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Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

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Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

I am planning 4-5 days in Tuscany this May. I would love to stay in a luxurious villa type setting outside of a hilltown, but still close enough that we could walk into town for dinner at night (15-20 min brisk walk is fine). I am hoping for a smaller (and less touristy?) type hilltown. I am just starting my research and am not sure how to easily locate accomodations with these parameters. We will have a car but prefer not to drive at night-- and we definitely want a hotel with excellent service, not a self-catering property. Thanks for any advice!

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1. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

Thoughts...: Most luxurious villa types are located on partially flat property to accomadate the luxurious pool and spa. The country road leading up the steep incline to the 'less touristy' type hilltown will be narrow, without shoulders to walk on, and mostly unlit thus pitchdark. Oh...and don't forget those crazy Italian drivers, (don't wear basic black!) as well as the night blind elderly American rent-a-car drivers that cause every other driver to swerve sharply when they try to miss them. (that would be me!) Ah, what a romantic thought of taking an evening stroll through the beautiful Italian countryside to and from an incredible Tuscan meal where all of the ingedients were freshly picked that very day. About the only thing left would be finding a 3 star restaurant in the dreamy little unknown hilltown. However It may and probably does exist! But I never found it...and I'm sure I've looked for it over the years. Hope you find it...and take a good flashlight on your walk! And may the TA Gods forgive my sarcasm!

Olympia, Washington
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2. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

A little off of your request, but try the "Residenza D'epoca Ca' De Principi, Piegaro, on www.hotels.com. This small hotel is the former Palazzo Pallavicini in the small walled town of Piegaro, which is right on the Tuscan/Umbrian border. Comes complete with pool looking out over the Umbrian countryside. Perfect base for visiting central Tuscany towns like Cortona, Siena, etc and the.Umbrian cities of Orvieto, Assisi, Todi, Spoleto, Perugia, Deruta, etc. and near the main train station at Chuisi where you can rent a car.

Piegaro is a non-touristy town of about 500 and has a number of good restaurants, markets, etc. We are staying at www.anticavetreria.net/ in Piegaro, a self-catering apartments/villa, for two weeks in September. If you check their website you will find that there is a lot on their website about Piegaro, the region, wine tours and day trips to Tuscan and Umbrian towns. Maybe this is an alternative. Hope this helps.

Edited: 04 February 2011, 01:49
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3. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

Thanks for the post-- it does look like a cute town, and this is definitely the idea I am looking for, so it may be an option. The posts on tripadvisor on the hotel you recommended are all in italian so I'll run them through a translator.

I'm not sure it has quite the luxury element we are looking for, but thanks very much for taking time to respond.

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4. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

Perhaps Il Falconiere is luxurious enough for you:


But - horrors! - it's outside the touristy town of Cortona.

Or Locanda dell'Amorosa outside the less touristy town of Sinalunga:


Edited: 04 February 2011, 03:17
Castellina in...
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5. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

You might want to consider Villa Bordoni - luxurious with a gourmet restaurant on site. Not within walking distance but a 10 minute drive from Greve. http://www.villabordoni.com

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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6. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

The idea of being able to walk into town for evening meals is one that comes up on many people's wish list. The reality is that such places are thin on the ground, for reasons MoltoBeneItaly refers to. The walk home is often steep, will not have a pavement or street lighting, so even if you can find somewhere close enough to theoretically walk home, the experience may prove rather hair raising!

You may have to opt for staying in a hotel with its own restaurant or staying in the hilltown. This place is often mentioned here on TA, I haven't stayed there yet myself, but had a look around it last summer and it certainly has views to die for and is set on the edge of a lovely little town in arguably the most attractive part of Tuscany:


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7. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

KikiNY what did you decide? Your post reminded me of mine (similar preferences you're seeking). I am leading towards Bordoni but am waiting to hear back from a few places on their availability.

8. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

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9. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

I haven't decided anything yet-- but I have done lots more research and have found many places that could be possibilities. I am trying to be a little more flexible in my definition of luxurious. The over the top luxury places seem very remote, or encompass an entire "village" (by taking over all the buildings, no real village exists)-- the fake villages hold the least appeal for me and have a very corporate feel. I have found many places that are on the fringe of a village, or in such a tiny village it is not clear if there is even a restaurant. I haven't sifted through all of these yet, but here is the list of hotels (in no particular order) I found interesting-- either in a village or within a couple km. If anyone has comments, especially concerning what the immediate area around the village is like, that would be very helpful:

Palazzo Carletti

Palazzo Brandano (Petrorio)

Castello delle Serre (Serre di Rapolano)

Castelletto di Montebenichi (Montebenichi)

Porta Castellana

Piccolo Hotel lavalle (Pienza)

Villa Cicolina

Villa Poggiano

Fonte Bertusi

Podere Salicotto (Buonconvento)

Montepulciano, Italy
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10. Re: Luxury accomodation walking distance to small hilltown?

Palazzo Brandano is lovely, I've never stayed there but have eaten there often, the food is excellent, the staff always very charming and it's a beautiful place. It's right in the middle of Petroio, a tiny medieval village famous for its terracotta but not much else, it's off-the-beaten-track / often overlooked and all the nicer for that. Set in lovely countryside (predominantly olive groves) with gorgeous views in all directions. Very well positioned for visiting the well known southern Tuscan hilltowns of Montepulciano, Pienza and even Montalcino as well as the lesser well known ones. Easy to get up to the A1 intersection at Bettolle for touring (or going across to Cortona), it's a stunning drive cross-country to Siena from here too. There is not much else though in Petroio so this would be your only real option for dinner in the evening unless you wanted to drive to one of the neighbouring villages.

Piccolo Hotel la Valle in Pienza is somewhere I drive by sometimes almost daily but I've never been inside. Looks well appointed from the outside, pretty flower-filled garden, etc. The rooms at the front must have amazing views and although it's on the edge of the village, it's only a two minute walk to the main corso and a huge choice of excellent restaurants. Plus it's Pienza and you'll have the joy of experiencing this wonderful village in the evening.