relais la suvera

Photos courtesy of Relais La Suvera








The name “La Suvera” is thought to have derived from the French word “souveraine,” or sovereign. The sovereign referred to is Countess Ava Matilde de Franzesi, also known as the Queen of Montemaggio, a relation of Clovis, King of France (481-511).

Centuries later, the castle was owned the powerful Ardengheschi family, who were descendants of Ardengo, Charlemagne’s Palatine Count.

The Republic of Siena, hoping to gain papal favor, stepped in and gave the property to Julius II, the same Renaissance pope who commissioned Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel. To transform La Suvera from a medieval fortress into a live able villa, Pope Julius employed the services of Badassarre Peruzzi, the artist and architect who took over the building of St. Peter’s in Rome after the death of Raphael.

Pope Julius’s nephew, Niccolò della Rovera inherited the property, and it passed through various families until acquired by the Ricci family, who had once owned the villa in 1123.

Today, descendants of the Ricci family, Marquis Giuseppe Ricci Parcciani and his wife Princess Eleonora Massimo, present their family home as an elegant hotel.

Pamela’s Perspective

Splurge and stay in one of the romantic suites of the papal villa; they’re amazing.


Relais La Suvera

A 16th-century fortified villa


55030 Pievescola
Tel: ++39 0577 960 300
Fax: ++39 0577 960 220
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

19 double rooms
13 suites
Guest rooms are located in papal villa or separate buildings

Farmhouse and Stables:
Double rooms: from 333 euros
Suites: from 400 euros
Papal Villa:
Double rooms: from 407 euros
Rates include breakfast and tax.

Open: Easter through October

Getting there

Pievescola is northwest of Siena off route SS541.

What to do

On site: swimming pool; tennis
Nearby: horseback riding; spa; golf; Siena; San Gimignano; Chianti region


Yes. 17th-century church on site.


You’ll pass by vineyards and poppy fields on a low hill overlooking the town of Pievescola as you drive up to the wrought-iron gates of La Suvera.

Dominating a tree-shaded courtyard is a 16th-century ocher-stone villa, now a romantic 5-star hotel and home of Marquis Giuseppe Ricci Parcciani and his wife Princess Eleonora Massimo.

Guest rooms can be found in the Papal Villa, the former stables, and the old farmhouse. The Papal Villa holds the suites, and they are truly magnificent. One standout is the Duca di Genova Suite. Named after the ancestors of the princess, the dukes of Genoa, it features a bed that once belonged to Ferdinando of Savoy, brother of Italy’s first king. Another wonderful suite is the museum-like Maria Gabriella Suite.

The former stables have been converted into lovely rooms—each named after a famous racehorse—with decor inspired by equestrian themes.

Scented by lemon trees and lavender, serene gardens are filled with Renaissance statues.

Dining can be under the stars or in an arcaded 18th-century stone olive mill.

Something special

curlicueThe first floor of the Papal Villa is a noted museum and library.

curlicueOrganic wine served at the hotel is from the estate.