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A Tuscan Classic: Escape to Castiglion del Bosco

From the grandeur of Lucca’s renaissance era city walls, to the mysterious streets of Siena, Tuscany charmed and intrigued luxury travel expert, Dominic. Yet, nowhere was more enchanting than one of Italy’s greatest hotels, the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco

It has been a couple of years since I spent a magical two weeks in Tuscany. It was a wonderful vacation, full of many highlights, but the place that really stayed with me was my final stop at the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco. I have just booked to return this autumn. Having experienced the hotel in all its springtime glory, I wanted to experience its autumnal splendour; to soak up the grape harvest, golden colors, long country walks and cosy suppers by a roaring fire.

Whilst it is the perfect place to add to a longer road trip itinerary through Tuscany, it can also be combined with Florence which lies only two hours to the north. For a shorter break, it is also ideal. Hop on a flight from London to Pisa, enjoy a scenic drive southbound, and arrive at Castiglion del Bosco within a few hours for an easy weekend getaway.

A car is essential to make the most of this incredible region. Val d’Orcia, certified a as UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding natural beauty, is home to a number of hilltop towns each with its own unique character and characterized by rolling vineyards which stretch as far as the eye can see.

Castiglion del Bosco is located just moments away from Montalcino, home of the Brunello grape, and the hotel itself has its own vineyards producing spectacular examples of the renowned wine. Their wine tastings are a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the wines without having to buy bottle after bottle, and tours give you a chance to learn more about the history of the region and its incredible wines.

The estate itself has been producing wines for centuries and the hotel is made up of the remnants of a hamlet, still complete with villa chapel and a wonderful tree lined avenue. The hotel rooms have been created out of the original cottages, giving the hotel a real feeling of home. In addition to the main rooms there are also some fantastic villas available to rent across the estate. As the whole estate is completely protected, these villas can only be created out of the pre-existing buildings so each has a wonderful character of its own.

The estate itself has been producing wines for centuries and the hotel is made up of the remnants of a hamlet, still complete with villa chapel and a wonderful tree lined avenue. The hotel rooms have been created out of the original cottages, giving the hotel a real feeling of home. In addition to the main rooms there are also some fantastic villas available to rent across the estate. As the whole estate is completely protected, these villas can only be created out of the pre-existing buildings so each has a wonderful character of its own.

Last summer I organized a wonderful family celebration staying in the hotel’s newest addition Villa Oddi. It was a multi-generational group, with ages ranging from five to seventy, and we managed to find something fun for everyone, with pizza making classes for the kids and a wonderful private dinner in the villa’s garden for the adults. The highlight of the stay was a visit to Siena to experience the drama of the famed Palio di Siena first hand. Staying at Castiglion del Bosco only enhanced the experience. From a seat at the jockey’s table the evening before the race, to exclusive access to a large private apartment overlooking the piazza with amazing views of the proceedings. It truly is a once in a lifetime event and the perfect way to mark a big birthday. If you are looking for a group vacation later in the year, the good news is that they will now be opening up the villas throughout the winter season on a fully catered basis, making them the perfect option for a Christmas or New Year escape with a difference!

Food is a huge part of any stay at Castiglion del Bosco and I can’t wait to dine in their Michellin starred Campo del Drago restaurant again. Part of the reason I am returning in the autumn is that I want to be there for truffle season. I have booked onto their truffle hunting experience so we will be heading out onto the estate with only a trusty dog and his owner for company. We will be tasked with finding the delicious fungi before returning to the hotel’s new cooking school Osteria La Canonica to prepare a delicious dinner with the hotels chefs. I can’t wait!

There really is nowhere quite so warm and hospitable as Castiglion del Bosco, the staff are so proud of their little piece of Tuscan heritage and it shows in everyone you meet. Many of the staff have grown up locally and will be at hand daily to recommend their favorite secret spot in the neighboring village or the most amazing hiking trail on the estate. The diversity of the experiences on offer are just so unique, so whether you take up a week long residency or a quick pampering escape to completely recharge at Castiglion del Bosco, a taste of la dolce vita awaits.

Enjoy a sneak preview of Castiglion del Bosco here…

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