We have put together a snapshot of our most favourite towns with their bars and restaurant on and off the beaten track.
As you can imagine this compilation is forever evolving. Our staff are on hand to advise, recommend and help you put an itinerary together. There is also the option to lie by the pool and soak up the sun.
Cortona is believed to be one or if not the oldest known settlements on the Italian peninsular, predating Roman civilisation by several hundred years this town was one of the main centres of the Etruscan civilisation.
Today it is probably one of the most visited cities in the area as it is stunningly beautiful with fabulous views of the countryside along the medieval town walls.
Great for an Aperitivo is a bar in Cortona called Tuscher Hall, owned by Massimo and Daniela.
Pane e Vino is very good spot for lunch Snoopy serves great gelato and even better for people watching as the square in which it sits becomes the centre of the towns night life For dinner Il Teatro (the theatre) is elegant and casual all rolled into one with the owner’s wife having the more outrageous laugh!
You can eat outside under a renaissance loggia in the main square at La Loggietta and watch the town go by of an evening
Now a UNESCO world heritage site, the small walled town of Pienza was built on Renaissance humanist principles and where Pope Pius II had his home, the beautiful Palazzo Piccolomini. It also has one of the only renaissance wells in its town square. Due to its position on the edge of the Val D’orca, it offers spectacular views across the valley to the extinct volcano of Mont Amiata, Tuscany’s highest mountain. It is well known for the local pecorino cheeses which you can sample at both Sette di Vino and Bar Il Casello where you can take in the great view.
An incredibly elegant walled town which boasts spectacular views, a wonderful renaissance medieval main square and is well know for its “Vino Nobile” wine. It has an old school Italian café called Caffe Polizian, good for a coffee, light lunch or tea. At the top of the town is a beautiful square and outside the city walls lovely the S. Biagio church, both worth a visit.
MONTE SAN SAVINO
One of the more beautiful hill top towns of the Val di Chiana region, a town well known in Italy for its antique dealers and shops, it also has several good restaurants and a stunning town hall, which if open should be explored al the way through to its garden beyond. The town is worth a visit if only to sample the delights of its ice cream parlour Bar Castiglia.
Arezzo has a wealth of elegant renaissance and medieval architecture, art, shopping and restaurants. Its historic walled centre is definitely worth a visit and the town boasts a wide range of sites to see including fortresses, monuments, churches, and museums. The Church of San Francesco is probably the most famous in Arezzo, with the incredible early Renaissance fresco by Piero della Francesca. On the first weekend of every month this historic centre plays host to Italy’s largest antique fair where literally all the towns streets are taken over by over 400 vendors. Cioccolato di Carlo produces the best home made ice cream and chocolates in the area.
FOIANO DELLA CHIANA
If it is steak your after then try Mengrello in our local town of Foiano, you have to try the tagliata steak with rosemary and green pepper dressing our favourite - not had a bad one in 20 years https://www.ristorantemengrello.it
La Lodola is a very special place run by a young husband and wife who have a passion for cooking and entertaining. Manuela is the sommelier and Carlo is the chef and his mother an antique dealer (you get the picture!), It is a very unique both food and ambiance and well worth a visit.
We are lucky enough to have Carlo creating and cooking a culinary themed dinner twice weekly at Emporio di Ines. www.emporiodiines.com
There are several good restaurants in the little walled town of Lucignano, which we feel is one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany. http://www.ilgoccino.it/en/ For lunch, we recommend Il Goccino (the spoon full) which crosses the wall of the town so at the front the terrace is in the rustic streets and at the back you eat above the town wall and over look the view beyond. Out side the wall of the town for something simpler there is a small restaurant called the“La Vecchia Cisterna” (the old well). There is also a great ice cream parlour in the town and two bars on either side of the gate to the town which offers great people watching for both the natives and the foreigners alike.