La Bandita Townhouse and Townhouse Caffe, Corso il Rossellino, Pienza, Province of Siena, Italy
Italy, oh Italy. You scream romance, rolling vineyards, beauty, and delicious food all in one. Have you ever heard of someone who doesn't love Italy? Take it a step further with Tuscany, Italy. Most of us girls will immediately think Diane Lane in 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. Ahhhh, transport us there NOW please! We don't think a wedding, elopement, getaway or soiree in Tuscany could go wrong. It's a fail–safe destination for a beautiful event.
One particular venue/villa that caught our eyes, is La Bandita, an old farmhouse that has been renovated with a modern twist on the inside while preserving it's old stone exterior. It sits upon a 1000 acre nature reserve in the rolling hills of southern Tuscany. It opened as a small villa style hotel in 2007 and they have been hosting parties and weddings in the summer months ever since.
As former event planners, we are extremely wary of the venues we select for destination events. Selecting the right venue in a far away setting is like dating, we need to have good relationship with the venue before we can commit. We typically analyze the 'about us' section on the website along with our e-mail correspondence. When we read the blurb from the owner on the website of La Bandita, we instantly fell in love and wanted to commit. "If I ran for office in Italy, my campaign slogan would be “FREE CAPPUCCINO! FREE INTERNET! FREE WATER! You see, I like taking care of people, but I don’t like charging for every little thing…As a result, our rates include: Free Wi-Fi internet access, breakfast, as much cappuccino as you can drink, welcome glass of wine, unlimited free bottled water and soft drinks, and the wine I usually forget to charge people for" Those three sentences make up the stuff event planning dreams are made of. With an attitude and disclaimer like that on a website, we cannot imagine how working with this venue would be anything but an enjoyable experience.
HISTORY LESSON: What does an international music executive do when he’s sick of his big time New York job? He quits his job and moves to Tuscany to open a small hotel! After ten years of chasing rock stars around the world, John Voigtmann picked up and moved to Italy with his wife, who is a travel writer. After four years of searching, researching and renovating... La Bandita, was born.
HOW WILL MY GUESTS GET HERE?: 2 hours from Rome airport and 1.5 hours from Florence, it's best to rent a car to get around the area.
"Ever wish you had a friend with a stylish country house on a beautiful hillside in Tuscany, one who knows the best local restaurants, towns and vineyards? Well now you do." Another quote from La Bandita that has us wanting to throw a dinner party there immediately.
La Bandita is the perfect place to have a relaxed and fun event that gets away from the typical wedding celebrations. Located 3km up a bumpy dirt road, with extraordinarily beautiful views from the garden, there are 16 rooms on the property. For larger guest counts fear not, within a mere 20 minutes are simple accommodations for up to 100 people as well as some of Tuscany's most famous towns and wine regions.
The La Bandita team loves to host relaxed parties from 2 to 100 people where the focus is on having fun, eating spectacular food, and gathering with friends and family in a spectacular setting. If you are in search for the perfect location to host a group getaway, gathering, reunion, wedding, elopement, birthday celebration or special event. As a luxury villa, La Bandita is best suited as place where friends and family come to relax, share meals, explore the countryside and drink wine late into the night. La Bandita is designed to function as both as a laid-back B&B and a villa rental.
NO WHISPERING ALLOWED! The villa is in a rural area so there is no curfew or noise restrictions! Drumroll please.... you can party well into the night!
- wedding ceremony
- wedding reception
Close to beautiful Tuscan towns and wine regions, renting the full property is ideal for groups of friends and families traveling together. Unlike most villa rentals in Tuscany, La Bandita comes with a full range of services including; total exclusive use of the property and pool, daily maid service, daily breakfast, access to the personal wine cellar, high speed wireless internet, satellite TV, handheld GPS devices, mountain bikes, and daily access to English speaking concierges to help arrange activities and meals.
The venue/villa also has a full time gourmet chef and will prepare all meals upon request. If you wish to go out for lunch or dinner there is no shortage of great little restaurants located a short drive away (nothing but sheep is walking distance from La Bandita!)
SO MUCH FOR MY GUESTS TO DO!: The venue offers the perfect base from which to explore the stunning Val d’Orcia and the hill towns of southern Tuscany and around Siena. The striking ancient clay hills of the Crete Senesi and perfectly preserved medieval and Renaissance hills towns, abbeys and castles characterize this part of southern Tuscany where life continues much the same as it has for centuries. Just outside of town is the monastery of Sant’Anna Camprena, the location for The English Patient. For you wine lovers visit, Montepulciano and Montalcino, the two wine capitals of Tuscany or shop till you drop. The outlets for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci are all reachable in under an hour.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: Featured in Lonny Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, Vogue Brazil and InStyle Magazine to name a few!
Leave your bags of decor at home. Throwing an event at La Bandita does not require many decorative elements. The beauty, rolling hills and canopies on the property are tailored to throwing the jamboree of your dreams.
1. SHEEP THRILLS!: With all of the cute little sheep mulling about the property, you MUST pay homage to them in your event! We love the idea of throwing these handwoven scarfs made from local Italian wool, onto the tables. Find them via The Woven Sheep Shop in Italy. 2. MIX MODERN & RUSTIC: The rustic-meets-rockstar appeal of La Bandita needs to be incorporated into your soiree. Mix modern white candle holders with distressed wood accents and asymmetrical rustic florals. Photo by Hudson Nichols Photography 3. PEACH GLASSWARE: We love the peach colors of the stones found throughout Italy, and La Bandita has the perfect peach accents throughout the Villa. Bring this Peachy keen color onto your tables with vintage Peach glassware or peach colored florals. Photo by Jessica Claire
La Bandita has a great staff that can organize activities to ensure that you get the most out of your trip: a private tour at a family run vineyard that makes a cult Brunello di Montalcino, or a cheese tasting at a local organic farm. The hotel sits on a hillside that is home to several working sheep farms whose flocks can be seen grazing most of the year on the green pastures, looked over by large white Maremmani sheepdogs panting in the sun.
Each evening, as you gather for cocktails, you can watch the farmers round up the sheep and walk them back to their barns along stone paths, and listen to the tinkling of their bells. You can even follow them down to the barn and pet the lambs. The sheep provide the milk for the famous Tuscan cheese known as “Pecorino di Pienza”. The nearby town of Pienza, as every Italian school kid knows, is the capital of Pecorino.
- The rustic meets modern aesthetic of the villa
- There is no curfew or noise restrictions
- Incredible views no matter which way you look
- Your own personal gourmet chef on the property
- Mountain bikes at your disposal
- Located near famous vineyards, hot springs and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lot's for you and your guests to do.
- You and your guests can do a buyout of the entire property to really make it feel like home.
- Featured in Vogue, Lonny Magazine and other design publications
- 16 Luxury rooms on the property and additional accommodations within 20 minutes of the venue if you have an overflow of guests.
- A modern pool and cabanas overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany
Go to ADLER THERMAE Spa & Relax Resort to bathe in hot springs of wellness. The thermal waters are charged with healing powers from the depths of the earth. At a depth of about 1,000 metres, the water comes into contact with hot layers of volcanic material, which further warms the water. This cycle lasts several decades, which gives the water time to absorb a variety of valuable substances.
Pienza, the city of Pius, is another UNESCO Heritage site famous for its perfectly proportioned 15th Century central piazza. Pienza is considered to be the incarnation of a Renaissance utopia and an ideal city. Today it continues to showcase its clever and sophisticated Renaissance urban plan. The layout is organized according to the era’s ideals of rationality and humanism.
While at the Pienza the city of Pius you must sample the Pecorino cheese of Pienza, one of the best in Italy. A particular favorite is the 'sotto cenere' or 'under ashes' version. These cheeses have ancient origins and are alaso known as 'Pecorino della Val d'Orcia' or 'Cacio di Pienza'. The cheese is produced between July and October, and is seasoned for up to 2 months! (Photo via walkthearts.wordpress.com)