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Hideaway most elegant: Relais La Suvera

By Greg Goodsell
April 23rd, 2010
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Relais La Suvera in Tuscany is a place visitors are drawn to time and again. Even in Tuscany, "where the simplest of farmhouses seem like works of art, Relais La Suvera is a standout . when you add in its pedigree, its singular furnishings, and the warmth of its owners, it becomes an experience so special that guests rarely visit just once," National Geographic correspondent Laurie Werner says.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The resort is only open six months out of the year, so visitors are expected to make reservations. It's not unusual for travelers to make their reservations before they check out.

"Befitting the fortress it was a thousand years ago, Relais La Suvera sits on a gentle hill with a Sienese countryside view of vineyards and poppy fields just above the hamlet of Pievescola . hilltop towns like Monteriggioni, Volterra, and San Gimignano-are sprinkled through the surrounding terrain," Werner says.

Travelers used to a certain European attitude among the locals are pleasantly surprised by the caretakers at this resort. "Far from being resentful of guests tromping through their home, they love being hosts. Dignified and warm, knowledgeable and urbane, they're always visible, helping, advising, watching over guests. 'I like so much the people, I see them happy, there is such a harmonic connection between us and the people and the place,' says the marchese."

The guests at La Suvera include the rich and famous, and the well-to-do from all over the world. Werner says "don't look for tiaras; showy displays aren't tolerated here. And although celebrities-such as film director Lawrence Kasdan have called on La Suvera, most guests come with a lower profile. And they come from all over; listen to the accents during breakfast on the terrace of the oliviera (the converted olive mill that is now the restaurant), and you'll hear American, Australian, Italian, British, and French, among others."

Werner recommends that you take it easy at your visit to the region." . spend a lazy afternoon by the pool, nibbling mozzarella and olives, and comparing your impressions of the region with those of Robert Browning, Percy Bysshe Shelley, or E.M. Forster (to name but three of the scores of writers who've come under the Tuscan spell). Then hit the back roads, for this is sightsee-till-you-drop land."

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