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.
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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.