Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian
Next to the pine forest of Tavarnelle, in Via Roma 137, you can ﬁnd a unique feature of the area; tourist lodgings at modest prices. With the philosohy of sharing and saving, the “Ostello del Chianti” (www.ostellodelchianti.it for information and reservations), guarantees comfort and cordiality.
It is in a strategic position, close to Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. Declan Goretti, 53 years old, has an Irish mother and Italian father, and lives in the countryside of San Casciano.
He manages the hostel, with professionalism, love for his job and the desire to meet new people. “The Ostello del Chianti began in the township of Tavarnelle in the 1950s,” he tells us, “and one was one of the ﬁrst in Italy. Over time, it was restored and enlarged. It belonged to the town until 2000 when it was sold to AIG (the Italian Association of Youth hostels), in federation with HI (Hostelling International) which has 5.000 hostels in the world”.
“After having direct management,” Declan explains, “we, the workers of the association, began an indirect management in 2005, while still connected to AIG. Originally we were three, then two, and now it is I together with my wife Maya”.
“There are 18 rooms” he says, “six with private bathrooms and 12 with a large bathroom on the ﬂoor. Some have multiple beds while others are for private use: there are doubles, triples, quadruples. For common space, we have a room with TV, a dining room and the terrace contiguous to the pine forest and garden”.
“90% percent of our clientele is made up of foreigners,” he continues. We host sports teams, sister towns, school trips. Many women who travel alone and young people who could not otherwise afford Chianti as a destination are our visitors”.
“We are open from the end of March to the November holiday weekend,” he adds. “Without a doubt, July and August are our key months. In addition to an overnight stay (€16 usually), you can have breakfast for 3 Euros dinner for 10.5 and a boxed lunch for 7.5”.
“Lately we have had competition from Airbnb”, he notes with a bit of worry. “Even though our tariffs are low, it is difﬁcult to compete with these situations. We hope that limitations will be introduced which guaranty equity”.
“The atmosphere which we create in our hostel isn’t the same as in other places,” concludes Declan. “It is a culture, a meeting point, a port in which varied persons circulate. It is also a point of reference for the area”.