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On our most recent trip to Italy, Margaret and I were very fortunate to stay at Palazzo San Lorenzo, one of our Celebrated Hotels in Tuscany. Owned and managed by our wonderful friend, Massimo Rossinelli and his father, they also own three other hotels in Chianti; they all offer unique features and extraordinary value (Palazzo LeopoldoPalazzo San Niccolò and L’Ultimo Mulino are their other properties). Each of their hotels offer rates from approximately 150-300Eur/night.

Executive Suite

We drove from Florence, and the property was easy to find following the specific directions from the hotel. Palazzo San Lorenzo is located in Colle Val d’Elsa, also referred to as the City of Crystal, and rightly so as it is responsible for 15% of the world’s crystal glassware production – quite impressive for a small medieval town in the middle of Tuscany! In addition to exploring Colle Val d’Elsa, you are very close to San Gimigniano, Siena and many Tuscan towns and villages.

The entrance is on a small charming street. You can pull up to the entrance to drop off your luggage – parking is just a bit further down the street. Originally built as a hospital in 1635, the property has undergone many renovations over the centuries. At some point, there was an apothecary shop in the hospital, and that space is now cleverly transformed into the Spa entrance. Everything about the hotel and the spa has an airy, clean feel; a clear contrast to the usual dark wood and opulent décor of other Tuscan properties. The rooms are sleek and contemporary, and also very comfortable and spacious. It is hard to believe that Massimo and his father started this project with hospital equipment still found in the abandoned building.

We enjoyed lovely meals. Highlights were Gnocchi al Nero di Seppia (squid ink) and carpaccio! The restaurant has two rooms – a small cozy room, and a larger space that features a small area with glass floor overlooking the ancient wall of the city. Appropriately, the name of the restaurant is Sopra le Mura (On Top of the Wall – sounds much better in Italian!).

All in all, for travelers looking for an extraordinary value, kind service and a central location in a Tuscan village, this is a perfect option!

Celebrated Tip: Stay in higher category rooms (Junior Suites and up). They are usually priced at around 215 Eur/night and Celebrated guests can enjoy wonderful Celebrated Perks such as a visit to a local Crystal Museum as well as entrance to the Spa. All Celebrated guests also receive a special crystal souvenir as a gift.