“Contemporary gastro-hideaway surrounded by olive trees and vineyards in a lesser visited part of Tuscany”
Nestling in the hills outside the gorgeous town of Lucca, it's a bit of a hidden gem, much like the region itself. This is Tuscany without the tourists, but you're still only a half-hour drive from Pisa, and 45 minutes from Florence.
Tenuta San Pietro is owned by a Norwegian family, so the heavy fabrics and Baroque gilding found in so many Tuscan hotels have given way to a more minimalist, Scandinavian-influenced sensibility in this 10-roomed hotel. We loved the wooden floorboards, exposed brickwork and design details like an iconic scarlet lip sofa in reception.
Food is another real highlight – the hotel’s restaurant draws diners from miles around and is regularly booked out in the summer months. As well as a restaurant, there’s a wine cellar with 350 bottles, a tasting room (you can also sample their own olive oil), a lounge and terrace overlooking the olive tree-studded grounds.
- The food. The New York Times called this region the best in Italy, and guests rave about the cuisine here
- Italian manager Gastone is full of energy and enthusiasm and, being married to an Englishwoman, his English is impeccable
- Wine buffs will love the huge range of local and national vintages, and there are some excellent fattorie nearby for tasting tours
- The view from the infinity pool of the Tuscan countryside is exactly what you come here for
- It's a stylish modern hotel and a breath of fresh air in a region crammed with grand Baroque palaces
- You ideally need a car and Sat Nav - it's not that easy to find - though they do offer a free shuttle into Lucca
- It's an intimate hotel and sound travels between rooms
- There isn't a shower in all bathrooms - some just have a shower attachment on the jacuzzi bath
- The hotel is right on the road (which can get a bit busy in summer) so the rooms next to it may be noisy
Best time to go
- Boutique Hotel
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The appeal of Tenuta San Pietro is in its décor as well as its service and fine food: rather than staying in one of the Baroque mansions nearby, with their heavy antique furniture, you’re in a hotel with a lighter touch to it.
There are 8 luxury rooms and 2 suites, all individually designed and decorated with an overall muted theme. There are splashes of colour on the walls – all the paintings are by the estate’s Norwegian owner – and plenty of upmarket technology, including flatscreen TVs.
The beds are a highlight – each suite and room has a kingsize bed brought over especially from Norway. These can also be set up as twin beds, and some have quirky modern looping metal bedheads.
In the light, modern bathrooms you’ll find Erbario Toscano olive oil soap and body products, rather fittingly for a hotel that presses its own DOP olive oil. The 2 suites, which are set apart from the main building, are a good option for families and honeymooners and have wood-beamed ceilings, wooden floors, a master bedroom, living room with sofa bed and a spacious bathroom.
Four of the rooms (Tenuta Di Valgiano, Bellavista, Luca and Olivo) overlook the valley, with fantastic views - it's worth requesting these - especially as they are no more expensive. The remaining four rooms have a mountain view, and being near the (minor) road can get some noise - we'd recommend avoiding them if possible. The 2 suites are in a separate building near the road and can also get some road noise when it's busy; but if you're coming with one or two children they are the best option.
- Air conditioning
- Cd player
- Cots Available
- Internet access
- Safe box
Tenuta San Pietro is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards so it’s not a surprise to hear that the olive oil here is fantastic and that the wine cellar has around 350 bottles in its stores.
The kitchen is run by superb chef Guido who creates local dishes with flair: expect fillet of rabbit, Mediterranean king prawns, pheasant with pomegranate sauce and decadent, divinely presented desserts. We loved the pasta (homemade, of course) with stewed hare. Dinner is served either in the upstairs dining room with views of the valley or outside on the terrace; you may need to book in high season.
You will probably want to eat out for lunch (although a simple lunch of sandwiches or salad and cold cuts can be arranged); there are plenty of options in Lucca and the nearby towns. If you're staying a while, you might also want to head out for a lighter dinner from time to time - though bear in mind that it's a windy 7km drive to the nearest restaurant.
For breakfast you can expect a buffet of regional cheeses and cured meats, homemade bread, croissants, fruit, coffee and eggs.
Foodies can enroll on one of Guido’s cookery lessons or enjoy olive oil and wine tasting sessions. The estate’s olive oil harvest takes place in November and you can join in too, by arrangement.
- Children meals
- Organic produce
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Hot air ballooning
- Museums / galleries
- Olive harvest
- Olive oil tasting
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
The suites are ideal as family rooms and each sleeps four; children under three stay free and there's a cot available on request. Older children can stay in a pull-out bed for a small fee.
Family friendly accommodation:
- Baby cot
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Children's menu available
Kids Activities on site:
- Farm animals