Recommended place to stay:
Hotel Palazzo Ravizza
Siena, Tuscany, Italy|www.palazzoravizza.com|
Official star rating:
With its quiet yet central location, reassuringly old-fashioned atmosphere and delightful Italianate garden, aristocratic Palazzo Ravizza is a great base from which to explore Siena.
Dating from the 18th century and still owned by the noble Ravizza family, it has been welcoming guests since 1922, and retains a nostalgic air, while providing 21st-century comforts.
Public spaces and bedrooms are furnished with antiques and artworks, and guests are welcome to play the Steinway in the elegant grand salon.
But the real USP is the marvellous formal garden that looks over the open Sienese countryside; a stunning spot for breakfast or a post-sightseeing aperitivo.
Anyone looking to extend a visit to Siena beyond a day will struggle to find a more authentic place to stay.
The hotel lies on a wide, curved street just outside the most crowded part of the historic centre of Siena, surrounded by ancient palazzi, but the back of the building (where the garden is) overlooks open countryside. The famous Piazza del Campo is a 10/15-minute walk, and en route you can take in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the complex of Santa Maria della Scala and the zebra-striped Duomo.
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The astonishingly beautiful region of Tuscany has it all: art cities and ancient hill towns, high mountains and long sandy beaches, alongside luxurious hotels and some of Italy’s best food and wine.
A heady mix of incomparable Renaissance art, gorgeous palazzos, Tuscan cuisine and home-grown haute couture.