San Baronto is a tiny mountain village in the province of Pistoia, Tuscany. Located at 349 metres above sea level, San Baronto offers you the peace and tranquillity that originally drew artists and musicians to this region for so long, and that is rare nowadays in the tourist-packed cities like Florence and Pisa.
Situated at one of the highest parts of the Montalbano Mountain range, San Baronto frees you from the traffic, the noises and the tour busses. There are several family-run hotels and restaurants in San Baronto, so you will never need to have to go to nearby town for food or to get supplies.
Every Cyclist’s Dream
If you are a cyclist, you would certainly have heard of San Baronto. The “San Baronto Ascent” has been likened to the “Grand Prix of the Montalbano“: it is every cyclist’s dream to cover the route. And the best thing about the route is the beautiful landscape from San Baronto. You will therefore see cyclists going by or stopping for a drink on one of the many beautiful terraces.
How to reach San Baronto?
You can only reach San Baronto by car, and the entry point is the closest town of Lamporecchio at the foot of the mountain. Should you not want to stay in San Baronto the whole day, the major cities and sights are not more than 1.5 hours’ drive away:
- Pistoia, 20km
- Lucca, 47km
- Florence, 52km
- Torre del Lago, 69km
- Pisa, 77km
- Livorno, 74km
- Sieno, 126km
Where did I stay?
Hotel Bellavista San Baronto is a quaint family-run hotel and restaurant on top of the hills. As the hostess Rachele will tell you, the hotel dates back to three generations! There is a story behind every tree, every shrub and every part of the complex.
Built into the hillside, Bellavista is a complex of traditional Tuscan stone and brick buildings with winding staircases and access to secret terracotta garden terraces reaching out towards the landscape. As with all family-run establishments, the rooms are sparse and traditionally decorated, so do not expect top luxury here. Instead, you get the genuine hospitality of the hosts, home-made breakfasts and a hug every time you come back from a day trip. That is a charm you will never get from a big chain.
The big highlight of this hotel is its swimming pool on the hill summit. The pool looks over the breath-taking Tuscan landscape that stretches beyond the horizon. Lounging here and reading a book while watching the sun sets is one of the amazing yet simple pleasures that make you appreciate life and how easy we can be happy.
Another highlight is the wonderful restaurant they run: The pizzas are simply amazing, and though the place is far away from the sea, pairing seafood with such a breathtaking view is an experience I will never forget.
Should you want to have another choice in food, hop across the road to Bar Enoteca L’ Indicatore and treat yourself to their sumptuous pasta and out-of-this-world tiramisu!
Likewise, you should not miss the number one restaurant of San Baronto: Borgo la Casetta. It is a family-run restaurant, with a very persistent dog called Chanel. You do not get to choose your food, as the menu changes according to the season. Whatever you get, I guarantee it will one of the best meals you will ever have in your life. I had the most succulent and juicy Bistecca Alla Fiorentina and I will never forget it!
One big downside of this charming place is its lack of wifi, either in the room or in the lobby. Hopefully Bellavista will resolve this soon, although it did give me a very complete break from my hectic hyper-connected existence!
Feel free to drop me a comment should you need advice on San Baronto!
Bar Enoteca L’ Indicatore
51035 San Baronto
+39 0573 856049