Relais San Pietro in Polvano

Castiglion Fiorentino Tuscany, Italy Book from Book from £117 per night

Ultra traditional family-run hotel with rustic deluxe rooms, in beautiful countryside between Arezzo and Cortona
When Luigi Protti retired from industrial Milan to Tuscany, he set out to find “a beautiful house in a quiet place, for the relax”, to share with others. He found the perfect spot: on the crown of a steep hill in Polvano, a tumble-down farm overlooking woodland and olive groves. From the upper floors, you could even see Castiglion Fiorentino - his wife's home town.

The 17th-century farm, with its priests' house and stables, has since been restored to offer 10 comfortable rooms and a pool-with-a-view. Still home to the Protti family, who live upstairs, it’s all brick arches, white-wash, terracotta and old timbers - traditional to the point of old-fashioned, and run like a well-oiled machine. Neat paths meander between stone buildings through gardens of fig-trees, jasmine and potted geraniums; there are lawns trimmed with rosemary. And you can watch the sunset from wicker chairs on a terrace overlooking the green slopes of the Chio Valley. Heaven indeed.
Covid-19 update: some services and facilities may be changed as a result of Coronavirus measures.


  • Peaceful, secluded and very beautiful Tuscan setting
  • Owned and run by a delightful family
  • Well-kept colourful gardens with tubs of bright flowers; doors framed by jasmine, olive, fig and cypress trees
  • Breakfast is a feast
  • Exceptional attention to detail - from the crisp bedlinen and fruit and flowers in the rooms to the evening turn-down service
  • A cool pool on a lawned terrace overlooking glorious open countryside


  • Modernists, fashionistas and jet-setters may find the pace slow and the décor old-fashioned
  • No television (a high, if you want to get away from it all!)
  • The road between Polvano and Castiglion Fiorentino: beware of hairpin bends and Italian motorcyclists doing an Evil Knievel on hump-back bridges
  • Lunch and dinner are not available at the hotel, and the nearest eateries are a 15-minute drive, but Luigi has plenty of recommendations

Best time to go

In spring or early summer for the gardens (heavenly scented jasmine); in autumn to avoid the heat and the crowds. It is, however, a good high-season choice – the pool, the gardens, and the quiet location offering a welcome respite after a day of tourists and hilltowns in the hot summer sun. The hotel is closed from November to the end of March (subject to annual review).

Great for...

  • Boutique Hotel
  • 10
  • Breakfast
  • Children aged 6 and over only
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


Rooms are spread between the farmhouse and the Canonica (a converted priests' house). They come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they are basically of the same style, each named after a flower (Clematis, Rosa Antica, Orchidea - denoted by flower-sprigged straw hats hung on the walls). All have beamed ceilings, shutters at the windows, white cotton bedspreads, wrought iron headboards, kilims on glazed terracotta floors, white-washed walls, hand-painted doors and matching furniture. The look is classic Tuscan farmhouse - simple, uncluttered, hand-crafted – but with an extra layer of comfort.

As in most old farmhouses, some of the rooms are a little dark, with small windows and sombre colours, but dark means cool - though they are all air conditioned except for the Double Charming. Each is provided with mineral water, fresh fruit and flowers (there was a huge vase of fragrant longi lilies in our room); some have sunny aspects and lovely views. The bathrooms (most just have showers) are clean and white-tiled, with bathrobes and L’Erbario Toscano toiletries.

Our choice would be sunny Suite Deluxe Peonia (in the Canonica, with a little living room and views of the hills) or the spacious Junior Suite Superior.

Please note all rooms are individually decorated so the photographs shown indicate the standard of accommodation for each level, but the hotel cannot guarantee you getting a specific room within each category.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Fan
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Terrace
  • WiFi


Breakfast (served on the terrace, weather permitting) is a sensational feast of cold meats, cheeses, pastries, breads, natural yoghurt with fresh fruit (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries – whatever’s in season), squeezed orange juice, and yellow (and I mean yellow) scrambled eggs.

The hotel doesn't offer lunch or dinner, so when you get peckish it's a short drive into nearby Castiglion Fiorentino (8km) where there are lots of lovely restaurants, pizzerias, bars and cafés. Ask for some recommendations and you'll be given names and addresses (as well as a handy map) before you venture out.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Minibar/fridge


  • Hang out on the terrace and enjoy the gardens. In terms of peace and quiet, this place is the business

  • Go for a cooling swim in the pool-with-a-view, play golf or tennis (there are facilities within a short drive), go sailing or cycling around Lake Trasimeno (45km away), or hike along scenic tracks over the rolling hills around Polvano

  • Take a stroll round Castiglion Fiorentino, a walled medieval hilltown topped by the 12th century Chiesa di Sant’Angelo (a 15-minute drive). Linger at the Caffe degli Ignoranti on the Piazza del Municipio, which has fab views of the Val di Chiana and the foothills of the Appenines, plus occasional live music

  • You're midway between historic Cortona (20km) - the Etruscan museum (wonderful 6th century jewellery), the Diocesan museum (medieval religious paintings) and the Duomo (more paintings) are the highlights - and gorgeous Arezzo (25km), with its magnificent Piazza Grande and medieval churches

  • Head up the A1 autostrada to Florence (80km) or head south to Perugia (60km) or across the hills to the stunning hilltown of Gubbio (70km)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Sailing
  • Tennis


Children aged 6 and over are welcome.

Kid Friendly:


Relais San Pietro is in Polvano, a small hamlet 8km east of Castiglion Fiorentino in the heart of Southern Tuscany between Arezzo and Cortona. It's about 60km from Perugia, 80km from Florence, 180km from Pisa and 230km from Rome.

By Air
There are some flights to Florence Peretola airport (130km). However, most people fly to Pisa Galileo (180km).

From the Airport

By Car
Driving through Tuscany's beautiful countryside is an absolute delight. If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations.

By Train
If you'd prefer to travel overland from the UK, look no further than Seat 61. Once you get to Florence there's a local train (“regionale” or “diretto”) to Castiglion Fiorentino. See also Trenitalia.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.

More on getting to Italy and getting around


  • Florence-Peretola 130.0 km FLR
  • Pisa Galileo 180.0 km PSA


  • Beach 100.0 km
  • Shops 7.0 km
  • Restaurant 7.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


Beautiful place and lovely breakfast, with a freshly baked focaccia every morning. During our stay we had the lovely pool area to ourselves – a real treat. In the nearby town (Castillo Fiorentino) we found only one nice restaurant (can’t remember the name).


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