^ We went to dinner here on our second to last night and consider it an absolute can’t miss if you’re visiting Pienza or in driving distance. The food was so incredible and the most authentic, down to earth Italian cooking we had our whole time in Italy.
Last week we got the chance to visit the beautiful walled mini-city of Pienza. This place feels straight out of some sort of Medieval Times picture book, even the little wine and cheese stores that double as two to three table bars (often with a wine barrel serving as the table) feel like they could have been operating in exactly the same way centuries before our arrival.
You can walk the whole city in about fifteen minutes, but the view out into the Tuscan valley and the little boutiques can keep you occupied for a whole lot longer. We loved our time here. It was slower paced than we were expecting but everything is so convenient, which was a nice change from wandering over dozens of little bridges to go from here to there in Venice.
While we were in Pienza, we had the chance to stay at La Bandita Townhouse, a hotel that somehow retains the feeling of loving the little city it exists in, while (from a design standpoint) rejecting everything you’d expect in the Italian countryside. It’s modern and has lots of big open spaces and Scandinavian undertones and a vibe that lets you know immediately that it sets itself apart from your expectation of it and intends to deliver something decidedly different.
Here are six things we loved about our time there:
1. Complimentary Mini Bar – why doesn’t every hotel have this? I mean, in theory this should be a smart move for every luxury hotel because it gets you so many brownie points with guests and I can’t imagine they lose any significant sum by offering that freebie (I’ve got to hope that the average guest doesn’t drink four apple juices, three carbonated waters, and two lemon sodas a day because “he can” 🙄)
2. The Outlets – okay this is a little one but when you’re traveling to different countries a lot and always having to go to the depths of your Mary poppins bag to find the adapter you told yourself you would start putting back in the same place but failed yet again to follow through on, being in a hotel that has outlets from five different countries ready to go neatly lined up on your bedside table is kind of a Godsend. That was such an unexpected but highly appreciated detail (as I imagine it is for many guests!)
3. The Restaurant – La Bandita Townhouse is known for its restaurant and lots of people exploring the wineries of Tuscany stop into Pienza just for dinner. It’s all local and the attention to detail is honestly amazing. The staff in the kitchen too are incredibly friendly and stop to chat with you and recommend other places to make sure you have dinner at while you’re in town (such as Sette Di Vino where we had the most incredible dinner of our trip so far, it was so authentically Italian while simultaneously standing out for not having the run of the mill pasta/pizza focused menu). The anti competitive, community energy La Bandita has is one of the reasons I think we felt so calm there.
4. Complimentary Laundry Service – Port and I were so pumped about this one. For anyone staying at the hotel for three nights or longer, laundry is complimentary and arrives back in your room within 24 hours neatly folded in a little delivery box. I had been planning on finding a local laundromat at some point this week so this saved us some serious time and energy.
5. The Common Area – on the first floor of La Bandita Townhouse there’s a big white couch and floor to ceiling map of Italy beside a small kitchen island with tea and coffee and drinks and wine you can “sign out” on a little honor system clipboard. We loved this spot and hung out here one rainy afternoon sipping coffee and working on our Venice vlog (which will hopefully be up by tomorrow!). We realized we’d both missed having a non bedroom area to hang out in that still felt decidedly “homey”.
6. The Design – As I mentioned before, the details (in the rooms especially) /are ultra modern. When you arrive in a city that has clearly stood the test of time, it’s so refreshing to sleep in a room that could be picked up and dropped into a Stockholm or a Copenhagen and fit in just as easily. The bathrooms are gigantic (check out the photos) and you get to appreciate Tuscany without forfeiting any kind of modern convenience.
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to La Bandita Townhouse for sponsoring this post, as always all thoughts and opinions remain our own.