La Bandita Townhouse is a very special boutique hotel for families who want to experience village life in Tuscany. This former convent from the Renaissance era has been lovingly restored with a wonderful combination of classic Tuscan architecture and modernity. John and Ondine, the owners, have kids and love to travel — it’s clear that they understand what discerning families want on a Tuscan holiday.
Each of the 12 rooms is unique; one even has an altar from the property’s convent days. There are several options that work for families, including two family suites that can be connected for larger groups. The rooms are stylish, spacious and comfortable, with stone walls and modern decor. Opening the large wooden shutters in the morning, looking over the terra-cotta rooftops, and listening to the sounds of village life, is right out of a movie.
Pienza is in the heart of southern Tuscany and known as the home of Italy’s famous Pecorino cheese. Located in the UNESCO-protected Val d’Orcia region, this area is he quintessential, postcard-perfect Tuscan landscape with breathtaking valleys and cypress boulevards.
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La Bandita’s Townhouse Caffe restaurant is excellent, with a modern twist on traditional Italian cuisine. Chef Dave takes guests on a culinary tour of Tuscany through locally sourced vegetables, meats and olive oil. The burger made with the famous Tuscan Chianina meat is a must-try!
A lovely breakfast is included in the room rate. If the weather is nice, sitting outside in the medieval walled garden is a wonderful way to start the day.
There are many other restaurants and wine bars in Pienza, and the friendly staff at La Bandita is more than happy to make suggestions and reservations. Be sure to try the homemade pici pasta found on many of the menus.
John was once a music executive in New York, and he shares his awesome collection of vinyl records to play on the stereo in the library, along with an honor bar. Of course, there are books to borrow as well.
The welcome aperitif of prosecco and wine at the honor bar in the living room is not to be missed. It’s a great opportunity to meet and share stories with other guests. John and Ondine usually join the guests and share their favorite tips about the area. Families also can reserve “The Very Relaxing Room” with jacuzzi spa for a bit of downtime.
My favorite amenity is the free wash-and-fold laundry service — I never wanted to leave once I found out about this!
Kid and parent-approved, a look at what makes Pienza a Tuscany hill town favorite >
Pienza is the perfect base for exploring the charming towns and villages of southern Tuscany and the famous Brunello and Vino Nobile wine regions.
Monticchiello is one of my favorite hilltop towns. It’s less well-known than the wine towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, so less crowded. Make a reservation for lunch at Osteria La Porta and ask for a seat on the terrace for one of the best views of the Val d’Orcia.
Visit a local farm to learn about low-impact and organic farming techniques and buy some of the local products the area is famous for. After a day of exploring, return to Pienza after all the tourists have left. Take a moonlit stroll on the quiet streets and savor having the gem of a Renaissance piazza all to yourself.
TIP: For an extra-special Tuscan holiday, split time between La Bandita Townhouse and its sister property, La Bandita Countryhouse, a completely different experience in the hills of the Val d’Orcia. Both properties are amazing.
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Editor’s Note: Ciao Bambino received a media package in order to review La Bandita Townhouse. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos by Sandy Pappas.
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