Insider Tips & Experiences
Having lived in this area since 2004 we know the difference between a touristy and an authentic experience or visit. We all want to avoid being treated ‘like a tourist’ but not only because we don’t want to be overcharged. We love guiding our guests to those more authentic and truly Tuscan experiences – both in house and beyond, this is something that we’ve become known for. One of our greatest pleasures is helping you to enjoy Tuscany as we do – both in the Sense of what to do and where to go. For days out, there is so much you will have a hard time choosing. Take advantage of our wealth of local knowledge and tour like one of the cognoscenti. The house is in a great location for sightseeing – we are surrounded by places we love. You can get a real feel for the fascination of Tuscany with only short journeys by car. Spontaneity is the key; spontaneity is romantic! we urge you not to plan your days too rigidly. We are native English speakers with 13 years of local knowledge to draw upon. Our recommendations are unbiased and continually polished by experience (we tour and blog) and feedback (our guests tell us what they think!)
Allow yourself to relax about planning and wing it a little, take advantage of our local knowledge. Living the dolce vita Tuscany style is all about spontaneity
The sweet life is a lifestyle – that of doing daily life really well; feeling good and looking good. Eating good food and tasting good wine. Making beautiful journeys and strolling in perfect little villages. When you get to where you were going – relaxing and taking your time. Moments or hours doing nothing, together in beautiful locations. In Tuscany daily life feels so good! A few days living the dolce vita in Tuscany recharges, relaxes and feeds the spirit.
Many recommended visits in Southern Tuscany are within easy reach of Siena House. So much is so close that you can make the decision (where to go) on a whim. Many house guests arrive with huge lists of goals (things they feel one should do when here, a sort of Tuscany hit list) often desiring to advance plan whole days down to the last hour… probably because there’s so much information on the net about what to do in Tuscany. It’s easy to get the impression that precise, advance itinerary planning is required: there’s really no need, no matter how short your stay. It’s quite the reverse – often very planned guests arrive, unwind and set to work cancelling other arrangements. Biggest regret quoted by guests at check out ? not having spent enough time right here at the house ! It’s easy to be out all day in the local areas. Flexibility is essential to relaxation and enjoyment: make the most of the fact that you have the pool to yourselves this morning, and go exploring this afternoon or evening. Once out – be open to go with the flow. Allow that apparently short journeys to become longer when the air is crystal clear and you can’t resist stopping every few km to capture the beauty of the landscape. Allow the intended quick stops in the medieval villages to become longer picturesque strolls of sweet discovery. Tuscany can be so romantic! Plan in time: time to live the good life whether it be time for an afternoon nap, time for lazing in the shade, time for taking a long lunch in a gorgeous location, time to watch the sun set over the Olive trees before heading out to dinner…
Few activities need advance planning: cooking class, balloon flight, chauffeur. That’s about it. Ironically the most intense schedules are proposed by guests on the shortest stays keen to get the most of Tuscany on a tight schedule. We are always happy to help (and will help you to prioritize) but we always caution ‘Tuscany is not about rushing around!’ It’s very hard to rush around in Tuscany, but can be irresistible to linger… even if you are thinking to stop at 3-4 tiny villages (such as when visiting the hill towns of the Chiana – Orcia Ridge, for example) with easy parking, lack of crowds, short connecting journeys and their proximity to the house .. it’s going to take a lot longer than you imagine. A day or half day exploring hill towns is to savour not to rush; it’s also pretty low cost. The price for a glorious day’s exploration in our part of Tuscany is the price of renting a car.
We’ve been here for a while now. 10 years in fact! One of the most frequently cited reasons to choose a boutique, owner – run hotel is access to unbiased local knowledge. We’ll tell you where to eat – because it’s good, both in terms of food and price – for example. We’re always happy to share the places we love with you – places and experiences that have come to represent our Tuscany, to us.
We provide house guests with our own guide to the local zone and things to do upon arrival – although working out priorities on a shorter stay can often require our help, along with our pre programmed GPS many guests are able to be independent from the moment they arrive. Others prefer to talk with us on a daily basis about what to do – anything goes.
A word of caution: don’t plan in too much. Something we hear SO FREQUENTLY ‘we should have spent more time HERE’ – relax about planning – we’ll help you once you are with us. Unless you are planning a balloon flight or cooking class or require a chauffeur – you can be spontaneous. It’s more fun that way!