Rustically beautiful, the Etruscan wine country is an appealing destination for travelers. Fortunately, Tuscany boasts quite a few accommodations that can bring guests a natural, organic experience. Located on working vineyards, these places allow you to sample their own olive oil, wine and other foods made on the property while experiencing life in the Italian countryside at affordable prices. Here are six wonderful places you should know about (my favorites are Antico Borgo di Sugame and Agriturismo Le Caggiole).
Agriturismo Le Caggiole
Le Caggiole’s estate produces wine, olive oil, honey, and fruit jam, all of which guests can sample during their stay. The fruits they grow include plums, cherries, and peaches. As for other produce, Le Caggiole grows walnuts, saffron, and vegetables.
The property is located near Montepulciano, a historical Tuscan town, and is only 7 km from Chianciano Terme Spa Wellness Center. At this spa, there is a recent project called Terme Sensoriali, a unique Naturopathy program, the only one in Italy. So anyone interested in natural healing and relaxation should certainly take advantage of Le Caggiole’s close proximity to such a distinct attraction.
Le Caggiole is a bed and breakfast, with four rooms, each with private bathrooms, that range in price from €70 to €100 per night. It also offers an apartment that can sleep two people priced from €90 to €130 a night. The guests are served home cooked Tuscan breakfasts and dinners made by Mamma Ornella – the owner Giacomo Martinelli’s mother. The continental breakfast offers fresh cakes and sweet coffee. For dinner guests can eat handmade pasta, organic meat, game, and lots of fresh cooked vegetables. Dinner prices range from €25 to €35 and include drinks and wine. Mamma Ornella also teaches cooking classes, where guests learn her special Tuscan cooking methods for a separate price. By leading tours of the farm, Giacomo not only gets to know his guests through his mother, but by spending time with them himself.
Le Caggiole is situated about one hour from Florence, 40 minutes from Siena, and 20 minutes from the Medieval village of Cetona. With these exciting destinations nearby and fun things to do on site, Le Caggiole’s guests may never want to leave.
Il Santo, located in the Chianti Classico hills, is only 1 km from Greve in Chianti, 25 km from Florence and 30 km from Siena. Guests can choose among four restored farmhouses, said to have been built around 1100 A.D. The prices range by number of guests, starting at €65 for two and ending at €100 for four. Each has a private entrance, bathroom, and garden/terrace, satellite television and wireless internet access. Among the vineyard and olive grove is a large swimming pool (swimming pools are pretty popular in the Tuscan countryside).
Of course, guests also get a tasting of the estate’s produce. Il Santo’s working winery makes Chianti Classico. Guests can buy it on site or have larger packages shipped home. They also produce cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil.
If they feel like getting some exercise in the Tuscan air, guests can stroll less than one mile out to Greve, where they can find restaurants, a tourist office, a market, bus stop and a laundromat. Bicycles, scooters, and cars are also available to rent in town. Those staying can have the privacy of renting their own farmhouse on Il Santo, and its location is perfect for exploring both Northern and Southern Tuscany.
Agriturismo Savernano is a Bed & Breakfast in the hills of Tuscany, at the center of the triangle between Florence, Arezzo and Siena. The Panoni family, who purchased the farmhouse and property in 1994 say it is a ‘witness of the wedding between nature and comfort.’ For two people in a double room per night, the prices range from €75 to €120. Children under the age of 3 stay free. There are 8 rooms to choose from in the old renovated farmhouse, each with air conditioning, satellite television, refrigerator, telephone, and safe. Guests also receive covered parking for their cars. Guest can opt for the homemade meal for €17 which includes a first course, main course, salad, fruit, or dessert. Wine straight from the property’s vineyards is offered as the house wine.
Savernano also produces organic extra-virgin olive oil from its olive groves. Among the olive trees in the garden is a large swimming pool. Beyond the vineyards are oak, pine, and cypress trees. On warm nights, guests often see wild animals like foxes, boars, and deer. On the land is also a small, picturesque lake to view, helping guests get in touch with the nature.
Poggio all’Olmo Agriturismo
Poggio all’Olmo is the name of this small cluster of farmhouses that date back to around the end of the Renaissance, 1600 A.D. The houses are surrounded by beautiful vineyards and olive trees which offer treats for the eyes as well for the taste buds. Distant from the main roads, the property provides a purely relaxing atmosphere.
There are rooms in the main house and apartments available in the reconstructed hay shed. Depending on the number of people in the party, prices range from €75 to €130. Gas for heating and changes of sheets and towels are not included in the price. Guests are offered the vineyard’s beautiful views and the opportunity to buy the vineyard’s wine and olive oil. There is also a swimming pool for guests to cool off in during the hot summer months.
Located among the hills, this vacation spot encourages walking and other excursions. With historical places like Greve, Florence, Siena and San Gimignano just short drives away from Poggio all’Olmo, guests can become fully immersed in Tuscany’s unique culture.
Antico Borgo di Sugame
Borgo di Sugame is a vineyard and winery, its land dating back to 1200 B.C.E., where some of Robin’s friends have stayed when venturing to Tuscany. There is a separate cottage and nine fully furnished apartments built into two Tuscan farmhouses to choose from. The prices, depending on the apartment, range from €390 to €1105 weekly. Each holds its own bathroom(s) and even a kitchen, most of which have been newly renovated. Every dwelling has its individual outside space, either a terrace, garden, or patio, and of course stunning views of the beautiful Tuscan property. There is also a community pool to lounge around, and even that has a view. It overlooks distant mountain peaks and the vineyards.
Produced by Lorenzo Miceli and his wife Catrina, as well as only 15 friends and relatives, Borgo di Sugame’s four types of organic wines must be tasted. The farm also produces both chestnut flower and wildflower honey. Their organic olive oil is made from Frantoi, Leccino and Moraiolo olives. As if this wasn’t enough, there are fresh fruit trees from which you can help yourself to figs, peaches, and other seasonal fruits. But beware, you may have to compete with the wild boars who roam the property.
Podere Val delle Corti
Val delle Corti is a quaint vineyard in Radda in Chianti. It is the perfect place for travelers who want to get to know their vineyard hosts. Val delle Corti only has one separate apartment on the estate for guests, a stone house called il Fienele or hay barn. Because there is only one place to stay Eli Bianchi and her son Roberto make sure the place is just perfect. They furnished il Fienele with a mix of old family antiques and new pieces. There is a kitchen (with a full pantry), living room, two bedrooms and one bathroom. Prices per night range from €90 to €110 or €690 for the entire week. A three night minimum is required.
On the property, the Bianchi’s produce a Chianti wine that is only available in Europe. Among the personable hospitality provided at Val delle Corti are the family pets; Hugo, a lab mix and Pepe the cat. The animals are trained not to beg for food or enter the apartment, but become friends with the guests regardless.
Val delle Corti is equidistant from Florence and Siena for guests who want to explore other places while traveling in Italy. However, guests can also visit nearby Radda, where they can have dinner at one of the excellent restaurants in town. The Bianchis also know much about the area and are active in their community, which makes it easy for guests to get suggestions on local must-see activities by asking their hosts.
Written by Stephanie Grossman
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