Relais & Châteaux luxury hotels in Siena Italy and romantic Tuscany hotels

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Relais & Châteaux Siena Italy Hotel Reviews - Relais and Châteaux Hotels in Italy

Tuscany Italy Hotel Reviews - Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, Siena, Italy

by Wade Rowland - Part 2

"One of the most romantic small luxury hotels in Tuscany"

Relais & Chateaux Hotel Certosa di Maggiano Siena Tuscany Italy hotel review
Dining Room at Hotel Certosa di Maggiano, Siena, Italy
A member of Relais and Châteaux since 1978

In Tuscany, the Hotel Certosa di Maggiano is a model of what the small, luxurious Relais and Chateaux establishments can be at their best. It is just outside the walls of Siena, a Tuscany hotbed of the arts and one of the most dreamily evocative medieval cities in Europe, an hour's drive south of Florence in the heart of Chianti country.

The Certosa was built in 1314 as a Carthusian monastery. St. Catherine of Siena, Italy's patron saint, knew it well and tradition says that Boccaccio underwent his religious awakening here in 1362. It remained a home for members of that solitary, ascetic order until the end of the eighteenth century when, in the rationalistic mood of the era, it was "privatized" by the duke of Tuscany and sold off. During World War 2 the buildings were taken over by squatters.

In 1969 the wife of a leading Italian heart surgeon who had been newly appointed dean at the local university discovered and purchased the sadly derelict property. Anna Grossi Recordati hired architect Renzo Mongiardino and the buildings were cleared of modern excrescencies, taken back to their original medieval purity of form and function. In the courtyard a beautiful pillared cloister emerged, centered on an ancient well.

The original kitchen was uncovered and restored; a large refectory became a lobby-cum-sitting room appointed with down-stuffed furniture and antiques, the walls decorated with frescos of Roman emperors on their chargers. Adjoining chambers became a well-stocked library and reading room (with grand piano), game room, dining room and bar. Each is appointed as you might dream of furnishing your own home, should you inherit an Italian villa with a basement full of money.

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