Helen RayComment


Helen RayComment

This blog has been one of the longest I have ever had to edit, largely due to the sheer volume of photographic opportunities that a stay at Valdirose provides.

Every which way you turn there is beauty in abundance.

This break held a lot of meaning for me. Valdirose has been on my wishlist for around 4 years and when my Granny passed away and I was left a little money, I decided that I would spend it on a trip here in her memory.

Fast forward to last year, forced to suddenly face up to my own mortality and a travel ban in place, I couldn’t help but mentally asess the checklist in my mind of the places I hadn’t yet managed to visit and wondered momentarily if I had missed my chance.

Joyfully in remisson, travel ban lifted, I was more determined than ever to make it to Valdirose. I had dreamed of visiting in Autumn and so it gave me the greatest pleasure to wake up here this October on my 35th birthday. A very special trip!

The lowdown . . .

Valdirose is a family mansion dating back to the second half of the 19th Century. The current owner lived here as a little girl and in 2007 the property was completely renovated to create a 6 bedroom guest house.

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The location . . .

Nestled in the Tuscan hills in a small town named Lastra a Signa, the property sits 14km from the centre of Florence.

We arrived at dusk to the most stunning pink skies that cast an ethereal glow over everything. Taking in the view I felt quite emotional and super excited to have made it here finally!

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The interiors . . .

The proprietors have the most wonderful taste when it comes to interior design. Natural tones and rustic textures, old wood and chipped paint, original features, flea market finds. I was in heaven snooping around, absorbing all of the precious little details.

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The rooms . . .

There are 3 bedrooms at ground floor level and 3 bedrooms on the first floor (2 of these are combined with a shared bathroom to make a suite).

We stayed in Orizzonti on the first floor and it was heavenly. I adored the design and our bed was just divine.

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We had wonderful views towards Florence from our bedroom window and these could be enjoyed further by stepping out into the hall and accessing the terrace which occupies the front of the property.

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The Food . . .

A simple breakfast is served downstairs in the sunshine dappled conservatory between 8.30 and 10 a.m.

Fresh coffee, juice, warm bread, eggs cooked to your liking, yoghurt, home made jams and a daily cake.

The space is beautiful and homely with rustic touches, mismatched furniture and vintage crockery and cutlery.

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Yay to . . .

The eclectic interiors, delicious breakfasts, dreamy bed linen and aesthetic attention to detail.

Nay to . . .

It’s extremely difficult to pick fault but If I had to find something I would say the confused cockerel who sometimes crowed in the middle of the night waking me momentarily from my sleep, but to be honest I found it rather humorous.

Worth Knowing . . .

Trains run from Lastra a Signa station (a 10 minute walk from the B&B) to Florence direct in 15 minutes.

Getting there . . .

We flew into Pisa airport, took the ‘Pisa Mover’ shuttle from the airport to Pisa Central station, then switched to a direct train to Lastra a Signa. Tickets are easily available from the machines on the platform, just remember to stamp them before setting off.


Via val di rose,35
50055 Lastra a Signa


Nearby and also worth a visit if you have the time . . .

With Florence just on the doorstep it would be crazy not to visit at least once (there’s a whole other blog on the way about what we got up to there) but we also enjoyed exploring Lastra a Signa itself because its compact size and lack of tourism made it feel very authentic.

We enjoyed dinner at local restaurant Antica Trattoria Sanesi although famed for their gargantuan Florentine steaks, I opted for pasta which was delicious!

and a walk in the nearby hills, winding our way past olive groves and Tuscan farmland


and onwards and upwards to Villa Caruso - Bellosguardo, a former mansion house which was once home to a famous tenor amongst others.

Out of season now, the place was desolate and in need of a little TLC but actually, the overgrown gardens and slightly dilapidated appearance only added to its charm in my opinion.

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