Angela and Enrico welcome you into their home. In fact, they live at the hotel where they also happen to have eight guestrooms. Each room has been charmingly decorated to a theme by Angela. Sound rustic? Yes, but not really. You see both Angela and Enrico have been trained in the hospitality industry and previously worked for many years for a major hotel in Rome’s historic
The two of them; the entire “staff” of the hotel do it all. Yet, they manage to do it with the utmost of grace, charm, humor and friendliness. They set their guests instantly at ease and welcome you into their “slow-living” life. Each morning there is a beautiful breakfast comprised of freshly baked breakfast cake among other things. During my stay, I was treated to a lemon-poppyseed bread on one day and a prune galette on the next, courtesy of Angela. In addition there are cereals, yogurt, croissants, bread, fresh fruit and always fresh ricotta served with homemade jams (again courtesy of Angela) and local honey. Coffees and teas of your choice are freshly served to you.
Enrico concentrates on cooking just what he needs to cook for each night’s number of guests. He only serves what is in season, and what can be purchased locally. There is no menu, and a great part of the fun is sitting at your table wondering what is going to arrive next, and how it could possibly top the last plate Angela brought out from the kitchen. I felt as though I was “in” on a secret dining experience!
The wine list contains only Tuscan wines, but even more specific than that, it contains wines only from the local area. You won’t find Tuscan Chianti Classico on the list even though Semproniano is in Tuscany. But you will find delicious wines you may not ever have heard of, such as Morellino di Scansano and Montecucco. These are all small production wines, not available for export. This is me, telling you to drink them up while you can, and this one was particularly delicious!
And just to be clear, the dining experience is anything but rustic. Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised each night (I stayed for two nights) at every course. The appetizer always appeared in triplicate….small tastes of three exquisite items. That was followed by a pasta course, either fatta in casa, made “in-house” or purchased fresh from the local pasta maker. The sauces were delicate, fresh and simply delicious. The secondo was a meat course, each time prepared with care, expertise, a delicate hand, and oh-so-delicious.
FIRST NIGHT'S MEAL SECOND NIGHT'S MEAL
Locanda la Pieve is a lesson in service and hospitality, and a wonderful base from which to explore the many wonders of the area. Semproniano is surrounded by Etruscan ruins, wineries, and charming small villages, all aching to be explored (and fodder for another blog post). I would love to return with clients in tow. I have to eat here again in my lifetime! Join me won’t you, as we explore Maremma together; the sights, the colors, the history, the food and wine. Drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s start planning your next vacation into a fascinating and less-explored area of Tuscany.