Virtuoso Life - May/June 2018 - 110
Not to jinx it, but turning
80 looks pretty fantastic
The farmhouses on Belmond Castello di
Casole's estate let guests spread out in
three- to ten-bedroom manors on cultivated
lots of 100 to 160 acres. The 41-suite hotel
occupies the former castle of the noble
eighteenth-century Bargagli family of Siena.
Four-bedroom farmhouse rentals from
$1,650, including breakfast daily at the hotel
and a pizza-making class, winetasting, or
language class for two.
a real medieval sword planted in a stone that some believe was the
inspiration for the Excalibur tale.
The nonne's "big deal" birthday lunch is just as legendary. In the
garden courtyard at the Borgo's Michelin-starred restaurant, Meo
Modo, the eight of us toast the good fortune of being together as a
family on a doubly joyous occasion. The grandmothers open presents between ten courses of modernist Tuscan cuisine - asparagus
risotto with licorice and mint; lamb with green peas and hay; a giant
birthday cake inscribed with Buon Compleanno!
On the ride home, I'm touched by how grateful the nonne are for
a week they both describe as the trip of a lifetime, and it's hard not
to agree. The afternoon sun casts long shadows on those Tuscan
cypress, and the mountain vistas are straight out of a Renaissance
painting. Not that I'm taking my eyes off the road.
"Let's enjoy the view," my mother-in-law says. "Yeah," adds my
mother, "except for the driver."
"Tuscan estate hotels are wonderful for families. They offer a variety of multiroom accommodation options, including stand-alone
villas, which provide independence and home-away-from-home
space, paired with extensive services. These full-hotel perks range
from a variety of dining outlets and expansive spa facilities to onsite family-focused, structured activities and programming."
- Amie O'Shaughnessy, Virtuoso travel agency owner, San Francisco
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Borgo Pignano's one- to ten-bedroom
maisonettes, cottages, and farmhouse, with
their private terraces and country views,
are close enough to the 14-room main villa
and restaurant for guests to enjoy traditional hotel pampering, yet far enough to
guarantee seclusion. Cottages from $630,
including breakfast daily at the villa and a
$100 resort credit.
Former Danish fashion designer Jeanette
Thottrup and her husband, Claus, turned
a lumbering thirteenth-century estate into
one of Tuscany's most polished and alluring
country hotels. With storybook gardens, a
working organic farm and vineyard, and the
new two-suite Casa dei Fiori Bianchi pool
house villa, 20-room Borgo Santo Pietro is
a haven of tranquility and fine dining. Pool
house villa from $7,439, including breakfast
daily at the hotel and a $100 spa credit.