Villa di Piazzano (near Cortona)
Eastern Tuscany, Arezzo, and Cortona, Italy
Garden Jr. Ste.
Garden Jr. Ste. Bathroom
The Hotel Villa di Piazzano is a manor house of the 1400s located in the countryside just outside the town of Cortona, a town on the border between Tuscany and Umbria made famous by the American writer Frances Mayes with her book and later the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. The Villa was acquired some years ago by an Italian-Australian family with a tradition in hotels, the Wimpole family, which carefully transformed the Villa into an exclusive hotel, with that warm and intimate atmosphere that only a family run property can provide. The Villa is surrounded by a garden of 1 hectare, with a beautiful formal Italian garden, a spectacular entrance with a cypress lined driveway, a large swimming pool and private parking for guests. The menu of the restaurant changes with the seasons and offers dishes which are traditional of this region, based on local and genuine products. The hotel also has a bar facility which is transferred under the shaded terrace.
Descending for breakfast each morning to find a rich spread of home-made cakes, fresh fruit, and lots of goodies, served to you on a sunny terrace overlooking enchanting panoramas and green fields. Sitting at dinner, enjoying some of the best dishes and wines Tuscany has to offer. Being pampered by a skillful team of people whose only desire is to make sure that you enjoy every minute of your stay?
No, this is not a dream but reality. The Villa di Piazzano is not an ordinary hotel but an “Historical Residence” dating back to 1464. The Villa is run by an Italian-Australian family with a tradition in hotels. Great great grandfather Horatio Wimpole built The George Hotel in Melbourne in the 1800’s and three generations of Wimpoles grew up there. Grandmother Cleofe Ranieri, on the Italian side, opened the Hotel Ranieri in Rome just in time for the 1960 Rome Olympics.
But again the peculiarity of this property is that this not a hotel, but a home away from home, where the only 18 rooms available to guests make your stay more exclusive. Where you can relax by the pool or in the garden, but at the same time decide on the spur of the moment to visit some of the nearby medieval towns: Cortona, Pienza, Montepulciano, Siena, Arezzo, Perugia, Deruta, Gubbio, Assisi, Lake Trasimeno are all at an easy driving distance from the Villa di Piazzano, not to mention the ease with which one can hop on a train and visit Florence or even Rome for the day. We are here waiting for you and will genuinely do our best to leave you with an unforgettable memory of a pleasant and unique experience.
The restaurant "L' Antica Casina di Caccia" offers simple and genuine specialities from the Tuscan and Italian cuisine. In the summer time, from May to September, light lunches and dinners are served on the terrace above the pool. In the cooler months, meals are served in the dining room. During the summer months a number of special events are also organized such as: dining with the tenors, evening jazz and informal barbecues. Dinner on evenings with a special event will have a fixed menu and cost. In the summer time, from May to September, light lunches and dinners are served on the terrace above the pool. In the cooler months, meals are served in the dining room. During the summer months a number of special events are also organized such as: dining with the tenors, evening jazz and informal barbecues. In 2009 the restaurant will only be serving fixed menu dinners with a different menu each evening. A sample menu can be seen in the sample menu section (on the right hand side of this page). A reservation for dinner is necessary. Light lunches are only available from mid May to mid September. The restaurant remains closed every Tuesday.
A special feature of the Villa di Piazzano is its very ancient wine cellar, dating back to the 1400s. The ancient building techniques used to construct the underground wine cellar ensure a constant temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, thus providing a perfect temperature. The ancient building techniques used to construct the underground wine cellar ensure a constant temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, thus providing a perfect microclimate for some of the finest Italian wines. The port-holes, strategically placed create the constant ventilation necessary to avoid humidity. In the wine cellar we organize wine tasting evenings on specific dates in the summer. The wine tasting calendar for 2009 will be available and also published on the website on 1 March 2009. The cellar can also be rented privately to small groups for special theme dinners or wine tasting. An example of some theme dinners which can be conducted in the cellar are the “Tuscan rustic dinner” and “Dining like an Etruscan”.
In the winter time the bar features a cozy open fireplace where one can sit and enjoy an aperitif. In the summer months the bar is transferred under the shaded terrace. Pool service is also available from 10.30-14.00 and 16.30-19.00 through a courtesy phone.
Italy is one of the most romantic and picturesque countries in the world and is becoming increasingly accessible to couples who wish to get married in a truly unforgettable location. We can organize a unique experience for you, whether you are planning a religious wedding in one of the many churches of Cortona or in the beautiful Aula Consiliare of the Cortona Town Hall. We are also able to hold blessings within the gardens of the Villa itself.
We host small intimate weddings and can cater for a maximum of 50 guests. We can also host pre-wedding events such as welcome drinks, informal pre-wedding barbecues, wine tasting, cooking classes, cocktail parties. Wedding parties are required to take the exclusive use of the hotel for a minimum of 2 nights. For all other aspects related to the organization of the wedding we can refer you to specialized wedding planners.
The Sala Ghibellina is ideal for small executive meetings of 20 to 25 participants.
The meeting room is equipped with all the latest technology including:
-High definition video projector
-High definition screen 3x4m (12 sqm)
-ADSL internet access
-Video conferencing facilities
-Access to fax, printer and secretarial services
-50 inch HD plasma screen
A technical assistant can be present, on request, either for the first hour of the meeting or for the entire duration of the meeting.
Single Room (Double bed)
Double Classic (queen bed or 2 twins)
Double Superior (Queen or 2 twins)
Double Deluxe (Queen)
Garden Cottage (Queen)
Junior Suite (King)
New Cottage B&B (King bed, sitting and dining area, kitchenette)
Amongst the numerous walking trails marked by the CAI, there is one trail in particular which traces the stages of the third Punic war fought between the ancient Romans and Hannibal. Starting from the Hotel, the trail leads up the nearby hills. Reaching the top there is a spectacular view overlooking Lake Trasimeno, the largest lake in central Italy. From there one follows the trail
Arezzo, explore the old town (circular)
Walk Details: level:EASY- 3 km exploratory walk in the main roads and narrow alleys of the town.
About the town: Arezzo : Arezzo is in one of the wealthiest towns of Tuscany with its production of gold jewelry for shops all over Europe, its city center is Medieval and Renaissance. In the San Francesco church there is the famous Piero della Francesca’s fresco “The legend of the true cross” recently restored.
Special Event of the day : - The Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca
-Castiglion Fiorentino environs and walk to Cortona (linear)
Highlights of the day: Views of Cortona and the Chiana valley.
Walk Details: level: MODERATE- approx 16 km (gravel rds & paths with some asphalt) walk along gravel roads and paths around the hills of Cortona with a final long descent to the towns gardens.
About the town: Cortona: founded by the Etruscans whose presence can still be seen in the foundations of the city walls and buildings, Cortona sits on a side of a hill facing the Chiana valley. During the Middle ages Cortona became one of the most powerful towns of the area.
Special Event of the day : - a nice picnic- during the walk, a caffè inPiazza della Repubblica, the town’s living room.
-Cortona – Lake Trasimeno (linear)
Highlights of the day: Stunning views of the Chiana valley and lake Trasimeno, the walk will take you to the site where the troops of Rome under Consul Flaminius where defeated by the Carthagineans under Hannibal in the 217 b.C.
Walk Details: level: MODERATE- approx 18 km (gravel rds & paths with some asphalt).
About the area: Lake Trasimeno: Trasimeno is the largest lake in the Italian peninsula with a surface area of 128 km², slightly less than Lake Como, a tectonic lake, 3 million years ago, there was a shallow sea in this part of Umbria. Then a depression formed by geologic fractures, allowed the birth of Lake Trasimeno.
Special Event of the day : a good gelato admiring the view.
-Gosparini – Castello di Pierle (Linear or Circular, read below)
Walk Details: MODERATE – EASY approx 7 km (or 18 as a circular walk) on rolling terrain and through mule-tracks, right at the beginning of the walk there is a bar that may prep some sandwiches, there are no other groceries and facilities en route.
About the area: From the Gosparini Pass located along the mounts that separate the Niccone Valley (Tiber’s tributary) from the Lake Trasimeno Basin we will walk following the Pre-Appeninnes ridge direction North along path and mule-tracks re-tracking an old Roman paved road maybe used by Hannibal the Carthaginean and his troops the eve of one of the most tremendous battles in the history of Rome; the Battle of Trasimene (217 b.C). The walk offers stunning views of the three valleys ( Trasimeno, Alto Tevere, Val di Chiana), from the ridge it then descends to the Niccone Valley towards one of the most imposing Medieval Riuned Castle; The Castle of Pierle. As usual the walk will be an opportunity to discover the most interesting aspect of the local Flora and Fauna.
The walk can be done also as a circular route keeping the nearby village of Lisciano Niccone as start/end point, (distance: 18 km duration 7hs), we anyway recommend to go for the linear route since there is a pretty steep climb to do in order to get to the ridge.
The Villa can provide guests with mountain bikes which can be hired for the day. Not only are there numerous mountain bike trails, but there is also a more leisurely bike track.
CITTA' DI CASTELLO- SANSEPOLCRO – CITTA' DI CASTELLO
Highlights of the day: A beautiful easy ride along the River Tiber from Città di Castello to Sansepolcro and back to Città di Castello again admiring the beauties of the Upper Tiber Valley countryside. The ride will also take you to the most picturesque corners of the towns. Once in town we can have a walk in the city centre and have a lunch in a typical trattoria.
Ride Details: Level EASY approx 40 km onto gravel and minor asphalt rds
CORTONA - SANSEPOLCRO
Highlights of the day: Epic ride across the pre-Apennines Mts that separate the Upper Tiber Valley from the Chiana Valley
Ride details: level: MODERATE – approx 75 km rolling hills
- longer route available
- Special Event of the day: Fantastic descent with vistas on Lake Trasimeno, Chiana and Tiber Valleys.
CORTONA – MONTEPULCIANO
Highlights of the day: Views of tuscan towns and countryside, Montepulciano one of the most beautiful hilltop towns of Italy
Ride details: level: MODERATE – approx 40 km (rolling hills with big final climb to the town
- longer route (70 km) available
- Special Event of the day: Visit of the town of Montepulciano and some of the local wineries
PIENZA – MONTEPULCIANO – PIENZA
Highlights of the day: Views of Tuscan towns and countryside , Pienza the dream town of Pope Pius II place of architectural masterpieces, shop for ceramics and sample delectable pecorino cheese
Ride details: level: MODERATE – approx 40 km rolling hills
- longer route available
- Special Event of the day: Visit of the town of Pienza.
Option A: Hotel Pick-up and return, cue-sheets and maps, assistance with car/van*.
Option B: Hotel Pick-up and return, bilingual guide, cue-sheets and maps, assistance with car/van*.
Option C: Hotel Pick-up and return, bilingual guide, cue-sheets and maps, pic-nic assistance with car/van*.
* only onto roads & tracks that are reachable with a vehicle.
Bike rental rates:
Hybrid bicycle: -27sp, drop down handle bars or straight handlebars: 18 euro
Racing bicycle: -18 or 20 sp,: 20 euro
If you are a green enthusiast, there is the Perugia Gold Club at just a 25 minute drive from the Villa di Piazzano. This is an 18 hole golf course and we will be happy to make the necessary reservation and provide you with all the information concerning renting equipment and the green fee.
For visits to Umbrian and Tuscan towns and hamlets, the Villa can suggest excellent local guides which can accompany guests in their cars. Alternatively, it is also possible to hire a car with driver. Contact us for further details and availability. Rome and Florence are easily reachable, even just for a day excursion. Terontola station is at a 10 minute drive from the Villa from where there are trains for Rome (1 hour and 40 minutes on the Eurostar) and Florence (1 hour and 20 minutes on the direct train). There are trains for the major cities approximately every 2 hours.As every year, Villa di Piazzano will be closing for the winter period from November-March.
Villa di Piazzano has just added a new section to the property called La Limonaia. La Limonaia is where the lemon trees where once stored in the winter time (since it freezes in the winter time, all ancient Tuscan villas had a limonaia to store the trees in winter). Currently in La Limonaia they have created a new deluxe room and junior suite. This section will eventually have a total of 5 or 6 rooms but for now they have just concentrated on one portion of the building with 2 guest rooms. The rooms have a more modern and trendy design with added comforts such as beds with memory mattresses for extra comfort, miniture led lights for reading without disturbing one's partner, sky television (which is now available in all rooms). The bathrooms are large, modern and equipped with chromotherapy showers.
They have also restored another little cottage. The cottage is self-catered for people who want to do their own cooking. It has the following features: private garden, patio, sitting room, kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom up in the loft. It is not large but has everything you need.
Villa di Piazzano has also enhanced their cooking classes which now include a stroll through their biological vegetable garden in order to pick the produce for the lesson. The new kitchen has a big open fire place where they will be cooking bruschette in the cooler shoulder months, a private dining room just for participants to the lesson and a private terrace for the warmer months. The lesson includes: vegetable picking in the vegetable garden (they are currently recreating an ancient monastic elevated vegetable garden), the recipes, refreshments during the lesson, the lesson, lunch in a private dedicated dining room, the lunch is accompanied by a good bottle of wine. The new kitchen they have created is just like a home kitchen using home appliances so that the participants have the sensation that they can fully recreated what they learn in their own kitchen.
Call or e-mail for rates and availability
"Just want you to know that I stayed at Villa di Piazzano and just loved it! The highlight was the chef, our dinners were fantastic...really the best meals we had in Italy. For the price is was a great deal."