LA BANDITA TOWNHOUSE is a twelve-room luxury boutique hotel located in the historic heart of the Tuscan hill town of Pienza. A two-hour drive north of Rome, Pienza lies in the heart of the Val d’Orcia between two other famous Tuscan hill towns, Montepulciano and Montalcino. La Bandita was conceived by former music executive John Voigtmann, who gave up his fast-paced New York City life in 2006 to work on his first project, La Bandita Countryhouse, about 15 minutes outside Pienza. In 2010, he decided to convert a fifteenth-century convent into a sister property, and La Bandita Townhouse was born. Here, he offers something few visitors to the region get to experience: village life as a local would live it, in a relaxed manner, in tune with daily rhythms, and without the frantic box-ticking that compels so many tourists.
. Instead of racing from site to site, you can watch life unfold in Pienza’s medieval alleys and streets, hear the distant sound of local musicians at play, smell the pasta sauce being readied for a nearby family’s lunch. With its main door on the cobblesoned Corso Rossellino, the property remains a Renaissance jewel, whose untouched façade is in perfect keeping with the surrounding buildings. All twelve rooms, located in the former nuns’ cells, juxtapose chic contemporary furnishings with wood-beam ceilings, parquet floors, and original exposed stone walls. There is much to explore in the village, which in 1996 was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as in the surrounding Val d’Orcia, which formed the backdrop to films like The English Patient, Gladiator, and Under the Tuscan Sun. Finally, no trip to Tuscany is complete without immersing oneself in its time-honored culinary traditions. At La Bandita’s Townhouse Caffe and Wine Bar, diners can watch the chef create his magic inside an open kitchen, or enjoy meals in an intimate covered outdoor seating area inside the walled medieval garden.