Under a Tuscan Sky

Locanda al Colle is an incredibly romantic Tuscan home offering the romance of rolling hills and the atmosphere of a private house. Albeit one with beautiful artworks, attentive staff and a pool with the kind of view casting agents dream of. Book a stay here and the Skinny Prosecco will be free-flowing because Locanda’s owner Riccardo Barsottelli offers it on a complimentary basis to guests. Which is the kind of mutual adoration society we applaud! We spoke to Riccardo to find out what inspired him to create his Tuscan retreat.

Q Locanda al Colle is located in Tuscany’s Versilia region. What’s so special about it?
So much! We are an area that loves its culture, and from Spring to Autumn there’s every kind of festival, from open air opera to rock. Endless sandy beaches are 10 minutes away, and hills and mountains are all at your doorstep – on hot days you’ll be cooled by streams washing down from the Alps. And you can get to us so easily because Pisa airport is only a half-hour drive.

Q Do you have a favourite room?
Usually no, but this year I’ve created a new room. It’s a double deluxe in tones of soft palest blue and mocha with a panoramic terrace where you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets.

Q You’re 10 minutes from a private beach club. What makes the Italian beach scene different from anything you’ve experienced in the rest of the world?
The service and what you can call the "manicure". You can eat and drink excellent food, have hot showers and enjoy a beautiful beach that’s cleaned every day. I can’t talk for other Italian beaches but the private beach club we use doesn’t have the thumping music you’ll find in so many of the world’s fashionable hot spots.

Q Locanda al Colle is famed as a luxurious home from home. How do you create such personalised service?
We treat guest as friends. I’m manic about attention to detail and try to eliminate physical barriers between us and guests. Guests help themselves to anything they want in the bar (a bottle of Skinny Prosecco per guest is included!) and there’s no formal lobby or reception desk.

Q Locanda al Colle is a home to much of your art collection. Have you always been a collector?
Growing up in the land of Renaissance has a lot to do with my passion. I've collected art since the 80s when I lived in London (though most of it went up at auction to finance this project. Fortunately I made some good buys!). I am passionate about giving less established artists the opportunity to show their work. We have many artists based locally in Pietrasanta where the sculpting trade has been practiced since the times of Michelangelo.

Q Could you describe your restaurant?
We have an honesty bar system and we stock only Tuscan wines, except for Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco. Our food and cooking is made from locally sourced ingredients. I’d describe it as a refined home cooking. There are no short cuts because everything from the bread and pastries to the pasta we make ourselves.

Q Are you running any new services this year?
There’s a new Jacuzzi set in a panoramic position in the olive grove, and available privately for only two guests at a time. Take a glass of something special and enjoy those views.

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