I’m still thrilled about the last weekend spent between Valdorcia and Crete Senesi to discover two hidden gems and experience the real Tuscany I love, thanks to Italy Traveller.
Close your eyes and think about a tiny Tuscan hamlet, surrounded by round and green hills. Now open your eyes and look at the pictures of Lucignano d’Asso, because it’s a dream come true. It’s suspended in time and beauty, preserved from decadence from its enchanting owner the Countess Angelica Bandini Lucignanello (I was really honored to meet such a nice person!).
The Countess Angelica descends from the Piccolomini family, important and powerful Sienese family counting several historical figures including Pope Pius II. Actually he was born Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini in Corsignano in 1405; when he became Pope he decided to turn his birthplace in Pienza, the perfect and ideal Renaissance town. Since the Piccolomini were very wealthy they bought Lucignano hamlet in 1485, dating back to Roman times.
Since then, the Piccolomini family has loved and preserved this medieval hamlet and you can feel it while you walk through the tiny streets. There are no particular monuments to be seen, nor important churches or museums. What makes Lucignano d’Asso a gorgeous destination in Tuscany are the relaxing atmosphere, the stunning Valdorcia landscapes, the lovely doors and windows. There are a few streets, only one small grocery store held by Rita, a smiling 80 year-old nonna, three loud peacocks, lots of singing birds and lots of silence during the night. This is the Tuscany I love!
Borgo Lucignanello Bandini, your home in Valdorcia
Lucignano d’Asso was a lively hamlet till the end of the ’70s, when more than 400 people lived and worked there (you can still see original signs such as “Dopo Lavoro Rionale” where workers used to hangout after work). But then agriculture was not the main industry in Italy and the hamlet became almost a ghost, with just the Countess Angelica’s family and few other people. To preserve this beautiful hamlet the Countess decided to turn part of the hamlet in an exclusive holiday destination.
As a matter of fact five (+ one) houses have been restored, as well as almost the entire Lucignano, and transformed into cozy, welcoming Tuscan-style apartments. I’ve seen several accommodations, but I’ve just to say that I felt in love with Borgo Lucignanello Bandini. Because of its simplicity and coziness, with large sitting rooms and big fireplaces in front of welcoming sofas, maiolica’s decorations and old furniture.
Everything is extremely curated, but still real as home. I felt like at my grandma’s home. Add the panoramic swimming pool over Valdorcia and Doriana, the tireless and friendly hotel manager that really makes the difference, and you’ll have the perfect Tuscan stay. Last but not least there is the Countess Angelica, charming and friendly, welcoming her guests with a familiar smile. For more information I strongly recommend you visit Borgo Lucignanello site and ask Doriana for more information.
- Visit Lucignano d’Asso and take your camera with you, landscapes and doors are amazing!
- Say hi to Countess Angelica, because she’s such a nice person and would love to talk to you!
- Take your bike with you. Lucignano is located along the famous Eroica trail.
- Turn off your phone and enjoy the quiet atmosphere and the birds singing.