One of the more unusual entries in this guide and not a hotel in the strict sense, La Frateria is a place of hospitality run by a community that has withdrawn from the world. The buildings, grouped around a hillside church near Cetona founded in 1212 by St Francis, are built of light, golden stone, form a rambling complex. Only seven rooms and suites are available, so, even when it is fully booked, one never has the sensation of being in a busy hotel. There is no swimming pool and none of the rooms has a television.
This may sound monastic, but the setting and furnishings are of the same standard as a top-class hotel: antiques, paintings and colourful wooden carvings (generally religious in theme) and spacious rooms with stone and beige stucco walls. The restaurant is unexpectedly sophisticated (and expensive), serving a mixture of refined and hearty food using fresh produce from the gardens.
A stroll around the monastery with its church and chapel, cloisters and courtyards, and hushed, peaceful atmosphere will help you realize why the young people of this community want to share their peace.