The astonishingly beautiful region of Tuscany has it all: art cities and ancient hill towns, high mountains and long sandy beaches, alongside luxurious hotels and some of Italy’s best food and wine.
Recommended place to stay:
Pignano, Tuscany, Italy|www.borgopignano.com|
Official star rating:
Set on a 750-acre estate alongside an organic farm, this ‘borgo hotel’ occupies a stone hamlet with an elegant 18th-century villa and outbuildings.
Dotted throughout the estate are old farmhouses, all carefully restored, with a discreetly luxurious, upmarket Tuscan feel, making this an ideal choice for couples wanting privacy and independence, while enjoying all the facilities of a luxury hotel.
The farm produces olive oil, grain, honey, fruit, vegetables and herbs which, along with farm-reared pigs and hens, supply the two restaurants, the gourmet-style Villa Pignano and the more casual Al Fresco.
It all feels miles from anywhere, but nonetheless is a great base for visits to Siena, Volterra and San Gimignano. Many guests, however, simply choose to stay put and enjoy the huge range of on-site activities and facilities, including yoga and painting classes and horseback tours of the estate.
Standing in the middle of a vast estate, there is little to disturb the peace at Borgo Pignano and it is well removed from any main roads. All around lies idyllic Tuscan countryside; rolling hills dotted with olive groves, striped with vineyards broken by clusters of cypress trees.
Not far from Pignano is the lively old town of Colle Val d’Elsa and its brilliant Museum of Crystal.
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A heady mix of incomparable Renaissance art, gorgeous palazzos, Tuscan cuisine and home-grown haute couture.