What we offerWe offer restored or partially restored houses for sale. In addition to this we can also assist you in finding and restoring a property or restore a property you have acquired. We take the raw material and turn it into the high quality Tuscan house of your dreams. If we think this would be difficult we will give you a frank assessment as to why. We are committed to achieving the best results which can only happen when everyone has the same expectations.
To complement our ‘key in hand’ operation we can also offer after sales back up services which you may find useful. These range from small works (when you decided that you did want those built in bookshelves in that alcove after all) to maintenance. We can offer ‘security’ (not a problem as such here) checks of your property if you are away for longer periods of time and have nightmares about frozen pipes etc!
We can also offer an after sales ‘startup’ package of dealing with the initial bureaucracy such as local taxes and trying our best to point you in the right direction regarding other practical differences you will encounter in this beautiful but sometimes complex country.
Where we operateToscana Restoration works within the Terre Senese that is to say the Province of Siena, one of the eleven provinces into which the region of Tuscany is divided.
The Province centres on the incomparable medieval city of Siena, in medieval times one of the foremost city states, ruled by its’ merchant elite. The artistic heritage that this period has left is breathtaking in its virtuosity.
Toscana Restoration is based in the Montalcino area, south of Siena, in the nearby small market town of Torrenieri. The small town (or more accurately slightly overgrown village) of Montalcino is at the heart of the synonymous wine denomination Brunello di Montalcino prized around the world as one of Italy’s two greatest wines. The town on its’ hill is blissfully un-blighted by intrusive modern developments around it’s medieval walls. The surrounding land where the wine is grown has largely been preserved by the discipline of the wine (production is severely limited with every emphasis being on quality rather than quantity). The limiting of production and the existence of many small producers has preserved the attractive characteristics of the landscape, large fields and a monoculture of grapes are virtually non existent in the Brunello area, quite unlike many other wine producing areas of Italy (the Chianti for example).
Houses in the area have literally risen from the surrounding land being constructed from the stone cleared from the fields, transported by mule. In some lower lying villages with clay soil brick abounds instead. Stone, brick, wood and some travertine stone are the dominant characteristics of houses great and small. A thriving terracotta industry (which continues to this day) provided the floor and ceiling brick tiles as well as practical and decorative elements for outside.
To the west of Montalcino on the other side of the ancient (Roman) Via Cassia you will find a panoramic road meandering west from San Quirico d’Orcia to Pienza and Montepulciano. Pienza was built at the beginning of the 1500s by the great humanist Pope Enio Silvio Piccolomini (who just happened to be born there) as a perfect Rennaissance city. It is built on a human scale and stunningly beautiful to this day. In our ‘house’ section please look out for something coming up soon in the picturesque village of Montecchiello just outside Pienza, where for over forty years the inhabitants have held a yearly drama festival written and acted by themselves. The area of the Val d’Orcia where these towns are situated is recognised by UNESCO as an area of outstanding heritage. The landscape is more gently rolling, though still quite high by British standards, with the classic scenery of undulating wheat fields with silvery olive groves and cypresses standing sentinel. There is also pasture land for sheep which produce the noted cheese pecorino di Pienza . Around Montepulciano wine, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is grown.
South of Montalcino to the east of the Cassia one finds Tuscany’s highest mountain, Monte Amiata, which forms the backdrop to most of the landscape here in the south of the Terre Senese . Amiata is covered with thick chestnut forests, which in summer give blessed dappled shade and cool and in winter skiing and nicely roasted chestnuts and other chestnut delicacies. The mountainside towns and villages preserve an original charm and the buildings have a diverse character. It is a charming area especially for those who really determined to ‘get away from it all’ as one must admit that travel times are definitely lengthened, especially in winter.
To the east of Montalcino you will find some attractive villages set in the more gentle landscape of the Asso valley such as San Giovanni d’Asso, Montisi, Castelmuzio and Trequanda. In this area farming is mixed but with the olive playing the dominant role. This area is specially noted for its fine truffles in autumn holding various festivals to celebrate the noble and costly tuber.
Who we areToscana Restoration has two partners, one Italian and the other English and is born out of professional experience and a deep enthusiasm for the area and its houses.
Alessandro, the Italian half of Toscana Restoration was born and raised in the province of Siena, where he qualified as a geometra (surveyor) and he has spent his professional life working in this area.
Wanda, the British partner took a BA and a masters in medieval history at London University, developing a special interest in the medieval Italian city states. In England she worked on development projects that united the use of conservation methods of building and repair with natural 'green' materials.
The use of eco friendly materials and repairing and restoring with the maximum respect possible for the building and its surroundings is the passion that drives Toscana Restoration.