Tuscany – Hotel Review, Agriturismo Palazzo Bandino
Due to Covid 19 restriction we had to cancel our flight to the Bahamas this October and instead we road tripped in Tuscany, a region in the centre of Italy. From beach life in Porto Ercole and hot springs in Saturnia to enogastronomic tours, we had the opportunity to experience a variety of things.
What does enogastronomic tour mean?
Apart from the warm hospitality, the Tuscan territory is rich in history, culture, traditions, unpolluted natural landscapes, and one of the things for which Tuscany has always attracted tourists is certainly food and wine: Enogastronomy.
What does enogastronomic tour mean? It is an Italian way to mean a food and wine pairing program and since Italians have a strong food culture they like to combine various dishes with various wines. This tradition is even stronger in the areas where wine is produced. So this is why Tuscany is called into question.
That been said, food and wine tours in Tuscany are organized everywhere by everyone. In the massive tourist Tuscan cities it is easy to find signboards inviting people so you have no excuse.
As for me, a person who also likes to go off the beaten track, I decided to experience this food and wine tour in a slightly different way. I booked two nights at Agriturismo Palazzo Baldino in Chianciano Terme, a town very close to Montepulciano.
Food and wine pairing program at Palazzo Bandino.
Besides having a B&B facility with a fantastic wellness centre overlooking the valley, Palazzo Bandino in Chianciano Terme is mainly a wine producer. Rooms are in the middle of their olive groves and the splendid Tuscan Vineyards so you just wake up and feel yourself surrounded by the nature where the wine is the protagonist. Their wine and food pairing program is truly excellent. Every day for dinner they offer a set menu with meat and their own grown vegetables where each dish is combined with a different type of wine. From starter to dessert you end up tasting at least 5 types of wines. These all comes for a reasonable price of € 25.00.
Dinner starts at 8 pm and punctuality is crucial. For a wine and food enthusiast the explanation of the different characteristics of the wine is very important so if you want the whole experience you must be on time. Compared to other food and wine pairing programs I have seen in Tuscany this seemed to me a bit more interesting. This is because it is designed to offer you a complete enogastronomic experience: from walking through the vineyards and visiting the wine cellar to wine tasting and homemade Tuscan meals it was well organized. Without doubt it gives a true authentic Tuscan experience.
Palazzo Bandino also serves a light menu lunch and both dinner and lunch can be reserved even if you don’t sleep in their B&B. The idea of sleeping in Palazzo Bandino might be worth it since after all that wine you had for dinner you won’t be in a mood to drive back to the hotel, and plus it could also be dangerous.
Sleeping in Palazzo Bandino.
Palazzo Bandino is an “Agriturismo,” meaning it is a farmhouse. So it may not be polished like the urban hotels we are used to, but you’re not going to an Agriturismo for that. It is a farmhouse from the 1600’s. The rooms are basic but clean and equipped with all that is necessary. Marta, the owner, and the staff are attentive and always ready to help in the best possible way to make you feel at home. In addition to this there is also the location. The view towards the old town of Chianciano Terme, the rolling hills surrounding the pool, the spa with a glass wall, all make Palazzo Bandino a great place to stay while road tripping in Tuscany.
Tip for Palazzo Bandino
There are a few mosquitoes and bugs at the property. It would be a huge mistake, however, to let them put you off this very special place, so don’t forget to bring along some insect repellent to Palazzo Bandino.