Owned by the Baracchi family since 1860, this former olive mill began as a popular local restaurant and evolved into a restaurant with rooms. We like this kind of place because it has developed naturally over time, rather than had new money thrown at it: it has character. Locanda del Molino is just ten minutes down the road from sister hotel, Il Falconiere, which also comes recommended.

    The eight bedrooms are spacious and airy, and each is individually designed and furnished by Silvia Baracchi using hand-woven local fabrics, traditional furniture and wrought-iron bedsteads. The bathrooms are well stocked with locally produced toiletries, whilst hand painted tiles adorn the floors and walls.

     Partially due to its size, the locanda is very quiet during the day. Guests who remain at the property tend to chill out by the lush green pool area, where you’ll find ample shade.

     In the evening, when the restaurant opens its doors, the locanda comes to life. The dining room has a rustic feel, combining traditional Italian country decoration with a glossy, modern finish. Dinner here is a real treat: we recommend booking a table on the terrace if it’s warm. The staff are warm and friendly, particularly the manger, Stefano. The owners have successfully played to their strengths: hearty Italian food paired with a welcoming and social atmosphere, themed dinners in celebration of seasonal produce, and cooking courses ranging from a single lesson to three- or six-day sessions.

     There’s not much see in the tiny village of Montanare, but you're just a few km away from Cortona so the Locanda is well situated for exploring the surrounding area. You can also be shown around the Baracchi vineyards and winery. Local winter and autumn walks are organised.