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Need advice re farm/villa stay in Tuscany Oct 2014

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We are a married couple in our 50s who totally fell in love with Italy on our trip last year to Rome and Venice (our first time to Italy).

We both still work full-time so only have a week left this year (trips to America, Tenerife and Paris booked) and want to go to Tuscany in Oct or Nov, though suspect Oct would be the better month.

Ideally looking for a villa or farm type stay - a place where w can load up the larder with low-maintenance foods for breakfast and lunch, then venture out in the evening (by car or on foot) for a relaxed dinner.

No particular base location identified as we don't have a particular itinerary in mind, but we're obviously looking for that proverbial room with a view.

The object of this break is R&R with as much local flavour as can be absorbed. We love art, architecture, museums, history, quirky stuff, music, learning about new places, exploring, eating - and people watching. We are not into hiking or outdoor sports.

So I guess the help I am after is for:

1. Recommendations on a base location
2. Specific accomodation recommendations (or websites)
3. Perhaps itinerary suggestions although, like I said, we don't want to do too much - but having the option to see and do things would be great.

Would consider a package deal if it's reliable.

Total budget: £1500 max . We live in London and could fly from LHR or LGW.

Thank you very much!

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