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La Locanda di San Francesco (Montepulciano, Italy)
Montepulciano sits on limestone ridge at the altitude of almost 2000 feet. There are many place in town with belle vistas
Montepulciano is a small town. Its center, piazza Grande with Palazzo Communale (Communal Palace) is within 2-minute walk from hotel La Locanda di San Francesco.
Via Ricci - piazza Grande is to the left, piazza S. Francesco (where La Locanda S. Francesco is located) is to the left. The gate on the right is the entrance to the town through the medieval town wall.
Piazza S. Francesco. Hotel La Locanda di San Francesco is in the building on the right. There are two parking places reserved by La Locanda for hotel's guests who arrive with the car.
View on hotel La Locanda di San Francesco (the door in the middle of the photo is the entrance). On the left, is a bar ("Vineria Bistrot") owned and operated by the same hotel owners.
View on bar and hotel La Locanda di San Francesco at night.
Inside the bar ("Vineria Bistrot") owned and operated by the same hotel owners. In the evening, it can be full of patrons having good time with wine and live music.
La Locanda di San Francesco is a very small hotel - just several rooms. This hall is used as a place where guests can have breakfast in the morning, or just sit and read or borrow a video. The atmosphere is informal and relaxed.
Our next destination in Italy is Montepulciano a small, cute and ancient Italian town in the heart of Tuscany. It runs along the top of the limestone ridge with beautiful views of two valleys - Chiana on the one side of the hill and D’Orcia on the other - so you can enjoy unforgettable Tuscan views at any point of your exploration of the town.
We chose La Locanda di San Francesco (piazza San Francesco 3, 53045 Montepulciano, Italy - see it on map) to stay three nights in Montepulciano. It is a small hotel, with only four guest suites, located in the center of the town. As a family owned business, La Locanda seemed to us having everything to meet our expectations of a quiet, well maintained place.
It was not difficult to find the hotel. As promised, it was located on the highest point of Montepulciano, Piazza San Francesco, above the historic center of the town. You can get there following via Ricci which leads to piazza Grande and piazza San Francesco.
La Locanda di San Francesco is rising above the medieval city walls which surround the ancient part of Montepulciano. It is attached to the 14th century Church of San Francesco and looks across the piazza onto Val D'Orcia (by the way, one side of the piazza San Francesco serves as an observation point with excellent views on Val D'Orcia). The complex where La Locanda di San Francesco is located nowadays was the Oratorio di Sant’Emidio e della Misericordia built in the 14th century. If you stay in Locanda and come there by car, you have a reserved parking place on piazza next to the hotel. La Locanda has a permit from the town for parking two cars on Piazza San Francesco.
As I mentioned, the hotel is located in a 14th century building. Unless you have developed a taste for the Tuscan old architectural style, it may not look very attractive to you from outside - a very plain stone house without any decorations. The entrance door is massive with some carvings restored according to 14th century samples. Recently, the whole building has undergone renovation and, as it seems, the owners successfully merged 14th century walls and arched ceilings with modern amenities and decor.
The hotel rooms are on the second floor of the building. There are four of them - from the upper hall two rooms are on the left and two - on the right. Every guest has two keys - one is from the entrance door, the other from the room. You come to the hotel as to your house, and it makes the place more attractive and special.
From the small hall at the entrance door you can get into the breakfast room which serves as entertainment room during the evening hours furnished with bookcases, armchairs and couch. There are always fruits, wine and a stockpile of videos which you can borrow.
From the same small hall, the stairs lead you up to the guests' rooms on the second floor. We reserved a suite (€235 per night, 2010 prices). It consisted of two rooms - one was a good size approximately 270 sq ft (25 sq.m) on the main level and the other a lot smaller probably not more than 65 ft² (6 m² ) with a couch and a small table with chair and a tiny window just under the roof. A flight of a spiral staircase from the main room lead to this additional space which can be useful if you travel with a child or simply want a romantic atmosphere or just a moment of solitude with a book or glass of wine.
The main room was nicely appointed with king size bed, bed stands, working table with computer (internet access was included in the room price), a small wardrobe (which is hardly enough for two people if they stay in Montepulciano for a week}, two chairs, flat screen TV, safe and a bar. The window, deep in a niche attesting to the thickness of medieval walls, was decorated with silk curtains. Through the window are beautiful views of the valley and unforgettable Tuscan terracotta tile roofs. The elegant lightning fixtures in the suite added coziness and charm to the place.
The bathroom was spacious with double sink, toilet, bidet and a big shower. There was no bathtub. It was tastefully decorated and equipped with terry towels, gowns and slippers - everything of a quality of five star hotel. The bathroom window looked also onto the valley across San Francesco square.
We liked the hotel and our suite except for a small detail - the bar "Vineria Bistrot" owned and operated by the same hotel owners. Our room was right above it, and during one of our three nights in Montepulciano the bar patrons and the owners enjoyed the live music so loud, that the walls of our room vibrated. At midnight, we had to go down and complained. The music was stopped immediately, but the night was spoiled. We really regretted that the owners of such good place showed rather poor judgement in treating their guests that night.
Despite was happened, I recommend this hotel as the place to stay while in Montepulciano. As far as music is concerned, we hope that it was an isolated incident since hotel owners do their best to make guests' staying in the hotel and Montepulciano as pleasant as it can possibly be. In may respects, La Locanda di San Francesco is a perfect place - better than many luxury hotels we have experienced - and that includes hospitality provided by hotel owners with a very personalized and caring touch.
Hotel rooms are located on the second floor of the building. This is one of the halls. Guests have access to a computer and Internet (see left side of the photo).
This guest room is called a suite. I guess that's because of an additional separate space. Entrance to this room is through the spiral staircase.
The guest room is in a good shape and nicely decorated. In addition to the computer available in common area, the room has the second computer connected to the Internet.
Spiral staircase and the entrance to another room in the suite of Locanda di San Francesco (Montepulciano, Italy)
View on to the guest room from the top landing of the staircase. I would like to stress the taste with which the is decorated.
Inside the additional space available in La Locanda's suite. The space is small but very cozy and with the character.
View on Montepulciano and surrounding Tuscan valleys and hills from the guest room.
La Locanda di San Francesco - bathroom. It is very spacious and nicely decorated. I think a five-star hotel can be proud to have a bathroom like this.
La Locanda di San Francesco - bathroom. It does not have a tub, but its shower is very large and convenient and has nice fixtures.
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