Poggio Piglia sits conveniently between Siena and Assisi: Macciano is the closest town. The hotel feels deliciously remote and peaceful, set in its own quiet grounds, tucked away from the main road.
Florence's main airport, Peretola (aka Amerigo Vespucci; www.aeroporto.firenze.it) is 120km away. Rome’s airport, Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino; www.rome-airport.info), is 200km away. Most international carriers fly here, including Alitalia, British Airways and easyJet.
Chiusi station is a 10-minute drive from Poggio Piglia, with services connecting to Rome, Arezzo, Florence and other key Italian cities (www.trenitalia.com).
It’s a great idea to bring wheels: driving in Tuscany is a pleasure, and gives you easy access to all that you’ll want to visit nearby – verdant vineyards, hilltop towns, rustic trattoria – as well as making day trips to Rome or Florence easy-peasy. From the Mi-Roma A1, take the the Chiusi Chianciano Terme exit onto the SP146. Turn left at the first crossroads toward Chianciano. After 2km, you will find a petrol pump on your left; keep on going for 200m and on your right, you will find the country lane that leads to Poggio Piglia.
Worth getting out of bed for
Go roaming around the gardens, admiring the olive trees (there are more than 900), where five types of olive flourish: Frantoio, Moraiolo, Correggiola, Leccino and Pendolino. Ask staff to give you a tutorial or guided tour, if you want to learn more about the production process (or just make a note to dip bread in a glug or two, in the restaurant). Further afield, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Head to Florence, Siena, Pisa or Arezzo for mediaeval splendour and Chianti countryside. Montepulciano, Cortona, Pienza and Chiusi are an hour’s drive away. Visit wineries (start with Avignosi or Contucci), go on a balloon ride in Siena or have a canoeing or kayaking adventure in Lago Trasimeno (staff can arrange any of the activities mentioned above).
Wood-panelled walls, arched brick ceiling, crisp white linen and candelight: La Solita Zuppa (+39 0578 21006; www.lasolitazuppa.it) on Via Porsenna in Chiusi is a romantic setting for antipasti, pinci and Chianti. The osteria sticks to the traditional dishes of the region – minus some of the duck fat – aiming for modern but authentic Tuscan cuisine. Osteria del Teatro (+39 0575 630556; www.osteria-del-teatro.it) on Via Maffei in Cortona, Arezzo, has a dining room that dates back 500 years, a cosy feel and an intriguing menu: try chicory-and-ricotta-stuffed pasta, gnocchi with duck and rosemary, or artichoke risotto. There are some wildcards too: pork fillets with coffee and apple, or pigeon with black cherries, for example. If you like the idea of eating in a mediaeval convent’s former prison, head to La Frateria di Padre Eligio (+39 0578 238261; www.lafrateria.com) at Convento di San Francesco Cetona in Chiusi. The menu is hand-written, bread is baked daily, the olive oil is milled using old millstones – basically, it’s all pretty darn authentic.