The Place: A Guesthouse in the Tuscan Hills
Nestled in the hills above the Tuscan coast, Locanda Al Colle welcomes guests without pretention but with all the picturesque charm you would expect from an Italian getaway. This 18th century renovated farmhouse has become a haven of art, nature, and romantic Tuscan sensibility. The contemporary and vintage ambiance washed over me like a soothing scent; the house is full of warm and comfortable details, a perfect retreat with an abundance of style.
Riccardo, the owner of Locanda, greeted us on arrival and had no problem with our very early check-in. He told me the story of the property started 10 years ago when his smaller B&B was just next door. At the time, they had five rooms, no pool, and only served breakfast. When the building next door went up for sale, he saw an opportunity to combine the two houses and expand his hotel. The undertaking took two full years. In that time, Riccardo frequented markets, fairs, and galleries every weekend hunting for vintage and modern pieces to fill the space at Locanda. Since then, the hotel has won boutique and luxury hotel awards in recent years.
Disclaimer: my trip to Locanda al Colle was part of a collaboration for this blog; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Each element in the house is thoughtfully placed and perfectly conceived. Riccardo’s impeccable taste and style are made apparent by his personal collection of art displayed on the walls. Bronze and marble sculptures and s statues are showcased by local artists, and the flow of fresh art to the property adds a new feel to the estate, with recurring guests getting to see something new every time they visit. Locanda’s natural and colorful backdrop is the perfect exhibition space for these bold and elegant pieces.
*There will be an art masterclass held with Ben Wijnen B.A., artist and sculptor. October 30th-November 3rd.
Aromatic and ornamental plants ease guests into a state of tranquility…nestled between olive trees, lavender, flowering rosemary, and sage, is the ideal place to enjoy this splendid view. It captures the mind, spirit, and body in any season. – Locanda al Colle’s website
Serenity in the hills of Versilia
Deluxe Rooms: Aurora & Collina
Locanda features 12 rooms, each with its own inviting aesthetic and theme. Riccardo has really thought of everything. The beds are big and plush, a fresh bouquet of flowers awaits, and a reed diffuser sets the relaxing mood with a heavenly scent. The bathrooms are sparkling, spacious, and equipped with the most beautiful tubs. Something they all share is how well equipped and comfortable they are, making it hard to leave them at all. Guests tend to enjoy their private area/terrace until it’s time to go down for a delicious breakfast or dinner outside on the terrace.
- WiFi throughout
- iPod dock
- Gourmet minibar
- Skinny Champagne
- Amedei Chocolate
- Erbario Toscana bath products
- Access to private beach club, Il Cavallone in Lido Di Camaiore
AURORA Deluxe Room
Every room has an outdoor area at Locanda, and I would argue Aurora has the best terrace. In the morning, the sun cut through the valley over the hills and onto the property. Sunrise. With a gorgeous four-post daybed, and French 19th century cast iron fireplace, what an inviting area to relax, share romantic moments by the fireplace, drink some wine, or just admire the view. Inside the room, comforting beige and emerald tones set the mood, a fresh bouquet of flowers is at the center of the room, and black and white photos flanking each side of the bed.
COLLINA Deluxe Room
Our second night we moved to Collina, a room in a different part of the house. This room featured a sage and grey color pallet with white beamed ceilings, and large windows facing the sea views of Camaiore.
Cuisine with a contemporary flair🍴
Everyone knows the heart of any real home is its kitchen. At Locanda, everything is open for guests to see and experience, especially its food and its kitchen. The chef and his team only use local ingredients and make everything in-house (even the merengue!). Guests are encouraged to make themselves at home with the snacks and drinks left for them to enjoy during the day. The smell of freshly baked pastries, cookies, and pies permeates the house at any given hour and you won’t find rigid menus for lunch or dinner. Instead, Chef Gian Luca creates with the seasons and is open to suggestions.
The food philosophy here is fresh ingredients and homemade everything. The sweet and savory breakfast buffet includes the freshly baked bread, pies and cakes (!) seasonal fruits, yogurts, meats and cheeses, and delicious juices, as well as eggs, made your way on request. Enjoy your coffee or tea however you want! They have Moka pots, Nespresso machine, and a frother for a cappuccino.
A special dinner is served twice a week. Candlelit dinners with panoramic sunset views and amazing food was an absolute treat. The chef has a merry presence with good humor, and he took the time to explain his creations to every table and took allergies and diet restrictions into account without a problem. Foodie guests wanting to learn Italian cooking skills can learn with the chef himself on Tuesdays at 4pm. The day I joined, the guests were making homemade pasta.
Locanda is a home. All our food is home-style food, refined but familiar.
Travelers with an artful eye and a deep love for design will feel like coming home to Locanda. The polished hospitality was impressive, but even more so was the relaxed luxury they’ve created. We didn’t leave once after we had arrived and we honestly didn’t need to. From laying by the pool to swinging in their hammocks with a nice book we found everything we needed for optimal tranquility. If you feel like venturing off for a bike ride, beach day, yoga session, or art workshop, the hotel is happy to help. (Another plus is that flights into Pisa are pretty cheap. From Pisa you just need to take a train to Camaiore and then a taxi.)
With lush, well-landscaped gardens to lounge in, a deliciously secluded pool, to the full-service kitchen with amazing food, there was really nothing left to desire.
Locanda al Colle
Via La Stretta, 231,
55041 Camaiore LU, Italy
Website / Nearest airport: Pisa /Taxi from Camaiore to the hotel: 25 euros
Awards: Conde Nast Johansens Luxury Hotel Award Winner 2016 & 2019 / Boutique Hotel Awards Winner 2016 / World Luxury Hotel Awards 2017
Nearby towns to visit:
Pietra Santa – 10 minutes by car
Lucca – 30 minutes by car
Pisa – 35 minutes by car