Why? On the 500th anniversary of his death, much of Europe is celebrating Leonardo da Vinci. Florence, where the great artist and inventor lived, is leading the way. I Giullari, a restored farmhouse in the small hamlet where Galileo Galilei once lived, is just minutes from the busy city centre and an ideal base for a Leonardo-themed holiday . Guidetta, the owner, lives on site but stays out the way unless you want to ask her something. View PDF article Location The three conjoined villas feel like they are deep in the Tuscan countryside, offering views of Florentine architecture nestled amongst the olive groves and cypresses. But you can walk into the centre of Florence in less than 30 minutes, passing the green and white patterned exterior of the Church of San Miniato and the city’s rose garden which contains more than 1,200 plants. Ambience Set well back from the road, the villa is peaceful and private. There is a small but well maintained garden with an infinity-edge private swimming pool, a large sun bathing deck and hot tub. The huge farmhouse is divided into two wings, the largest of which is solely for guest use, and with the private use of the pool and garden. Accommodation The villa sleeps up to 16 people and can be hired at a reduced cost for smaller groups. Almost all of the 8 rooms – split over the ground and first floors – have fantastic views across a valley. The rooms and clean and comfortable, but you’d be bettter spending your time in the bright living and dining area or outside. The wifi is quite slow. Food and drink The villa is self-catered but you can ask Tuscany and More to arrange for a chef to cook for you. They cook Tuscan classics – lasagne, pappa al pomodoro, panzanella and tiramisu. You can also arrange for a local chef to visit for a cooking lesson one evening, and spend a couple of hours preparing your dinner with them. Trattoria Omero, a restaurant and delicatessen is a short stroll away through the village. What to do Florence is full of museums, galleries and restaurants. There are walking trails throughout the Florentine hills , brilliant cycling routes and lots of picturesque villages a short drive away. Worth writing home about Every view from every angle looks like a painting. You can spend a day immersing yourself in busy Florence, and be back relaxing by the pool in minutes. To book Tuscany Now & More www.tuscanynowandmore.com, 020 7684 8884) offers I Giullari, which sleeps up to 18 guests, from £3,165 for a week. the price for the full tour, which is probably easier to be included (which runs over 3 days) is £465 per person including transport. > View online article in INews magazine Concierge tip Emilia Boscolo, chef I like to visit the town of Fiesole which overlooks the Florentine valley. In the city center is the Piazza Mino and the cathedral. From there, take a short uphill walk toward the Convent of San Francesco. Once you’ve reached the top of this small street, you’ll be able to enjoy a stunning 360 degree scenic view of Florence.