Friend Of A Friend Consulting, Italy
Sinalunga, (just outside Siena)
Though it can no longer be deemed a Hideaway given its immense popularity – particularly among honeymooners – Locanda dell’Amorosa maintains the sentiment (and personalized service) of a tucked-away gem beckoning lovebirds with its secluded, romantic setting in the Sienese countryside. From the long, cypress lined driveway to the crumbling Tuscan exterior adorned with pink azaleas, Amorosa delivers postcard-style scenery right away.
With just 27 rooms nestled within a bonafide historic estate (some of the buildings date back to the 1300s), Locanda Amorosa actually delivers the coveted, old-world, Italian charm that one fantasizes about when booking her trip. The property even has its own delightfully, cavernous restaurant (the estate’s former stables) and elegant, consecrated church, making Amorosa an ideal, intimate wedding venue.
Unlike other Tuscan hamlets, Amorosa (as the regulars call it) is inviting during all seasons, particularly Fall and Winter when the traditional country decor – fireplaces, exposed beam ceilings, tile floors, seems extra cozier. Divided between the old manor house and the former worker’s residences, the guest rooms are individually decorated, each featuring its own combination of antiques, garden views and Tuscan countryside palettes. Those in the former farmers quarters tend to lean more towards the rustic, with working fireplaces and exposed ceilings while those in the manor house were finished later and as a result have a slightly fresher, updated feel.
*If you’re a bathroom snob (which, I most definitely am) then I recommend choosing a Manor Room or one of the suites. (Number 32 has a nice, spacious bathroom) But if it’s typical Tuscan country details like brick arches, fireplaces and beamed ceilings, choose room 45 on the second floor of the loggia area.
If it’s your first time visiting Tuscany and you’re searching for a spot with that quintessential Italian charm but with easy access to the major sites, Amorosa (as the regulars call it) is the perfect spot. Just fifteen minutes drive from Siena and a ten-minute bike ride to the center of Sinalunga yet still surrounded by views of casino en ligne farmland and vineyards of the Val di Chiana, Amorosa provides a hamlet within the countryside with easy access to the hotspots and those sought-after, Italian village spoils (nightly gelato).
But, beyond the ideal location for touring, Amorosa also offers its own signature, historic charm, which keeps the couples swooning and the regulars returning. With some of the buildings dating back to the 14th century having survived two world wars (a crumbling stone wall stands testament to the nearby bombs that tore through the area during the second world war), the hotel has an austerity along with a sense of calm that permits guests to relax and be inspired simultaneously. Of course, elegant elements like the fragrant mediterranean gardens and lovely outdoor pool add to the sense of tranquility. NB: A spa is in the works though nothing concrete has been done yet.
Further heralded for its cuisine, Amorosa features two dining establishments. First, and more notably, the fine dining restaurant, Le Coccole dell’Amorosa, whose seasonal menus reflect the local fare and vegetation while the arched, stonewall interiors guarantee languid meals tucked into the various cozy, fire-lit corners. (The terrace is open during the warmer months and can be equally as atmospheric though not as private)
The second is Amorosa’s Osteria wine bar, located right next to the church. Ideal for those afternoon hunger pains, the Osteria serves a delectable cheese plate (don’t miss the local pecorino cheese, smoked sausage and organic honey) along with the Borgo’s private label wine and homegrown produce. Be sure to ask the staff for a tour of the hidden, wine cellar and private tasting room – its one of the oldest in the area and has yet to be modernized (sterilized) allowing it that musty, authentic feel. The Osteria is also the setting for breakfast – a delightful buffet with homemade cakes, croissants, fresh fruit and eggs made to order. The place can fill up so its best to get there early for the better tables down in front.
FINAL WORD: Try not to be ruffled when you note everyone around you is also on their honeymoon. Rather, take pride in yourself for having the savvy to have booked the best room.