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Il Falconiere, Cortona 

370 Località San Martino
Italy 52044
Tel: 39 0575 612 679
view web site ›'s insider take:

A delightful 17th-century villa surrounded by cypresses, olive orchards, and vineyards, this Relais & Châteaux property is personally managed by owners Silvia and Riccardo Baracchi, and their attention to detail makes all the difference. The 20 spacious rooms, some with modern frescoes and four-poster beds, have original cotto tile floors and are elegantly furnished with antiques and tapestries, yet the atmosphere is unpretentious, relaxed, and sunny. The Michelin-starred restaurant in the former limonaia (a greenhouse for young lemon trees) is one of the few chic eateries in the area, with elegant table settings and polished service. The outdoor terrace has a stunning view of Cortona and the valley. Silvia Baracchi personally oversees the waitstaff, while chef Richard Titi heads up the kitchen. Many dishes on the menu are of the hearty, rustic variety: baked stuffed turbot with zucchini and marjoram flowers; marinated shellfish with spelt panzanella and balsamic vinegar; wood pigeon stuffed with pears and pistachios, cooked in red wine. There's a vegetarian menu, too (most of the vegetables and herbs are grown in the hotel's garden), and the superb wine list includes the estate's own red, Smeriglio.

Closed three weeks January–February.

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Housewife of Collin County

We called ahead to make a reservation for a party of 11 persons. They insisted that with a party this size we needed to choose (months ahead) the menu (narrowed... more