American couple opens Tuscan boutique hotel

La Chiusa
La Chiusa's features include a 900-tree olive grove and a Michelin-starred, garden-to-table restaurant. Photo credit: La Chiusa.

George and Linda Meyers, the Washington, D.C.-based couple who founded three cooking schools (Cook In Tuscany, Cook In Mexico, and Cook In Cuba), have opened La Chiusa, an 18-room boutique hotel in Tuscany with its own Michelin-star restaurant, following a renovation. 

The hilltop building dates back more than 700 years to the 1300s when it was originally a watchtower. It became an olive oil mill in 1645, and later a hotel in 1978. The Meyers purchased the property late last year. 

La Chiusa has 18 unique guestrooms and a garden-to-table restaurant under the direction of new Executive Chef Allesandro Goracci, who uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare each meal. (The property's olive oil is made from the 900 trees in the surrounding olive grove.) Public spaces include a meeting room for up to 30 persons.

The hotel also offers private cooking classes in its kitchen, where guests learn how to prepare a typical four-course Tuscan meal with handmade pasta. Week-long courses are also available and classes are taught in English. 

La Chiusa is centrally located in the Tuscany region with access within an hour's drive or less to Pienza, San Quirico, Montalcino, Siena, Perugia, Cortona and Montepulciano. It is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes from Florence.