Why should I go now?
Long, bright days, undulating fields of wild flowers and balmy evenings. Tuscany is beautiful all year round, but many locals will tell you that June is when the landscape is at its most spectacular. You’re also ahead of the crowds. Come July the region is flooded with tourists, and temperatures are soaring – admittedly both are more urban issues, but if seclusion and romance is what you’re after, you’re best to avoid the height of peak season even in rural areas.
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What’s the lowdown?
L’Andana is located in the Maremma region of Tuscany, roughly a 2 hours drive from Pisa and Florence, and a 10 minute drive from the pretty seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia, and the beach. If you’re keen to explore, it’s pretty much essential to hire a car, but there’s no real need to leave the hotel grounds; there are acres of fields, an outdoor swimming pool and a small, but lovely spa with a heated pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
The main villa was once the residence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II and the traditional Tuscan grandeur has been maintained to give the whole place an elegant, stately feel. There are lots of cosy corners for relaxing and enough space that it never feels crowded. The reception lounge is one of our favourite spots come six o’clock when the fires are lit and the barman takes up his position to mix cocktails.
The Michelin-star restaurant La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini is well-known in the area and reservations are a must even for hotel guests. The tasting menu is superb and creative; tables are treated like canvases with each course artistically arranged on a crisp linen table cloth. The Porto Santo Spirito prawns served two ways (raw and fried) is our highlight along with all of the various desserts. Guests can also take part in cooking classes here, whilst Restaurant La Villa offers casual dining in the gardens or conservatory at the front of the villa.
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The rooms are simply, but beautifully decorated with vintage furniture and fine fabrics. The best are those on the top floor of the main villa for their sweeping views of the olive groves, vineyards and rolling hills. We loved lying with the shutters open, basking in the bright morning sunshine.
At this time of year, there are a surprising number of mosquitoes buzzing around which rather spoils the bliss. By the pool there’s a little table with a bottle of repellent (and suncream) for guests to use, but still, it’s worth being prepared.
Rates from: €440 per night based on two sharing, including breakfast ($500/£400)
To book your stay visit: andana.it