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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Hotel and restaurant in town. The former Ciofi Jacometti Palace in the heart of Florence, restored in a manner that faithfully respects its architecture and original frescoes, is home to the Relais Santa Croce. It is an ideal setting, both charming and intimate, just a stone’s throw from the city’s main attractions. The magnificent rooms and suites with views of the rooftops and Basilica combine period furniture with contemporary design, elegant details and a sumptuous finish. The attentive, impeccable service gives the impression of being welcomed into a private residence. The restaurant Guelfi e Ghibellini offers a seasonal menu that skilfully combines tradition and innovation. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Chef Annie Féolde, also known as The Diva of Cuisine, was the first woman Chef to earn 3 stars in Italy and the fourth one in the world. She serves innovative cuisine created from all top-quality Italian ingredients. The fine wines selected by sommelier Giorgio Pinchiorri, her companion for forty years, are the perfect accompaniment to her cuisine. Enoteca is located in a Renaissance palazzo in the heart of Florence, as is Relais Santa Croce Hotel. On the menu: fusilli al ferretto and squids in white wine, artichokes and botargo, double squab breast and peas in mint, potato doughnut with fegatini sauce; truffle and caramelised chocolate, pink grapefruit and almond milk. Impeccable service and a warm welcome add the finishing touches to a truly memorable meal. ... Learn moreless
The family of Stefano Ricci continues here a tradition which dates back to 1786. In the heart of this old artisans’ quarter, a place truly redolent of the Renaissance still remains. I like to bring our friends to this weaving workshop. The dozen looms are all collector’s pieces (one of them was even designed based on drawings by Leonardo da Vinci). The working methods have not changed for centuries, and the silk fabrics are still just as beautiful. Via L. Bartolini, 4, Florence
More than just a pharmacy, this has become a heritage site. Founded in 1221 by Dominican friars, the current Officina di Santa Maria di Novella is an exceptional place, known for its oils, its creams, its mixtures of flowers and herbs and its alcohol. I come here regularly to buy perfumes, creams, and a liqueur called Alchermes, which I use to make the famous Florentine dessert “Zucotto”. Via della Scala 16, Florence
Enoteca Pinchiorri came about thanks to Giorgio’s passion for the world’s best wines. Its immediate success forced us, as it were, to add the food - which wasn’t planned - because our traditions represent a real union of these two pleasures! Situated inside a Renaissance palace, Enoteca is a comfortable space which emphasises simple and refined food, highly regarded by the most prominent critics. The aim is to match the dishes to the 100,000 or so judiciously chosen bottles which feature in a wine cellar so renowned that it has become a kind of museum. A treat for connoisseurs of exceptional wines!
This is the story of a little local butcher’s shop which has become renowned around the world. Run by the Falorni family since 1729, the shop sells products made from Cinta Senese pigs, which are allowed to roam across the beautiful landscapes of Chianti. Their raw ham, sausages and bacon are absolutely sublime, with hints of Chianti, sage, fennel or rosemary from the region.
Hotel and restaurant in a village. In this superb 700 hectare Tuscan estate, time would appear to have stood still.This property belonging to the Ferragamo family is an oasis of charm in the image of a mediaeval village with a 19th century villa, farm and farm buildings. Wines and olive oil are produced here by traditional methods – they are an integral part of the landscape of the region. Whether you are strolling through the narrow streets of the village, relaxing at the pools, enjoying treatments at Il Borro Spa or the traditional cuisine at Osteria del Borro with local ingredients, you will experience the same pleasure: that of a particular art of living imbued with calm and elegance. ... Learn moreless
Founded in 1025 by Saint Romuald, a Benedictine monk, the Camaldoli monastery is a splendid site, set in the heart of the forest in the Apennine Mountains. I was struck by the austere appearance and solemnity of the place. In accordance with the wishes of its founder, the monastery still places great importance on ecumenical dialogue. Pope John Paul II came here in 1993.
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi’s 17th century family residence, set amongst the vineyards and olive trees that surround the small Etruscan city of Cortona, is a true delight. The guest rooms, located around the main residence, have all the simplicity of a Tuscan villa. The terraces of the former winter garden, with their heady aromas of rose, offer superb vistas over the neighbouring countryside. A sophisticated restaurant serves cuisine, reflecting the flavours and fragrances of the terroir. The Thesan Etruscan spa offers exclusive, luxury rituals. Riccardo Baracchi is delighted to show you his cellar and welcome you to the cookery classes organised by Silvia. ... Learn moreless
Dating from the fifteenth century, the Renaissance church of Santa Maria delle Grazie al Calcinaio would by itself make a visit to Cortona worthwhile. The church was built by the shoemakers’ guild, whose members tanned leather in the vicinity. The impressive architecture houses some beautiful treasures as well as three paintings by Tommaso Barnabei.
The walled town of Cortona is known for its rich Etruscan heritage. Within the town, visitors will discover impressive tombs (Tumulo del Sodo I and II) as well as a necropolis which dates back to the second century BC (Tanella di Pitagora). In addition, at the town’s Etruscan Academy Museum (located at Piazza Signorelli 9) you will find a superb collection of ancient objects.
Hotel and restaurant in the country. The luxuriant green countryside of Umbria, the “Garden of Italy”, is the perfect setting for this ancient mediaeval fortress. It is an impressive collection of neo-Gothic buildings, a Baroque chapel, surrounded by parkland planted with trees over one hundred years old and an olive grove, which offers outstanding hospitality. Outside, the infinity pool, the flower-bedecked courtyards and the shaded paths offer a cool haven of peace. Inside, the contemporary décor of the rooms and the elegance of the lounges also combine to create a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant serves traditional dishes in a vaulted dining room or on a terrace overlooking the hills. ... Learn moreless
Situated in the old stables of the Palace della Corgna, Perugia’s most famous bakery opened its doors in 1860. The decor and aromas of this place will take you back in time. The coffee is wood-roasted on the premises and all the pastries are homemade. Try the “Torcolo di San Costanzo”, a traditional cake which is served on the feast day of the city’s patron saint, 29 January. A real institution, where the clientele varies depending on the time of day. Corso Vannucci 32, Perugia
This winery is tucked away in the heart of Val d’Orcia, a sublime valley which greatly inspired Renaissance painters and is today recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It was only in 1992 that Andrea Franchetti planted his first vines, but, twenty years and five grape varieties later, he has managed to create wines which are at once delicate and very rich. His estate, Tenuta di Trinoro, is the kind of little treasure that my husband Giorgio and I love to explore.
Hotel and restaurant in town. Norcia, the town of St. Benedict, nestling in the National Park of the Sibillini Mountains, is the Italian capital of the black truffle. The Palazzo Seneca tells the story of this region from the 16th century onwards, and the Bianconi family can look back on a glorious, more than 160 year-old tradition of hospitality. The best Umbrian artisans worked on the detailed refurbishing of the property and used unique materials and decorative objects to create perfect harmony between colours and lights, tradition and design. The fragrances of the herb garden and the quality of the local products delight in the restaurant Vespasia. ... Learn moreless
Situated in the mountainous part of Umbria, the nearby Valnerina valley is where you can find one of the hidden treasures of Italian gastronomy: the black truffle. It grows at the foot of trees on calcareous soil and takes several months to reach maturity. In the little village of Scheggino, a few kilometres west of Norcia, the Urbani family, famous truffle producers, have set up a small museum dedicated to the history of this extraordinary fungus. This is also an opportunity to buy some local products in the boutique…
Born around 480 in Norcia, Saint Benedict was the founder of the Benedictine Order. The monastery which bears his name has been destroyed several times over the centuries. Today, it is home to an influential community of monks. I was lucky enough to attend vespers here once. It was a moving experience. The following day, a monk compared the life of a friar with the life of a chef. I still think about his words today.