Q: What is it? A: Somebody put a palazzo built in the 15th century on a hilltop in Chianti
furnished it with a lot of modern stuff and added a pool and an ambitious kitchen!
You arrive at the villa and the first person you meet is… Dr. Evil?
From a distance he may resemble the villain of Austin Powers more than just a little. But this villain doubles as porter, concierge and amazing guy in general. He’s also Andrea, the manager of the hotel and a gentleman. Before I’ve told him that “I’d better carry that case myself as it’s very heavy…” he’s half-way up the stairs to that 15th century villa with little odd graphic patterns, like waveforms and circles carved into the stone façade.
Drama on a Chianti hilltop…
The story in short: Noblewoman Caterine Pitti fled from Florence to a grand house following the assassination of her husband, the Count Guido Guidi of Florence. The grand house was Villa Sassolini, later used as a holiday home by noble families. Now it’s a place you’d book for romance rather than feudal drama. You may take that romance-thing literally. This is a place for couples. Any family with children would rather pick a different place.
Where’s that hotel?
The village of Moncioni is not big, so you’d wonder where they could hide a hotel, (those black and white signs used in Italy to help tourists are invaluable when you learn how to spot them). The high, plain stone walls make the Villa Sassolini ha less than obvious location. The entrance is discreet. No neon signs, just a small metal cabinet with the hotel’s name and a cast iron gate. The interior is more extravagant creation by designer Massimo Tani.
Come here for…
…the view, the atmosphere, the garden, the pool, (open May to September), and the great Tuscan food. The only thing tainting this review is a slightly grumpy waiter. A bad day? Perhaps, but it did cost Villa Sassolini its 5th star. With only 10 rooms, you can’t afford the staff having bad days. Besides, no hotel that wants to play the romance card, should have 11 AM as their check-out time.
Finally, this hotel may very well be the best option for all you fashionistas who want to raid the Space Prada Outlet in nearby Montevarchi and The Mall in Leccio Reggello.
Go there! There’s probably always room in the closet for another Prada dress…
Hotel Villa Sassolini
Largo Moncioni 85/88,
52025 Montevarchi (AR)
Driving Directions: It’s hidden behind plain walls in the village of Moncioni. Take the Strada Moncioni and follow the small black and white hotel signs from Montevarchi, or use the following coordinates:
43° 48536 N and 11° 50934 E
If you’re at the Space Prada Outlet in Levanella, (Montevarchi), you may follow the driving directions using this link.
A bonus: The view from the bathroom at sunrise.