The great part about travelling, I think, are the often surprising meetings with like-minded people or with those who have a special story to tell. These stories are often food for thought. So it is with fondness that I look back on my visit to this Local Hideaway, a mere stone’s throw away from Montepulciano, in the southern part of Tuscany. This is where owners Karin and Antonio touched me with their view of life, a wonderful example of ‘slow life’ in its purest sense. Of course, they learned from experience, for Karin and Antonio left behind a rollercoaster life in Milan, where Karin was a gifted fashion designer and Antonio was her business manager. But they wanted to go back to basics and get back in touch with their sense of social responsibility and quality of life. Popular terms, these days, but also often hollow phrases, for actually going back to basics and authenticity takes quite an effort.

On one of their journeys they finally found the place where they decided to realise their dreams; an old farm on a large plot of land. In an entirely ecological way and with much care and attention, this is where they created their own little paradise. Most of the building materials that were used met the eco standard, as did all the furnishing. Karin is a master in recycling and gives new life to all sorts of things, what’s more, she even improves them. Nice fabrics or paper, old iron or a piece of wood: everything is turned into little pieces of art. And this is how they created six wonderful and spacious rooms, all unique and very comfortable. There are five double rooms and one that features an extra bedroom with two beds, making is suitable for four. The view from the upstairs rooms in particular is absolutely stunning.

Where Karin is the creative brain, Antonio is passionate about nature and the farmlands…..where he spends hours, for instance with the horses or in the garden. Given the choice, he would spend all his time on biological-dynamic farming, for it is this ecological way of farming that he loves best and knows everything about.

Fattoria San Martino is an enchanting place, a home away from home in Tuscany….it is lovely to recline in the garden with a nice book and on warm days the natural swimming pond is a pleasant  and cooling distraction. The constantly changing surroundings and colours were particularly pleasant….they really stimulate the senses. The view of the city walls of Montepulciano and of the valley on the other side, where, in the mornings, the fog disappears, disclosing a colourful patchwork quilt….it all has a magical feel to it.

Fattoria San Martino isn’t only a place to sleep, there is also a great little restaurant. This, of course, is where a lovely breakfast is served in the mornings, but they also do lunches and dinners. Melina, the chef, prepares the most wonderful and creative dishes: all vegetarian and organic. Don’t miss out on her cooking: you’ll be surprised by its savouriness and creativity!

The gorgeous surroundings invite you to go out and explore, for instance there are several Tuscan highlights nearby and Montepulciano is a stone’s throw away. But what I remember most are the rides along twisting roads through the sloping hills and all the quaint little villages I passed along the way, with their inviting terraces and restaurants, a true Tuscan delight.

And after having been around for the day, coming home to Fattoria San Martino is lovely…..After all, their motto is ‘Slowlife Hideaway’….. a concept I can really dig, for isn’t it wonderful to disconnect from all your electronic devices and let your senses be stimulated by your surroundings, the ‘real deal’ instead of the virtual world? Let me assure you, Fattoria San Martino is the perfect place to do so, and sweet Karin and Antonio did a wonderful job in making this possible. With this Local Hideaway, they have given an entirely new dimension to the concept of eco!

Read more about Tuscany in my blog: Tuscany ‘under the radar’: LH Style!

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