Meo Modo at Borgo Santo Pietro, offers an intimate dining experience in a private grotto.
Il Borro resort exterior. A Relais & Chateaux resort, the property is built on one of the oldest villages in Tuscany.
ITʼS EASY TO FALL IN LOVE
with Tuscany, with its rolling green hills and quintessentially “Italian” small towns and the beautiful bounty of cheese, wine, olives and more that the region has to offer. But what many travelers forget is that Tuscany takes up much of central Italy, occupying nearly 9,000 square miles. That’s the size of New Jersey, or roughly the size of Israel… so planning your perfect visit requires a detailed vision for the scope and style of your travels. Florence, the capital and cradle of the Renaissance, is the area’s biggest draw. You’ll also find diverse and worthwhile terrain throughout the region, from the posh Forte dei Marmi beachside to the beautifully preserved Siena, where the famous Il Palio horse race takes place every July and August. Still, for the ultimate relaxation in Tuscany, plan for the country, with city specific day trips to truly experience la vera Italia.
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EAT, DRINK, SLEEP, REPEAT Castello del Nero, a 12th century restored castle turned 52-room hotel just 40 minutes south of Florence on the outskirts of Chianti country, offers a perfect long weekend escape when combined with other cities or another Tuscan resort. The hotel offers regular shuttle service to both Florence and Siena, making a day trip possible but not mandatory. Request suite 118 with its beautiful frescoes; 116 with a breathtaking arched ceiling; or Room 222 which boasts a 30-square-foot rain shower with two showerheads. While in town, don’t miss a dinner or afternoon at the cooking school of Osteria di Passignano, an ancient monastery dating back to the year 395 AD, established by the archbishop of Florence. Today, the Vallombrosan Order, a type of Benedictine monk, make excellent wine on property. The Osteria also offers a cooking school, branded by
KitchenAid, where guests learn to make traditional Tuscan fare, taste local olive oils, and, of course, sample local wine. Similar in vibe and proximity to Florence is Castello di Casole, a Timbers Resort, one of the largest private landholdings in all of Italy – if you’re traveling with kids, this is one of the more family-friendly high-end Tuscan options in the area. It’s also a great home base to start your exploration of the Tuscan wine region, as you can reach Chianti, Brunello and Nobili di Montepulciano within a 90-minute drive of the resort, or simply enjoy the excellent Sangiovese-based wines grown on property. Arguably one of the best names in Tuscan wine, Antinori is a must-stop and just an hour from Florence, perfectly positioned on the highway toward Siena. You can taste your way through Chianti Classico in the impressive winery that’s been in the same family for 26 generations, since the year 1385. It’s well worth a seven-wine cru tasting, as well as lunch at the onsite Rinuccio 1180, where you’ll see 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. One of our favorite options for hotels a bit deeper in the countryside is Il Borro, a Relais & Chateaux find from the Ferragamo family
Published on Feb 27, 2018