Villa Iris truly felt like a home away from home. Lucia was so lovely and welcoming, not to mention an AMAZING cook. My boyfriend and I arrived first, where there was homemade foccacia, cheese, cured meats, wine etc for us.
There were six of us altogether, and we had Lucia cook for us twice (one fish dinner, one meat dinner), and also did the cooking class with her. We would highly recommend doing all! We all agreed that the seafood pasta that she made was the best we had ever tasted (and we've all visited Italy many times).
The whole place is done beautifully and the garden/pool area is stunning when the sun is setting. I also don't think I've ever slept so well while being away; the shutters in the upstairs room we stayed in blocked out all light, and it was so peaceful.
You can walk up the hill to a restaurant and wine shop (unfortunately this was fully booked for the week when we visited, so would suggest booking ahead). If you're into walking/hiking, you can also walk to San Gimignano, which will take 45 minutes-1 hour.
The only suggestion I could make is to have a full length mirror somewhere, as we couldn't find any in the house and would be nice to see what your outfit looks like before you head out!
We were all very upset to leave and can't wait to visit again.
Villa Iris was so wonderful! Sometimes you wonder if the photos on the internet accurately reflect properties. This villa was just as beautiful - actually even MORE so in real-life!! I'm a little sad writing this review - because I wish we were sitting there in this moment, sipping our chianti! The house was extremely clean, decorated beautifully and had plenty of room for our family (4 adults and 6 children/teens)! The grounds are bright green and well-groomed. We walked around several times saying "look at this place...can you believe we are here?!"...You can see San Gimignano in the distance and the sky is just stunning day and night. Gabriele, Lucia and Carolina (owners) were so wonderful. They are very gracious and accommodating hosts! One night we opted for the Italian meal to be cooked for us at the villa. It was fun to learn about their cooking styles and everything was scrumptious! We all enjoyed the bocce ball, outdoor ping pong and foosball. It was also great to be able to dine outside at the family-size table. We had an 10 night trip to Amsterdam and several parts of Italy and I think the family would agree that being "home" at the villa was one of our favorite places to be! We hope to go back one day to our 'home' in Tuscany! Truly beautiful!
We stayed at Villa Iris with 4 other couples, who were close friends, from 7-14 October 2017. This beautiful Villa is centrally located in Tuscany, near the medieval town of San Gimignano, and many other gorgeous Tuscany sights. We were impressed from the moment we saw this property online. You must reserve well in advance (2 years to 1.5 years) if you wish to have the week(s) you want. We were in frequent contact with Martina, who coordinated all of our requests (Private Chef dinner, Cooking Class, arrival, etc). We were met by Gabriele, Lucia and Christina (translator) upon our arrival at the Villa. They allowed an early arrival, for my wife and I, so we could drop off our luggage and pick up another couple at the airport. They showed us each room and explained how to use the Sauna, appliances, TV, built-in BBQ pit, etc.
The property is absolutely stunning. The grass is well groomed, the flowers are beautiful, the pool water is clean, and the Villa inside is very spotless, spacious and beautiful. Each bedroom is very spacious and had a beautiful ensuite bathroom. An amazing buffet was provided for our group arrival in the evening.
Five of us enrolled in the Cooking Class with Lucia, Christina and Monica while the rest of us ate what they prepared. Everyone enjoyed it very much and the food they prepared was excellent, which was served with some great wines. The homemade pasta was so good, we're all going to attempt to make it when we get home. On one of the nights we had Lucia, Christina and Monica prepare dinner. The men in our group have been friends since we were 5 years old and the Private Chef dinner was for our 60th birthday party, complete with delicious Tuscan food and wine. Everything was fantastic! We had the seafood/fish dinner which was excellent. The calamari was the best we've ever had! We used the built-in BBQ on the nights we cooked for ourselves.
The pool area was our go to meeting area to sit and relax after a long day of sight seeing. The pool water was cold during our week in October, however, some of us Canadians were still bold enough to go in for a swim.
Gabriele, Lucia, Martina, Christina and their team are amazing hosts and made our vacation an exceptional 5-star experience. They were very accommodating and friendly during our entire stay.
The weather during our two weeks (7-21 Oct) in Tuscany was absolutely stunning. It was sunny everyday, no wind, and temperatures of 23C during the day to 10C at night.
We stayed here for a week in July 2017 with 4 other couples. It is a beautiful property, very well located, with all the amenities and more. The rooms are all spacious and have their own bathrooms. The kitchen is very well equipped and wonderful to cook in. We also made use of the wood fire outdoor grill. The pool is beautiful, well situated on the property, and the perfect place to cool off on a hot Italian day (or night). We enjoyed all the games - fooseball, bocce, and table tennis. There is lots of shade, and several areas to lounge and chat. The villa is also very well situated for day trips, including the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, which is within walking distance (but bring water!).
Our hosts were incredibly warm, gracious, and accommodating. They planned on site and off site wine tastings, a very enjoyable cooking class, and a catered dinner, prepared by one of the owners, Lucia. The dinner was for our anniversary party... complete with beautiful flowers, delicious Tuscan food and wine, an excellent professional photographer - and our favourite champagne.
We cannot say enough about our week at Villa Iris. We did not have a single complaint or regret, and we can't wait to return.....
This villa is quiet, peaceful and private. The owners were always available all the time, give the number of a taxi driver. It is very comfortable, has clean and we'll maintain amenities. It is perfect for family vacation. Prefer for those who want a quiet time at night. Be aware that in the summer months mosquitoes and wasp are always around which makes uncomfortable the stay in the patio. Also, you need to have your own vehicle and have plan to do different activities in the town. Love the place and we will come back
We stayed at Villa Iris for a full week with 5 other couples who were close friends (so 12 people total). It made our trip to Italy! We all had plenty of space, the accommodations were clean/updated, and we had plenty to entertain us. Days started with runs or walks up the hill to the hill town of San Gimignano or scenic treadmill workouts on the second floor porch followed by a sauna at the villa. From there, days trips were very easy, and we all looked forward to getting back to Villa Iris for an amazing meal prepared by Martina (she prepared both a fish/seafood dinner and a meat dinner for us on separate nights that were both amazing). Ever the host, wonderful Gabrielle even came by to help start the grill for Chianina steak night. Martina may have prepared the best ribs I've ever had that night and we had a most perfect dinner on the outside table. Most nights were followed by bocce ball/ping pong/foosball tournaments (certainly complete with much Italian wine). Make it a must to visit the World Champion Gelato store in San Gimignano (Gelateria Dondoli) and we made more than one visit and spent a lunch and dinner at the organic farm next door to Villa Iris (Fattoria Poggio Alloro) - a 10 minute walk, with amazing food, reasonable pricing and great service.
Villa Iris is absolutely stunning. The home and grounds were the perfect place for a family retreat. We enjoyed Villa Iris with our family, including our two young children, ages 3 and 6. We ate every meal we had at the villa outside on the patio. While outside temperatures ranged between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, sitting in the shade on the patio was perfect. We even enjoyed a nice cool breeze. Everything was well kept and thought of. The kids enjoyed ping pong and fuse ball, and evenings were spent playing bocce tournaments. The pool was spectacular and a highlight of the vacation for the children. There were many different areas to sit and relax inside and outside (sun and shade), and the homeowners take extreme pride in their home and making sure their guests are happy. Gabriele took us to a butcher, fruit store, and cheese shop, and Lucia and Christina made us an epic dinner that we will all remember for our whole lives. They accommodated all of our food preferences, including gluten free and vegetarian. The rooms were all spacious and clean, and the views from the rooms were amazing.
The location of Villa Iris was wonderful. It's a quick 10 minute or less drive to San Gimignano and a walk down the street (or through a vineyard) to the nearest winery. Walking in this area was harder than I expected due to the narrow and busy roads and hilly countryside, but I literally felt I was walking through a postcard. It was truly amazing. I felt sorry for the tourists driving by in cars or an occasional tour bus. How lucky we were to enjoy this special place and live in it for a week. We were all so sad when it was time to leave!