Property developer and interior designer Alison Deighton has owned a holiday home in delightful Città della Pieve for years, so when the venerable old Hotel Vannucci came up for sale, she was in a good position to take on the project of breathing new life into the place.
  The square, grey-shuttered building is set in a pretty garden a stone's throw from the centre of the town. Inside, while the design makes use of local materials and techniques and the contemporary furniture is based on traditional styles, the result is refreshingly different. The reception area is dominated by an imposing staircase in pale, varnished wood, and some amazing light fittings. On the left is an inviting sitting room with an open fireplace and on the right, the open-plan bar area. Upstairs, the bedrooms vary in terms of shape and size, but are all done out along the same clean cut, modern lines; design details include custom-made carved bedheads from Bali and lamps from Turkey.
  Food is important at the Vannucci and there are two restaurants. One serves casual, bistro-style food and pizzas, while at elegant Zafferano you can sample the chef's excellent creative takes on local dishes.