Valdirose · Florence
Perhaps you’ve encountered the little Tuscan B&B on Instagram already? It’s hard to miss. Their curated account has a very pleasing aesthetic with muted colours and vintage furniture that takes boho chic to a new dimension. Old stone steps flanked with rosemary plants escorts followers up to a beautiful olive grove. There are numerous garden bouquets in different shades of pink, wooden utensils that would make any stylist green with envy and then there’s Irene and Paolo, who effortlessly charm followers with their smiley faces and Italian captures.
I can not talk about my family but only describe the flavor: of brandy to my father who awaits the return of the guests, to the more soft and creamy cappuccino of the house, the pride of my husband with his shaky English, of freshly baked cake behind which hides my mom shy as a child and finally wildflowers, my favorite, daily gift i get from my daughter. We are nothing more I hope you enjoy what we have to offer. ~Irene Berni
Valdirose is situated on the hills of the sleepy village Lastra a Signa, 14km from Florence city centre. Trains run frequently to the vibrant city and takes about 15 minutes. The village is a welcoming break from the hustle and bustle.
Valdirose got its name from Via Valdirose, the winding road that leads up to its front gate. The house is Irene’s childhood home and her parents still live on the grounds, in a side building next to the B&B. But it’s Otto you first meet as the gate opens at a leisurely pace. The crossbreed is a charming fella but more interested in deflating the neighbouring dog with intensive barking, than greeting visitors.
I arrive midday with Irene’s father greeting me. We manage to communicate somehow, him in Italian and me in English. I instantly like him. There is a warmth about him that is difficult to describe. Paolo serves me a cup of fresh coffee in the garden. A slice of homemade sponge cake is offered. ”My mother-in-law made it this morning” he says convincingly. I am too polite to remind him I’m gluten intolerant.
Valdirose is a relatively small B&B with 6 bedrooms of various sizes. My room is sparsely decorated in creamy tones, it’s cool and quiet. I have a terrace door that leads me straight out to the gravel path. Amazing in the morning, come evening when the mosquitoes lurk about, not so much. There is a terrace upstairs which is reached via a room filled with flea market finds. The Tuscan view is unbeatable and I return several nights to soak up the special atmosphere in silence.
Valdirose is surrounded by a steep terraced garden that is accessible via old stone steps. There are a couple of retired sunbeds strategically placed at the edge of the garden, where you can watch the sun go down from front row. There are olive trees and long tables, flower beds and string lights made for large groups of friends and laughter until dawn.
But the kitchen is the heart of Valdirose. The extension baths in natural light, morning to evening and quickly becomes an inviting meeting point for the house guests. Intimate seating arrangements surround the main kitchen table which makes it appealing to small and larger groups. The breakfast becomes secondary in the environment that hosts interesting personalities and friendly conversations.
It is difficult to do Valdirose justice in a few sentences. It's a warm place. Quiet. Genuine. Perfect despite its imperfections. Uncomplicated. Charming. A place that lingers.