tuscany, Italy

Borgo Pignano

Rates from (ex tax)$364.89

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR360.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Walk like the Etruscans

Setting

Pastoral Pignano

Join the beekeeper, the soap-maker and the lucky resident horses at Borgo Pignano, which sits at the heart of an eye-poppingly scenic 750-acre organic estate in Tuscany, lorded over by a majestic 18th-century villa and a hamlet that was first settled by the Etruscans. You’re likely to find leaving the hotel difficult, especially come check-out, but if you can be convinced, you’re just a short drive from the historic hill towns of Volterra and San Gimignano and within easy reach of the medieval cities of Florence and Siena and the vineyards of Chianti.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of organic wine and a small selection of Pignano Organic products in your room on arrival

Facilities

Photos Borgo Pignano facilities

Need to know

Rooms

23, including nine suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $364.89 (€327), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR360.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include buffet breakfast (à la carte options cost extra), WiFi and taxes.

Also

The hotel has an artsy side: there’s a little on-site gallery; rooms are packed with art and antiques; the summer kids’ programme includes painting and crafts sessions.

Hotel closed

The hotel closes from 1 November 2017 to 23 March 2018.

At the hotel

Extensive grounds; stables with resident horses; art gallery; gym, spa and yoga room; parking spaces; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: desk, free bottled water, black-out curtain, organic bath products, fresh fruit on arrival. The Maisonettes and Cottages also have air-conditioning, a mini fridge and tea- and coffee-making facilities. Cottages come with working fireplaces and kitchenettes.

Our favourite rooms

The Villa Suite with Breathtaking Views are knee-weakeningly lovely, thanks to their winsome views, polished piano (go on, have a tinkle) and fresco-adorned bathroom.

Poolside

The picturesque unheated pool was carved from an ancient limestone quarry. A cluster of sunloungers and parasols dot the surrounding limestone terrace; adjacent to the pool area, there’s a pop-up bar and a manicured lawn where guests can flop and relax. Smiths aged 14 and above can use the pool; a family-friendly pool is being built for summer 2017.

Spa

Borgo Pignano Spa has a hammam, sauna, gym, and fitness classes, including pilates and yoga. Treatments champion organic ingredients that are grown on the estate; a trained herbalist uses flowers, herbs, plant extracts, oils and honeys. Relax with a home-made herbal tisane post-treatment and admire the setting: a converted medieval well-house.

Packing tips

Bring something you can hike a forest or ride a horse in.

Also

The hotel’s public areas are suited to wheelchair-users but its bedrooms are not. Spa treatments can be enjoyed in-room. Borgo Pignano has a stash of plug adaptors and Wellies for guests to borrow.

Pet‐friendly

Pooches weighing in at 10kg or less can come too, as long as you book a Maisonnette or Cottage. Pets have restricted access to public areas, restaurants and pools (there’s buckets of space for them, though). See more pet-friendly hotels in tuscany.

Children

Little Smiths aged between three and 14 are welcome. Extra beds (€60 a night) can be added to rooms (on request, for Signature Suites) and cots can be added to select Villas. Babysitting is available for €25 a night; book a day ahead.

Best for

Little Smiths aged three and over can come too (the hotel reckons it’s best for children aged six and above).

Recommended rooms

Families with little ones should book a Maisonnette or Cottage for maximum space. The Borgo Maisonnettes have two comfortable bedrooms with separate bathrooms and a handy living area with a kitchen corner. The Cottages have a similar layout.

Crèche

None, but special ‘Kids Agents’ are on hand from June until early September. They organise a free activities programme from 9.30am until 12.30pm, then from 6.30pm until 10pm.

Activities

Little Smiths can play on the lawn and in the gardens and grounds; there’s also an indoor play area by the main pool called the Little Wooden Hut. Art and education play an important part in Borgo’s seasonal activities. In the summer months, staff work to foster little ones’ creative impulses through outdoor painting, coloring and creating dyes with flowers and spices, clay modelling and creating sculptures from natural materials. A family-friendly pool is being built for summer 2017.

Swimming pool

At present there’s just an adults-only pool, but the hotel is building a family-friendly pool, set to open in summer 2017.

Meals

The main restaurant has an adjacent dining room designed for families with Smiths aged six and under. There’s a kids menu and a stash of highchairs. When the Kids Agents are around (June–September), they can arrange a Kids’ Table dinner at 7pm (for an extra charge). A trattoria is being built; this will welcome little Smiths at all times.

No need to pack

For very little Smiths, the hotel can provide travel or foldaway cots/crib, changing mats, bottle sterilising kit, stair gates, high chairs, puzzles, crayons/paints and paper, U-rated DVDs, baby swing, arm bands/swimming aids for infants and bicycles.

Also

For less little Smiths, the hotel has arm bands/swimming aids, children's books, U-rated DVDs, PG or 12-rated DVDs, board games, puzzles, bicycles and bike helmets.

Eco‐friendly

Eco-conscious concerns shaped this hotel, whose villa, farmhouses and apartments have been restored and decorated using locally sourced stone and slate, organic plasters and eco paint. Traditional farming methods are used as much as possible. The team are working to improve the soil conditions; they’ve also successfully experimented with swales: a natural system for retaining rainwater and preventing soil erosion, which has never been used before in Tuscany. The villa’s heating and hot water are fuelled by solar panels and wood-fired boilers, fed by wood harvested from the estate’s forest. Filtered harvested rainwater is used in the gardens; natural and manmade lakes supply irrigation for the farmland and other areas of the estate. The restaurant relies on seasonal, organic produce, much of which is grown on site.

Food and Drink

Photos Borgo Pignano food and drink

Top Table

The standard rules apply: sit outside if it’s warm (very likely); inside, by a window, if it’s not (unlikely). In summer months, breakfast is served in the villa’s peaceful inner courtyard.

Dress Code

Off-duty Tuscan gentry.

Hotel restaurant

Fresh from a stint at our other Tuscan favourite, Borgo Egnazia, chef Vincenzo Martella is a dazzling presence in Pignano’s kitchens. He excels at inventive Italian dishes featuring hyper-local produce (described by the hotel as ‘0km cuisine’) and is particularly creative when it comes to desserts, many of which star vegetables (trust us). The restaurant is an elegant space, decorated with paintings by notable turn-of-the-century British artists, Cassina armchairs and enticing views. In summer, the restaurant is set up in the Belvedere, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside and the medieval city of Volterra. A relaxed trattoria is in the works, too…

Hotel bar

Although Borgo Pignano doesn’t have a formal bar, drinks aren’t neglected: a bar of sorts is set up in the gardens in summer, by the ornate antique fireplace in the lounge in winter. It’s called the Gin Corner and it has an expert in-house mixologist; try a Fancy Free: vanilla- and ginger-infused rum, maraschino, Pignano’s honey, orange and Amarena cherries. Many of the drinks’ garnishes are plucked from the gardens.

Last orders

Breakfast is served until 10am; dinner until 10pm.

Room service

There’s no room service as such; make the most of mealtimes. Obliging staff will always fix you a drink if you’re thirsty.

Location

Photos Borgo Pignano location
Address
Borgo Pignano
Loc. Pignano, 6
Volterra Pisa
56048
Volterra Pisa
Italy

Planes

Pisa International Airport is a 75-minute drive away (www.pisa-airport.com). The hotel can arrange transfers from €137 each way, for two people in a Sedan. You could also fly into Florence, 80 kilometres away (hotel transfers start from €162 each way, for two people in a Sedan). Smith24 can book your flights; just call 03332 205 255.

Trains

Poggibonsi-San Gimignano station is a 35-minute drive away, with Trenitalia services connecting to Florence, Siena, Empoli and Pisa (www.trenitalia.com).

Automobiles

Pignano is one hour and 15 minutes from Florence, 40 minutes from Siena, one hour from Pisa and one hour from the coast. Volterra is the closest town, a 20-minute drive away. There’s on-site and valet parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Soak up life on an organic farm: learn how to make organic soap under herbalist and soap-pro Lisabetta’s expert guidance. Meet the bee-whisperer, Antonio, who will take you to the hotel’s beehives, and explain how the bees are looked after and how honey is made. Taste Tuscan wine in Borgo Pignano’s atmospheric cellar with help from the restaurant manager (and resident wine buff) Francesco. Pick from the Tuscan Wine Road experience (€40 a person) or the Grand Masters D.O.C.G. (€60 a person). Visit the on-site art gallery and sign up for a class in the painting room. Yoga and Pilates sessions are held in Borgo’s fitness area twice a week. Have a horse-riding lesson or join a guided horse-riding excursion through the woods and fields of the Estate.

Borgo Pignano borders a large natural reservoir (Castelvecchio); guests can cross it and reach San Gimignano in three hours on foot. Take a trip to nearby Volterra, the city of alabaster, and visit its famous church and the Etruscan Guarnacci Museum, one of the earliest public museums in Europe, home to amazing Etruscan and Roman collections. (The hotel can arrange guided tours on request, tailored to a variety of interests including art, history, culture and cuisine.) Venture to Siena and explore the Palazzo Salimbeni, a striking Gothic-style palace on Piazza Salimbeni.

Lucca, Arezzo and Pisa are also within driving distance, as are the wine regions of Montepulciano, Montalcino, Castellina in Chianti, Radda and Giaole. The medieval hill towns in the vicinity of Borgo Pignano have churches and monuments of note and many have small museums and frescoed cloisters. There are thermal springs, Etruscan ruins and tombs, Renaissance palaces, museums and weekly markets to explore.

Local restaurants

Family-run Trattoria da Bado (+39 0588 80402) at Borgo San Lazzaro in Volterra serves delicious, authentic Tuscan cuisine in a cosy setting, graced with Chianti-coloured table linens and traditional architecture. Mama Lucia is in charge of the kitchen, rustling up antipasti, zuppa volterrana (bread and vegetable soup), baccalà rifatto (pan-fried salted codfish stewed with tomatoes) and home-made desserts starring her own jams and preserves. Over in Siena, Michelin-star-gathering chef Gaetano Trovato runs the show at the dazzling Ristorante Arnolfo (+39 0577 920549) on Via XX Settembre. Arnolfo shines a spotlight on produce from Siena and Tuscany; previous dishes include red mullet, cuttlefish, green peas and quinoa, sea bass with citrus fruits, turnips and ginger, and a dessert of exotic fruit with cocoa and salted caramel. You might recognise Trattoria Albana at Via Mazzolla in Mazzolla (+39 0588 39001) from its star turn on Trip to Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon; the two actors were lucky enough to taste a variety of regional dishes, guided by expert host Giuseppe Cassarà. Follow in their footsteps and try pasta with wild boar, tripe, pheasant and more.

Reviews

Photos Borgo Pignano reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this handsome hotel in Pignano and unpacked their wine, honey and handmade soap, a full account of their Italian break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Borgo Pignano in Tuscany

Old MacDonald had a farm – and it was nothing like Borgo Pignano’s ravishing Tuscan estate, sadly. At Borgo Pignano, you can hang out with a bee-whisperer by the name of Antonio and make your own honey; you can get a lesson in organic soap-making and herb-uses from plant-pro Lisabetta; you can embark on a Tuscan wine-tasting in the atmospheric cellar under the tutelage of wine-buff and restaurant manager Francesco, or go horse-riding around the 750-acre grounds under the guidance of an expert equestrian.

 Of course, you could also do diddly squat and just unwind in the spa, laze around by the unheated pool – set in an ancient limestone quarry – or see what the wizard-chef has just rustled up in the kitchens (top tip: the vegetable desserts are unmissable). Borgo Pignano has Tuscan glamour a-go-go, with antiques and art and classic Italian styling, but it also has a heart: the whole project runs to the beat of an eco-conscious drum, and activities for Smiths of all sizes shine a spotlight firmly on Mother Nature. Bravi.

The Guestbook

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