An indulgent long weekend for two at L’Andana
We always start planning our holidays at the beginning of the year to make the most of the bank holidays. We learned the hard way to plan these precious weekends getaways in advance.
The last May bank holiday seemed the perfect occasion to enjoy a break in a sunny Mediterranean country, drinking a fresh glass of Rose on a sunny terrace
What else do you need in your life?
We had wanted to go back to Tuscany for a while now. It is a charming region located in central Italy and, as you can see on the Tuscany map below, it has plenty of cities and charming villages to explore.
Tuscany trip planning
Florence, Pisa, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia… there is so much to see, visit and enjoy in Tuscany. We double checked the weather forecast and confirmed that Tuscany weather in May is spot on, sunny but not too hot. Just as we like it.
Good weather, check! World-renowned wine, check! Delicious food, check! Historical cities, check! Artistic legacy, check! Breathtaking landscapes, check! Amazing Italian people, check! Almost all sorted, we were just missing small details such as the plane tickets and accommodation for our Tuscany holidays!
Mr & Mrs Smith is always a good starting point to get some inspiration when planning holiday accommodation.
They have a selection of hand-picked boutique hotels in charming locations. To our surprise, some of them were already fully booked! In some ways, it was comforting to see that other ‘strong players’ (other crazy people) were being even more proactive when booking holidays.
We browsed a few hotel options but we fell straight in love with L’Andana, a charming Tuscany luxury villa with 33 suites… “An enchanting resort with a gourmand SPA, La Trattoria Enrico Bartolini, golf driving range and romantic private chapel, L’Andana takes its name from its long driveway, which is flanked by cypresses and maritime pines and enveloped in a magical fairytale atmosphere, within a delightful nature park.”
Ahhhh! Sounds just right, no?
Next step, book the plane tickets. We checked how could we fly to Tuscany from London. There are two international airports, the Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa and Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence. Pisa airport seemed to be the best option to fly to from London. Given that the airport was a 90-minute drive from our destination, we decided to rent a car so we could also explore other villas nearby during our stay.
In summary, destination selected, accommodation and flights sorted and car rented. Let’s go.
Dolce far Niente in action
(A word of caution: The following photos might prompt a strong desire to go to Tuscany)
We landed in Pisa peacefully early in the afternoon, we had a good flight, and we arrived on time!! Yes, that can happen…
The trip to the hotel went smoothly; we quickly got used to the idea that Italian drivers do not respect the speed limits 🙂 But we were not in a rush; we were enjoying the beautiful landscapes and the 28 degree temperatures. Our bucolic mood was turned on.
When we arrived at L’Andana hotel, we fell in love with its atmosphere and surroundings. We discovered that the building that now houses L’Andana was once a Medici villa where Grand Duke Leopold II and his court had resided during the summer season. After a warm welcome and check-in, we started exploring our new “domain”.
First things first. We started with the restaurant, as it was time to have a taste of the authentic Italian food. We had ragu pasta served with L’Andana’s own red wine – Acquagiusta Wine.
The pasta was simple and tasty, perfectly cooked al dente, and the sauce was just to die for. Perfectly matched with the light, fruity and spicy wine.
We then went for a walk to digest our food and continue our exploration.
When the temperature hit 30 degrees, the swimming pool started calling for us. Yes, it was a very exhausting exploration…
After a few hours of dolce far niente, it was almost time for the apèro. At this point, we were seriously considering moving in and not returning to London the following Monday.
We passed by our room before the apèro. The room had the refined atmosphere of an old country residence but with a family intimacy. There were small details that just made us feel at home and welcome.
We also had a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside with the green vineyards and olive groves. Waking up with this view just makes your day worth it.
We made one last effort to continue our intensive exploration for the day. We headed to the restaurant to have our apèro outside while admiring the beautiful sunset.
It was the perfect ‘Tuscan day’.
We continued keeping ourselves very busy in the following days. Our diaries were fully booked with breakfast, swimming pool, lunch, gym (yes the actual gym where you burn calories), swimming pool, tennis, SPA, apèro and dinner time. Uffffff tough times.
On the 3rd day, we were brave enough to take the car and explore the villages nearby. We visited a Tuscan town near the beach – Castiglione Della Pescaia. This ancient fishing village is located between the blue sea and green hills. The modern city grew around a medieval fortress (Italian: Castello) and a large fishery, from which it acquired its designation.
I was impressed by how well taken care of the village was. I hope the photos speak for themselves.
We spent a great afternoon exploring Castiglione.
Day 4 arrived ….
The day we feared the most arrived sooner than expected. The departure time was close by and we were not ready for it. I hope you can note the very dramatic tone.
I wrote this last paragraph in this beautiful library.
I love home, don’t get me wrong, but we felt so welcome by L’Andana that we did not feel like returning to London. The hotel was superb for its location, surroundings and history but L’Andana’s service was the key differentiator. All members of staff were super friendly in a natural way and there’s a simple touch of luxury on all details.
This long weekend was the perfect getaway from busy London. We were fully recharged and relaxed.
If you are still asking why visit Grosseto in Tuscany… don’t! Just go!
What other places in Tuscany would you recommend visiting? I need some inspiration for my next holidays!