Traveling through Italy can be a frustrating, sweaty, and tiring experience. Running the Rome, Florence, Venice gauntlet will leave you with the best photos of your life, vague memories of the inside of churches and museums running together, and probably a few blisters.
Delayed trains, lack of air conditioning and tourist-packed streets are one side of Italy. On the other side is Borgo Lucignanello.
Italy isn’t a destination that you can cross off of your bucket list and move on from – take it from someone who came to say for four months in 2007, and is still here today. Once you’ve had a taste of Seaside cliffs or cypress-dotted Tuscan hills, you might as well resign yourself to periodic Italy cravings.
To treat this condition, set your GPS to Lucignanello d’Asso, in the rolling hills south of Siena.
This small hamlet has been restored to modern standards of comfort, preserving the authentic and uniquely tuscan aesthetic. High ceilings, open spaces and white linens give the relaxing and airy feeling of a resort, while terra-cotta floors and exposed wooden beams echo the homey comfort of grandma’s cottage – if your grandma was a Tuscan countess, that is.
Spectacular views of the countryside are literally on all sides, but the best panoramic views are from the swimming pool (which was closed when I visited in early Spring, but looked promising all the same).
Doriana, the manager of Borgo Lucignanello, is a gracious and welcoming host. The pride that she takes in each guest’s experience shows in everything she does. Here they’ll go the extra mile to personalize your stay, from organizing a cheese tasting or cooking class, or setting up a day trip to hunt for truffles or ride in a hot air balloon. Relaxing here is anything but boring.
During my stay, the lovely ladies of ItalyTraveller worked with Doriana at Borgo Lucignanello to organize a truly luxurious weekend. We started off the day with a wine and cheese tasting in nearby Montisi, and then spent the afternoon exploring the grounds of the Borgo.
After a relaxing Ayurvedic massage, we were invited to dinner with the resident Contessa Angelica Piccolomini Naldi Bandini, who spends her weekends at the Borgo, enjoying the quiet countryside after her work week in Siena.
I can’t say I’ve spent much time around Countesses before this point, but if they’re all as gracious, welcoming and lively as Contessa Bandini, I’ll be accepting any and every dinner invitation that a Countess sends my way.
While it’s tempting to pack a trip to Italy with as many sights as possible, the reality is that there is more to see than you can possibly squeeze in. Do yourself a favor and carve out at least five nights at the end of your stay for a Tourism Detox at Borgo Lucignanello. It will quickly feel like your home in Tuscany, and the moments spent exploring the grounds or relaxing poolside will be even more memorable than that time you pretended to hold up the leaning tower or Pisa or that time you took a selfie with David’s chiseled abs. No disrespect to tower-holding or David selfies, but come on – look at this sunset.
Lucignano d’Asso · 53020 San Giovanni d’Asso (Siena)
Tel. +39 0577 803068
I was a guest at Borgo Lucignanello, sponsored by italytraveler but as always, all opinions are my own!