1. Lasting for centuries
Dating back to the 12th century, this estate was a former castle and home for Italian nobles (the Del Nero and Torrigiani families) before the COMO Group took over in November 2018 and restored it into a chic and contemporary 50-room hotel that opened its doors in February this year. When you first enter the estate, you are greeted by a beautifully landscaped 19th-century garden, home to an imposing 400-year-old Lebanon cedar tree, its branches sweeping gracefully downwards.
2. Classic Italian design
Inside the hotel, you get a sense of the building’s storied past thanks to the original Renaissance-era frescoes, terracotta floors and vaulted ceilings left untouched in some of the suites. However, under the direction of Milan-based architect Paola Navone, the design never feels antiquated. Grey, white and soft blue form the main colour palette – lending a fresh, modern vibe – while natural light pours in from numerous windows, each one offering up its own postcard-perfect scene of the bucolic Tuscan landscape.
3. Recharge and reconnect
Sprawled across the 300-hectare estate are well-tended vineyards, olive groves and even a charming patch of forest that conjures up images from childhood stories of pixies and woodland fairies. The hotel offers maps for self-guided nature walks, but you can also sign up for curated experiences that include truffle hunting with a professional truffle hunter and stargazing with an astrologer from the Astronomical Observatory of Chianti. While the pastoral scenery is more than enough to nourish your soul, you can further invigorate your senses at the COMO Shambhala spa – it offers the brand’s signature treatments and includes wellness-focused facilities such as a sauna, aromatic steam room and a heated vitality pool.
4. Award-winning cuisine
The idyllic village of Tavarnelle, just a 15-minute walk away, offers a decent selection of trattorias and pizzerias, but you needn’t stray far from the hotel with the Michelin-starred La Torre restaurant right on site. Helmed by executive chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro, the carefully crafted menu features seasonal Tuscan produce, with most ingredients handpicked from the estate’s organic garden. There’s also a selection of over 1,000 wine labels, best explored under the guidance of the knowledgeable young sommelier, Lorenzo Bellieri. To take full advantage of your time in wine country, book yourself into a bespoke wine tasting session hosted by Bellieri himself.
5. Culture at your convenience
The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to both Florence and Siena, both located about 30 minutes away, leaving you well placed to explore the riches of Italian art and history at these Renaissance cities. In Florence, the Uffizi Gallery – home to iconic works by Michelangelo and Caravaggio – is a must-visit, as is the 15th-century Gothic cathedral, the fourth largest in the world. In Siena, make a beeline for the famous Piazza del Campo, a distinctive fishtail-shaped town square which has been the city’s cultural and civic heart since medieval times.
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This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine