If you’re anything like me, you’re lucky if you know what you are doing next weekend–let alone for next summer. But it being February and all, when I’m still semi-sorta high on the resolutions that have yet to fail, and it also being a time of year when I need more than ever to dream of someplace else, I thought it would be a good time to put more travel into Momfilter. My first vacation inspiration spot? Italy.

I know there’s pressure to cover the usual Italian suspects (Venice, Rome, Florence) if you’re going all the way to Italy…but it’s also a challenge to do those cities and not overspend and get stressed out. There’s a lot to cover, and everyone else has the same idea. I’m also a believer that you can learn a lot about a place by having a reason to engage a local butcher or baker, which doesn’t happen when you’re staying at a hotel in a major tourist town. We found this property, Terre di Nano, which is located in a surprisingly untouristy part of Tuscany, when we wanted to try out a rental, but were also worried that we might not want to cook every single meal, but also weren’t going to spend for a private chef. This property fit the bill—we went once when Clara was a year old, and once for my 40th birthday. It was magical both times. Here’s the rundown:

It’s a 5 minute drive from a tiny Tuscan hill town called Montichiello, that has a fantastic restaurant called La Porta. To get there you drive down a dirt road, and have views of cypress trees that zig-zag up the golden rolling hills.

It’s a 10 minute drive from a more bustling town called Montepulciano, which you might have heard of, where you can satisfy all grocery shopping needs, get a lovely coffee, perfect gelato, take an evening walk. It’s very untouristy.

The property has great views from all rooms. When we were there, I made my husband take a picture for Conde Nast Traveler‘s Room With a View section, and they not only ran it in the magazine, they published it in their Room With a View book. The furniture is perfectly antique-y, just the right amount, not dusty and fussy. and the crisp cotton sheets have elegant embroidery that’s done locally.

The staff there can cook you breakfast or any meal, and it’s always good. And there’s a pool with the most spectacular view.

Close by are a bunch little villages that make great day trips—among our favorites were Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno San Filippo, and Orvieto. A typical day might start with a lazy breakfast, a swim, a run into town, and then would meander to a town to have a nice lunch and a walk around. Or we’d go to a hot spring, which even though it was hot, was still fun to do.

For more details, I wrote about this spot on my travel blog, Travels With Clara. (Please excuse the non-functioning pictures on the Tuscany posts–I am working on it!)



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