Simpson Secret – Villa Palaia Italy, Tuscany

This marvellous old farmhouse is the ideal solution if you are looking for the classic Tuscan countryside experience, set on a hill top and surrounded by rolling hills, olive groves and vineyards. To complete the authentic picture, the estate still produces its own wine and olive oil, and the house retains many original features.

It’s pretty unlikely that any of the original estate workers would recognise much about the farmhouse today however, as the present owners have converted it with exceptional taste and flair. The main rooms are generously sized, and with two separate living rooms and a dining room, you can all spread out and enjoy the space, or get together on the terrace to discuss the day’s discoveries and absorb the serene splendour of this historic spot. The private pool is a lovely sun trap, surrounded by a broad terrace with a shady section to one side. For long lazy lunches the villa has a beautiful terrace that leads conveniently off the kitchen and runs the entire length of the rear of the house.

The villa is set on a wooded hillside within an acre of private grounds and surrounded by beautiful walking country.  The estate produces fine red wines, and you can visit the cantina to discover more about the production process and try the wines for yourself. This is a quieter area of Tuscany, well off the main tourist route, with many small towns nearby where you can eat and shop in traditional restaurants and markets. Tuscany’s most celebrated cities are also within easy reach.


  • 8 bedroom villa (sleeps 14)
  • Changeover day – Saturday
Ground floor:
  • Living room with open fireplace
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • Outdoor dining terrace
  • Dining room
  • Double bedroom with en-suite shower room and WC
  • Small sitting room

First floor:

  • Living room
  • Master double bedroom with dressing room, en-suite bathroom with WC
  • Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with WC
  • 2 double bedrooms
  • 2 single rooms
  • 2 shower rooms with WC
  • Double bedroom  
  • Shower room with WC
  • Washing machine and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Cot and highchair
  • Telephone
  • Satellite TV, DVD player, iPod docking station with speakers
  • Air-conditioning (included May-September)
  • Central heating (included October-April)
  • Barbecue
  • Private swimming pool 12m x 6m (depth 1.2m – 1.7m), open mid-April to mid-October, can be heated to 26°C weather permitting (€250/week)
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 are provided
  • Weekly linen change for bookings of one week or more
  • Cleaning Mon-Fri 2 hours daily
  • Additional cleaning and linen changes available on request
  • Local tourist tax payable locally
  • Chef available on request
  • Winetasting and estate tours available on request
  • All services payable locally
  • Prices quoted are subject to change
Simpson Exclusive villas include the additional benefit of our Concierge Service. This complimentary service is designed to make your holiday experience as relaxing, seamless and rewarding as possible, drawing on our local knowledge and contacts to respond to your personal requests and make further suggestions that you may not have considered, but as a minimum we offer a pre-booking service for:
  • UK airport hotels and parking
  • UK airport lounge access
  • Private chef service
  • Grocery shopping and delivery
  • Restaurant recommendations and reservations
  • In-villa massage and beauty treatments
  • Private jets

Once at your destination, our local concierge will be at your disposal for any further assistance or advice.


This historic private estate once belonged to a noble Tuscan family associated with the Medici, and has been an important part of the local heritage for centuries. Today the estate produces three grades of high quality red wine and guests are encouraged to visit the cantina and learn more about wine production and sample the wines produced there. Guests at Villa Palaia are welcome to walk the estate roads and enjoy the countryside and the lovely views.

  • Palaia 4.5km – small characteristic hilltop village, shops, two restaurants and takeaway pizza
  • Forcoli 5km – selection of shops, services and supermarket (open Mon-Sat)
  • Capannoli 8km
  • Peccioli 10km
  • Terricciola 15km
  • All with food festivals, concerts, special interest markets and street parties throughout the year
  • Volterra 37km
  • San Gimignano 45km
  • Lucca 43km
  • Pisa 45km
  • Florence 68km
  • Siena 87km
  • Peccioli 10km
  • 9 and 18-hole golf course 20km

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 airports in Tuscany to help you reach your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

Pisa 39km

Departure airport Airline Flight days Seasonality
London Gatwick British Airways Saturday All season
London Gatwick easyJet Saturday All season
London Heathrow British Airways Saturday All season
Edinburgh Ryanair Saturday All season
Manchester easyJet Saturday All season
Manchester Jet 2 Saturday All season


Florence 68km

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


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