A five-star marriage of resort and residences, Castello di Casole has both style and romance.
Italian filmmaker Luchino Visconti, director of The Leopard, lived in the Castello and is said to have housed his mistresses in the surrounding villas.
He brought the jet-set and gave the place a glamour which has endured.
This 4,200-acre estate features 28 Tuscan farmhouses, a 41-suite boutique hotel, 10 hotel villas and a stately penthouse.
It is very much a working farm in the classic traditions of Italy, home to more than 100 acres of vineyards and 30 acres of olive groves, where signature vintages are harvested and pressed for guests.
The protected game reserve, recently named one of Siena’s finest, offers scenic footpaths and abundant populations of pheasant, hare, deer and boar, all tended to by expert local gamekeepers.
Endless trails invite exploration on foot, bike or horseback, shimmering pools insist on relaxing soaks, classes in Italian language, art and cooking inspire and enlighten. Indeed, each day brings new opportunities to savor the bounty of the estate – a place where each present day takes its own special place in history.
As well stocked with charm and character as it is with wine and spirits, the bar is a centrepiece. Hand-fired glass bathes the room in a seductive light, while cozy seating arrangements throughout invite intimate conversation. On summer nights, take hors d’oeuvres, wine and cocktails outdoors.
Ristorante Tosca features traditional Tuscan cuisine interpreted with a fresh twist. The focus is pure Italy – homemade pasta, locally sourced meat, line-caught seafood, organic produce, and house-made breads with estate-grown extra virgin olive oil. Every course is perfectly paired with recommendations hand-selected by the estate’s sommelier.
Take it further and attend a cooking demonstration. Monday and Friday are for adults who want to learn the authentic way of pizza making.
Children have their own classes on Wednesdays. Reserve at least 24 hours in advance for either class.
The Winery can host cooking classes for up to 10 people, with a week's notice. These classes run for six hours and show how to make a full three-course meal with the emphasis on pasta.
Seasonal activities include truffle hunting in October and November, guided by an expert and his dog in the woods at nearby Certaldo.
October is also the time to see the saffron harvest in the old medieval area of San Gimignano.
Numerous other activities, cultural, sporting and spiritual, are also available.