A pressing desire to get away from everyday stress, an urgent need to fill up your lungs with fresh air, and a thirst for an inspiring landscape might fly you to the precious grounds of the Andana hotel in the Western Tuscany.
Even more alluring though are the fresh ingredients expressing themselves in the local Tuscan cuisine, that you can savor as each season goes by, and sipping the liquidified fruits of the generation-old robust vine stocks planted on the sprawling property.
The more active seductions such as a focus-enhancing round of golf, improving your tennis game and visting the hill-topping medieval villages, may all-in-all persuade you to spend the next holidays here. Families are welcome and there is a separate pool and kid’s activities house keeping the calm for the adults in need undisturbed.
As the breeze gently caresses the lines of your face like a soft silk scarf, you will suddenly realise how this Tuscan jewel liberates the mind and refreshes depleted energy. Just feed your senses with this natural beauty anf forget all the burdens of life, through cooking, walking, cycling, and simple adoring nature.
The elegant hotel is set in the skillfully tended vineyerads stretching over the plains of Maremma. Reaching towards the shores washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea, the climate is often shuffled by the maritime influences, often painting the sky with Raphaelite ceilings. Like in the artsit’s Triumph of Galatea, the clouds make you want to fly like the angels on the canvas.
Andana is is not far from by tourists well-known town of Grosseto, but a visit of Castiglione della Pescaia, a small fishing village on the coast, will reward not just with a fantastic mamma cuisine (the casual Da Anna is excellent), but also with a more authentic laid-back lifestyle of the locals. For a modern city dweller, surely an awakening experience balancing the real spirit in one’s self.
To get here, either fly to Florence, rent a car and race the up-and-down curves for about three hours. Such a stomach-turning ride through the rough Tuscan mountains lets you pass dozens of remote medieval villages, where as if time once stopped, you find the solace for your suffering.
Another option is to fly to Rome, hop on a train and savor the coastal vistas all the way North to Grosseto. From there, only 14 miles away, welcomes you at first a stately lane of pine trees, that turns into verdant olive groves and endless vineyards. In the midst of all that landscape hides the pearl grown up as Andana.
This former hunting lodge of Leopold II, once the Grand Duke of Tuscany is unique not just for being a refuge from the social and work comittments, but also for the lauded gastronomic cuisine directed by a protegè appointed by the world renowned French chef Alain Ducasse. The latter has adopted Andana with its present look as one of his Allain Ducasse Group hotels collection members. His influence can be mainly tasted in an adjoining trattoria serving typical Tuscan produce in a fresher modern way.
Although the dining room’s interior feels casually Tuscan, the food and its presentation upgrades the meal there to a fine, high-class dining experience. Ducasse´s current global obligations limit his presence in the kitchen, but his multiple Michelin-awarded skills are represented by the in-house chef keeping its one Michelin star since 2007.
Learning how to prepare delicious meals from local Tuscan ingredients can reset your over-worked mind. The cooking classes operated by the hotel´s experienced chefs can be arranged upon request. It is the ideal oportunity to engage in a lot of fun during cooking with your date, spouse or just a jolly group of friends. Vegetarian and classes for children are also available. We learned how to filet a fish and made outstanding seafood ragout which was partially trapped into the large tubes of paccheri pasta, making them the ideal shape. Sipping on a local white Vermentino in between our manoeuvres with the knives did not luckily caused any accidents, as we more we enjoyed the cooking instructions.
The lush estate produces its own Tenuta La Badiola wine, olives and olive oil, as well as the superb beef from the local long-horned and in antique silver shades coated Maremmana cow. All these fresh Tuscan staples are served at the fram-to-table hotel tratorria and the Michelin stared restaurant. The property is also a great base for additional exploration of the famous Tuscan wines. Montalcino and Chianti are within a car drive reach.
As a five-star hotel Andana spoils you in the warmly decorated luxury rooms and suites. Some even with their own fireplace. Let the romance warm up the pre- or post-summer evenings or just roll it out as there is a small chapel with charming landscape views right on the property. On Sundays you can hear the bells chiming around noon reminding of the country’s religious devotion. The spacious rooms are tastefully furnished with classic and curvy romantic furniture.
Aromatherapy and other natural treatments are provided by ESPA, a globally established luxurious hotel spa chain. The extensive wellbeing area is sustainably built as the ESPA eco-conscious philosophy prescribes. Accompanied by uplifting facilities like sauna, indoor and outdoor swimming pool and a well-equipped gym with a view of the exuberant mountains, the premises set you for a rejuvenating experience after indulgent Italian meals and wine tastings.
The athletic guests as well as the play-loving find themselves entertained by a 9-hole golf course or an outdoor tennis court convertible into a football field. If you like running, you will love jogging along the dirt paths lining the vineyards sunflower and barley fields. Moving in nature invigorates not just your body but also by the city drained mind.
The best time to visit is from March until November when all the outdoor activities are more likely blessed by pleasant temperatures. Staying in the midst of the fertile Tuscan countryside is a genuine escape to simplicity, at Andana elevated by its noble history and a luxurious touch thoughtfully designed for the more demanding life connoisseurs.
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