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Owners of Antique Furniture and Italian Furniture Shop Open Up Their Tuscan Farmhouse for Dream Vacation

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Owners of Antique Furniture and Italian Furniture Shop Open Up Their Tuscan Farmhouse for Dream Vacation

Fatto A Mano

(Vocus/PRWEB) January 15, 2011

Heather Dempsey and Massimo Mallamace, owners of San Francisco home furnishings shop Fatto a Mano, are inviting visitors to enjoy Podere Erica, a 16-acre property in the heart of Chianti just 30 minutes from Florence, yet tucked away in the tranquil Tuscan countryside. Guests can walk to the charming village of San Donato in Poggio, explore local wineries, or just “stay home” and enjoy the pool, the wood-burning pizza oven, the beautiful woods, cooking classes or lessons on wine tasting. Visitors to Podere Erica truly get to know the real Italy.

The villa is ideally located for exploring the quaint villages in Chianti as well as larger Tuscan towns such as Greve, Castellina, Siena, Panzano, San Gimignano and Volterra. Podere Erica is named for the owners’ daughter, Heather Dempsey – “podere” meaning small farm and “erica” meaning “heather,” the broom plant that grows on the property. Heather’s mom Jan Dempsey, who spent years searching all over Tuscany before finding Podere Erica, says to prospective guests, “Imagine yourself settling into a different rhythm under the wisteria-covered pergola overlooking the Chianti hills. You will never forget your week at Podere Erica and you will want to come back!” And, in fact, many guests return year after year.

While the stone farmhouse is over 500 years old, it has been recently remodeled. Heather Dempsey and Massimo Mallamace completed a renovation of the entire house in 2008. Massimo’s handiwork can be seen throughout the house – from the gorgeous stone tile in the bathrooms to a rustic kitchen hood, salvaged from the previous ancient fireplace. Throughout the remodel, every effort was made to retain the authentic rustic Tuscan charm of the house.

The house has 5 bedrooms and 5 full bathrooms, all beautifully appointed. Every room has air conditioning (an uncommon, yet welcome feature on those hot summer days in Tuscany). Other amenities include outdoor dining, pool, wood-burning oven, gas barbecue, hiking trails, wireless Internet, and light maid service. Because of its popularity, guests are encouraged to book well in advance to ensure availability.

More photos and a complete description of the property are online at For more information about Fatto a Mano, call (415) 830-3040, visit their website at, or come in to their store located at 1800 Union Street at the corner of Octavia in San Francisco. They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30am to 7:00pm.

About Fatto a Mano

Fatto a Mano celebrates Italian style and lifestyle by offering handmade (fatto a mano) home furnishings and stylish antique furniture as well as gourmet Italian food and fine Italian personal care products – all that a person needs to live “la dolce vita.”

Fatto a Mano San Francisco antique furniture and home furnishings store is owned by husband and wife team, Massimo Mallamace and Heather Dempsey. Heather, an American, and Massimo, an Italian, met in Florence many years ago. In 2008, Heather and Massimo managed a $ 1 million remodel on the Dempsey’s farmhouse in Chianti (view the finished product at and learn how to experience this beautiful property!). At Fatto a Mano, they keep it in the “famiglia” – Heather’s mom Jan makes one-of-a-kind jewelry and her 88-year-old Grandma Alice loves to sell her collectible treasures.



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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Categories: San Gimignano   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What makes your guests happy? Tips for hotel owners in Tuscany

If you own a hotel in Tuscany, you wish for your guests to have the best of all. To lodge in a luxurious hotel in Paris or New York is certainly different than to stay in high quality suites farmhouse hotel in Tuscany, because the atmosphere of Italy and specifically Tuscany can not be compared even if the sheets in the master bedroom are made out of silk.

What makes your guests happy? Will they return or recommend it to their friends? Will their reviews will be positive?

The important matters in serving your guests and make them happy, include a clean hotel that smells fresh, rooms that are bright and airy with clean floors, sheets and bathrooms and, finally, useful facilities.

But the most important basic matter is the personal touch, the welcoming of the guests upon arrival, and helps them with their first meeting in unknown hotel and surrounding.

So, what exactly is a useful amenity? Ice buckets, complimentary soft, absorbent towels, comfortable sheets, luggage racks that actually hold your suitcase without collapsing under its weight and irons and ironing boards ,not to forget hair dryer, useful amenities commonly found in hotels where the management is paying attention to their guests needs regardless of their class. This means that small things make the difference of the service in most hotels.

They are the details that stick out in the minds of guests when they’re asked about their vacation. Some people remember the friendly staff member who provided turn-by-turn directions to a restaurant or attraction while others remember soft carpet or clean sheets and still others remember spacious bathrooms with soft towels and luxury toiletries.

If you travel to stay in Tuscany for your vacation, you will look for a luxurious farmhouse in Tuscany, and if you will read guests reviews regards this or that certain farmhouse hotel you are willing to stay in, you will have very pleasant holidays spent in country house without any surprises.

Regardless of why you travel to Tuscany, if you are staying in San Gimignano or in Cortona or how long you are staying, the details still matter. Some people don’t care about the pool or the towels but they care deeply about the bed and the linens that cover it. Different amenities matter to different people but everyone deserves a quality room furnished and maintained with quality hotel supplies.

When travellers stay in a hotel for any length of time, it is a ‘home away from home’. Having the comforts of home and welcoming staff, helps make their stay cosy, easy and tranquil, as it should be; hopefully it’s memorable as well.

A hotel’s management, housekeeping, guest services and maintenance teams all share the same target: they do their best to provide each guest a remarkable experience. Part of creating an experience that is memorable for all the right reasons means investing in well-priced hotel supplies which results in a win-win situation.

We, at La Mucchia casa vacanze – a vacation farmhouse in Cortona, are aware of the small details…

Born in 1947 in Poland, for 3 years and during the 6 days war served the Israeli army as photographer in the infantry, in 1970 studied at the faculty of Medicine in Padova, Italy, writing, painting for himself, worked for 20 years as building contractor with his brother, co- owner of Art Gallery and Hotel in Cortona, Tuscany, where he lives.More information:

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Categories: Tuscany   Tags: , , , , , ,