Immersed in the green hills of Val di Chiana, where Tuscany meets Umbria, Hotelito Lupaia is a perfect retreat with stunning beauty. Nestled amongst the hills and protected by cypress and chestnut trees, its the ideal spot to relax surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and unmistakable romantic details.
Non è possibile vedere campi più belli; non vi ha una gola di terreno la quale non sia lavorata alla perfezione
J. W. von Goethe, “Viaggio in Italia”, 1816
Simplicity. A breath of fresh air. A quiet getaway. A slow drive along curvy, white-pebbled roads lined with olive groves and vineyards. A ride through the valleys and countryside of Tuscany and you arrive at Hotelito Lupaia – a beautiful homage to the country lifestyle of a long ago Italy, far from the bustle of the cities.
Hotelito Lupaia is nestled deep in the hills of Turrita di Siena surrounded by the infinite vineyards of the noble wines of Montepulciano and the Val di Chiana. The hotel is a tiny jewel of a destination developed by the Murzilli family. The family is also known for their successful launch of the clothing brand El Charro in the 1980s and the establishment of one of Mexico’s most renowned eco-resorts Hotelito Desconocido. In Italy their unmistakable style can be found at both L’Ermito and Lupaia.
This long-held and loved family property in this tiny country village was developed by Matteo Murzilli and his wife, decorator and restorer Giulia Mariotti. It’s a piece of family history and a project both continue to run with great care and a keen eye toward essential luxury.
The entire premises is impeccably decorated with individually selected furnishing and precious little details which aren’t to be missed, such as the attention given to locating local antique furnishings and materials which give each area a distinctive identity.
The real jewels are the rooms themselves, all overlooking the hills and tree-lined paths rolling down to the Temple of San Biagio – scenery which immediately transports to a time and place from long ago. The floors and ceilings are still the originals – terracotta tiles and wooden beams which create a sort of frame for the beautifully decorated interiors which welcome visitors. Brightly colored walls, valuable inlays, cotton, wood, handcrafted iron and 19th century settees fill each room – some of which were once actually stalls now completely transformed to luxuriously decorated rooms. Here perfect country style brings together nature and history with elegance.
Lupaia’s restaurant also takes its queues from its rich history. Hand painted ceramic tiles line the walls while cups are hung above the stone sink and copper pots dangle over the large stove top. The picture is that of a nonna’s old kitchen – warm and inviting. The restaurant’s chef, Gino Salvi, expertly creates genuine, traditional dishes that highlight local flavors and seasonal products. Here guests can tuck into delicious servings of pici con ragù, ribollita and torta della nonna. Breakfast is a bountiful homemade throwback to true Italian country style mornings, while lunchtime finds tables filled with regional meats and cheeses all served with glasses of locally produced Chianti and Montepulciano, wines from some of the area’s select wineries such as Barone Ricasoli, Cantucci and Gattevecchi.
Another particular about this jewel of a restaurant is the open set up from dining area to kitchen allowing diners to watch the chef as he cooks their meals at the stove.
Stepping into this hotel is like stepping into another time altogether. Immersed in the nation’s rich cultural and gastronomic patrimony the hotel manages to bring together the authentic beauty of the past with the best of modern lifestyle. It is ideally located a short distance from the stupendous medieval villages of Tuscany and Umbria like Pienza, Montepulciano and Città della Pieve, and is a quick drive from the thermal spas of Chianciano, Bagno Vignoni and San Casciano.
With its stone walls peeking out from behind the green leaves of ivy and the Tuscan sun warming its romantic porticoes, Lupaia is a true breath of country air and ideal stop for a few days while exploring the beauty of the Italian heartland.
Photo credits: Hotelito Lupaia