About us

Invitation To Tuscany is the original Tuscan villa specialist. We’ve lived and worked here for nearly four decades, so nobody knows the region better than us. In recent years, we’ve used our expertise to include a carefully curated selection of villas in nearby Umbria, the Italian Lakes and Provence, too.

As a small family company, we get to know every property, owner and customer individually. That means we look beyond the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to help find the ideal holiday home for you.

You can book quickly online if you like, but we prefer to have a chat. Once we know what you want from your holiday – whether it’s to relax by the pool, go wine-tasting, see hilltop villages or even enjoy a bit of nightlife – we can then steer you to the most suitable properties. And we’ll also tell you if one you have your eye on might not be right for your needs.

How we fell for Tuscany

Our guests come to Tuscany for a taste of the good life – and that’s exactly how Invitation To got started, too.

Back in 1973, two years before the classic TV show The Good Life aired, my mother Susan Wrightson decided she wanted to live more sustainably – going off the grid and growing her own food.

She and my father had explored Italy while studying at the British School in Rome. During their travels she met the love of her life – Tuscany. Since then, she had dreamed of putting down roots there, so when I was five years old, she packed up my step-father Alan, my seven-year-old sister Sally and me, and we left Leeds for the medieval village of Monteguidi.

We managed to buy a Tuscan farm for a song – because it had no electricity or running water. My sister and I went to the local Italian school and ran wild through the woods and fields. It was a wonderful time. 

The Children uprooted to live the 1970s Good Life

Of course, it wasn’t all rosy, but by 1976, my mother had managed to make the house habitable for other humans. We wanted to visit England for a few weeks, so she took an ad in the newspaper to see if anyone wanted to rent our home while we were away.

Our first time-honoured guest

By no means was our farmhouse as high-tech as the TARDIS, but Tom Baker thought it was just the place to recover from filming Doctor Who, so he replied to the ad and ended up staying for a month. Our Tuscan neighbours then asked us to help them let out their homes, and by 1982, my mother was running a fully-fledged villa company.

Now we have more than 200 villas in Tuscany, Umbria, the Italian Lakes and Provence, France.

Timignano | Invitation to Tuscany
The house when we first found it. No water, no electricity and no plumbing!
Timignano Today
The house in 2016, looking considerably more civilised!

For us, it’s personal

We’re still very much a family company. My mother retired in 2005, when I took over, while my sister Sally manages the books. My wife Sam and our two children help me scout out properties. Plus we have a small team of long-serving staff who help in our offices in London and Tuscany, and a handful of agents around the world who know our villas inside and out.

Unlike many villa companies, we thoroughly inspect every property on our site. And while our listings vary from charming small houses in village centres to luxurious Tuscan estates amid the vineyards, I have a rule – if my family feels uncomfortable there, I won’t list it.   We want people to relax in our villas, not panic if they spill a bit of olive oil on the table.

Dan Wrightson painting in Chiostro di Torri

It’s all in the details

Growing up in such an impressive landscape, it’s no surprise I developed a passion for Italian art and architecture. As a teenager, I studied art and philosophy in Florence, then went on to read architecture in the UK at Sheffield and Cambridge University.

You’ll see my love of art and architecture reflected in the homes we choose – from elegant Florentine apartments with Baroque facades to frescoed Chianti villas. For me, it’s the details that set a place a part, not matter how grand or modest its size.

Over the years, I’ve done drawings of many of our homes, too, which you’ll see throughout the website and in our brochures.

Why Book with us

Our holiday homes might be beautiful, but they’re also excellent value for money. We have such strong connections to the region and long-lasting relationships with our owners that we get the best deals for our customers. And because we’re members of the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy (ABTOI https://abtoi.com) and the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA https://www.asta.org), you know you can trust that we’ll take care of any problems that might arise.

After you’ve booked, we don’t just send you on your way. From the moment you reserve your villa right until you return home, you’ll have access to our free concierge service. Our knowledgeable staff can help with anything from finding train times, arranging airport transfers and babysitters to suggesting local cafés, sunset spots and Italian cooking classes.

Whether you’re travelling as a couple or having a family gathering of 65 people, give us a call. We’d love you to have a taste of the good life too.

Castellaccio | Invitation to Tuscany
A quick sketch of Castellaccio in Chianti.