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RELAIS & CHATEAUX IL FALCONIERE is an exclusive and beautifully restored seventeenth-century villa nestled among vineyards in the heart of the Tuscan countryside in Cortona. Once home to famous nineteenth-century poet Antonio Guadagnoli, today Il Falconiere is under the capable ownership of Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi, who inherited the property from his grandmother. The couple and their adult son, Benedetto, continue the family tradition that began in 1860 of cultivating the vines that produce their outstanding wines, while creating an extraordinary luxury experience for travelers. Just as you would never expect guests in your home to fend for themselves, neither do the Baracchis. They graciously receive every guest and ensure all their needs are met. Silvia welcomed us as if we were old friends, and wouldn’t think of letting us remain hungry after our long journey. Although the restaurant was closed, she soon seated us for a light alfresco meal, served on the finest china and crystal. 

The highly capable staff are equally warm and attentive, and every corner of the property is designed to conjure the same spirit, especially the intimate, elegantly furnished guest rooms with their original antiques, wrought iron or four poster beds, and fine fabrics. The property is also notable for its wonderful Thesan Etruscan spa and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It is also a great base from which to explore the countryside by bicycle. After one exhilarating 60km ride, we returned home knowing we had truly earned that evening’s meal. Silvia is an amazingly talented chef whose outstanding cuisine has earned their restaurant a Michelin star. We recommend sitting out on the terrace, with its candlelit tables, fine tableware, impeccable service, and quintessential “Under the Tuscan Sun” views. Not only were we served outstanding regional cuisine, we were privileged to taste some truly remarkable wines, including their 2007 Ardito and 2008 Sangiovese, both of which won the Decanter Worldwide Award in 2011.

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