Large open spaces spanned by stone arches and brick-vaulted ceilings characterize the ground floor of Villa Rioddi, a 15thC villa - turned into a stage coaching station during the 17thC - just off the SS88 which leads south from Volterra in the direction of Cecina.
     All 13 bedrooms are light, airy and fully equipped, though not exactly imaginative. The bathrooms in certain rooms may be a little small for some guests’ comfort, although renovations are planned. A self-catering apartment, sleeping two to four, with its own private, sunny rooftop terrace is also available.
     Luca, who runs the hotel with his mother, Mirella, aims to offer a personalised stay. He is eager to offer itineraries and recommend places to visit nearby. There is no restaurant at Rioddi, just a bar, but Volterra, a short but arduous 20-minute walk away, offers several choices and Luca will happily recommend them.
     Breakfast is a buffet with the choice of continental or cooked. As well as meat platters (including delicious salami made from local boar) and freshly cooked eggs, they offer pies, cheeses and panzanella, a salad with bread, tomato and cucumber. If you’re still peckish, Luca and Mirella bake a selection of fresh cakes daily, also available in the buffet.
     In the garden there are two swimming pools - one for children - which have amazing 360-degree views, even by Tuscan standards. Prices are fair.