Recommended place to stay:
Castello di Spaltenna
Gaiole In Chianti SI, Tuscany, Italy|www.spaltenna.it|
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This medieval stone castle and hamlet is set in extensive grounds on a wooded hillside in the heart of the Chianti Classico wine-producing area.
Parts of the beautifully-restored monastery-turned-castle date from 1,000 AD; the main building wraps around a lovely courtyard where gourmet meals are served in summer.
The bedrooms here, accessed by a warren of stone staircases and passages, are full of character; those in the outbuildings less so.
Spaltenna, which lies just outside the pretty village of Gaiole, makes a great base for exploring this lovely area of Chianti and its famous wine estates. Florence is an hour by car and Siena 40 minutes.
The gourmet-style Pievano restaurant serves elegant, Michelin-starred meals in the candlelit courtyard while Bistecca alla Fiorentina and other more rustic dishes are on offer at the more relaxed La Terrazza.
Spaltenna stands in extensive gardens on a wooded hillside just above the bustling village of Gaiole-in-Chianti with its rustic trattoria, local shops and cafés. Access is via a series of winding country roads; the only traffic noise is likely to be that of a chugging tractor.
The views are of wooded hills broken by the odd neighbouring castle with few signs of modern life in sight.
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A heady mix of incomparable Renaissance art, gorgeous palazzos, Tuscan cuisine and home-grown haute couture.
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.