The beautiful Italian region of Tuscany has it all: great food, wine, rich culture and stunning views. And if it’s somewhere you’re looking to explore, there’s a villa that comes highly recommended. Nestled in the heart of the Maremma countryside, L’Andana was once the summer residence of the Grand Duke Leopold II but has recently been transformed into an intimate rustic retreat. We spent a long weekend at the country hideaway, complete with Michelin-star dining and a luxe spa, to find out what all the fuss is about...
The location… Set in the heart of the Tuscan Maremma, L’Andana is a stunning villa surrounded by a 500-hectare nature park a two-hour drive from Pisa airport. There’s a timeless charm to the space, which was purchased by the Moretti wine-making family in 2000, completely renovated and reopened as a five-star hotel in 2004.
Who goes? The ideal place to eat well, put your feet up and enjoy some well-deserved R&R, we spotted honeymooners, families and a few chic Parisians down for the weekend. And at dinner, we noticed a Premier League footballer (we won't mention any names), who we think probably arrived in style on the hotel’s helipad.
The rooms... Are awash in soft yellows and oranges, seamlessly blending in with the surrounding countryside. There are 33 rooms (nine in the main villa and 24 in the adjoining farmhouse) complete with comfy beds (made-up with luxury Frette linens) but it’s the expansive marble-clad bathrooms, boasting spectacularly large soaking tubs, that really steal the show. Elsewhere, interiors by Architectural Digest Italy editor Ettore Mochetti exude Italian charm. Expect traditional Tuscan furniture, elegant Florentine silks and vistas sweeping the rolling Maremma hills right down to the Tyrrhenian coastline.
And the food? Will not disappoint. La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini – the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant – is a rustic-luxe affair that’s packed every night. The minute the bread basket arrives, filed with home-made focaccia ready to be dipped in the estate’s own olive oil, you know you’re in good hands. The kitchen garden yields much of what winds up in the restaurant’s dishes, so expect fresh, seasonal produce. The second offering, the Villa, is slightly more informal but equally mouth-watering. Foodies should book into the cooking classes, too.
Drink… The local wine. The estate houses its own winery, producing some 20,000 bottles a year – tours and tastings come highly recommended. After all, what better way to spend an afternoon in Italy than wandering through a vineyard?
What’s on offer? If the food and stunning countryside views aren’t enough to tempt you, spend your days strolling around the lush grounds, dipping in and out of the pool and indulging in a treatment or two at the ESPA spa. For the more active, there’s horse and bike riding, golf and tennis on offer. Plus, the beach is only a 15-minute drive away, as are the beachside restaurants, which serve up some of the best spaghetti vongole and Aperol Spritzes you’ll ever taste.
Is the hotel family friendly? Absolutely. Though a different vibe to L’Andana, Casa Badiola, just steps away, offers fuss-free self-catering apartments, including kitchenettes, a peaceful pool and excellent kids’ club (around €30 per day, per child).
Anything else? If you happen to succumb to L’Andana’s charm, there’s also an on-site chapel for weddings.
Prices at L’Andana in Castiglione Della Pescaia, Tuscany, start from €440 per night based on two sharing, including breakfast.