La Bandita Townhouse

Pienza, Tuscany, Italy Book from Book from £261 per night

Contemporary laid-back luxury in the heart of picture-perfect Pienza, a charming slice of authentic Tuscan life
If you like urban-chic hotels, but also hanker for a genuine experience of local Tuscan life, you've found your perfect match. This sleek 12-bedroom townhouse hotel, once an old nunnery, sits in the lovely hilltop town of Pienza. Ambling along the cobbled streets, it’s easy to miss the simple façade, which blends seamlessly into the surrounding Renaissance masonry. But once inside, any confusion vanishes. You find an exceptionally crafted hotel, which somehow fits its complex historic shell beautifully. Although the American owner John has retained exposed original brickwork and wood-beamed ceilings (plus an altar in one room), that’s where the history lesson ends. The rest is gloriously contemporary, with bespoke furniture and angular lines. Striking pops of canary and tangerine contrast against fresh white walls, muted grey shutters and cream parquet floors.

The 12 bright and airy rooms provide ample space, comfort, and all the crisp linen and mod cons you could wish for; the views over terracotta rooftops feel like paintings from another age. This is John's second project; his first, countryside hotel, La Bandita, was a runaway success. In this instance, he aims to show people the relaxed beauty of life in Pienza, where he and his family live. And from the moment you walk through the door, you get a palpable sense that something exciting is happening to the Tuscan hotel scene.


  • The hotel's Townhouse Caffe is exceptional, serving innovative twists on Italian food, using market-fresh ingredients - you won’t want to eat anywhere else
  • The juxtaposition of a historical Tuscan village with cool city hotel styling, like Illy espresso machines, egg-shaped bathtubs and a mini spa
  • Staff are some of the friendliest we've ever met, all emitting genuine warmth and smiles. They cannot do enough for you
  • The generous and relaxed spirit: complimentary minibar soft drinks; an honesty bar and vast vinyl collection in the lounge; a welcome glass of wine; free laundry if you stay 3+ nights
  • The beauty of the the Val d’Orcia: Unesco-listed Pienza is surrounded by unforgettable landscapes and big views


  • There's a medieval walled garden, but in the summer heat, you may miss a pool
  • Parking is tricky; best to drop your bags off then park outside the town walls and walk back
  • Pienza can get very busy with tourists in the summer months
  • Not for those seeking traditional Tuscan décor

Best time to go

Any time of year except January, when the hotel is closed. The summer heat can be fierce in the dry Val d’Orcia, though air conditioning and a hill-top location make it a good high-season choice. Go out of season for cooler weather and fewer tourists, in spring for flowers, and in autumn for the wine harvest.

Our top tips

Take in local village life in Pienza's picturesque main square. It was the work of Pope Pius II, who in the 1460s transformed his home town into what you see today.

"Pienza is one of Tuscany's prettiest places, where little has changed for centuries," John says. "To fully appreciate it, take an aperitivo at Bar Il Casello, on the town's medieval walls".

Great for...

City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 17 Mar 2018 - 24 Mar 2018
  • Pool
  • Steam Room
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available


All 12 rooms are individual and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Original features have been immaculately restored and juxtaposed with contemporary furnishings. The overall effect is light and bright - it's amazing to think these were once nun's cells. The floating modernist kingsize beds are dressed in Busatti linen, some are four-postered, and there are bright pops of colour, perhaps a desk or giant mirror.

The Suites are located high in the building to maximise the beautiful Tuscan light. We were lucky enough to stay on the top floor, where we had a huge wall of windows overlooking Pienza's bell tower and the rolling countryside beyond. We loved the free-standing egg-shaped bath, funky sofa and high-timbered ceiling. Another standout has exposed brickwork, the original wood-beamed ceiling and traditional windows spanning 2 sides, with views over terracotta rooftops. The bed is a skinny four poster, and there's a freestanding tub and a vast oversized mirror; you'd really feel like the king of the convent up here.

The Standard and Superior rooms are slightly smaller, but by no means tiny; Superiors have space for an additional bed. Whichever you choose, you'll be very happy. All rooms have minibars with complimentary soft drinks, huge flatscreen TVs, an Illy espresso machine and free WiFi. Bathrooms are lovely throughout, with rain showers and Ortigia toiletries; some also have a tub.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Espresso machine
  • Extra beds
  • Free soft drinks in the minibar
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


The buzzing Townhouse Caffe overlooks the hotel's medieval walled garden, and is very extremely popular – it’s packed out every night of the week. It wouldn’t look out of place in London or New York, with an open kitchen displaying the chef's creative touches and retro furniture throughout (reclaimed orange steel factory chairs at the bar, French school chairs at the tables, and blackboards menus).

Chef David uses the freshest ingredients and local market produce; friendly staff can recommend accompanying wines. Our starter of courgette flowers stuffed with fresh ricotta and mint set the standard from the word go, and it remained sky-high throughout. There was decadent black-truffle pasta and a perfectly tender beef fillet with white beans and balsamic reduction. The tarragon pudding was a heavenly deconstructed Tiramisu. Simple Italian food with the freshest of ingredients, cooked immaculately - and good value to boot.

Breakfast was also exceptional, served either in the restaurant or alfresco in the walled garden on sunny mornings. Freshly squeezed juice, pastries, fruit salads, coffee and a menu packed full of mouthwatering options; after much deliberation we opted for the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Other choices included various combinations of bacon, sausage and eggs.

If you can drag yourself away, there are numerous cosy and atmospheric trattorias dotted around town. Sette di Vino comes highly rated for lunch, as does Latte di Luna for their amazing 'Maialino' roast pork. Or try Pummaro for pizza.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children's meals
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Wander around Unesco-listed Pienza, famed for its 15th-century buildings, narrow cobbled streets, charming piazza and the Piccolomini garden
  • Pienza is also the birthplace of pecorino sheep’s cheese, and there are plenty of shops selling it. Just follow your nose - it’s not a subtle smell
  • Walk along the town's walls to admire views that stretch for miles over quintessential rolling Tuscan countryside
  • Go wine tasting. Staff can arrange lunch and private guided tours at small local Brunello vineyards. Or you can go it alone and borrow the hotel's bicycles
  • Explore film-set landscapes: chunks of Under the Tuscan Sun were filmed around here; Sant'Anna in Camprena, a medieval abbey near Pienza, provided scenes for The English Patient; and Pieve di Corsignano, a 10th-century church with surrounding countryside, was used in Gladiator
  • You are in the heart of Tuscan hilltown territory, with Montepulciano, Montalcino and Monticchiello all a short drive away; Siena is accessible for a day trip
  • Go walking or horse-riding through the beautiful green landscapes of the Val d’Orcia, or drive to Bagno Vignoni and visit medieval hot springs
  • Sit in the hotel's garden and read, or have a massage, jacuzzi and steam in the small spa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Well being
  • Wine tasting


Children are welcome and the village is very kid-friendly and has no traffic for most of the day, La Bandita Townhouse opens onto pedestrian-only cobblestoned streets.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Superior rooms and Suites can also accommodate 1 rollaway bed or a baby cot. Ask if you want a room with a bath. One Superior room sleeps 4: it is split-level with the bedroom upstairs, and a living area downstairs with 2 single sofa beds.


Available on request.

Baby equipment:

  • High chairs
  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Simple pasta dishes and half-portions can be provided on request.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Some toys in the garden
  • The "Very Relaxing Room" is a private spa suite with steam room and large Jacuzzi, which can be rented by the hour, and is where treatments can be taken. Families often take it over with one parent getting a massage and the other playing in the Jacuzzi with the kids, and then they switch over

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Playground close by
  • Families, both local and visiting, enjoy congregating in the local piazza
  • There's an arrangement in place with a nearby pool/restaurant for guests to use their facilities for a small fee, just 10 minutes' drive away


  • Airport: 1.5 hours (Perugia) / 2 hours (Florence)
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly: Suite

Our guests' ratings...

No recent reviews available

This hotel has not yet been reviewed by guests

Rates for La Bandita Townhouse