Finding our choice Florence hotels fully booked, we came by chance upon this delightful former convent, converted with love and no money spared into a classy 30-room hotel filled with antiques, yet providing modern amenities and comfort. Located beautifully on a hill side outside of Pistoia, up a country lane through vineyards and olive groves, the hotel has a commanding view over the countryside and the valley below. Ample free parking is available in a lot across the street or behind a gate on site for those with security concerns.
Welcomed warmly by a smiling Paolo Petrini, the proprietor, we were offered a choice of rooms and settled on a rather spacious one with a terrace. Reached via lift, our room with its antique furniture and accessories, paintings, elegant drapery, and area rugs on the stone tile floor offered an ambiance enjoyed by those with an appreciation for antiques. Room appointments included pushed together firm twin beds with king size sheets, a stocked mini-bar, plasma TV with untold many channels via Sky Sat TV, A/C, desk, overstuffed chair and was very well lit and comfortable. The modern bath with a fully glass enclosed walk-in shower, rain shower head, sink, and bidet was a little cramped but the softest of towels made up for that, and all was sparkling clean, as was the room itself.
The hotel's common areas are filled with antiques and include a nice lounge, restaurant and breakfast room, all with a nice ambiance and with the ever present proprietor Paolo seeing to it that his guests are happy and satisfied. The food served in the classy, intimate restaurant was excellent, as was the wine from vineyards near the convent. Olive oil used in cooking is pressed by Paolo from olives out of the convent's grove. Morning fare consisted of an expanded continental breakfast with a selection of baked sweets, fresh berries, and poached apples.
By its location, the Il Convento Hotel makes an excellent base from which to explore by car or train from Pistoia the towns of Florence, Lucca, and Pisa besides the Tuscan countryside. We left our car in the parking lot, taxied to the train station for 15 Euro and took the train for 6 Euro right into the heart of Florence. All considered, the Il Convento is a find and a quiet refuge for romantics. We would happily stay there again in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An ancient Franciscan monastery, turned into an elegant hotel immerged in the beautiful green landscape of Tuscany, half way from Florence (25km) and Lucca (30 km). Located on a hill at 230 mt above the sea level, where during particular clear days it is possible to recognize the Dome of Brunelleschi and the Bell Tower of Giotto in Florence. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Il Convento Hotel