Hidden away from the typical Tuscan stops, Locanda in Tuscany is a nine-room country charmer tucked into the rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia. Run by a Milanese couple, the hotel embraces its setting, with a relaxed pace and rooms positioned to take advantage of the bucolic views. Locanda’s secluded location doesn’t mean it’s isolated from Tuscany’s charms. Staff offer trail maps and itineraries for aspiring hikers, cyclists and architecture buffs. Nearby towns are renowned for wine and cheese, and the hotel restaurant takes full advantage with classic Tuscan dishes prepared with local bounty and paired with wines from down the road.
Flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £231.72 (€260), including tax at 22 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include buffet breakfast.
Invent your own scene from a Fellini film with a throwback self-guided Tuscany tour in the hotel's vintage Fiat 500, available for daily rental.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar and Tuscan bath products.
Our favourite rooms
The first-floor Suite has a bath tub with views over the Val d’Orcia to help set the mood. And for a fully indulgent stay with your nearest and dearest book out the villa exclusively.
The 20-metre unheated outdoor swimming pool is flanked by double sunbeds for a swim with views of the Tuscan hills.
In-room spa treatments are available for guests staying in rooms with a freestanding tub.
Bring along biking gear: the hills are world-renowned for cyclists, and the staff have maps of top routes.
The owners take sleep seriously, and offer guests a choice of cotton or linen sheets. The wood beds were commissioned from local artists and are metal free, which the owners requested to eliminate electromagnetic pollution that could compromise sleep.
Take a table beneath the bougainvillea trellis for hillside views at twilight.
Relaxed linen dresses and sport coats in natural hues.
Set in an old stable, the Taverna di Mozart showcases the best of traditional Tuscan cuisine. The chefs source local ingredients for a menu that changes seasonally, but typically includes 10 dishes, prepared using old-world techniques. Sit beneath an archway in the dining room, or take a table on the terrace, beneath a bougainvillea trellis. Guests staying in rooms with private terraces will have breakfast delivered to them; otherwise guests will be given a secluded spot on the hotel's terrace.
Breakfast is served from 8:30am to 10:30am each morning, and dinner is served from 7:30 to 9pm each night.
Locanda in Tuscany is in the Val d'Orcia, in southeast Tuscany, near Montalcino.
Florence is the closest airport, 160km away. It's served by Alitalia and other European carriers, and welcomes flights from Paris, Copenhagen, Brussels and Madrid. The largest airport in the region is Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) International Airport (www.rome-airport.info) in Rome, which is 215km south on most international airlines. Contact Smith24 for transfers from either airport.
Chiusi is the closest main station, a 40-minute drive away, served by Eurostar, with connections to Florence, Pisa, Rome and Milan.
The beautiful hills of Tuscany are best seen by car, and the roads are fairly easy to navigate. The hotel is within an easy drive of Montalcino and some of the more scenic towns, including Siena, a 50-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel has plenty of free on-site parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Unesco-recognised Val d’Orcia around Locanda in Tuscany attracts visitors from around the world. Its grassy hills and verdant valleys are ideal for hiking and biking, and its trove of top-tier wineries have vintages to soothe the sorest of muscles. The region is renowned for Brunello di Montalcino, perhaps the most coveted wine in Italy, and ideal with giant slabs of medium-rare bistecca alla Fiorentina. For a taste of some of the best, arrange for visits to Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona and the historic Biondi Santi. For more stellar pairings, travel a bit further for Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico and Carmignano. With wine in hand, head for Pienza, a 20-kilometre drive from the hotel, to take in Renaissance architecture and sample the town’s Pecorino cheeses, which are regarded as some of the best in 'the boot'. The sotto cenere version is rubbed in ash to seal in the aromatics as it ages. While in Pienza, drop by Palazzo Piccolomini, thought to be the first Renaissance building, with gorgeous marble and rows of arches. For those keen to motor around the region for nature-peeping and strolling the small towns, bring a swimsuit, too, and head for the free natural hot springs at Bagno Vignoni.
Southern Tuscany is renowned for its exceptional food. Osteria Perillà, in the mediaeval town of Castiglione d'Orcia, earned a Michelin star for its modern takes on Tuscan cuisine, relying on local produce for combinations like spaghettone with anchovies and fennel, and suckling pig with turnips. A short stroll from the hot springs in Bagno Vignoni, Osteria del Leone serves classic regional dishes, including tripe with local saffron and maccheroni carbonara, all in a gorgeous historic stone building. For the ultimate steak dinner, head to Osteria Acquacheta in Montepulciano, where wood-fired bistecca Fiorentina is served in 100-gram increments, with a generous BYO policy for any bottles diners pick up visiting nearby wineries.