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SmarterTravel Spotlight: Monteverdi Tuscany, Castiglioncello del Trinoro, Italy

Monteverdi Tuscany isn’t just a hotel, it’s the revitalized heart of a village. And in many ways, it is the village. Created over two decades, Monteverdi Tuscany has arisen out of the proverbial ashes of a once-thriving but long-abandoned Tuscan hilltop town. Walking along the charming and well-preserved main street, you see a wine bar, a cafe, a restaurant. All are part of the hotel. Rooms and villas are scattered around the village, tucked into beautifully restored houses. The village piazza, which offers inspiring views out over the famed Val D’Orcia, is maintained by the hotel, and the former church has found new life as a concert space. Nearly all the people in the sleepy village are either guests or work for the hotel. The entire Monteverdi experience is charming and otherworldly; it feels outside of time, and simultaneously not quite real and utterly authentic.

The Location

Monteverdi Tuscany village aerial

Monteverdi Tuscany occupies a prime location in Tuscany’s Val D’Orcia. It’s just a few minutes’ drive from the famed garden of La Foce, and is driving distance to many of Tuscany’s most beautiful cities. From Monteverdi Tuscany, it’s 10 miles to Montepulciano, 56 miles to Siena, and 74 miles to Florence.

There are two ways to reach the town of Catiglioncello del Trinoro: the main route and the back way. If you want to avoid rutted dirt roads and a wild ride up the side of the steep hill, follow the very clear and helpful direction provided by Monteverdi Tuscany. This is one of those times when it’s better to not use Google Maps—if you do, you risk being sent on overgrown dirt roads.

The Rooms

Monteverdi Tuscany Room 4 interior

Monteverdi Tuscany’s rooms and villas are spread out in the town, offering a taste of village life with every stroll. Five luxury rooms and 13 suites (seven Village Suites and six Luxury View Suites) share amenities such as hand-dyed linens, rainfall showers, air conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. But each space is unique in a way that speaks both to the individual houses and buildings that have been lovingly converted into the Monteverdi Tuscany and to the design aesthetic that informs every inch of layout, every bit of the rooms’ individual color palettes, and each carefully selected piece of furniture.

In addition to the 18 rooms and suites, Monteverdi Tuscany offers three villas around the village. Villa San Pietro is a two-bedroom villa with a modern kitchen. Villa Amiata is a three-bedroom villa with a private garden. And Villa Muri Antichi is a six-bedroom villa with a library, large fireplaces, and outdoor terraces.

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Dining

Enoteca Dining in the Piazza Sant'Andrea at Monteverdi Tuscany

Monteverdi Tuscany totally reinvents hotel dining. There’s no dismal hotel dining room here; rather, the hotel’s dining options are the village’s restaurant, bars, and cafes. Oreade, the fine dining restaurant, offers breakfast and dinner. Enoteca is the wine bar in the piazza. The Library Bar, just across the street from Oreade, offers a cozy space with great views and plenty of books. And occupying a gorgeous vaulted room and grand terrace that looks out over the valley is the Lobby Lounge and Terrace Bar. For serious cooks (and the people who love them), there’s also the Culinary Academy at Monteverdi, a teaching kitchen and dining area in the village’s former school.

Activities

Monteverdi Tuscany Spa

The Spa at Monteverdi feels like a sanctuary and offers a range of unique experiences that sets it apart. The underground heated pool is carved out of the bedrock of the village, but still manages to offer an inspiring view out the large window that sits at one end of the pool. Hammam treatments take place on marble slabs in a heated room. Other treatments include wine therapy, Tuscan olive oil massage, and candlewax massage. There’s also a private terrace with two travertine tubs with views of the Val d’Orcia valley.

Monteverdi Tuscany hosts musicians and visual artists in residence as part of its Monteverdi Music and Arts Program. Concerts are held in the 14th-century church in the piazza, and exhibitions are on display at the Monteverdi Gallery, just off the piazza.

The Culinary Academy hosts cooking classes during which guests can learn classic Tuscan dishes like pici pasta, and then savor their new knowledge over lunch. There’s also a twice-weekly Chef’s Table, during which guests watch Chef Giancarla as she prepares a multi-course menu and pairs each dish with regional wines for the small group.

Price and How to Book: Nightly rates at Monteverdi Tuscany start at about 600 euros. To reserve, book online.

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Check Out the Stunning Property

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Christine Sarkis visited Monteverdi Tuscany as a guest of the resort. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography for more advice about making every vacation the best vacation.

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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