Boutique hotel Pieve Aldina Pierattelli Architetture
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Pieve Aldina: a boutique hotel in the heart of Chianti

A former 12th-century monastery has been transformed following a restoration project with a contemporary outlook that enhances both the ancient structure and the surrounding landscape

Pierattelli Architetture

Boutique hotel Pieve Aldina Pierattelli Architetture
By Editorial Staff -
Marazzi has participated in the project

Operated by French group Domaine de Fontenille, the Pieve Aldina boutique hotel is situated in the hills between Florence and Siena, not far from the medieval village of Radda in Chianti. This is an ancient, rustic setting, almost untouched by the passage of time. The restoration and conversion project, the work of Pierattelli Architetture, has carefully maintained the ancient mood here by establishing a dialogue between the old and the new. The result is a union of tradition and contemporary design that also contributes to the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

The hotel, part of the Relais & Châteaux collection, is surrounded by almost 100 acres (40 ha) of olive groves, and takes its name from Aldina Ubaldini, who, in 1043, received the estate as a gift from her husband, the Count of Piancaldoli. The renovation was conservative, intended to give guests the experience of staying in a medieval monastery but with contemporary features. The 22 new rooms and suites, outdoor swimming pool, health spa, and the restaurant, overseen by chef Flavio Faedi and focused on local specialties, all add a unique flavor, while also conveying the identity of this former 12th-century monastery.

Boutique Hotel Pieve Aldina - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy Pierattelli Architetture and Pieve Aldina

 

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The style of an antique Tuscan farmhouse

For the three residences, the architects chose to reflect the style of a typical Tuscan farmhouse, with irregular pietraforte sandstone façades, thick walls, sturdy timber framing, tiled roofs, porches, internal courtyards, and high ceilings on the lower floors and lower, sloping ones upstairs.

The importance of the complex is reflected by the Italian Ministry of Culture giving a section of it heritage status as the formed summer residence of the bishops of Siena. This is the main building adjacent to the former parish church, which Pierattelli Architetture restored under the guidance of the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape. The decision was made to restore the original internal wall decorations on the main floor. On the upper floor, accessed via a stone staircase, is an elegant room with a coffered ceiling and natural lime walls decorated with neoclassical-style frescoes.

Of equal importance is the neighboring 10th-century Pieve di Santa Maria Novella, a church ranked as one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany. The remaining buildings, named Studiolo (Study) and Conventino (Little monastery), both have timber ceilings and windows that open onto the surrounding countryside.

Boutique Hotel Pieve Aldina - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy Pierattelli Architetture and Pieve Aldina

 

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The materials chosen for the project are local and typical of Tuscany’s rural architecture: terracotta floors, lime plaster for the walls, timber windows, and painted skirting boards. The genius of the project is that it successfully combines these elements with contemporary design and furnishings, marked by clean, understated shapes, and an earthy color palette typical of the location, with a preference for sage green, beige, white, and brown.

Artworks by Parisian artist Dune Varela reproduced on Carrara marble slabs, and herbarium art created by Stéphanie Montaigu, who pastes images of flowers and ancient sculptures on the yellowed pages of old books, give the rooms elegance and style.

Boutique Hotel Pieve Aldina - Pierattelli Architetture © Iuri Niccolai, courtesy Pierattelli Architetture and Pieve Aldina

 

Former storage rooms reborn as a restaurant

The Le Rondini restaurant has been created in a space once used for storing farming tools and olives before going for pressing. The effect is striking, with the iron of the terracotta and iron vaulted ceiling echoing the material of the track lighting. An opening in one of the walls lets diners watch the chefs at work in the kitchen, while an arched passageway leads to the internal courtyard, where there are tables on the lawn and under a huge wisteria plant that hangs from the roof.

The health spa has two massage rooms, a sauna, a Turkish bath, and an emotional shower. It’s possible to take in the views of the surrounding countryside from all these spaces.

Climbing roses, lemon trees, box hedges, and large 18th-century decorated terracotta planters add to the pleasure of spending time outdoors, where guests can take a stroll or a dip in the pool while admiring the fence-free horizons typical of Tuscan farmhouses. All these elements combine to give Pieve Aldina’s guests a genuine sense of freedom and peace.

 

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Credits

Location: Radda in Chianti, Siena, Italy
Architect: Pierattelli Architetture
Site Area: 2.000 m2

Wall and Floor Coverings in Ceramics: Marazzi

Photography by Iuri Niccolai, courtesy of Pierattelli Architetture and Pieve Aldina

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