Just a short five kilometer ride north of the city, you’ll find Fattoria Maiano, part bed & breakfast, part organic farm, part adventure retreat, and part historic landmark. This family friendly spot sits on 700 acres that are filled with hiking and biking trails, a kids camp, olive groves, a safari tour, a quarry used by Michelangelo, and even a tower visited by the Queen of England in 1893. Needless to say, there’s a lot to see and do here, and you may never want to leave.
The are 12 apartments on the property that can sleep anywhere from 2 to 11 people. All the apartments come with welcome baskets with wine, olive oil, coffee, and biscuits. The apartments are intended for longer term stays with full kitchens and are traditionally designed cottage style accommodations. Additionally, there are 8 bed & breakfast rooms in the hotel’s garden area that inspire shorter term commitments and feature simple brick floors and stone walls with majestic views of Florence and some bunk beds for kids.
Perhaps the greatest room in all of Florence, the Lakehouse is a standalone tower that has three stories of isolated and romantic space that is the honeymoon spot of your dreams.
In the B&B rooms, there are modern bathrooms with showers, bidets, towel heaters, and their own branded bath products. The apartments have a more rustic feel, but the bathrooms are in great condition and you won’t have any complaints – or at least you shouldn’t.
The property is spread out and there’s a check-in area in one of the main buildings. Beyond that, there’s a main courtyard that was once a 13th Century convent and still has some original frescoes that have faded with time.
The summer only pool is in the property’s main garden and has epic views of the countryside.
There isn’t a gym at the property, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t get in shape here. There are more than 12 kilometers of hiking trails including night hike tours. There are also ample biking trails and the hotel often partners with local biking groups to lead, teach, and play throughout the property.
Ask the owners about the Land Rover Experience. You can learn to ride in the roughest terrain at incredibly high speeds through the back woods of the property. It’s really fun.
One of the (many) gems of the property is the restaurant, Lo Spaccio. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this highly reputed spot grows most of their food on site and is known for hearty Tuscan cuisine that’s a step above. They also have their award-winning olive oil on the table, so make sure to dip your bread.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The restaurant is closed on Mondays.
The entire property is a botanic garden with wild animals, dozens upon dozens of trails with intricately labeled plant and flower varieties, and more. If you come here, make it a point of touring the entire property as there are endless things to see.
If you plan on staying at Fattoria di Maiano, you likely will be hanging out at the property and indulging in all the activities they have at your disposal. Renting a car is probably the right move as parking is free and you’ll need transportation to get into Florence or around the countryside.
Up the road at Villa San Michele is La Loggia (10-minute drive) a fine dining spot for inventive Tuscan cuisine. Further up the road into Fiesole is Ristorante La Reggia Degli Etruschi (13-minute drive) which is super romantic and has incredible views of Florence.
If you eat at La Loggia, stick around Villa San Michele (10-minute drive) where they have master bartenders slinging well-crafted cocktails till late. Head up to the top of Fiesole and Blu Bar (13-minute drive) at Villa Aurora for a great apperitivo and endless views.
WHY WE LIKE IT
There’s really nothing else like it this close to Florence. The ancient property has countless opportunities for adventure and is a great option for kids who love being outdoors and trying new things. The fully contained hotel has an excellent restaurant, a fun pool, and miles upon miles of hiking, biking, off-roading, camping, gardens, wildlife, and more. The overall look and feel is rustic, so if you need high-end five-star amenities, this isn’t the place for you. But the property is far from any low-end standards and will keep every member of the family occupied and satisfied in more ways than one.