We arrived as the sun set over Tuscany and were greeted warmly by Chiana (daughter) and Rosana (mother) Bonelli. After unloading in the tower bedroom and admiring the view of the lights from Siena and San Giminagno from the bedroom window, we were walked by Chiana into the tiny hill town to point out one of its two restaurants. Expecting nothing more than a bar or a brasserie, we find a packed elegant restaurant (“La Taberna”) patio filled with guests from Siena and Florence, enjoying the cool night breezes (after a scorcher day). Our three course meal is one of the best of the entire visit to Europe topped off with the waiter-recommended locally-grown Chianti and braised ribs of lamb w/ rosemary. Next morning, I wander the forest-and-vineyard covered hill by the villa looking for birds. After a lovely breakfast of sausages, yoghurt, cheese, and excellent coffee, Francesco (who speaks English) and Rosana give us a tour of the house with family pictures and history. Rosana’s father was a famous playwright and film personality, her mother a lawyer from Siena, and her husband a general in the Italian cavalry; her husband’s father was a professor of Italian literature who once served as interim director of the Sorbonne. Rosanna’s own story is chronicled in her autobiography (We now have an autographed copy and a picture of her signing it). Amazingly, when she was 18, her equestrian father wrote a musical, Rompicollo (“Break Neck”), about a fictional first woman to ride in the Palio. In 1957, three years after he died, at age 23, Rosana (a talented equestrian since age 6) managed to wheedle her way into riding as a stuntwoman in the film of the play of the same name (after the original stuntwoman quit, complaining of the danger). This led to her cajoling her way into actually riding in the real horse race itself (though many advise against, including her own family). Though she crashed in the race and fell off the horse—thereby starting a typical Palio brawl—she subsequently became quite famous for this and many other adventures. And now she is a warm, 77-year-old, charming hostess of this B&B. What an amazing and interesting family, who make you feel like you are part of the family!
The tower room has the best view. All are quiet.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.