressive place we have stayed to date, having stayed in some amazing places through her competitors. Every need was met, we had a well stocked fridge upon our arrival and Thomas, the property manager, even suggested we did not cook on the first night, on a public holiday and with everything closed he still managed to bring up a freshly prepared two course meal and wine for dinner. The house and pool were spotless. We had a chef, Barbara cook for us for two nights during our stay and the food was superb. Highly recommend the Col di Casale if you are looking for tranquility and luxury… we had an amazing time and very much look forward to booking our next holiday through you."
Mr & Mrs Farries, Buckinghamshire, UK
Vico Basso, Casa della Quercia, Londra Palace, Villa Fiordaliso,
Villa d’Este – July 2010
"Thanks very much for taking such good care of us. Your personalized interest in our trip to Italy was terrific! Your knowledge of great places to stay, and small intimate "off the beaten track" attractions and restaurants were most enjoyable. Most impressive was your personal interest in our wants and needs and timely response to any request. Thanks for making our Italian trip enjoyable, troublefree and unforgettable. Kindest regards, John Patterson."
John Patterson & family, USA
Podere Isabella July 2010
"Everyone in our group had a great time. We had a lot of foodies in our group, and no one was disappointed by the food experiences. I'm so glad that Stefano recommended La Porta, because it turned out to be our single best dinner. The owner there is extremely friendly and gracious. …. Anna prepared some great meals for us. Her pork roast and deep-friend aubergines were amazing, as was her lasagna! You were a pleasure to deal with, and I never felt that you were reluctant to assist us with anything. I would not hesitate to enlist your help in planning our next Italian vacation, and hope to get some suggestions as to other great places in Italy to explore."
Unsu Lee & family, Singapore
Villa Bianca & Masseria Torre Maizza – Puglia
“Just to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Leuca at Villa Bianca which has one of the nicest swimming pools we have seen anywhere. Its such a good area and found some great restaurants. The 3 days in Torre Maizza were excellent – a very good hotel and beach and beach restaurant. So thank you for organising everything , and Maizza is a real find!
We could not have chosen a better person to book our Italian holiday. Merrion always answered my questions immediately by email - the efficiency was 100%. Perfect in summing up what type of holiday we wanted. A true specialist in all directions.”
Bartholomew family - Wiltshire
Mas St Joseph , Provence July 2009
“Our 2009 trip to Provence was truly memorable! Following our fabulous week at Palazzetto in Tuscany last year, our expectations were already quite high but nothing could have prepared us for the "Wow" factor of Mas St Joseph. The house was truly charming and the 5 acres of garden were amazing. The children managed to discover something new in the garden every day, a tree house, veg garden, table tennis and the Thai Pavillion was quite a surprise as well and a great place for evening drinks! Paul and Mariejoe (not sure of spelling) could not have been more helpful and were very welcoming. The only thing we would do differently next time is go for two weeks instead of one.……thank you again for arranging two very special holidays both of which more than matched our expectations!”
Collins Family, London
August 2009 - Sant Andrea del Carpine, Lunigiana
“We had a lovely time in Italy and thanks again for organising it all and for the lovely lunch, it was all much appreciated………We would definitely say your services were great, the website is very good and the follow up excellent… The villa itself was in a lovely location, it was nice to be close to a village although we only used the pub once, it is a good option to have it close by for the odd meal if needed…. Giorgio was lovely, very helpful and friendly and we appreciated him taking us to the supermarket our first night and for sorting out the internet which did work really well once all the switches were on. All in all we had a wonderful time and enjoyed exploring the area and the weather was perfect too. Many thanks again."
Lulu & Jim Dubai
July 2009 - Casa Glyn & Sant Andrea
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Casa Glyn:
Fantastic scenery, particularly the view from the terrace where we whiled our time away listening to Sarah play your piano (a big plus for her - just heard that she gained a distinction in her grade 8 flute exam!). We usually do quite a lot of day trips on our holidays but this place was just perfect for us to wind down/recuperate. Villa accommodation was ‘home from home’; internal furnishings, pool and terrace area, all contributing to relaxing and had everything we needed. It was also a bonus to have yourself and Mojo on site helping us to make the most of the location - your information folder was also very useful.
Sant Andrea del Carpine was fun:
Kept losing each other and having to make arrangements to meet up in certain parts of the accommodation. Great place for Steve to read his ‘Millenium’ book. The meal was a highlight. Location of both villas were ideal for us - we could have visited a lot more places but couldn’t drag ourselves away from the villas!
Thanks again for your help. We will definitely recommend you to anyone else thinking of going to Italy.
Best wishes - it was a real pleasure to meet you."
Taylor Family from Dubai
Puglia June 2009
“Merrion found us our dream holiday villa. That's skill itself without the personal, helpful and efficient advice and organisation which enabled 2 families coming from different directions to end up in a remote and idyllic spot, housed in a blissful white washed trulli style home with all mod cons. Just big enough for six of us adults and toddler, with a wonderful aspect and large white swimming pool, not a mosaic tile in sight, we were wonderfully rested, indulged with delicious food from the local markets and stimulated and fascinated by the beautiful towns all quite nearby.
As near perfect a week as you could hope for”.
Howard Family, London
Casa Glyn - June 2009
“Merrion Charles is a delight to work with. She is personable, professional, knowledgeable, cheerful, and a terrific human being. With great care, Merrion will cater her recommendations to your personal taste, interests and budget. I highly recommend Merrion's services without hesitation.”
Linda I, Toronto
Just a note of thanks to you both from Dominic and I. Thank you, Merrion, for introducing us to Casellaccia on our initial trip to Italy in December last year, it was well worth the visit then and we are so thrilled with our final decision – not a single regret.
Elisa, the staff at Casellaccia are just amazing, Marcella and Loridonna (not sure of the spelling of her name), were particularly awesome. But in saying that, every one of the ladies we came into contact with during our stay were helpful, accommodating and very pleasant.
The wedding day itself was just beautiful, from the weather to the food to the friendly, wonderful priest, to the church (our guests LOVED that church!), and the Italian music duo. It was perfect.
All in all, our entire party had such an amazing wedding holiday. The setting, the food and the atmosphere all lent themselves towards creating an experience for Dominic and I that truly exceeded our expectations.
Many thanks and I hope that we can do this again in the future.
Take care and may you continue to create happy holidays for many, many more customers.
Dominic & Eloise Giampaolo from South Africa June 2009
“What can we say…we knew that Casa Glyn would be beautiful but, it exceeded all expectations. Our photos & my (lame) painting cannot begin to capture the magic. We thank you very much for your hospitality – meeting you has made our trip even better. We understand why you love it so much. We love it too! Our last evening with our chef was truly perfect!! Thank you so very much for everything. We will be back. Kind regards Diane, Jim, Jamie & Mike Dondero. We loved meeting MoJo too!!
Dondero family USA - May 2009
Thank you for a glorious autumn break in Tuscany at Zingoni. A superbly understated yet elegant hideaway in the hills with a view which encourages hours of sitting on the terrace. Our wonderful housekeeper, Graziella, couldn't have made our stay more comfortable and her cooking was perfect. Fresh salad from the garden, figs from the poolside trees and a log fire at night....we didn't want for anything.
Sarah - October 2008 - Zingoni, Tuscany.
"The most important thing to remember when you rent Casa Glyn is that you're not going to feel like a tourist. All of my prior experiences in Europe were centered on major cities and this was the antithesis of those trips. The town of Cotto where the villa is located and the nearby town of Fivizzano are both warm and delightfully small. If there are tourists in the area they're so well dispersed you wont even know it. And with all that being said, Casa Glyn is still just a stones throw from most of the attractions you'll want to visit while in Tuscany .
The villa itself is a remarkable property. Merrion has managed to maintain it's old world appeal while updating it beautifully to meet more modern expectations. But what stood out for my family and me was the setting. Even though it's nestled up against the town, most parts of the property give you the feeling that you're all alone in paradise. The views of the surrounding hills and valley, back dropped by majestic alpine mountains are now etched in my permanent memory bank. Coming from the U.S. with such a daunting exchange rate to overcome, the lovely kitchen and cooking facilities proved a Godsend. And, even though the home isn't huge, all of our 9 party members had a very comfortable place to sleep.
Casa Glyn is for those who want to be near enough to the traditional allures of Tuscany , with the option to pass on them entirely and still have a wonderful time. For us it was perfect."
Doug Tarter June 2008.
La Limonaia was a fabulous villa for our two families totaling 11 people. We had the most relaxing holiday in the spacious and very comfortable villa set in the grounds of Castello di Celsa. The staff, Fico and Kameja, and Lara, were delightful and very accommodating, and we had many funny charades to get past the language barrier! The little children had a great time on the estate, exploring, swimming and playing tennis in the hot Italian sunshine. Every second day or so we would venture out on a day trip to one of many local villages, climbing bell towers, eating, drinking and taking in the fabulous culture. San Gamigniano, Monteriggioni, Siena, the Chianti towns, and of course Florence are all within easy reach of La Limonaia. We explored little local restaurants nearly every day, and when we didn’t go out we would have a delicious feast laid out on the table under the grape vines. We learnt much about Italian wines by tasting many! All in all, the perfect getaway!
Fiona Donnelly – July 2008 – La Limonaia, Tuscany
The Pheasantry Hascombe Surrey - 22 January 2008
Comments on trips arranged for us by Merrion Charles
‘Couldn’t have been better. Everything went as planned.’
‘A week in January is not the easiest thing to get right but she did it perfectly. The briefing, schedule, flights, hotel and local information could not have been better. Very impressive.’
‘Last minute decision but went without a hitch.’
‘Super service. Super planning. Super hotel. Full marks Merrion’
‘We could not decide where to go or how to arrange it. Merrion’s great knowledge of the area came to our rescue and she sorted it all out quickly and efficiently.’
‘When you deal with Merrion you get the best service, her extensive knowledge, her efficiency and her lovely personality. Can’t beat that’
‘Merrion knows her world of travel and is very good at what she does.’
‘Her attention to detail means that she gets it right’
Mike & Joan McLeod - Surrey 2008’
'Last year we decided we wanted to ski in the Dolomites but needed advice on the resorts. Having read all the press reports and brochures we decided there was too much choice, we needed help. After one call to Merrion explaining what we wanted and our level of skiing she came up with Arabba and the Sport Hotel, where we spent Christmas and New Year. Merrion organised everything for us: flights, taxi, hotel and the best ski instructor. A fantastic holiday which we are about to repeat. We would not hesitate in recommending Merrion, nothing seems too much for her.'
A very happy customer. Sussex.
Family trip to Italy
'Merrion organized a family trip to Italy for us (my daughter 5 my son 9 and my husband) I asked for something that was not going to be ‘touristy’ she understood my needs exactly and spent some time making sure that it all went smoothly for us, it really helped that she speaks fluent Italian and there were no misunderstandings or disappointments on the other end. I would not travel to Italy without using Merrion.'
Fiona Rawlinson - January 2008
Hi Merrion, Happy New Year to you too!
'We could not have been more pleased with the villa, and Latif is a treasure. Thank you so much for the recommendation and please convey our thanks to the (lucky) owner. Do keep in touch.'
Best wishes Nick & Deveren – December 2007
Villa Spada, nr Lucca - June 2010
"Dear Merrion, We did enjoy our stay at Villa Spada immensely. Thank you for arranging everything so well for us - everyone really loved the week and we were very lucky with the weather too. Thanks for your e-mail. Hope you had a good time on Elba. Best Wishes Caroline"
Mr & Mrs J. Mackay-Lewis & friends - Northern Ireland, U.K
Podere La Serra, Lunigiana , Tuscany July 2010
"The villa was just what we hoped for - very spacious with six bedrooms and six bathrooms. There was a well equipped kitchen though the coffee machine gave a bit of trouble on occasions! The view from the pool was magnificent and the pool itself was large and beautiful. I liked the fact that it was a short walk to the village - altogether it is a lovely place for a family or friends to get together... It was just right and thank you again for helping us to sort out the villa to suit... Well, to finish, we loved meeting you and would love to come to that part of Tuscany again."
Wardell-Yerburgh family, Berkshire, UK
June 2009 Casa Glyn
"Casa Glyn is a wonderful, peaceful and relaxing place to stay. The house is well equipped and very comfortable. Merrion, the owner, is very welcoming and helpful and has a great knowledge of the area. The view from the terrace is wonderful. It's a real pleasure to just sit and gaze at the mesmerising view down the valley to Fivizzano and over to the Apuan Alps. The town of Fivizzano is small but has great food shops. We shopped at the butcher, baker and Alimentari recommended by Merrion. It was great to be able to make the most of the wonderful food that was available. The staff at the shops were very friendly and helpful even though they didn't speak english and out Italian was extremely basic! We never went to a supermarket as it was such a pleasure to shop at these shops.
Casa Glyn has a wood fired pizza oven on the terrace which produces great tasting pizza. We bought the dough for the pizzas from the baker which made things much easier. It takes a while for the oven to get hot so while you're waiting you can sit on the terrace with a glass of wine and enjoy the view.
Many of the sites of Tuscany are easy to do for a day trip. The Cinque Terre is a good day out and the scenery is beautiful. But sometimes it's hard to drag yourself away from the peacefulness of Casa Glyn. It's nice just to go down to Fivizzano, enjoy a coffee and pastry by the fountain in the piazza, shop for your food supplies and then head back to Casa Glyn and relax on the terrace or by the pool. If you are feeling energetic there are good walks from the house.
Fivizzano is definitely not a tourist town which for us helped make our stay more enjoyable. To us it was a taste of 'real' Italy. I would recommend staying at Casa Glyn to anybody who enjoys getting away from it all while still having the option to venture out to the sites of Tuscany."
Hewitt Family Michigan USA
Casa Glyn May 2010
“"A couple of friends along with ourselves, wanted to find somewhere special in Tuscany to celebrate both our 25th wedding anniversaries. Having come across Casa Glynn on the internet we chose to spend our first week in
Tuscany in this is idyllic sounding place.
We were not to be disappointed, Merrion could not have been more helpful sharing with us her passion for Italy and knowledge of Tuscany and the local area. On her recommendation we found down in Fivivizzano a wonderful café that provided us with the most fabulous homemade ice cream and also a general shop which was a treasure trove of local produce which made our meals into culinary delights. The couple of walks Merrion suggested we took when we could tear ourselves away from those magnificent views were very enjoyable.
Our stay could not have been more comfortable in the very tastefully decorated Casa Glyn, everything you could possibly need, Merrion, had thought of right down to her home made olive oil and the lovely red wine locally produced in the village of Cotto.
Our wedding anniversary was made into a memorable evening by our chef cooking us a feast of local dishes and finishing off the night entertaining us with his singing while Merrion played the piano. Memories of the deers coming down to the river to drink in front of the terrace, the cows been led off in the mornings with the farmer, their bells ringing across the valley than returning of an evening, the shooting stars, the pool where we whiled away the afternoons views of very dramatic Apuane mountains and of course Mojo, Merrion's trusty companion. Truly wonderful memories to take away with us. Thank you for sharing such a special place."”
Best wishes Gilly, Malcolm, Elizabeth and Christopher – Jersey, Channel Islands.
Casa Glyn - September 2011
"My husband and I stayed at Casa Glyn this September and for two weeks I was in Heaven. Casa Glyn itself gives you a sense of being at home with its charming and tasteful style and the views all around give you a feeling of peace and of being at one with the world. We had great fun exploring the many charming villages and towns that give Italy its magic charm. Even though Merrion lives next door she is very tactful and discreet and in fact we loved having her nearby and she gave us lots of useful tips on places to visit that we would never have found without her. Thank you Merrion and I can't wait to return."
Sarah Hardy, Arundel, UK
Casa Glyn, April 2012
"We absolutely loved our stay at the Villa, it's position was perfect, close enough that we could explore the area but remote enough that it really felt like an escape. The villa itself was beautifully appointed, and was very comfortable.
Merrion's vast knowledge of the area, and of traveling in Italy in general, was a huge benefit, and helped us to ensure that we had a truly authentic Italian experience."
Philippa Selfe & Party, South Africa
Casa Glyn, August 2012
“….I'm sure you already know but we did all have the most fantastic time staying with you and we do send you our very great thanks for all your kindness and help. We so enjoyed meeting you and it was marvellous to have the benefit of all your "inside knowledge". We thoroughly enjoyed everything we did and I'm afraid we have no criticisms - not even by way of constructive feedback !”
Holdsworth Family, London, UK