Locanda al Colle | Best Boutique Hotel in Versilia, Tuscany's Coastline

Design Sanctum

Locanda al Colle | Best Boutique Hotel in Versilia, Tuscany's Coastline


Locanda al Colle is your entry point into a Tuscany beyond the classic farmhouse. This rural style outpost, draped in Mediterranean verdancy with views down to the sea, is a hotel, but feels like the home of a friend with eccentric good taste.

Commanding a hilltop in the region of Versilia, 17th century Locanda al Colle is clasped by ancient olive trees and warmed by the scents of Tuscan summer: sage, lavender and rosemary drift on the breeze.

Owner and native Tuscano, Riccardo Barsottelli has channelled his love for Tuscany, the arts, fashion, vintage finds and worldly travel into Locanda al Colle creating a bohemian retreat of elegant, sophisticated design, an extension of his own creative imaginario and lifestyle. Taking cues from the nearby arty enclave of Pietrasanta, a commune home to international artists, sculptors and bronze workshops, it was the marble quarries of this medieval town that supplied Michelangelo with the finest marble for his craft and he learnt from the sculptors residing here. Locanda creates its own artistic experience, curated by the collector’s eye of Barsottelli.

Although the effect of Locando seems effortless, the charm personified once-farmhouse was restored following a design dialogue between architect Marco Innocenti and Barsottelli, who bonded over a love for art and furniture. Together, they kept to a strict ethos of salvaged authenticity - the homestead keeps its alluring rusticity as seen in heavy beamed ceilings, stone flooring, oak floorboards, terracotta brickwork, Carrara marble and thick set windows with views onto rural Tuscany. Layered onto this is a sometimes-whimsical interior design palette that borrows from Art Deco, Italian mid-century classics and a worldly remit that includes antique Modica stone from Sicily, Syrian red travertine and design pieces from Scandinavia.

The range and diversity of artwork from Barsottelli’s own collection or sourced in art forays is quite astonishing, running the gauntlet from modern to abstract, cubist to unknown in mediums such as sculpture, ceramic and photography. The rural bolthole is a glorified gallery, as eclectic as its owner – gaze upon its treasures like the Kebab Lamps, featuring skewered objects by British design brand Established & Sons and design studio Committee formed by artists Harry Richardson and Clare Page. Muse upon artwork from Cubist painter Robert Marc, black and white photographic nudes by Ida Kar and Martin Francis paintings. Come face-to-face with a monochromatic ceramic plate by Jean Cocteau.

Although sitting in a rustic setting, the artwork, like the ambience of Locanda itself merge together to become something more, the sum of its parts colliding in a perfect collusion of natural tones, umber, sienna and burnt grey. Outside, the turquoise pool awaits, shade found under ancient trees where life can be slow, simple, rooted in a farmhouse aesthetic and one man’s highly refined taste.


Locanda al Colle | Best Boutique Hotel in Versilia, Tuscany's Coastline

Spread over three floors, the bedrooms and suites are where comfort headlines with vast beds, some four-poster, swathed in linens by Rivolta Carmignani and luxurious bathrooms with rain showers by Hans-Grohe. All the rooms carry the hallmarks of heritage with beamed ceilings and wooden floors and benefit from endless hilly views and those rows of vines which promise characterful red wines or fizzy whites come drinky o’clock.

One of our favourite rooms has to be the artfully styled Aurora suite which opens out onto a private loggia with a draped day bed, fireplace plus a French 19th century cast iron wood burner for chilly nights.


Locanda al Colle | Best Boutique Hotel in Versilia, Tuscany's Coastline

The foodie offering at Locanda Al Colle is simple but of a very high quality, with great thought going into every morsel. Breakfast starts with home made pastries, home-baked sourdough and fruit served to your table. Lunch tends to be on the light side, and in the evenings, chef Gian Luca prepares exquisite two-course meals, exclusively for the guests, served on the vine-clad, candle-lit terrace. Seasonal and Tuscan, the dishes are created using local ingredients and recipes including aubergine, octopus, ravioli and pesto.

You may also have a chance to join a cookery class with chef Gian Luca to learn the secrets to his homemade bread, plus three delectable courses that you can recreate at home, bringing a taste of Tuscany to your friends. If you stay over a Sunday, you can enjoy the cheese and charcuterie evening, showcasing the best of local farmer’s produce.


With views that run down to the Tyrrhenian Sea, Locanda al Colle is located on a verdant hilltop, not far from Tuscany’s coastline in a region called Versilia. Seaside towns such as Forte dei Marmi and Viareggio offer a day on the beach on Tuscany’s long coastline, where finding a quiet spot is easy; equally if a beach club is more your style, you’ll find that too.

Behind the hotel rocks rise up the craggy cliffs of the Apuaunuan Alps, ideal for hiking and biking and also home to the famous marble quarries of Carrara including the Seravezza, and the ‘Michelangelo Quarry’, where the sculptor sourced stone for his famous La Pieta sculpture; today the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Those seeking medieval Tuscan towns won’t be disappointed – take your pick from Lucca, where Puccini was born to art-filled Florence and Pisa with its tower, all easily reachable for half a day or more.  


Owner and native Tuscano, Riccardo Barsottelli travelled the world as part of his job in fashion, always keeping an eye out for the perfect place to lay down roots. His thoughts strayed to Latin America, yet the heartfelt culture and historical beauty of Tuscany called him home. Starting with a modest bed and breakfast, it wasn’t long before Riccardo was pouring his heart and soul into the growing project of Locanda al Colle, merging his life’s passions of art and hospitality. He therefore brought his collection of art into the Locanda, the historic warmth of the farmhouse proving the perfect backdrop for his worldly pieces, sculptures, artwork and furniture. This in turn gave weight to the retreat, adding an eclectic artistry which contributes to its peaceful yet stimulating environment today.

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