Tuscany Journals

Small, Stunning Tuscan Hotels

A September 2004 trip to Tuscany by jilldg1

Grand Hotel Villa Cora Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: Toscana is so delightful and delicious that you don't even need a swanky hotel. But if you manage to find one, all the better!

Grand Hotel Villa Cora

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Grand Hotel Villa Cora Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
After a night at the Villa Cora, there’s one thing I can’t figure out: why this place doesn’t have more publicity! This former palace on the outskirts of Florence was built in the 1860s and restored to its former glory, including frescoes in the bedrooms, fireplaces, creamy marble bathrooms, and period antiques, after almost 30 years in disrepair. Perhaps its location (about 2km from the center of Florence) deters some tourists, though the hotel does have a free shuttle that will take to into the city and back at your discretion. When we arrived, in early September, the place was about half-full, though the pool seemed pretty packed. If you wanted to walk to the Ponte Vecchio or anywhere else i...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 22, 2004

Grand Hotel Villa Cora
Viale Niccolo Macchiavelli, 18
Florence, Italy 50125
39-055-2298451

Villa Fontelunga

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Villa Fontelunga Photo, Tuscany, Italy
Quote:
If I had, say, a million bucks sitting around, I think I’d restore an old villa in Tuscany. Except that, even with double that much, I fear I’d never recreate a place as dazzling as the nine-room Villa Fontelunga, an oasis of high style amid the rugged landscape of Arezzo. Fontelunga is no Tuscan cliché. Yes, the place waxes lyrical with a traditionally Tuscan, terracotta-pink exterior and pool with views over the olive groves. But head out back to find a modernist’s dream: slipcovered chairs; Moroccan lanterns; the clean, white lines of canvas umbrellas; and a Middle Eastern-inspired lounge area with a fireplace, billowing curtains, and fluffy pillows. Set outside the town of Fioano...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 22, 2004

Villa Fontelunga
Via Cunicchio N. 5
Tuscany, Italy
0039 0575 661963

Podere Dionora

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Podere Dionora Photo, Montepulciano, Italy
Quote:
As far as I understand, agriturism in Italy isn’t regulated by a rating system, which means that in one farmhouse you could be snuggling up with sheep, and in the next being served champagne by the pool before hopping into your own personal sauna. Six-room Podere Dionora fits into the latter category. As we’d approached Montepulciano, I’d been warning my husband, "this place is just a ‘farmhouse,’ so don’t expect anything too lavish." Funny how wrong I was. Although Dionora does sit on farmland that produces olive oil, sunflowers, and wine (hence some magnificent countryside views from the pool), the experience here is nothing if not sophisticated. Our room, the "Girasole," a warm orange...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 22, 2004

Podere Dionora
Via Vicinale di Poggiano
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
0039 0578 717496

Castello di Velona

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Castello di Velona Photo, Tuscany, Italy
Quote:
It would be a real challenge not to love Castello di Velona. It’s got all the makings of a fantastic hotel, being a member of the Small Luxury Hotel of the World, and poised high on a hill about 10-minute drive from the noble town of Montalcino (known for its famous Brunello wine). The setting is the thing you first notice. No surprise that this 11th-century fortress (and later the villa of famous Sienese families) would have beautiful views, but these were darned near unbelievable. Sitting at the pool, I was entranced. (It’s a rare occasion for an infamous tan-aholic like myself to turn my chair toward the view rather than the sun.) The quietness of this hotel was remarkable. I know ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 22, 2004

Castello di Velona
Località Velona
Tuscany, Italy
+39 0577 800101