It’s 7 o’clock on a warm summers night. You’re slowly meandering down a cobblestone lane, listening to the crickets and far off notes of an old Italian song playing through a radio. To your left, rolling green hills cascade into the distance. To your right, small homes with bright red and orange flowers in the windows stand quietly in the dusk. You approach an old man sweeping the lane in front of his home, and can hear the sounds of a large, animated family coming through his front door. The smells of sauce, spices, and grass are all around you as you come closer to the brightly lit stone building ahead. There is nothing planned for this evening but eating delicious food, sharing cocktails in the garden, and climbing into a warm bed. This is Toscana. This is Pienza. This is La Bandita.
La Bandita Townhouse
La Bandita Townhouse is a 12-room luxury boutique hotel tucked inside the historic centre of Pienza, a tiny Renaissance village in the Val d’Orcia province of southern Tuscany. The background for countless films, photos, and novels — Val d’Orcia is the quintessential Tuscany of old. Golden pastures, cypress trees, and slow-moving hill towns come together to create a refuge from the stress of modern-day society. Located in the heart of this countryside, and yet merely a short drive to Siena, La Bandita gracefully combines the the experience of a stylish country inn with that of a luxurious private villa. The main door sits directly on the Corso Rossellino, blending seamlessly with the surrounding Renaissance architecture. The building itself once was home to nuns, and has seen the passage of time without losing any of its history or charm. If you’re looking to hustle and bustle through tourist attractions, Florence or Rome may well suit your needs. But if you’re looking to slow down, catch up with yourself, and bask in the sweetness of modern village life — La Bandita è perfetto.
The owners of La Bandita may have carefully preserved the facade of this historic building, making sure it kept in character with the rest of Pienza, but on the inside, it’s a different story. Each room is spacious and designed in contemporary fashion — featuring wood beam ceilings, parquet floors, and century-old exposed stone walls. Expect to enter your room and feel a rush of tranquility as you take in the queen sized bed, high ceilings, and carefully chosen luxury fixtures. Want to read your book or take in the clean Toscana air? Wander down to the common areas, including a large open library and a walled medieval garden.
When it comes to food, Tuscany knows a thing or two. La Bandita follows in the culinary traditions of the countryside by using fresh ingredients from as many local vendors as possible. The bar and restaurant are designed to create easy dialogue between the chef and guests, leading to a sense of closeness to both the meal and it’s preparation. The menu is focused, and is comprised of well-crafted Tuscan classics. Eat outside in the garden, or share a dish in the cozy, stylish, indoor venue — either way, you won’t be disappointed.
Traveling to Pienza isn’t about seeing the most popular sites. It’s about connecting with authentic Tuscan culture, tasting world-class dishes, and exchanging the daily grind for the simple rhythms of village life. Traveling to Pienza means spending your days exploring trattorias, tasting wine at a family owned vineyard, and taking nighttime strolls with friends. The village is the also the perfect base for exploring the Brunello and Vino Nobile wine regions as well as the many other hilltowns of southern Tuscany: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Cortona, Siena, and many others.
How to Get There
La Bandita is a short distance away from major train stations and airports. Chiusi-Chianciano train station is a short distance of 45 minutes away, and you can arrive there from Florence in 1.5 hours, Rome in 2 hours, and Pisa in two-and-a-half hours. For a full description of directions, click here
John Voigtmann, founder and owner, explains that he opened La Bandita in order to, “share a little bit of the sweetness of living in Pienza, and to offer travelers a refuge of simple, friendly and relaxed hospitality.” La Bandita has successfully mastered the tricky combination of luxury and simplicity — creating a one-of-a-kind experience no traveler would want to miss.
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