The Villa Life: Inside 3 Authentic Tuscan Villas-1

The Villa Life: Inside 3 Authentic Tuscan Villas

Staying in one of these modernized yet historic homes is like living in the past—and that’s exactly what you’ll love about them, and why we had to feature them in our YouTube series “The Villa Life.”

Amazing vacations aren’t only made by the homes that host them—it’s also the people involved in them and the experiences that come with them. That’s what The Villa Life is all about, and that’s what Tuscany’s Casa Felice, Podere Panico, and Villa San Luigi embody in our YouTube series’ latest season, hosted by our very own Bianca Daniell, who is a Luxury Retreats’ Villa Specialist.

“To me, you have to go to Tuscany with people that are very special to you,” says Daniell. “It’s a beauty that has to be shared. The landscape is constantly changing; misty mornings, sunny afternoons, even in the rain it’s beautiful. Luxury Retreats’ villas are so secluded and so private, and always enjoy breathtaking views, plus the staff is always warm and welcoming. It’s just such a special place.” As Daniell reflects on her time in Tuscany, her eyes sparkle, as if she can still picture the views of the rolling hills and still smell the scent of the wood-burning pizza ovens. Her memories seemed to harken back to another era completely—she had after all visited three timeless Tuscan villas, each centuries old and still retaining their historical charm. Though hundreds of years old, Casa Felice, Podere Panico, and Villa San Luigi have each grown better with age, improved upon with modern touches, such as designer kitchens and designer furniture.

The Villa Life with Bianca Daniell

The Villa Life with Bianca Daniell

Get a feel for what makes Tuscany and these homes special, below, and learn more by watching each of Daniell’s episodes of The Villa Life on Luxury Retreats’ YouTube channel.

Casa Felice, Cortona, Tuscany

5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, sleeps 10

“It’s so grand and exquisitely done. Modern appliances marry original decor to create a classic Tuscan space for the 21st century.”
The Villa Life host Bianca Daniell

The Villa Life Tuscany: Casa Felice

What a welcome guests receive at Casa Felice—beginning when the gates open to the long tree-lined driveway. It’s Tuscan paradise. A bronze statue awaits you at the foot of this expansive estate outside Cortona, followed by panoramic countryside views for days and days. The medieval-style setting is majestic, as you plant yourself at an alfresco dining area or swim in the private pool. Then, inside the farmhouse-turned-villa, beamed ceilings, stone floors, and stunning archways set the tone for a laid-back vacation. The nearest winery is just five minutes away: the family-operated Winery Dal Cero – Tenuta Montecchiesi.

The Villa Life Tuscany: Casa Felice

Can’t-Miss Activity: Sailing Lago Trasimeno at sunset

Just 25 minutes away from Casa Felice by car, Umbria’s Lago Trasimeno is a magical place to watch the sun disappear, surrounded by hills, wineries, and castles. The best way to do it is to hire a guide with a boat—that way you also get to learn the mythical stories behind the three islands existing on the lake: Polvese, Maggiore, and Minore. Don’t forget to pour yourself a refreshing glass of Prosecco!


Podere Panico, Siena Area, Tuscany

6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, sleeps 16

“This state-of-the-art home is on a hilltop, and benefits from amazing natural light. Every single window has a great view, so even while you’re inside, you’re taking in the outside.”
The Villa Life host Bianca Daniell

The Villa Life Tuscany: Podere Panico

Want to be transported back to centuries past? Podere Panico, a 400-year-old property atop a hill on an old pilgrimage road that led to Rome, is as close as you’ll get. Its authentic clay roof and Romanesque brick archways bring to mind the French World War II soldiers that once stayed there, and a stone fireplace and wood oven are creature comforts we can imagine them using. Modern additions like a media room and a sauna are ideal for today’s luxury traveler. Podere Panico is the type of home you could get lost in—and not even mind. It’s sprawling, it’s multi-faceted, and it’s etched into the hillside amidst rolling hills and olive groves.

The Villa Life Tuscany: Podere Panico

Can’t-Miss Activity: Visit a winery

Casato Prime Donne winery is an estate south of Podere Panico and just north of Montalcino. It’s the first women-led winery in all of Italy. The vintners and the winemaker are all women, but that’s not the whole story. The vineyard tour incorporates local artwork and music (each wine is paired with a song) alongside the tasting of its Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino vinos.


Villa San Luigi, Siena Area, Tuscany

6 bedrooms, 8.5 bathrooms, sleeps 14

“It’s so private and has extraordinary views, but you’re only 10 minutes away from the town of Buonconvento.”
The Villa Life host Bianca Daniell

The Villa Life Tuscany: Villa San Luigi

What’s the best way to combine total seclusion while having access to all the amenities you could imagine on a vacation? Head to Tuscany’s Siena Area and book a stay at Villa San Luigi. Just outside the quiet comune of Buonconvento, San Luigi surrounds itself with lush gardens and olive groves to offer panoramic views of Siena’s hills. “Tuscany is like a painting,” says Daniell. “At Villa San Luigi, you feel like you’re a part of that painting because of those views.” Yet, guests have their own swimming pool, two indoor kitchens plus one outdoors, a bar, and a home theater. Of course, it’s classically Italian, so guests can (and should) dig into the home’s wine cellar and enjoy a few glasses while kindling the outdoor pizza oven and even competing in a game of bocce in the yard. And to go all in, hire a Michelin Star Chef to cook dinner right in your home. You’ll never want to leave.

The Villa Life Tuscany: Villa San Luigi

Can’t-Miss activity: Hillside horseback riding

As Daniell discovered, one of the most incredible ways to take in the Tuscan landscape is on horseback. She enlisted nearby stable Maneggio di Pieve a Salti for a private tour at sunset to take it all in. The sun dipping into the horizon is a soothing site, and while the tour may be private, you won’t be alone. Thousands of butterflies surround you as you traverse the rolling hills, only adding to the memorable multi-sensory experience.