The words to that song kept swirling in my head throughout our 4 night stay. (Even now, as I am remembering.) The peace, the views, the food, the room... everything exceeded every expectation we had.
That being said, here are some tips and insights:
-Rent A Car. If you can't drive manual, make sure you call ahead to let Sr. Protti know you'd like an automatic. (Or perhaps a Vespa?) The man works wonders and will find you the best options; we decided to get a car while we were there and because of the short notice it was a challenge to find one we could drive... but he did it! You could retreat from the world and take day trips in a taxi (the drivers the Prottis were using while we were there are absolutely charming) but if you'd like to leave the grounds even more than twice to explore the Tuscan countryside or get a bite to eat off-grounds, it is more economical (and freeing) if you rent a vehicle.
-In your car, listen to 102.5. Very normal people. Great music.
-Be prepared for old-world living. Guests are asked, via a rather lengthy list of regulations left in the room, to dress appropriately for dinner (I think they call it casual elegant or something poetical like that), women are given menus without prices and Sr. Protti, your maitre'd, takes the order from the men. You are "invited" to the dining area after being given a glass of Prosecco (I assume) to enjoy, and the service itself is formal.
-Order the sweet and sour vegetables. Trust me.
-Bring a book, or peruse the bookshelves they have and borrow something left by a previous traveler (or finish your book and leave it for future guests). Simply looking through the titles and inscriptions in all different languages is enchanting... unless you are like my husband, and must have some sort of electronic stimulation. In that case...
-Use your iPad, iTouch, whatever. One night we rented a movie from iTunes and snuggled close to watch it. Because the room's wifi was spotty, we asked Sr. Protti to keep it behind the desk in the main building as it downloaded, and he happily obliged. The nights can be very quiet, silence broken only by the sound of a distant Vespa or--creepily--a wild boar. Having something to do or plan is a really, really good idea.
-The dinners, while extraordinary, can get a little expensive, so take your rental and go to nearby Castiglion de Fiorentino to get some deli, pick up a bottle of wine, and picnic somewhere one night. Best roasted chicken, roasted pepper and pesto sandwich I've ever had. FYI, the Relais doesn't allow outside food in, so explore and find a spot next to a sunflower field. (A rental car is looking better and better, isn't it?)
-We stayed in mid-late July. We had booked a Junior Suite (our honeymoon, after all) but we were upgraded when we got there (woohoo!). It didn't take long to figure out why... they have, I think, about 8 rooms, but we were one of three couples staying there at the time of check-in. The second or third day it was just ourselves and one other couple.
-The breakfast spread is impressive and delicious. Best we had on our trip.
-I have to agree with a previous poster that the dinners can be so quiet they seem almost awkward, so if you are sensitive to that sort of thing, be aware. For us, the elegant dining experience that can't be found anywhere else, coupled with the amazing food, made up for any awkwardness. Also, wine helps.
Truly, Relais San Pietro in Polvano is a gem. We will be back one day. I can't wait!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relais San Pietro in Polvano, a family-run establishment set in an eighteenth-century converted hamlet in the Tuscan hills, is pure paradise for those seeking a quiet retreat. The panoramic pool is located on one of the terraces overlooking the olive groves and valley and is the perfect spot for relaxing or sipping a drink whilst enjoying the spectacular sunsets. An evening turn-down service adds to the luxurious atmosphere and attention to detail. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Relais San Pietro In Polvano Hotel Castiglione Fiorentino
- Relais San Pietro In Polvano Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy - Tuscany