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Travel Log | Hotels | Italy

One of the wonders in exploring the world is searching for the road less traveled, the hope of finding a little bit of off-the-beaten-track. Certainly, that goal is more easily accomplished in some parts of the world than others – and a road trip through some of the most heavily traveled parts of Italy wouldn’t likely top the list for easily discovered hidden gems. That said, we hit the jackpot on two separate occasions this past April. Today, a peek into the hotels that inspired us, and for which we are praising la dolce vita.

 

Santo Stefano

Sextantio Albergo Diffuso – located in the Abbruzzesse mountain village of Santo Stefano di Sessanio – is a bit off the beaten track, but well worth the less than two-hour drive from Rome. Scattered among a hilltop village dating from the Middle Ages, this magical collection of 27 rooms, restaurant, cantina, and artisanal shops, have been so sensitively conceived, so painstakingly restored in the most authentic manner, it’s impossible not to be seduced by such a display of romantic reverence. For those attached to modern luxury, fear not, there is just the right amount of creature comfort.

http://www.sextantio.it/

photo credits | personal pics + hotel website

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Pienza

There is such an effortless joy to traveling Tuscany, and it’s all right there for the taking – winding roads past cypress-lined driveways, farmhouses sprinkled among unspoiled rolling hills, walled Renaissance towns, wine. That said, the Val d’Orcia (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is off the chart stunning on another level, and Pienza, the perfect location from which to slow down and take it all in. La Bandita Townhouse is so much more than just a fantastic place to stay – and it is that – perfectly intimate, with a sensitive touch for mixing the old with the new (think rooms with original exposed stone walls and linens you’ll covet for your own), as well as a comfortably chic restaurant and a relaxed, inviting vibe from the entire staff. (Shout-out to owner John Voigtman!) Yes, Pienza and the surrounding areas have as much or as little as you care to do, but the whispered suggestions from the hotel’s What to… do, eat, drink, shop guide, written by travel writer (and John’s wife), Ondine Cohane, were not to be passed up, and we happily made our way ’round hairpin turns, past vibrant green fields, through fortressed walls, up cobblestone steps, all the while nibbling hand-rolled pici and pecorino, and plotting our return.

http://www.labanditatownhouse.com/

photo credits | personal pics + hotel website

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