Tuscany, Italy

La Bandita Townhouse

Rates from (inc tax)$248.24

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 (21EUR), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Mediaeval soul, modern story


Model Renaissance city

La Bandita Townhouse has many tales to tell, but one is that this stylish hotel and restaurant’s host town of Pienza was Pope Pius II’s 15th-century vision for the perfect Renaissance city, which means palaces, churches and piazzas are but an amble away.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of local wine on arrival


Photos La Bandita Townhouse – Tuscany – Italy

Need to know


12, including four suites.


Midday, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.


Double rooms from $248.24 (€228), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €0.70 per person per night on check-out.

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 (EUR250.75), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Breakfast is included.


All rooms are non-smoking but there is a terrace perfect for those who want to indulge their vice. While you're out there be sure to take a stroll around the hotel's walled mediaeval garden, if you're not used to Pienza's siesta-style pace of life, plonk yourself down in a canvas chair with a good book and you'll adjust in no time. Stay more than three nights and dinner is free for under-5s.

Hotel closed

5 November to 1 April

At the hotel

Mini spa (with steam bath and hot tub), library, DVD/CD selection, vast vinyl collection and concierge service. In rooms: flatscreen TV, free WiFi, Ortigia toiletries, free bottled water in the minibar. The suites have a flatscreen TV and coffee machine.

Our favourite rooms

The Junior Suite offers you the best of both worlds: slick modern design on the inside; and outside your window the multi-coloured trees and fields of Unesco World Heritage site Val D'Orcia spreading out to the horizon. Request a suite on the upper floors – your eyes will thank you.

Packing tips

Book of Renaissance history and an appetite for pecorino cheese.


English-speaking concierge. On stays of three or more days, laundry is free.


Small pets allowed. See more pet-friendly hotels in Tuscany.


Cribs or folding beds can be added to any room free of charge. Suites and superior rooms have extra beds and toys are available. Under-5s eat for free in the restaurant when parents are dining there, and off-menu dishes no problem.

Food and Drink

Photos Rocabella Mykonos – Mykonos – Greece

Top Table

Reserve settings at the chef’s counter and watch the maestros in the open kitchen whip up your dishes with flourish, from start to finish.

Dress Code

<i>Casuale</i>. (More Miu Miu or SportMax than Cavalli if you do dress up.)

Hotel restaurant

The Townhouse Caffé is one of the most popular restaurants in Pienza – every night. Little wonder, since chef David Mangan (and on some days, Dario) creates delicious Tuscan dishes before your very eyes, using the freshest seasonal local ingredients. Tuscan classics and shareable small plates keep guests eagerly coming back for more.

Hotel bar

The fully stocked honesty bar is in the library, with a few chilled bottles ready for you to uncork on the house at aperitivo hour.

Last orders

Breakfast is served 7am–11.30am. Evenings run until 10.30pm, but speak to the hotel as this can vary by arrangement.

Room service

Guests can order whatever they want from the Townhouse Caffé menu during restaurant hours for delivery to their rooms.


Photos La Bandita Townhouse – Tuscany – Italy
La Bandita Townhouse
111 Corso Rossellino


The most convenient airport is Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) International Aiport (www.rome-airport.info) in Rome, which is 200km south. The next nearest is Florence (www.aeroporto.firenze.it).


It’s not the most reliable way to get there, but if you do come by train the closest station is Chiusi-Chianciano Terme, which is about 40km away.


Although old Pienza is strictly pedestrians only, you can drive up to the hotel’s front door just to drop off your bags. A couple of minutes away you’ll find free parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Pienza may seem more like a hilltop village, but this compact town was the original blueprint for a perfect Renaissance city care of Pope Pius II’s 15th-century vision. A cobblestoned amble from La Bandita Townhouse are palaces, churches, piazzas and charming (forgivably touristy) shops galore in this Unesco site. Palazzo Piccolomini (+39 0577 530032), the residence of Pope Pius II, is just a five-minute walk from the hotel and is worth visiting for it's colonnaded inner courtyard, ornate Italianate gardens and secret hidden rooms. History isn't all there is to lap up in this blissful bucolic region, they're also a dab hand at viticulture and Enoteca Di Ghino (+39 0578 748262) should be your first stop when searching for the perfect plonk. The shop is run by knowledgeable wine connoisseur, Ghino Poggialini, who's happy to share his abundant wine know-how, whether you're looking for a magnum of vintage Sassicaia or a €20 bottle of local red.

Local restaurants

A short cobblestoned walk from the hotel is La Terrazza Del Chiostro (+39 0578 748400) who serve simple Tuscan cuisine on a shaded, lime-tree flanked terrace, which overlooks the valley. Baccus L'Osteri (+39 0578 749080) is also close by, which on first glance seems like typical tourist bait: whimsical rustic signage? Check. Rustic bric-a-brac covering the walls? Check. Chocolate-box countryside mural? Check…But one look at the menu proves they're the real deal, with locally influenced fare such as saffron-flavoured gnocchi and home-made spaghetti with fried breadcrumbs. If you have a yearning for some authentic pecorino, head to La Chiocciola (+39 0578 748683) where you can tuck into baked or grilled pecorino or pecorino stuffed into ravioli and other such gastronomic treats.



Photos La Bandita Townhouse – Tuscany – Italy

Anonymous review

Laundry. Lovely, clean, mountains of Alpine-fresh laundry, folded, and ready to wear, nestling in the housekeeper’s bosom. Sorry, but that was the first image that popped into my head when Mrs Smith asked what my highlight had been at this mediaeval mini-city of yore. We were playing ‘top three moments’ as we sped home, a useful game after a party or weekend, to milk the pleasure a teeny bit more. It probably also helps stave off Alzheimer’s.

‘What!’ screamed Mrs Smith. ‘You’re rating the laundry service at the former Renaissance palazzo above the ricotta-stuffed courgette flowers? Are you completely insane?’ It’s true that the fiori di zucca ripieni, a local speciality, were very good, light and crispy and subtle, as I knew they would be. Funnily enough, that’s why I ordered them, but it didn’t seem the moment to point this out to Mrs Smith, who had eaten most of them.

Anyway, there was something reassuring and heart-warming about opening our door less than 24 hours after checking in, to find the signora clutching a pile of my pressed pants. I should explain. We were nowhere near the Alps, and La Bandita is not a launderette. It is, or was, a 15th-century nunnery knocked into a contemporary 12-bedroom hotel in a hilltop town in Tuscany. We arrived on one of those dreamy hot days, when the red Sienese bricks baked like they were back in the oven. The night before, Mrs Smith had thrown a last-minute party in London, and flown out at dawn straight from the dancefloor. I had been charging round northern Italy in a rented Fiat, following the Mille Miglia, a demented three-day road-race for 1950s sports cars. Neither of us looked exactly spry, or had any clean clothes, as we vomited ourselves from the Fiat onto La Bandita’s cool granite doorstep at the end of the main street of this World Heritage old town.

Worst of all, we were early, the most annoying thing any guest can be. ‘Not a problem!’ beamed Virginia, the vision of beauty behind a Mac. ‘Glass of wine?’ Those are the six words I always want to hear when I walk into someone’s house. Followed by: ‘What time would you like lunch?’ When she lightly added that laundry is complimentary, and that breakfast is served practically until lunchtime, a tiny tear may have entered my eye.

Truth be told, I had wondered how we would amuse ourselves in a town that has barely changed since 1460. Pienza was built all in one go by Pope Pius II. It’s not exactly handy for anywhere, being at least a 45-minute wiggly drive from any city. But what you don’t realise until getting here is that it stands bang in the middle of the Val d’Orcia within grasp of Montalcino, San Quirico, Montepulciano, Montichiello, Montefollonico and Siena.

This is fantasy Tuscany. A valley with everything we love about Italy, but in an acid trip. Undulating cornfields, white chalky tracks, ramrod-straight cypress trees – you get the picture. It’s probably your desktop. Pienza crowns its own little hill, and has one main street, at the end of which stands La Bandita. So as Mrs Smith slept off last night’s party, I drifted around town, gazing into the distance. Honestly, this took up a whole afternoon, as I shifted down five gears from manic to monged. This place is built for dreamers: there’s a bench every 10 yards, so you simply stagger from one to the next, contemplating how you would paint each view, if you could be bothered.

Mrs Smith used to live in Florence, and had been insisting we go to a very good party that night. Happily, she couldn’t face the 90-minute drive, and Pienza isn’t short of restaurants. So we spent the weekend eating zucchini flowers and gasping at views. There’s a spa nearby, where Virginia suggested, with her uniquely suggestive giggle, that we try – shriek of laughter! – a mud-bath massage for couples. But frankly, we had already entered a trance-like state of calm and could barely leave our room.

The rooms are like New York lofts, all light and fresh and designer. The beds seem to float mid-air, for extra levity. Sure, this is a Renaissance townhouse, so the ceilings are beamed, but they’re white-painted, so none of that Tuscan darkness. Our room overlooked the street, so I spent a lot of time watching people ambling up and down, or practicing my Italian with the old woman in the house opposite, like two mediaeval gossips. For more sophisticated chat, there’s a sort of library and bar on the first floor, where you can meet fellow guests over prosecco and giant green olives. John Voigtmann, the owner, was a New York record producer before channelling his funk into this place. He ran bands like the Strokes, Foo Fighters, and Christina Aguilera, as the framed discs on the walls prove. The fact he’s ex-music industry is betrayed in the extensive vinyl LP collection, and a clue that his wife Ondine is a travel writer is that there is even an insider in-room mini guidebook for this corner of Tuscany.

Downstairs, the big attraction is the garden and the Townhouse Caffè’s terrace, where we spent the mornings eating breakfast, watching Glaswegian chef David Mangan and his team prepare those courgette flowers in the open kitchen. I would love to say we did something beyond watching other people do things. If buying ice-creams and having long showers in Ortigia products count as activities, then we were very busy. Otherwise, I’m afraid we did diddly-squat, or dolce far niente, as they say in Italian. You can see why the laundry felt like such an achievement.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in La Bandita Townhouse’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The style decor of the hotel - a perfect synthesis of ancient and contemporary. The location is wonderful; right in the heart of Pienza. The restaurant is amazing too, modern Italian with a twist - but always delicious. But most of all we loved the people there. The staff are so friendly welcoming. We felt we were staying with friends - albeit friends with great wit, generosity taste. The staff are more than happy to recommend good places to eat elsewhere or sites to visit. However, we only ate there as the food was so good. All the nearby hill towns are lovely, so there's lots to do explore in the area.

Don’t expect

...A gym.


Stayed on 8 Oct 2016

We loved

The ambience, the staff, the food, the rooms, the location, the peacefulness. The staff are brilliant at suggesting local attractions. We took their advice. 

Don’t expect

All expectations were met


Stayed on 8 Jul 2016

We loved

Staff demeanour, food, location in Tuscany. Beautiful town, church, pope residence and other local hotel with restaurant on terrace looking out at the view.

Don’t expect

Lots of staff, complete quiet, to be able to easily park car outside, to easily arrive after 10pm.


Stayed on 8 Jul 2016

We loved

The room, the bathroom, the food, the ambience, the location, the staff. Our second visit. Take the walk down to the Terrapille Agriturismo, have a drink at Il Casello, buy a handbag almost anywhere.

Don’t expect

Quiet mornings, you are in a town, the street sweepers start early, as do the old ladies having a natter.


Stayed on 13 Jun 2016

We loved

The lovely staff, beautiful town, aperitifs before dinner, delicious restaurant, super comfy beds. Everything!

Don’t expect

To lose weight – the food and wine in the region is spectacular.


Stayed on 29 Dec 2015

We loved

The design is funky and the local town is beautiful. 

Don’t expect

My wife is gluten and dairy free and despite having contacted la Bandita several times about this before arriving and being reassured this wouldn't be a problem the menu was very limited and waiting staff did very little to accommodate this. It was the only disappointing thing but really affected our stay. The food is incredible though. We got talking to the chefs on the last day and perhaps if we had of met them sooner maybe it could have been different. 


Stayed on 19 Oct 2015

We loved

The friendly staff, the lovely extras, the Townhouse Caffe, the location in the town, the little black book of recommendations, the complimentary Laundry service


Stayed on 7 Oct 2015