Deciding to spend some quality time during the holidays in Tuscany is always an awesome choice. You can choose between a great variety of landscapes: natural or urban, both medieval and modern. The coast of Tuscany is beautiful also and many destinations are selected throughout the year by tourists and locals. But what really makes Tuscany a priceless jewel that the whole world admires are the rural landscapes, the countryside, and the green hills.
To fully enjoy the experience of Tuscany it is not enough to see the landscapes and taste the products, though. You must walk that “one mile further” and immerse yourself completely in “Tuscanity”. Cooking classes, excursion on foot, bike or Vespa, enjoying the art and culture and relaxation. And if you are looking for the best wine tour, you can read more in this previous article. Fortunately for those who travel, there are many facilities that do their best to make your stay in Tuscany an unforgettable experience.
Villas and historic estates, from centuries ago, skilfully restored and immersed in the wildest greenery of Tuscany offers a very wide selection of products and services, to fully enjoy a holiday that will leave an indelible memory in the heart of anyone lucky and wise enough to choose them.
As a matter of fact, in order to organize the perfect holiday, the most important thing to do is decide where to establish the “base camp”. If the idea is to travel and explore all the typical beauties of this wonderful region, without giving up relaxation and communion with nature, one of the best strategies is to choose a location that is already surrounded by the Tuscan hills and offers the opportunity to live, even during the moments of rest, the Italian Experience.
Castle of Volognano
The Castle of Volognano dominates a small and characteristic village from upon a hill. It stands on the florentine lands of Chianti, just 16 km from the historic center of Florence, and offers many opportunities to live the typical experiences of this magic country at 360°. Staying in this structure means living, tasting and learning all the specialties of Tuscany.
The Castle Volognano offers many spacious and equipped rooms with all comforts, a beautiful private swimming pool, and gardens where you can walk or enjoy relaxing moments. In the structure, you can experience true Italian hospitality and relive history. The philosophy of this hotel is based on the concept of “opposites”: living between local and international realities, between history and modernity, activity and relaxation.
The Castle has been home to vineyards and olive groves for generations and produces high quality wines, extra virgin olive oil, and distillates. The knowledge accumulated over the years has evolved and today allows you to experience the production process combined with the beauties of travel. This kind of view gave birth to a tasting tour along routes designed to discover the beauty and flavors of the land, thanks to the direct interaction with producers and artisans who have worked for years to make this region unique.
To give a complete experience, which is not just about the “holiday”, Castle of Volognano organizes “learning” sessions, based on the five senses. Learn how to savor, share ideas, converse, travel, play and reproduce the colors and flavors of this characteristic corner of the world.
The rooms are built on an area of 700 square meters, arranged on three floors and furnished with antiques that once belonged to the family who ruled the Castle. Among the common rooms, on the ground floor, there is a large kitchen, a comfortable dining room and two large halls that can host weddings and events. One of these two halls once served as an oil mill where EVO oil was produced and that makes it very suggestive.
These rooms are modern and spacious, furnished with finely built antique furniture and equipped with luxurious private bathrooms with bathtubs. The Castle is also equipped with a large relaxation area with satellite TV, a gaming table and a billiard table that years before belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.
As far as experiences and activities are concerned, Castle of Volognano will make possible to book wine and oil tastings, typical local products of the Tuscan and Florentine tradition workshops where you can learn how to match wines and dishes and take cooking lessons. But for those who are looking for moments to fill their eyes with natural Italian beauty, it is possible to organize and book guided tours throughout the Tuscan countryside.
The prices of the rooms can be consulted online and through the website, you can request information, choose and book activities and discover all the magic that is hidden inside the Castle of Volognano.
Villa Mangiacane is an ancient 17th-century mansion located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. Surrounded by greenery, in a park of 20 hectares dedicated to vineyards, olive groves, and woods, it offers a breathtaking view of the Chianti valley. Being quite near to Florence, it is a great place to consider if you are planning to make numerous cultural visits or days dedicated to shopping.
The villa contains centuries of history built at the behest of Cardinal Francesco Maria Machiavelli, uncle of the author of “il Principe (The Prince)” and according to legend, Michelangelo, the famous sculptor, took part in its design.
Built on several floors, it houses numerous rooms, a common area, and a restaurant. The loggia overlooking the vineyards of the estate can praise several Renaissance frescoes. The furnishings are classic and embellish finely designed rooms, which house antique art objects.
Among the various activities that can be booked at Villa Mangiacane are certainly worth mentioning trekking excursions, bike renting with which explores the surrounding landscapes and, for the bravest and dreamiest, the opportunity to book a ride in a hot air balloon. Obviously, there is no lack of experiences related to typical Tuscan products, such as cooking lessons and tasting.
The Bagnaia Resort is in a historic village of enchanting beauty. It enjoys such a nice position that the surrounding landscape can be admired in all its beauty. La Bagnaia is distinguished by its strong historical character and its originality.
The experiences that the resort offers are many and authentic, inspired by the rich and unique heritage. Among the most interesting are certainly the gastronomic tours and wine tours, as well as the Renaissance festivals, only during some periods of the year. For those in search of inner peace, the Bagnaia Resort offers Yoga lessons and horseback riding, picnics and cooking lessons. The Spa, the spearhead of the Resort, is built over thermal springs, with beneficial and curative effects.
La Bagnaia offers a golf course of 130 hectares of land, designed to live in harmony with the beautiful landscapes of Siena. Along this course, you can admire lakes and glimpses of wild nature. The clubhouse, which houses the restaurant, sells high quality golfing equipment.
The resort Bagnaia is located just 12 km from Siena, a jewel set in the Tuscan territory, full of museums, churches, squares and art galleries.
Located a few km from Florence, in the Mugello valley, Villa le Maschere is the ideal destination for anyone who wants to spend a relaxing holiday without depriving themselves of the main treasures of Tuscany: food, art, and nature.
This late Florentine Renaissance residence underwent important restoration works in 2003, returning to the splendor of the past. These works have brought to light ancient frescoes that now decorate the rooms of the villa. The Villa provides 65 rooms, different in the arrangement of the furniture, but equal in the classical style and inspired by Renaissance art. Despite the history, there are also all the technological comforts, such as TV, Wi-Fi, safe, minibar and air conditioning.
In Villa le Maschere, guests can relax inside the Spa, located in the basement of the villa and equipped with Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna, and emotional shower. All surrounded by a wonderful view of the Tuscan hills.
Hotel le Fontanelle, surrounded by imposing vineyards and olive groves, is located in the Chianti Classico valley and overlooks one of the most evocative views of the Tuscan countryside. The location offers a corner of paradise for anyone escaping from the daily routine and allows guests to participate in all the main gastronomic and cultural activities are only 20 km from Siena.
The hotel is structured on several floors and buildings: in the central one there is the bar, the swimming pool, and a small wellness center; in the lateral ones you can find, besides the 25 rooms, some common areas, equipped with private library and fireplaces.
The rooms are finely furnished in Tuscan style, embellished with beautiful ceilings with wooden beams and terracotta floors. They also have all the necessary comforts for a holiday: safe, hairdryer, LCD TV and Wi-Fi connection.
“Le Fontanelle” is equipped with a Wine/gift shop where you can buy souvenirs for your holiday. But among the most original initiatives, it is worth mentioning the possibility to rent a Vespa on site and to take advantage of the mountain bikes made available free of charge. It is also possible to organize and prepare excursions and food and wine tours.
In the village of Moncioni, bordering the Arno Valley, there is this small oasis of relaxation: Villa Sassolini. Overlooking the Chianti hills, the villa enjoys an enviable position: intimate, bucolic and relaxing. In one hour, you can reach Florence, Siena, and Arezzo and take part in all the cultural activities or, alternatively, enjoy a day of shopping if you just feel like it.
The recently restored 14th-century villa was the summer residence of important Florentine families. For this reason, the rooms maintain a great class and refinement, while presenting all modern comforts. The main body of Villa Sassolini houses a restaurant, a large terrace, and several rooms. In the dependence instead, there is a small Spa and a cooking school.
Among the most interesting services that the villa offers its guests are the cooking classes, wellness courses, and bike rental.
Among the hills of the Alta Val di Cornia, near Sassetta, take place the 55 hectares of Tenuta la Bandita. The Estate is a historic property, adorned with beautiful flowers and various examples of local fauna such as roe deer, porcupines and wild boars. The most important element of La Bandita is certainly the panoramic terrace overlooking the town of Sassetta.
The building dates to 1700 and is a villa on two floors, with 10 rooms and several common areas. The furnishings create a very suggestive classical atmosphere since is the same used years ago. All the rooms are divided between the three buildings that make up the structure: the villa, La Foresteria and Gli Ulivi, the two annexes. The two outbuildings have another 14 rooms each, for a total of 38. Most of them are equipped with a small private garden, excellent to enjoy moments of relaxation surrounded by nature. At the same time, the rooms are complete with every comfort: TV, hairdryer, private bathroom, minibar and safe.
Among the experiences you can have at Tenuta la Bandita are a private swimming pool, a tennis court, cooking classes on request and wine tasting at some of the most important wineries in the area.
All this just a few kilometers from several characteristic villages such as Castagneto Carducci and Bolgheri. With a car you can also reach Florence, Volterra, San Gimignano and Siena.
Palazzo San Lorenzo is in Colle Val d’Elsa, a medieval village also known as the City of Crystal. Surrounded by the Chianti hills, it is located a few kilometers from Siena and Florence.
In ancient times, this palace was a city hospital and after several renovations and extensions, it became what it is today: a charming niche hotel surrounded by greenery. This oasis of peace allows regenerating body and mind thanks to its Spa, where there is a massage area, sauna, Turkish bath, energizing and emotional showers, as well as a heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi.
There is also, a Wine Bar where guests can taste the local wines or have refreshing cocktails. With the help of the staff, it is possible to book cooking classes, Vespa excursions and trips along the Via Francigena, as well as wine tours.
Near the city of Cortona, Villa of Piazzano dominates the landscape giving anyone lucky enough to stay here a breathtaking view of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. This ancient residence occupies a strategic position between Tuscany and the mysterious and fascinating Umbria. A few kilometers separate Villa of Piazzano from places of interest such as Pienza, Montepulciano, Gubbio, Perugia and Assisi, allowing anyone who is interested, to take a journey through history to discover medieval towns of rare beauty.
The villa is surrounded by a large park, protected by the Superintendence of Environmental Heritage for the riches it houses. Here guests can find a beautiful swimming pool with solarium, where they can rest in full relaxation.
Among the activities offered by Villa Piazzano there are daily excursions, walks to discover the landscape, cooking classes, wine, and traditional products tasting.
Near Cortona is another 17th century residence of rare beauty: Relais Chateaux il Falconiere & Spa. The residence maintains the simple and refined style of the ancient Tuscan houses, adorned with frescoes, period furniture and wrought iron beds.
The Spa, is a place where you can get lost and find yourself once again, thanks to massages, personalized beauty treatments, baths, and emotional paths. In addition to these options, there is a sauna, a Jacuzzi pool with chromotherapy and a Turkish bath.
Also, at Relais il Falconiere you can organize, with the help of the staff, a series of outdoor activities, among nature and local products. The tour of winegrowing and wine-producing areas is one of the most popular experiences and lasts six days, during which you can learn great notions about the world of wine and its production. In Chateaux, cooking classes are also available for guests to explore the culinary riches of typical Tuscan cuisine.
Near Montepulciano, a small and characteristic Sienese town, there is the Salcheto Winehouse, a farmhouse that dates back as far as 1200. From the structure you can enjoy an excellent view of the landscapes of the Val di Chiana, surrounded by nature in an intimate and romantic atmosphere.
There are 9 rooms available, each one modeled to meet specific needs, which makes this structure very refined and peaceful. The ideal place to escape from the city frenzy. The Salcheto is surrounded by a garden in which heated pools have been installed to offer guests a relaxing and at the same time an unforgettable experience.
The main feature of the house is, as the name suggests, the wine, not just because of the tastings, but also in terms of furniture: in the rooms and common areas you can find cellars and sets of wines of great quality. The external tanks themselves are reminiscent of the barrels typical of wine production processes.
In the wine shop located in front of the structure you can taste private lunches and dinners upon reservation and combine them with cooking classes. Included in the living room, guests can visit the cellar and discover the secrets of one of the most famous regions in the world for its wines.
The Resort Casale le Torri was born from a renovated country house, dating back to the early ‘900, located in a green natural park a few kilometers from Pisa, city of the Leaning Tower. From the resort, you can admire the whole shining valley since the structure is built on the top of a hill.
Although the view is worth the price of the ticket, the resort offers several services including a swimming pool and a quality restaurant. In addition, guests can take advantage of a special offer, thanks to which they can access the Acqua Pleasure wellness center, which is only a five-minute drive from the resort. The Spa is very intimate and can accommodate up to 8 people. It includes a wellness path and whirlpool bath, a sauna, a hammam, emotional showers with chrome and aromatherapy.
The main feature of the Resort is the restaurant, where a very talented chef prepares traditional seasonal dishes of the local tradition, combining them with the best wines of the region.
The Relais Corte Benedetto, in the beautiful Tuscan hills near Montecarlo, stands out for the many activities it offers. The most characteristic is undoubtedly the horse riding: next to the Relais there is an equestrian center where you can have riding lessons or guided excursions.
In addition to horseback riding, guests of the Relais of Corte Benedetto are encouraged to explore the surrounding area by taking advantage of the organized trails and the nearby adventure park.
Guests can also decide to relax in the panoramic pool, the jacuzzi, which is also accessible in winter, with the possibility to sip a drink while lulled and massaged by the bubbles.
The Relais does not offer a restaurant of its own, but its staff is ready to recommend some of the best places in the surrounding areas that offer typical quality cuisine, accompanied by Montecarlo wines.
The rooms of Corte Benedetto are equipped with all comforts. There will be televisions, telephones, air conditioners, safes and private bathrooms with hairdryers.
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