Renting in Tuscany is a very popular way of staying in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Many Italian owners have renovated palazzos, castles, farmhouses, villas and barns that are dotted around the beautiful rolling countryside. Years ago, many of the rental properties were of questionable quality—some were dark, kitchens were old fashioned, bathrooms often had a shower nozzle on the wall, the drain in the floor, no curtain and the toilet right alongside. Now the standard of renovation is quite high. A property, if fully renovated, will usually have newly tiled kitchens, bathrooms with shower stall, and brand-new appliances. Simple renovations will often have large rooms with little furniture in them. There will be one main room with a dining table alongside an open kitchen and one sofa even if the house sleeps 6!. The kitchen will have a stove top and no oven, and no TV or telephone. More elegant properties will have sponge-painted walls, artwork, and beds with high-quality linens. Bathrooms can have ornate fixtures.
Italian owners are learning they can go online and promote their own property. Finding a property that is located in the situation you want and that offers all the amenities you desire depends on how detailed and open each owner is. Clearly each traveller needs to evaluate their own willingness to risk dealing with an unknown owner. In addition to working with an individual Italian owner through their own website, there are many agencies that represent Italian owners and offer a wide selection of villas to clients.