Our family of 5 recently spent three nights at Badia Coltibuono in one of their guest apartments. After 10 days of city travel, we were ready for a break, and this is the perfect place. Sylvia was very welcoming, as was everyone else working at the B&B and the restaurant. Our apartment had 4 bedrooms, kitchen, spacious living area and two baths, and terrace. It was comfortably furnished, and included a small washing machine which was quite welcome at our stage of the trip. There was a breakfast room with a nice selection of cereals, breads, yogurts, fruit, sliced meats, etc. which you can add for 10 euros/person. Or you could easily go into town and get provisions at the COOP. The restaurant was excellent, but was perhaps a bit sophisticated for our kids. They were willing to make a plain pasta with tomato sauce . You can easily take day trips to other towns in Chianti and Sylvia arranged for a personal guide to meet us in Sienna for a 3 hour tour of the city, including the Campo and the famous Duomo. (Our tour guide was Dr. Gianna Chiaretti, by the way, and she was fabulous!) The staff was also able to suggest local restaurants, direct you to the local supermarket, and in general help out with any questions. The custom in Italy is to eat on the later side, which may prove challenging if you are traveling with kids. We did end up eating mostly alone at restaurants and watched Italian families with kids stroll in around 9:30!
If you are driving, you will absolutely need some sort of GPS system. Especially if you drive to Sienna. Without it, we would still be circling, looking for our guide. My husband's ipad was flummoxed by Sienna. Sienna, is a beautiful medieval town, that defies logic in terms of driving. It is quite hilly and also quite crowded. Our teenage kids chose to skip this tour, and had much better time hanging out at the B&B. I felt they were completely safe there. Sienna is a good hour away, so if you plan a day trip, get an early start. We also did a day trip to Greve in Chianti. It is about 45 minutes by car. There is the LBG leather outlet (the B&B has brochures) which is worth a visit. They manufacture for some MAJOR labels and sell their own designs. You can be sure you are getting a bag made in Italy. We spent a lovely Saturday in Greve and walked through the open market and had lunch at Il(la?) Cantina.
Be sure to take the tour at Badia Coltibuono of the monastery, gardens, and wine caves. It is only about an hour and if you do the 5 p.m. tour you finish with a tasting of their excellent wines. The grounds are lovely and include a pool, so be sure to give yourself at least one afternoon just to relax and enjoy the tremendous beauty of the B&B. And don't miss the gift shop right at the entrance from the main road. You can have them ship wine and olive oil anywhere in the world, or they can arrange carrier packs for you to take with you on the plane as checked baggage. In addition to their products (wine, honey, oil) they have a very nice selection of locally made items/gifts including pottery, olive wood bowls/pieces, and other kitchen/wine related items.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Badia a Coltibuono is the first wine resort in Chianti, opening it's doors to travellers and visitors who want to share a truly unique experience. Here it is possible to encounter the magic of a venue, to observe the slow yet intense rhythm of a 1000 year old abbey and farm and to sleep in history in the eight bedrooms with en suite bathroom and the 5 apartments, furnished with all facilities. Guests can relax in the magnificent Italian style garden or, during the summer months, around the large open-air swimming pool. 800 Hectares of forests, crisscrossed with walking or mountain biking paths provide for a pristine natural backdrop. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Badia a Coltibuono Hotel Gaiole In Chianti
- Badia a Coltibuono Italy/Gaiole In Chianti, Tuscany