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  • Under the Tuscan Sun – A Fly-drive Touring holiday of Tuscany in Depth


    Villa la Massa

    Borgo San Felice

    Il Falconiere


    Under the Tuscan Sun – A Fly-drive Touring holiday of Tuscany in Depth

    14 nights and 15 days
    Under the Tuscan Sun is an extensive fly-drive tour of the best this famous region has to offer. Begin your luxury tour of Tuscany in the province of Lucca before driving further inland to Florence, Siena and Arezzo. The seven different stops on this tour aim to cover every possible angle of interest; from the idyllic Tuscan countryside and Chianti vineyards to historical towns and seaside resorts. Spend your finalfew nights  on the coast overlooking the lapping waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Begin this tour in the shadow of Pisa’s Torre Pendente, from where you pick up your hire car and drive the short distance to the walled town of Lucca. Its distinctive shape and green streets add a romantic aspect to the deep history of this town. Your hotel, the San Luca Palace, is an elegant Palazzo of grand proportions and elegant decoration. The comfort you can expect from your stay here is etched into every detail of the lavish and tactile furnishings. From Lucca, drive on to Villa la Massa at Candeli, just outside Florence. Your next stop on this touring holiday is the Grand Hotel Continental in Siena. Spend two nights in Siena indulging in the atmosphere of its many Piazzas, and looking out from atop the roof of the Duomo. Then, move on to the hill-top Castel Monastero. Spend the next few days tasting the best of Tuscan, and Chianti, wines, as well as the hearty soups, speciality meats, and home-grown vegetables of the area. Il Falconiere, in San Martino Bocena, sits on the edge of the Tuscany-Umbria border, offering guests the opportunity to cross over into Italy’s central region and explore the city of Perugia. Here, the tour route begins to bend back round, in line with the border, and your next hotel is the Castello di Velona, perched on a hilltop near internationally-renowned Montalcino in the heart of the internationally- renowned Brunello vineyards. Wine-tasting is the order of the day in Montalcino, with plenty of establishments on hand to offer you the best of Brunello wines, some hidden inside fortresses or among the dense groves of the Tuscan countryside. The Castello di Velona, adorned at all 360 degrees with unparalleled views, is an excellent final inland stop before heading out towards the coast. Finally, spend two nights at L’Andana near Castiglione della Pescaia, a popular summer coastal resort that turns sleepy Italian village in the spring and autumn, surrounded on all sides by extensive pine forests and nature reserves. After your stay in Castiglione della Pescaia, drive along the coastal road, taking one last look across the hilly landscape and the Tyrrhenian Sea, before flying back to the UK from Pisa.

    Prices start at about £3,975 per person

    What’s included:
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Superior double at the San Luca Palace, in Lucca
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic double at Villa la Massa, near Florence
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic double at the Grand Hotel Continental, in Siena
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic room at Castel Monastero in Chianti
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Classic double at the Il Falconiere, near Cortona
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Castle Junior Suite at the Castello di Velona, near Montalcino
    • 2 nights bed and breakfast in a Superior double at the L’Andana, near Castiglione della Pescaia
    • British Airways flights from Heathrow or Gatwick to Pisa return
    • Group B car hire for the duration of the holiday

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Under the Tuscan Sun - A Fly-drive Touring Holiday of Tuscany in Depth

    Day-by-day Itinerary

    Arrive into Pisa and drive north to Lucca, where you will stay for two nights

    After collecting your hire car in Pisa, you may wish to spend the first part of your day here; or, alternatively, return to Pisa before moving on from Lucca. Far from the smaller settlements in which you will be staying on this tour, Pisa offers a glimpse into the more metropolitan side of Italy. Enjoy the lively streets, and, of course, visit the famous Torre Pendente di Pisa and the Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta. Your host for the next two nights, however, is the San Luca Palace in Lucca. This town is distinctive due to the well-preserved Renaissance walls that surround the town centre, all topped with pathways and rows of trees. Spend your first morning taking in the extraordinary shape of the town via these pretty pathways, with the Appuan Alps and Apennines as your backdrop. The former of these two sets of mountains is known for the particularly dramatic jagged form of its rocks, as well as the high quality marble that is sourced there. The evidence of Lucca’s history continues inside its walls. The Guinigi Tower is all that remains of the Case Guinigi, a complex of mansions and towers that once belonged to the Guinigi family. This tower is now topped with seven holm-oaks, ensuring that it blends in with the green outer walls. From the top of this tower, visitors can appreciate the town’s unusual shape, the rolling green countryside, and the dynamic mountains more fully. Lucca is also the proud owner of a 459-arch aqueduct, designed by Lorenzo Nottolini, which extends over 3km and once brought water to Lucca from the mountains. The Duomo di San Martino dates back to the 6th century, and still bears something of the style of its ancient beginnings, though it was added to in the Romanesque style in the 11th century. In the centre of the town, the Piazza del Mercato preserves the shape of the amphitheatre which once sat in its place. The local speciality olive oil, olio d’oliva lucchese, can be tasted in various local establishments to add another note to the palate of your visit to Lucca. The palatial ambience of your hotel extends far beyond its name, with tastefully grand furnishings in each of the bedrooms and in the public rooms downstairs. The warmth of the hotel really compliments the sense of inherent importance that is detectable on the streets of Lucca.

    Leave Lucca and drive east to Candeli, near Florence, where you will stay for two nights

    Situated just on the outskirts of Florence, Villa la Massa is ideally placed for exploration of Tuscany’s capital and occupying a peaceful location on the banks of the River Arno. On your first full day here, explore Florence. Visit the 13th century Gothic cathedral with its iconic red dome, the hexagonal baptistery with its famous golden Gates of Paradise, and the cathedral’s museum, beautifully grand and spiritual in itself, before delving into Florence’s artistic heritage. A number of art galleries and art museums line Florence’s streets; the Palazzo Pitti gallery is housed in a vast Renaissance palace, while the Uffizi Art Museum and the Bargello sculpture gallery have gained international repute. The various churches and monasteries in and around Florence also exhibit many examples of Florentine painting from all ages. The quirky Ponte Vecchio is a converted medieval bridge that now supports a row of individual art galleries, perfect for those with more eclectic taste. The artistic highlight of a visit to Florence, however, is Michelangelo’s original ‘David’, which is on display at the Galleria dell’Accademia. To finish off a day in Florence, perhaps try some of the famous Florentine Steak, either back in La Cucina, or at the double Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri. Many more artistic and architectural treasures await on your second day, such as the Vasari Corridor, the Medici Chapel, and the Santo Spirito, though for a more relaxing morning you may wish to wile away a few hours admiring the statues in the Renaissance Boboli Gardens. Leave a few hours aside for the unassuming beauty of the hill-top town of Fiesole nearby. The remains of the Teatro Romano within the comune act as a viewing platform for the breath-taking views of the lush, rolling countryside below.

    Drive southwest and spend two nights in San Gimignano

    The tall towers of San Gimignano are visible above the hills on your approach. These towers are the remains of the dashed aspirations of the small town; the 72 towers that stood before the 13th century are now reduced to just 14. Your hotel is La Collegiata, a building of distinctive shape which offers guests sweeping panoramic views across the Tuscan hills. At the very top of the medieval streets of San Gimignano sits the Vernaccia Wine Museum. This museum illustrates the method of production for San Gimignano’s best wines: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and the Rosso, Rosata, and Vin santo varieties. This museum also offers the opportunity to taste some of the Vernaccia, Tuscany’s only white D.O.G.C wine, accompanied by views of the vineyards below. We recommend that you phone in advance, as wine tasting is not always available. San Gimignano’s Museum of Sacred Art includes artworks from the convents, cathedrals, and churches that once interspersed the surrounding area, as well as smaller artefacts, including 14th century wooden sculptures and religious books, which elucidate San Gimignano life through the ages. Just a few kilometres outside of San Gimignano is the Castelvecchio Nature Reserve. The reserve is scored by deep ravines that are protected from the sun by the height of the land. As a result, many rare trees, such as Yew, Beech, and Maple trees, are able to grow in this cooler environment, as they would have done centuries ago. The reserve gets its name from Castelvecchio Castle, a collection of ruins overgrown with creeping foliage perched on a rocky outcrop amidst the arboreal hills. While in San Gimignano, there are certain culinary specialities that visitors ought to try. The fruity olive oil is best tasted drizzled over Tuscan bruschetta, which is strictly unsalted bread, rubbed with garlic and oil. The locally grown saffron, featured in many of the local dishes, has always played a key part in San Gimignano’s agricultural prosperity, and the wide range of dried or salted meats are delicious and typical of the area around Florence. Possible day-trips from San Gimignano include the brooding volcanic streets of Volterra, and the picturesque walled hamlet of Monteriggioni.

    Head south and spend one night in Siena

    Your one night in Siena grants you just enough time to observe the quirky treasures of Florence’s main rival. Spend your time inside the city walls wisely, appreciating the abundance of gardens and olive groves that flourish in the Tuscan climate. If time permits, take lunch in one of the pavement cafes on the semi-circular Piazza del Campo, which, on the 2nd July and 16th August, comes alive with the Palio. This raucous event sees a rider from 10 of Siena’s 17 wards compete in a horse race around the Piazza’s edge. The race is accompanied by parades and processions. Like the tall towers of San Gimignano, Siena’s Piazza del Duomo tells a story of dashed hopes. The chequered marble floor and free-standing archway are all that remain of the city’s plans to extend their Duomo in response to Florence’s expansion. The archway was intended for the new entrance, while the square itself would have been the cathedral’s interior. As it stands, the landmark’s incompleteness is mysteriously powerful, and always atmospheric. The original Duomo still stands at the highest point of the city, lavishly decorated both inside and out, and its baptismal font is one of the best spectacles in Siena, decorated as it is by relief panels by artists such as Donatello, Ghiberti, and Jacopo della Quercia. Similarly, the original mythological relief panels of the Fonte Gaia are now housed in the Palazzo Pubblico. The Palazzo Pubblico is the seat of the city council and holds a vast collection of impressive and important Sienese art, but it is the tower, the tallest secular tower of medieval Italy, that gives the palace its grandeur. The Grand Hotel Continental, your hotel for the night, encapsulates Siena’s grand aspirations. Its public rooms are elegantly and lavishly decorated with attractive furnishings and ornately painted walls, while the rooms above have remarkably high ceilings and their delicate decorations emulate the majesty of downstairs. Relax in the inner courtyard of the Sapordivino Restaurant, while Chef Luca Ciaffarafà tells you the story of Tuscany’s cuisine through the flavour and colours of his food.

    Leave Siena and drive northeast to San Felice, where you will spend two nights

    Your next hotel is not far from the outer walls of Siena. The Borgo San Felice takes up most of the San Felice hamlet; a small collection of houses that the Borgo San Felice’s owners have been converting, one-by-one, into the luxurious and private hotel that stands there today. Set amidst the vineyards of its own Agricola San Felice wine estate, the Borgo San Felice is the ideal place in which to sample some of the local wines. The estate produces over 14 different wines, including Brunello di Montalcino and Poggio Rosso - the latter of which gives the hotel’s restaurant its name - using a variety of different grapes which produce a wide range of flavours. It is therefore possible to organise wine tours and tastings, olive oil tours and tastings, as well as cookery lessons at the hotel which verse guests in the art of Italian cuisine. We would also recommend a visit to the Castello di Ama, situated in the nearby village of Gaiole in Chianti, for wine tours and tastings at the Villa Pianigiani, and to see the private collection of contemporary art. This visit should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. The hotel is also able to organise visits to local nearby producers, namely the Buca Nuova farm shop in Pienza, which specialises in Pecorino di Pienza cheeses (or visit Pienza of your own accord while staying in Montalcino). Tours can be arranged, in advance, with a knowledgeable guide from the hotel to take you into the famous Chianti villages, elucidating the vibrant history of the settlements and their wine cellars. The picturesque Gaiole in Chianti, Monteriggioni, and Castellina in Chianti all feature on the itinerary. The excellent facilities at the Borgo San Felice ensure that this stop on your touring holiday will be endlessly peaceful and relaxing; a true oasis of exquisite wines, good food, and cultural interest.

    Drive east to San Martino Bocena and stay for two nights

    The Relais il Falconiere is positioned comfortably between the larger cities of Arezzo and Perugia, just across the border into Umbria. To the north, Arezzo is home to the medieval Piazza Grande. Here, sip coffee in a pavement café while watching the artists at work. Twice a year, a historic joust takes place in this square, accompanied by costumed parades and competitions, which casts a becoming medieval light back on the town. As you relax in the square, you can observe the attraction of the back of the Santa Maria dell Pieve, its large bell tower, and the 4 layers of arches that define its façade. On Sundays, the streets of Arezzo bustle due to the Antiquary Market. The windows of the Duomo San Donato are still covered with glass dating back to medieval Italy; this imposing building, grand despite its minimalist exterior detail, has a warm regal charm that suits the Arezzo atmosphere. If time permits, continue your tour of the town to the medieval fortress, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the early Renaissance frescos in the Church of San Francesco. The heart of Perugia, to the south of San Martino Bocena, is the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, surrounded by palazzos and guild halls packed full of glorious artworks. The Rocca Paolina underground tunnels form a maze that was once a medieval city. Enter through the Etruscan gateway, and use this network as an alternative way of navigating the large town. The 13th century Gothic Palazzo dei Priori houses the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, arguably the main art gallery in Perugia, and certainly worth a few hours of your time. For something a little different, taste the delightful produce of the Perugina Chocolate Factory in San Sisto, or walk along the Via dell’Acquedotto, an old aqueduct that has since been turned into a walkway with the most outstanding views of the city. Before returning to Il Falconiere after your day in Perugia, stop off on the banks of Lake Trasimeno, the 4th largest lake in Italy. The small villages that line its shore offer perfect stop-off points from which to admire the views across the water, have a picnic, or sip a refreshing cold drink in a small café. Deep in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, the serenity of these waterside views is continued into Il Falconiere, either in the glass conservatory, in the dim-lit ambience of the pool room, or in the simple elegance of the rooms.

    Head southwest to Montalcino, where you will stay for two nights

    The village of Montalcino is the quintessential Tuscan village: perched on a hilltop, with a beautiful castle at its highest point, and with a famous wine that takes its name. The Castello di Velona, your hotel for the next two nights, is set at the peak of a nearby hill, with a pool terrace that has panoramic views of vineyards, rolling hills, a dazzling blue sky, and Montalcino in the distance. Spend your days here in the village of Montalcino, seeking out the best wine-tasting spots, restaurants, and cafes, and finding your favourite view. We would recommend the Podere il Cocco, the Mate Winery, of the Agricola Tenuta Poggio Rubino for tasting sessions, though the Fortezza di Montalcino may prove the best of all. The steps in this fortress lead up to beautiful views across the village, while, inside is a delightful wine bar and shop, specialising in the local cru. Brunello di Montalcino is a wine known for its notes of spice, earth, leather, raisins, cedar, and cherry (afforded by its content of Sangiovese grapes). The Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona is situated in a much more secluded location, and is open for wine tasting sessions. On occasion, to add an element of eccentricity to your trip, you will be able to visit the estate’s wolves. The 12th century Castello Romitorio offers tastings of the Brunello wines, as well as tours of the vineyards, farm house, fortress, and art gallery. You may wish to plan for your stop in Montalcino to fall on a Sunday, to allow you to witness the morning Gregorian chant mass at the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo. This moving and captivating tradition is an experience of a lifetime, the chants acoustically enhanced by the curved stone walls, but you may also wish to remain in the abbey after the service to witness the building at its most peaceful. In the evenings, dine at the Castello di Velona, and enjoy some more of the Brunello wine out on the terrace under the stars.

    Continue southwest to Castiglione della Pescaia and stay for two nights

    Your final stop on this touring holiday takes you to Tuscany’s coast, cradled between the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the vibrant green of dense pine forests. Castiglione della Pescaia gets its name from its origins as a medieval fortress and a large fishery, and sits at the mouth of the Fiume Bruna, now lined with harboured ships, small businesses, and cafes. The pastel coloured buildings, winding grape vines, and solid oak trees give Castiglione della Pescaia the nickname of ‘Switzerland of the Maremma’. The beaches are known for being some of the cleanest in Tuscany, with tranquil clear waters and silky stretches of golden sand. In the town, the Palazzo Centurioni, possibly dating back to the 15th century, is the oldest building and was formerly the ancient tribunal house. The Chiesa di Sant’Battista dates back to the 16th century and now houses some incredibly valuable relics associated with the city’s patron saint. Perhaps spend a day further inland in Grosseto, exploring the awe-inspiring Scavi Archeologici di Roselle, or simply watching the world go by on the Piazza Dante. The Archaeological interest of Grosseto continues back in Castiglione della Pescaia, with several archaeological sites and museums for visitors to choose from. Alternatively, wander inland into the rare ecosystem of the Riserva Naturale Diaccia Botrona for long walks beside the marshlands and reservoirs, or to watch the birdlife, from herons and kingfishers to haughty pink flamingos. On the last weekends of June, July, and August, Castiglione della Pescaia really comes alive with La Notte Bianca. Featuring late night music, art exhibitions, sailing tournaments, and dance competitions, it is the most thrilling time to be in Castiglione della Pescaia. The L’Andana is set slightly further inland than the Riserva, so is distanced enough from the town that the late night activities of the carnival can be avoided if a more peaceful retreat is what you had in mind. Dine on your final night in Tuscany at the Michelin-starred restaurant of L’Andana, tasting locally-grown produce, after watching the chefs prepare the dish. Like many of the hotels on this tour, it blends rustic Italian charm with contemporary comforts, and gives its guests the best of both worlds: just a stone’s throw away from the bustling streets of a summer haven, but still nestled amidst the velvety green countryside of beautiful Tuscany.

    Drive north along the coast to Pisa for your return flight

    A short route from Castiglione della Pescaia to Pisa can be taken inland, but we would highly recommend the longer, more scenic coastal road. Use this final drive to really summarise the delights of the natural landscape you have witnessed on your trip, passing rolling vineyards, deep blue seas, and those iconic hilltop Chianti villages.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:

    Pisa Airport to the San Luca Palace: 55 minutes
    San Luca Palace to Villa la Massa: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Villa la Massa to La Collegiata: 1 hour 5 minutes
    La Collegiata to the Grand Hotel Continental: 1 hour
    Grand Hotel Continental to Borgo San Felice: 35 minutes
    Borgo San Felice to Il Falconiere: 1 hour
    Il Falconiere to Castello di Velona: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Castello di Velona to L’Andana: 1 hour 15 minutes
    L’Andana to Pisa Airport: 1 hour 40 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Under the Tuscan Sun

    Hotel Information

    These are the luxury hotels that are featured in this vast touring holiday. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations – please contact us for full details.

    San Luca Palace
    Situated within the ancient walls of Lucca, in a square dating back to 1540, this charming hotel is the perfect base from which to explore this mediaeval city on foot. All the major monuments from the Duomo di San Martino to the Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi are within striking distance and even the train station is only a short walk away, meaning that Florence is very easy to get to without having to hire a car. The hotel is modern inside, but retains the elegance of the Palazzo in which it is housed. There are 26 rooms and suites arranged over 4 floors and each room is decorated in a comfortable style with all modern amenities. There is an attractive breakfast room and the hotel is especially proud of the delicious buffet it lays on each morning. The comfortable bar serves snack throughout the day and there are numerous restaurants within easy walking distance, from a local pizzeria to a more gourmet a la carte restaurant. This is a comfortable hotel with friendly service and a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for anyone who wishes to explore the area. There is even car parking at the hotel should you wish to hire a car.
    Find out more here.

    Villa la Massa
    In terms of location this beautiful sixteenth century palazzo really does enjoy the best of both worlds. Set on the River Arno, the Hotel Villa la Massa and grounds boast views across the river and over the wooded plains of Tuscany. Florence is just a 15-minute drive away and the hotel provides an hourly shuttle service which takes guests to the historic centre and back. The Villa la Massa consists of three buildings, situated on either side of the swimming pool with its leafy terraces and garden. In the main villa the impressive central atrium with its graceful arches and period furniture also serves as a sitting area. Adjoining this a cosy bar provides drinks and light lunches and there is a full bar service by the pool. The elegant hotel restaurant, Il Verrocchio, is situated in the opposite villa and specialises in typical Tuscan cuisine. Meals can also be taken in the beautiful riverside setting of the restaurant terrace on warm evenings. The bedrooms and suites, each with splendid views over the surrounding countryside, are situated in all three villas and are individually decorated in Renaissance style with antique or reproduction pieces. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the Villa la Massa is an ideal hotel for enjoying the best of Tuscany.
    Find out more here.

    La Collegiata
    Near San Gimignano
    Just a five-minute drive from the centre of San Gimignano, the Hotel la Collegiata is set on a hill surrounded by a verdant park of cypress trees, which grow in abundance in central Tuscany. The impressive hotel building, made of the local stone 'pietra serena', dates from 1587 and was originally a Franciscan monastery. An atmosphere of serene tranquillity still pervades the beautifully tended grounds and the spacious rooms of the hotel. Although La Collegiata is ideally located for exploring the highlights of Tuscany you may not want to leave the outdoor swimming pool, which is surrounded by lawns and flowering borders, and has its own bar to one side. The former chapel of the monastery has been converted to accommodate the Hotel la Collegiata restaurant, which serves excellent regional cuisine, some of the ingredients of which are grown in the gardens surrounding the hotel. Many other original features have been carefully maintained, such as the vaulted and beamed ceilings featured in many of the rooms, the arched ceilings and picture windows and the internal courtyard, in the centre of which is an ancient well. Under this courtyard is a wine cellar where local products can be tasted and bought. The Renaissance-style decoration in the communal rooms at the Hotel la Collegiata is reflected in the air-conditioned bedrooms here, which are spacious and stylish. All this, added to superb views across to San Gimignano from the hotel grounds, is conducive to a very pleasurable stay at La Collegiata.
    Find out more here.

    Grand Hotel Continental
    The Grand Hotel Continental in Siena has proven to be the answer to our wishes over the years for a 5-star luxury hotel in the historic centre of the town. The Grand Hotel Continental is housed in a 17th Century palazzo designed by the Baroque architect Giovanni Fontana. Situated a few steps from the famous Piazza del Campo and the Duomo and opposite the Rocca Salimbeni, the Grand Hotel Continental combines the historic flavour of the original architectural features of this ancient palace and an elegance and refinement entirely appropriate to a contemporary 5 star hotel and its discerning clientele. The Grand Hotel Continental in Siena offers truly luxurious accommodation in its rooms and suites and a superb level of service, from 24-hour room service to a complimentary overnight shoeshine. The hotel bar and brasserie are housed in a delightful winter garden and SaporDivino restaurant serves Tuscan cuisine with a contemporary twist. The wide selection of Italian and international wines are to be found and enjoyed in the hotel's 15th-century cellar. The hotel is perfectly placed for exploring the fascinating city of Siena on foot.
    Find out more here.

    Borgo San Felice
    San Felice
    The Borgo San Felice occupies almost the entire hamlet of San Felice on a slight hill northeast of Siena in Chianti country. Owned by the San Felice wine makers, the hamlet was converted almost house by house into a hotel about ten years ago and is now a beautiful Relais & Châteaux hotel. Now, Borgo San Felice is one of the most appealing hotels in Tuscany, corresponding to the characteristics of charm, character and quality we pride ourselves on. Surrounded by vineyards and gently rolling hills, the turrets of Siena can be seen in the distance against the setting sun. The houses occupied by the hotel surround the old village square and church and all have been carefully renovated and furnished to a very high standard. Pots of flowers adorn paths, lemon trees stand on terraces, lawns are carefully maintained. The Borgo San Felice has a total of 46 rooms located in different houses and decorated in slightly different styles, some being quite modern. There is a spacious, very comfortable lounge and bar, an excellent restaurant charmingly decorated open every day serving creative dishes covering demands for a lighter lunch to a more robust dinner. The restaurant serves excellent regional specialities such as pigeon and truffles in season. The swimming pool is surrounded by a sun terrace; there are two tennis courts and a wine shop selling the San Felice wine, seventeen different kinds in all of white, red and vin santo. We recommend the Borgo San Felice most highly.
    Find out more here.

    Il Falconiere
    Localita San Martino Bocena
    The delightful Relais Il Falconiere is the result of a true labour of love on the part of the owners Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi. Once the home of the Italian poet Antonio Guadagnoli, the palazzo dates back to the 1600s and many original features have been carefully preserved, such as the frescoed walls in the little private chapel in the grounds and the antique furniture dotted throughout the hotel. Relais Il Falconiere stands in utter peace and tranquillity; surrounded by a garden of cypress trees and horse-chestnuts, it faces the countryside of eastern Tuscany and the green valley of Val di Chiana. Its spacious bedrooms are situated either in the main building or in a neighbouring smaller villa about 150 metres away, and each room has beautiful traditional furniture such as wrought iron four-poster beds and ornate lampstands. Each villa has an outdoor swimming pool. A highlight of any stay at the Relais Il Falconiere is the cuisine; the original dishes created here are personally supervised by Silvia Baracchi and served in the elegant restaurant, with one Michelin star, on two floors. Alternatively, guests can dine on the wonderful outside terrace from May to September. The Relais Il Falconiere has its own vineyard and wine tasting tours are available from the end of October until April. The hotel also boasts an elegant and fascinating spa called the Thesan Etruscan Spa using natural olive- and grape-based products. The Relais Il Falconiere is ideally located for trips to both Tuscany and Umbria.
    Find out more here.

    Castello di Velona
    Situated just south of the lovely Tuscan town of Montalcino in the Val D’Orcia Natural Park, the Castello di Velona perches on a small outcrop amidst the gently-rolling Siennese hills. Built in the 11th Century, the castle’s original function was to protect the road from ancient Etruria and Rome and was also the scene of many clashes between the warring rulers of Siena and Florence. The oldest surviving part of the hotel is the 12th Century watchtower and the rest of the buildings date back to the Renaissance when the castle was converted into a residential villa. After significant renovation, the hotel re-opened in 2011 offering 46 rooms and suites and a new restaurant with a beautiful panoramic terrace. The emphasis here is truly on relaxation in beautiful Tuscan surroundings and the spa offers any treatments using local produce and olive oils. The natural hot spring water in the spa flows at 50 degrees and is classed as ‘hyper-thermal’, rich with minerals and salts. There are two outdoor pools, two indoor pools, five treatment rooms and a sauna. All the bedrooms are individually furnished with a blend of modern design, period furniture and antiques. There are two restaurants: the Il Vignale, or ‘inn’ which is a cosy trattoria serving delicious Tuscan dishes, and the Abbazia fine dining restaurant, which serves regional food with a slightly more refined flair. Both restaurants serve meals outside, on the beautiful terraces, in the summer months. There is also an informal pool bar which serves lunchtime snacks and drinks. If you can tear yourself away from this beautiful hotel, then there are numerous places to visit nearby, from Montalcino and Montepulciano to Siena and San Gimignano. Brunello di Montalcino wine and olive oil is produced locally and it is possible to have a tasting.
    Find out more here.

    Castiglione della Pescaia
    L’Andana is located in the heart of the Maremma region in southern Tuscany, just a few kilometres from the coast and charming seaside resort of Castiglione della Pescaia with its fine sandy beach and small mediaeval township. The extensive grounds of L'Andana are spread out across beautiful sweeping hills, covered in parts by pine forests, wildlife reserves, tranquil lakes and the famous Maremma National Park. The hotel itself is approached along a driveway lined by cypress trees from the main entrance right up to the hotel. Bedrooms are situated in two buildings: the original old villa dating back 200 years and a new building linked to the villa by a grand reception area with lounge and bar, all set in a magnificent Florentine glass house, complete with a charming interior courtyard and shady garden. The bedrooms of L'Andana themselves are spacious, adorned in warm colours and decorated with furniture from Italian designers, offering a fine balance of rustic and contemporary styles. The Maremma region is particularly renowned for its high quality cuisine, and the hotel has put a strong emphasis on the quality of its food, attracting world-renowned chef Alain Ducasse to manage its main restaurant, La Trattoria Toscana, with one Michelin star, a short walk through the grounds in the old granary. Here guests have the opportunity to sample traditional, country-style products, choice game and fresh seafood, and have the unique experience of being able to watch the chefs preparing the meals. La Villa, L'Andana's other, less formal, dining area serves a variety of Tuscan cuisine - including an outstanding breakfast - on its delightful terrace. There is also a Kids' Club and a very impressive spa which offers a range of therapies using many ingredients grown on the estate. L’Andana offers a welcoming, refined and elegant ambience with fine cuisine in one of Italy’s most attractive regions.
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