Friday, September 30, 2011

Dreaming Of: Valle Serena

Happy Friday, everyone. What are you up to this weekend? Our friends Chris and Gina are off to Italy tomorrow on their honeymoon. Lucky them!

Their travels will take them to one of my favorite hotels in the world, the Borgo Santo Pietro. Hidden away in the Valle Serena, about an hour outside of Siena, it's the perfect escape.

Mr. H. took me there for my birthday a few years back. Our intention had been to use it as a base to explore the usual stops on the Tuscan trail. But once we drove up the cypress-lined drive, we forgot the rest of the world existed until we reluctantly had to give up our room to the next lucky guests.

Danish owners Jeannette and Claus Throttrup bought the villa in a state of neglect and disrepair in 2001 with the intent to restore it as a private home. But along the way they decided to turn it into a small luxury hotel, to the great fortune of the rest of us, and used their considerable talents as a designer and a builder to create the perfect retreat.

Staying in one of the gorgeous 11 rooms is like lodging with lovely, charming friends of friends who aren't the least bit stuffy, have amazing taste, see to every detail, but give you plenty of space to relax and enjoy.

Thanks to Jeannette's impeccable eye every detail is perfect, but never overdone. A just-right blend of ornate antiques and worn surfaces. Luxurious fabrics and weathered leather and wicker.

The 13-acres of grounds are equally beautiful.

Much of the villa's produce comes straight from the biodynamic gardens on site, so every bite of food is a revelation.

And the wine cellar is well-stocked with perfect pairings. From breakfast in the garden to dinner on the terrace in front of a roaring fire, there's never a need to dine anywhere else.

And if you get tired of hanging by the pool...

...the romantic ruins of Cistercian Abbey San Galgano are just a wander through the fields away.

All that perfection is hard to say goodbye to! We're still wishing we had turned the car around and stayed a few days more.

Photos from Borgo Santo Pietro and Mr. H

Happy honeymoon Chris and Gina!


  1. What a luxurious home! Almost takes you back to a different time! That pool is incredible!! Don’t make too many places like this!

  2. That looks like Italian heaven!!!! Happy honeymoon to your friends. I could use a 2nd honeymoon at a place just like that. Make me swoon!!!

    Have a great weekend, Jeanne!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  3. s t u n n i n g....
    wishing you a wonderful weekend too... xoxo

  4. loved this post! It allowed me to take a little mental vacation for a study break.

  5. Oh my - how spectacular!!! My kind of vacation!! And I can understand how you didn't venture out much - I think I would need a couple weeks - one to stay just there and then one to explore!!

  6. THIS WILL DO!I have been to SAN GALGANO as we used to camp in PUNTA ALA……...



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