Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole Italy, Tuscany

Villa delle Favole, the Villa of Fairytales, is tucked away in the peaceful heart of rural Tuscany.  It's a former monastery nestled in a private forest of olive, oak and beech trees close to the walled medieval village of Anghiari. The site was first inhabited over 1,000 years ago by Camaldolesi monks, attracted no doubt by the beauty and absolute serenity of the spot which survives undiminished today. Close to the border with Umbria for Assisi and Perugia, it’s a brilliant base from which to discover the natural and cultural treasures of both regions.

The main villa has been extensively restored to fits its current role as an elegant holiday home, with many of the original architectural and decorative features kept intact. Inside you’ll find exposed beams, tiled floors, vast brick fireplaces and plenty of local antiques and art works. There’s no trace of any monastic asceticism these days, just generous, comfortable spaces ideal for a family gathering, group holiday or special celebration. The main house comprises four large suites sleeping up to 12 in total, with two further cottages in the grounds which can sleep an additional eight guests in three double rooms. Villa delle Favole's owner Laura is an exceptional host: Tuscan born, she combines warm hospitality and unrivalled local knowledge with the option to arrange all manner of holiday-enhancing extras, from shopping and meal services to cookery classes, language courses and guided local excursions.

Of course none of this is compulsory, so feel free to relax and enjoy long, sunny days by the pool, with the warm scent of rosemary, lavender and jasmine wafting in the air.  The views over the surrounding countryside are mesmerising, whether bathed in Tuscany’s unique golden glow or back-lit by a fiery sunset.  Anghiari itself is an absolute gem, a charming maze of narrow streets recognised as one of the ‘most beautiful villages in Italy’ and offering a good choice of fine local restaurants. Montepulciano and the great city of Florence are around 75-90 minutes away by car.


  • 4 bedrooms (sleeps 8) – main house
  • Main house and 3 guest cottage suites (sleeps 14)
Main house ground floor:
  • Entrace and reception area
  • Living/dining room with open fireplace, piano
  • Well-equipped kitchen with industrial dishwasher, fireplace; access to terrace
  • Small sitting room
  • Shower room
  • Laundry room
  • Reading room
First floor:
  • Internal and external access
  • Living room with fireplace
  • Large terrace
  • Loggia Suite (sleeps 2): double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with bath
  • Voliera Suite (sleeps 2): double bedroom with en-suite shower room; access to shared terrace
  • Vocabolo Suite (sleeps 2): double bedroom with en-suite bathroom, seating area with sofabed, access to terrace

Second floor:

  • Library with gallery
  • Torre Suite (sleeps 2): master double bedroom, living room with sofabed and fireplace, en-suite bathroom
Guest cottage:
  • Capriata (sleeps 2)
  • 30m from main house
  • Kitchenette
  • Master bedroom with bathroom and WC (suitable for disabled guests)
  • Private garden
Guest cottage:
  • Ground floor – Fonte (sleeps 2):  double bedroom with en-suite shower room
  • First floor – Pieve (sleeps 2): double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with shower, small kitchenette
  • Electric entrance gate
  • Central heating
  • Air-conditioned bedrooms
  • All suites have a mini-bar, telephone, hairdryer and guest toiletries
  • DVDs, board games
  • Games area with table tennis, rackets/balls
  • Furnished relaxing area
  • 2.5 acres of garden
  • 5 acres of woodland
  • Private swimming pool 12m x 6m (depth 1.5m throughout), 50m from main house, ladder access
  • Cash security deposit €1,000 on arrival
    Security deposit £1,500
Complimentary wifi:
  • All properties with wifi are able to support basic functionality such as web browsing and checking emails
  • We aim to offer an uninterrupted service but sometimes due to factors beyond our control reliability can be affected
  • Bed linen, bathroom and pool towels provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Cook available on request
  • Cooking classes and Italian language classes available on request
  • Hairdresser service available on request
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change
Villa delle Favole is 500m from the village of Tavernelle di Anghiari with basic amenities and restaurants, and a 5 minute drive from Anghiari, a small medieval village in the heart of Tuscany, steeped in culture and history.  Built around the course of the rivers Arno and Tevere, Anghiari is dotted with churches and castles and an area rich in monasteries and archaeological sites. The town's narrow streets and squares are home to painted and sculpted masterpieces so much so that it has been declared one of the most beautiful and characteristic villages in Italy. Famous artists have painted here – Michelangelo Buonarroti, Piero della Francesca, Luca Pacioli and of course Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of the ‘Battle of Anghiari’. Art, history and culture can be felt everywhere – from the farmer's market held three times a week to the many festivals held throughout the year, and especially in summer during the music festival.

Villa delle Favole is ideal as a base for visiting the most popular Tuscan towns and cities – Siena (85km), Florence (100km) and even further afield to Pisa (180km).

There are many charming villages closer to the house:
  • Sansepolcro (11km)
  • Citerna (12km)
  • Monterchi (12km)
  • Arezzo (24km) – famous antiques fair held the first weekend of every month and also known for the film ‘Life is Beautiful’ by Roberto Benigni
  • La Verna (40km) – Francis of Assisi received the stigmata here
  • Cortona (50km) – made famous by the book ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by Frances Mayes

Being on the border with Umbria it is worth visiting:

  • Città di Castello (25km)
  • Gubbio (75km)
  • Lake Trasimeno (67km)
  • Spello or Deruta (95km) – famous for handmade pottery.
  • Perugia (80km)
  • Siena (85km)
  • Assisi (90km)

Local activities:

  • Mountain bike rental
  • Guided walks
  • Horseback riding
  • Visits to vineyards and mills
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Bowls
  • Parachute jumping (Arezzo)
  • River rafting
  • Adventure Park (Perugia)
  • Hot air balloon rides


This Simpson Secret is booked on an accommodation-only basis, but for an administration fee of £25 per person we would be delighted to book return flights.

Below are the flight options available, including the most convenient airport in Tuscany to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Florence 88km/1hr10 min drive

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London City British Airways Saturday All season
London City Air France Saturday All season
London Gatwick British Airways Saturday All season



  7 May 14 May 21 May 28 May
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
  4 June 11 June 18 June 25 June
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
  2 July 9 July 16 July 23 July 30 July
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
  6 August 13 August 20 August 27 August
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
  3 September 10 September 17 September 24 September
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14
  1 October 8 October 15 October 22 October 29 October
Simpson Secret – Villa delle Favole 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14 7 14

†  Flight availability is limited on your chosen dates.

Please call us for assistance with your holiday on 020 8392 5872.

Booking Conditions

  • Prices are in pounds sterling and are for the accommodation only for the guests named on your invoice
  • The assistance of the property owner, housekeeper or concierge
  • Information book in your accommodation
  • Any breakages, damage, losses, extra cleaning or outstanding accounts incurred during your stay 
  • Visas 
  • Holiday travel insurance
  • Airfares, car hire or transfers
One cot and one highchair are provided free of charge in our self-catering properties.  Additional cots and highchairs may be available upon request.
In order to allow you to co-ordinate your holiday arrangements with friends and family, in many cases we are able to hold an option for up to 24 hours before confirming your booking.
In order to confirm your booking a deposit of 30% of the accommodation cost is required.  This payment is non-refundable. The balance payment for your holiday should be paid at least 10 weeks prior to your departure. We accept most debit cards and credit cards, and personal cheques. All payments made by credit card will be subject to a 1.25% charge* reflecting our incurred costs. (*American Express is subject to a 2% charge.) 
Please familiarise yourself with our full booking terms including our cancellation policy here.
Most of our self-catering accommodation is privately owned and sometimes it is the owner’s main residence, which they vacate for the summer season. In order to protect the furnishings and fittings, some owners require a security deposit which is collected 3 weeks prior to departure. The deposit will be refunded in full within 7 days of your return provided there is no damage or additional cleaning required and the property remains in the same condition as upon arrival. If a security deposit is applicable, the amount required will be stated in the Details section of the property. Please alert the owner/caretaker to any breakages or damages during your stay.
It is compulsory that all our guests have comprehensive travel insurance and we will need full details of your policy at the time of booking or before you travel.
Your travel documents are available to download and print 2 weeks prior to departure via our Manage My Booking facility on our website provided you have paid in full.
It is your responsibility to be in possession of a valid passport and any necessary visas. EU citizens do not need a visa to travel to France. If you are a non-EU citizen then you should check with your own embassy for the entry/re-entry requirements necessary for your journey. Children not on an accompanying parent’s passport before October 1998 are now required to hold their own passport if they are under 16 years. If you do not have a passport, it is recommended to apply at least 6 weeks before your holiday. Passports should be valid for 6 months after your return date.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Should you wish to check their advice or information about the destination you are travelling to, please visit their website: or call 020 7008 1500.
Air-conditioning and heating
We have indicated in the property descriptions which accommodation has air-conditioning included in the holiday price. Heating is available in some of our properties during the low season weeks, which is normally included in the holiday price.
Animals and wildlife
As in all rural communities, indigenous animals are an essential part of the way of life. The braying of a donkey, crow of a cockerel or the barking of a dog is not a complaint that receives much sympathy from the locals! Care should be taken to minimise the presence of insects and animals in your accommodation. Keep surfaces clean, dispose of refuse regularly and ensure that food is not left uncovered. Cats and dogs are often resident where an owner or manager lives on the property. If you are allergic to cats and/or dogs please ensure that you check the suitability of your chosen accommodation with us prior to confirming your booking.
We have specified if a barbecue is available at your accommodation. Please note that often in summer, due to the hot weather, use of your barbecue may not be allowed and/or strict rules for its use may apply. The local or national government reserves the right to introduce new rulings at any time, often with little prior notice, prohibiting the use of barbecues to reduce the risk of fires. Where a barbecue is not provided, it is usually because the surroundings are considered a fire risk or inappropriate for the use of barbecues.
Beach/pool towels
Beach/pool towels are provided in all our self-catering properties and these are normally laundered weekly.
Please note that a double bed could be two single beds placed together. French bed sizes vary and can be 140cm.
Check-in and check-out
You will usually be able to occupy your accommodation between 4-7pm and you should vacate it on the day of departure before 10am. Please refer to specific property details for exact times. 
All our properties are cleaned for your arrival. The details section of each property has further information regarding the cleaning schedule. If additional cleaning is required, please contact us to arrange this in advance of travel. Please note additional charges will apply.
Distances and timings
Please note that all walking and driving times stated are approximate estimates only. Transfer times are also approximate estimates only and do not include any waiting time.
Health and safety
Simpson Travel is committed to raising the standards of health and safety throughout all our destinations. Our guests’ safety and wellbeing is of the highest importance to us. However, please note that since many of our properties are private homes, it is not always possible to meet the same exacting standards as in the UK. In your accommodation we will provide any necessary health and safety information. We ask you to familiarise yourself with this information and the property on arrival, particularly when travelling with children, and to raise any concerns with the Simpson Travel telephone representative.
Internet access and wifi
Internet access and wifi is available when stated in the relevant accommodation description details. Please note there may be restrictions with the availability and speed of the service transmitted by the local provider and technical issues may cause temporary withdrawal of internet facilities. We are unable to accept responsibility for any down time or consequences of using this service and refund/compensation cannot be offered due to circumstances beyond our control such as adverse weather conditions.
Linen and laundry
Bed and bathroom linen is provided weekly. For your convenience all of our properties in France have a washing machine and most have a tumble dryer.
Noise and building works
Traffic, farm work, roadwork, animals and other sounds form part of everyday life, however, what constitutes ‘noise’ to one person may not be a problem for another. Please let us know if you have any special needs regarding this. Occasionally, building work is unavoidable as we do not control such work and may not know about it in advance. Whenever possible, we will notify you of any work that we believe may affect your holiday.
Only guests named on your invoice are entitled to occupy the accommodation.
Satellite television
We cannot guarantee that a full selection of satellite channels will be available. Channels in English may be very limited and these are often only CNN or BBC World.
Seasonal facilities
Some facilities are subject to weather conditions and the general season, for example swimming pools, restaurant terraces and courtyards, pool bars, local restaurants, and they may be limited or unavailable at the beginning or end of the season. Please do not hesitate to check with us, should a particular facility be a necessity to you.
Swimming pools
Swimming pool details are given on our website. Pool dimensions are approximate only and, unless specified otherwise, pools are freshwater and unheated. Dates when pools are operational are subject to the prevailing weather conditions at the time of opening and closing and we cannot be held responsible if poor weather means the pool is opened later, or is closed earlier in the season.
Upon arrival at your accommodation, we kindly ask you to acquaint yourselves with the pool’s safety and hygiene rules. All our pools in Corsica and mainland France comply with French law and are fitted with one of the following forms of security: fence, alarm or cover. Some pools are ‘infinity pools’ which have an exposed pool edge with an unprotected drop. This maximises views and is an attractive feature of the pool. We recommend that you do not sit, lean or walk on the unprotected edge. Children must be supervised at all times.
Villa owners
Whilst the owners or staff of some properties may live on site and tend to the grounds, they are aware that you value your privacy, and will do their best not to intrude. We do ask you, however, to allow them reasonable access to the property so that they can maintain the grounds and keep them in good order.
Welcome Pack
We offer a welcome pack in all our self-catering accommodation consisting of a small selection of staple items.