Finding good value for your vacation is not always about the money. Sure there is great financial value at Il Rifugio (particularly if you visit with a group of friends), but it goes much further than that. If you are anything like me, vacation time is unfortunately a precious but limited resource. Yes I have ambition to tour all the exotic places, but at the end of the day I also want to decompress (i.e. flake out) away from the stresses of life. Il Rifugio allows you do do both of those things.
Tucked into a serene Tuscan hill, guests are treated to spectacular countryside views, a sky full of stars and a world of heavenly uninterupted silence. Cars and other forms of civilization are just an occasional speck on a far-away road below. Il Rifugio itself is a beautiful marriage of old world history with new world conveniences.
The big fireplaces look very inviting for a cool evening, but my advice would be to visit when the weather is warm. Cocktails or meals on one of the patios is just something you can't afford to miss. Probably the best part of our trip. Don't be afraid of the summer heat either. The humidity is low, the hillside breezes are plentiful and a very nice swimming pool helps to refresh and relax.
Owners Chuck and Shirley go out of there way to ensure that you have everything you need at Il Rifugio and also provide a helping hand to start your adventures. Nearby Cortona typifies the Tuscan hill-town experience with fashionable shops, cafes and tucked away restaurants. Enjoy a multi-course Tuscan gourmet feast, cappaccino on a patio or gelato as you wander the narrow lanes. Your call.
For those who enjoy the occasional vino (or more than occasional as the case may be), you have to book the local winery tour, which Chuck can arrange for you. Not only do you get to learn a lot about Italian wine and taste some premium bottles you also get to meet and sample with the families who run these local operations - from working the land to labeling the bottles. Even if you don't drink wine, its an adventure you have to take.
You definitely need rental cars to get around and a train station is not too far away for trips to Florence or other places. As you plan your trip from home don't get overly ambitious on the day trips. Once there you might find you don't necessarily want to move every minute of the day.
Go with close friends, go with family. But above all else, just make sure you go.