Something doesn’t seem to feel right, but it’s hard to tell what is it. All is warm and cozy; velvety, somehow. Yet I can’t tell what is it… I’m there, suspended in between dream and wake, in my cocoon of floating space, wandering what it is that feels “different”. Wait … yes… that must be it: it’s the silence surrounding me. I focus. Not a sound, close or distant, in the dark. It’s a palpable and vibrant silence, that wraps me all around. It’s beautiful. Dawn must be coming about soon, but I don’t move. Where am I? I sense the fresh morning air, sneaking in from the window ajar. The first bird sings. Its voice is clear and the sounds waves resonate inside me, in ripples of sparkling waves. Ah! right… I’m at Locanda Rossa.
I reached it late last night, after another drive under the stars… I remember now. I loved leaving the coastal highway and taking the short drive inland, climbing up in the gentle hills. Now it all starts to feel familiar, the silence and that special blend of marine and hilly air that is so typical of Southern Tuscany. It feels good on the lungs. I stretch in the bed and breathe deeply to make the most of it.
And I want more, too… Without a sound, I sneak out of bed. Slowly, I push the window and step outside. My room has its little garden and I shiver as my feet touch the morning grass. The sky is cobalt blue and the sun has risen behind the hills, layering in gold the few clouds lost in the sky. The air is crisp and the colors vivid. Spring is palpable around me, as I scan the infinite tones of green that surround me: pine trees, olive trees, cypress and so many others. If chrome therapy exist, this must be the place to practice it.
The bathroom is neat and a bit hi-tech. The grey stone of the tiles and counter-top feels good under the skin. Water flows seamlessly out of the faucet, in a sensual whisper. The shower is a blessing. I rest on the cabin wall and leave to the water the job of waking me up. The purple light in the center of the shower head plays with the water strings creating an endless dance of jumping drops of light. I dance with them for a while. Soft are the towels. I make a note of it (I’ll learn later that they are custom made in special cotton.) Care and competence start to arise from several directions. I step out of the room and get sprayed by a wave of sun-rays: time to explore further.
“Stop!” my body tells me “Before anything … coffee!” “Fair enough”, I answer to myself. Better yet; let’s start the exploration from the breakfast room. I follow the signs, leave my building and enter another Tuscan red house. Locanda Rossa is in fact made of 3 main buildings. I follow the stairs leading to a welcoming living room. With a glance, I quickly capture the discreet artwork on the wall, the original wall lamps and the colorful pottery on the shelves. The breakfast room is full of light, with the Italian bar counter-top on one side and the tables along the windows, on the other. On a Tuscan table I can smell the fragrance of the local cheeses, the home-made jams and the several cakes baked by the local “Signora Maria” (isn’t there always a “Signora Maria”? God bless her, whoever she is…) and displayed to welcome guests. Further, another display of breakfast delicacies wait for hungry customers. Outside, a grass field is the perfect playground for 3 young girls competing on who’s doing the best “wheel”.
Roberta, the Director, reaches me there, as I savor my cappuccino. She’s local, as is all the Locanda’s staff. One espresso together is enough to crack some jokes and become friends. First step is the spa. Small, but well designed, my first reaction is: “OK come back to pick me up tomorrow …”. Not enough time, alas … The pool is welcoming, with pleasant moisture in the air, a relaxing shade and the soft sounds of a water wall. On the side, sauna, Turkish Bath and massage rooms try to lure me to other, inviting opportunities for relaxation.
The rooms are worth a closer look. Individually designed, full of light and with a welcoming feel, they are a real feast for the detail-hunter that I am. I mean … one can only appreciate the coordinated designs, the art work, the selection of the materials used. From the custom designed room desks, elegant and discreet, to the Brazilian hand-weaved bed covers, that refine the bedding. From the textiles used for the upholstered pillows on the bed, to the hinges that makes the doors glide… Every detail speaks of pondered selections and exquisite choices.
This is a remarkable hide-away property in an area yet to be discovered by our customers. Peaceful and enjoyable settings, at close proximity with the Tuscan coast and local, all-Italian day-trip destinations such as WWF Nature Reserve of Lake Burano, Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden, Orbetello, Monte Argentario. Wineries and excellent restaurants to be discovered aren’t far away.
A nice little gem, indeed: Locanda Rossa, Capalbio, Tuscany.
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