We knew this place would be special even before we arrived because of our communications with Cinzia -- she sent us not only the usual reservation confirmation, but also holiday greetings. We got lost on our way to La Chiusa dei Monaci and had to phone Cinzia from the road. She met us at the train station in Arezzo and brought us safely to her home, which is a convenient base for visiting this fascinating part of Tuscany, somewhat off the beaten path. The setting of La Chiusa is lovely and peaceful. We stayed in the charming Guido d’Arezzo room. Unfortunately the cold, rainy weather did not allow us to enjoy sitting out on our terrace. The whole property is done with exquisite taste and there are plenty of spaces to relax. The rooms are very private, but if you need something, Cinzia is there for you. The breakfasts that she prepared were not simply the best we had during our four weeks in Italy, they were probably the best we have ever had in many years of travel all over Europe. Every morning was a feast. But in the end, what really made La Chiusa dei Monaci so memorable was meeting Cinzia’s whole family (three generations!) and feeling that we were staying not in a hotel, but in a home with caring friends.