Relais La Suvera is a historic and beautiful villa located in rolling countryside just west of Siena. Owned by the same aristocratic family for hundreds of years, this magnificent residence has been home to popes, cardinals, and marquises.
At a Glance
Unique historic building dating back to the middle ages - even has its own museum
Family-owned and run luxury hotel
Very well-located for visiting Siena and Chianti
Lovely gardens and pool with commanding views over the Tuscan countryside
Located on the fringes of the little Tuscan village of Pievescola, Relais La Suvera is a charming place to stay, and one with a lot of history and character. In 1990 the family of Marquis Ricci decided to open the doors to what previously had been their country residence as a boutique luxury hotel. Today it's one of the most unusual and fascinating places to stay in the area, as it retains so much of the historic architecture and decoration of the past centuries.
The origins of the building go back to the Middle Ages, when the building was a fortified hilltop castle owned by the Sienese. It was gifted to Pope Julius II, who gave the architect Baldassare Peruzzi the task of turning a medieval fortress into a renaissance villa, suitable for the pope to enjoy on his rare trips away from the Vatican.
La Suvera passed from Julius II to his descendants, the Della Rovere family, then through the hands of a number of prestigious Siennese and Roman families until it reached the current owners, the Marquises Ricci, who you may meet there as they still reside on property.
Today La Suvera is a unique and very special place to stay. The bedrooms are comfortable and each different from the next. The rooms and suites in the Papal Villa, especially, are full of historic artifacts and interesting antiques.
The papal villa's ancillary buildings now house more rooms and suites, as well as the spa, the bar, and the hotel's restaurant, which is accommodated in the old olive-pressing room.
Relais La Suvera has 36 rooms in total: 7 Suites and 5 Deluxe double rooms located in the historic Papal Villa and a further 5 Suites and 19 double rooms and Junior Suites located in the old ancilliary buildings of the Palace. All of La Suvera's rooms are furnished with antiques from the private collection of the owners.
The Oliviera Restaurant is located in the building which used to house a huge olive press, hence its name. A magnificent buffet breakfast is served here every morning, consisting of home-made cakes and tarts, organic jams and marmalades, seasonal fruit and local cold meats and salami. In the evening Oliviera offers candlelit gourmet dining on the terrace overlooking the Papal Villa.
The hotel's bar, the Bar dei Limoni is open at all times of day in the shade of the lemon trees on the terrace near the pool. Snacks and light lunches are served here, and it is particularly charming in the evening as the sun sets over the Tuscan hills.
La Suvera has an attractive outdoor pool surrounded by pretty gardens, as well as a small spa and fitness area. There is a tennis court on site and golf and horse riding can be arranged within half an hour or so's drive.
Location & Directions
La Suvera is located in the small village of Pievescola, in the Sienese Hills. It's about 40km from Siena and around 100 from Pisa.
When to go
The Mediterranean climate makes Tuscany a year round destination. It is important to remember that the main tourism season stretches from mid-April to the end of September with July and August being peak months. The best time to visit Tuscany is in the quieter part of the season, from April to June and from September to October when weather is usually good, prices lower and there are "fewer" tourists. Many have also discovered the advantages of visiting during the "low season" (winter and early spring) as rates are lower and the reduced number of tourists is visible.