Il Baciarino sits high in the Tuscan hills, tucked away amid a dense wonderland of olive groves, oak trees and endless views of the shimmering Tyrrhenian Sea. If there’s a better feeling than admiring such a breathtaking sight whilst quaffing a glass of the region's finest Chianti, we’ve yet to experience it. “But this isn’t camping!” I hear you challenge. And of course you’d be right. However, Il Baciarino encompasses many characteristics of traditional camping (like a peaceful, remote location and the opportunity to test your culinary skills in the great outdoors), but with the added luxury of some creature comforts, such as oh so comfy beds, running water and a dining table fit for a Mediterranean banquet. Bellissimo!
Having taken in that epic view, prepare yourself for more delights as you navigate past the oak trees and into your loveably restored cottage. As one of the finest operations in Tuscany, everything the site's welcoming owners (Clelia & Andrea) do, they do to inspire. Each cottage (there’s two, Casetta La Dolce Vita & Casetta La Quercia) reminds us of a cosy camping bunkhouse, featuring a classically furnished double bedroom, rustic private bathroom, outdoor kitchen (under the veranda that's wood & lath-work covered) and access to the site's terrace, home to those astonishing Tuscan views.
One of Il Baciarino’s real delights has to be its accessible distance to some of Italy's, actually the world’s, most remarkable cities. “Tutte le strade conducono a Roma” – all roads lead to Rome – and within a couple of hours ‘The Eternal City’ is yours to discover, with its tales of human genius, captivating history and breathtaking baroque churches. Still not persuaded? Then allow Florence to knock your finicky socks off. The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence is one of Europe’s great art cities. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Donatello, they’re all here, and ready to defeat the evil Shredder… cowabunga! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Alternatively there’s plenty to do in the local area, which is secluded but not isolated. Il Baciarino is only 20km from the beautiful beaches of Castiglione della Pescaia (see opposite), and the medieval villages of Pitigliano and San Gimignano make for unforgettable day trips. Or of course, you could just relax by the terrace with that bottle of Chianti. And with a view that sensational, who could blame you?
Facilities4 rustic stone cottages (sleeping 2 each) complete with: double bedroom (bed and bath linen provided) ensuite bathroom, private well-equipped outdoor kitchen (3 hobs, fridge and sink) and hot water. Private veranda and terrace with table, chairs and sun loungers, private BBQ and hot tub. Shared features include: dinners on the terrace, large sitting room area, cooking school and private parking. Tourist information is also available.
Couples, ‘whole site’ bookings, small groups and dogs – yes. Tents, caravans, campervans and motorhomes – no.
For a day trip Siena (65km) takes some beating. Intimate, civilized and endlessly mysterious, Siena is on a far less daunting scale than its historic adversary Florence. This beautiful gothic city possesses (arguably) Europe’s finest medieval square Piazza del Campo, scene of the Palio horse race, Italy’s most dramatic spectacle. Siena Cathedral (0039 05772 86300) is one of the countries most charming, whilst the endless art in the many galleries, museums and churches could keep you busy for months. The ancient seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia is only a 30 minute drive away. In medieval times, the city suffered from repeated pirate attacks and almost perished, before resurfacing in the 9th century under its current name. Today, this popular seaside resort boasts beautiful beaches, sloping green hills and thick pine forests that reach neighbouring Marina di Grosseto. Massa Marittima (30km) is an unexpected Tuscan gem. This restful hill town comprises of museums, piazzas and medieval streets fabulously devoid of tour groups. Back at Il Baciarino, hop into Andrea's small boat and take a private cruise along the beautiful Tirrenyan coast.
Food & Drink
Ask Andrea to cook his speciality fish dinner, served under the stars (€260 for 2, wine included). As for holiday souvenirs, Clelia and Andrea also sell their organic olive oil, fresh from the grove. If you’re on a budget, there’s a small grocery store (next to the main square) where you can stock up on meats, vegetables and fruit or head out to one of the handful of decent restaurants in Vetulonia including Pizzeria Ristorante (0039 05649 34595) who specialise in – yes, you guessed it – pizzas. And, just up Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is Ristorante Taverna Etrusca (0039 05649 49601) who serves fresh, locally sourced ingredients from their spectacular hilltop location. Further afield, Grosseto (half hour drive) has a wide range of excellent restaurants, with Gli Attortellati (0039 05644 00059) fast becoming a local legend. The restaurant is in a working farm with meals consisting of three or four starters, two first courses (try the tortelli which is made on the spot), 2 main dishes with side orders, dessert and a glass of house wine for a quite ridiculous €25.
From mid March to mid November
The Owner Says
Il Baciarino, Agriturismo Il Baciarino, Via della Fonte , 58043, Vetulonia, Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy
From PISA :
Superstrada (Express way SS1) LIVORNO-GROSSETO
Exit at Gavorrano Scalo
Follow signs to Vetulonia
From FLORENCE :
Strada Statale (Highway) 223 SIENA-GROSSETO
Exit at Roselle-Castiglione della Pescaia
Follow signs to Vetulonia
From ROME :
Superstrada(Express way) SS1 , follow direction to Livorno
Exit at Giuncarico
Follow signs to Vetulonia
In Vetulonia follow VIA GARIBALDI up into town, then after passing Piazza Vatluna (Museo, on your right) turn right into VIA DELLA FONTE (a narrow oneway downhill street) .
For Casetta La Quercia, La Dolce Vita and La Lucciola:
After a few meters, at the second street lamp, on the left look for the sign “IL BACIARINO" and "PARCHEGGIO” – directing you to our two parking areas (one area on the terrace above the sign) each with two spots. Please pull in backwards – allowing enough space for a second car to park.
From the parking area follow the sign to your casetta/cottage.
The sites nearest train station is Grosseto (20km) with trains connecting to/from Milano Centrale, Ventimiglia, Torino Porta Nuova, Savona, Roma Termini, Napoli Centrale, Salerno, and some express trains to southern Italy and Sicily.
Il Baciarino offers pick up service from/to the train station in Grosseto: €40 return.
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