Monteverdi Tuscany

American lawyer Michael Cioffi’s medieval toy town in the heart of the Val d’Orcia is pretty as a picture. The 900-year-old hamlet of Castiglioncello del Trinoro, off a winding gravel road that snakes across the hillside, was largely in ruins when Cioffi stumbled upon it over a decade ago. Since then, he’s lavished it with love, attention and plenty of money, and the results are stunning. Now it’s home to a handful of year-round residents and Monteverdi, a grown-up hideaway.

Eleven bedrooms and suites, as well as three villas, are dotted throughout the quiet streets. All are a short potter across the cobblestones to the remains of the ancient castle or to the infinity pool, with its sweeping views of hills studded with cypress trees and faraway rooftops. In the autumn, mornings can start with a hunt for white truffles in the nearby forest with the help of a local forager and his dog. The gourmet swag will later be put to good use in a cooking lesson with in-house chef Giancarla Bodoni, making fresh pasta by hand while accompanied by endlessly refilled glasses of smooth, plummy wine from nearby Montepulciano. The class turns into lunch and it’s particularly satisfying to eat your own homemade tagliatelle and matriciana sauce with morsels of crispy pork fat. Walk it all off with a gentle hike through the surrounding fields or take a much quicker stroll to the hotel’s new spa.

Set in a thick-walled rustic villa, once the village granary, treatment rooms are simple, with the pink cast of raw plaster or bare stone on the walls and low exposed beams on the ceilings. They feel calm, austere, spiritual even. Which may have something to do with the fact that treatments use cult brand Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, the Florentine apothecary where potions were first created by Dominican monks in the 13th century. Staff, who are mostly local, use time-tested Italian ways of healing, combining those products with all sorts of natural ingredients from the kit­chen gardens – sage, burdock, lemon balm and sweet orange. The signature candle-wax massage is evocative and grounding, using the molten oil to melt away aches and ailments in a room that is both humble and beautiful. Outside are steaming-hot private stone baths on a terrace with views over the valley.

This is a place to properly recharge your batteries – practise yoga in the lavender gardens, or try an Etruscan mud wrap. For the bedrooms, interior designer Ilaria Miani has used colour palettes of washed stone and muted green to complement rustic fireplaces, free-standing tubs and four-poster beds. Giant shutters open up to panor­amas of the countryside. The restaurant, Oreade, has an incredible commitment to sourcing organic produce, even overseeing each step in the farming process. A rib-eye steak on the bone is typically Tuscan, and ricotta ravioli in butter and sage sauce is rich and satisfying. As you make your way back to your room afterwards, the evening air fragrant with chopped wood, the only interruption may be a chat with a villager or a gorgeous sunset.

Continue reading “Monteverdi Tuscany”

Advertisements

San Luis

The San Luis is part of an unspoilt realm, expressing a simplicity of style through the use of natural elements and great attention to detail. Nature is on display here, in energy-rich materials: wood, glass and clay alternate to welcome and protect. Our service, discreet and invaluable, is always ready to hear and respond to the needs of our guests, fully respecting their privacy. This is a retreat in which to listen to yourself. A setting in which to find yourself.

Wooden chalets and alpine treehouse lodges aren’t what first comes to mind when you think of Italy, but the San Luis is redefining relaxed luxury. Hidden within 40 hectares of fairytale forests in South Tyrol, the San Luis shows off the unspoiled, tourist-free side of Italy that’s both ideal for exploration and relaxation.

Continue reading “San Luis”

Principe di Salina

Welcome to the boutique Hotel Principe di Salina, the jewel of Salina Island, in the heart of the Aeolian Islands. The breathtaking views of Stromboli, Panarea and the limitless Aeolian Sea set the tone for your stay – an oasis of refinement in a rugged natural setting. A luxurious refuge to return to after a day spent exploring all the islands have to offer.

The boutique Hotel Principe di Salina was built in 2005 to take advantage of the tranquil beauty of Salina, the most luxuriant, green island of the Aeolian archipelago. Nestled among the vineyards of malvasìa (local sweet vine), this charming boutique hotel was designed in the traditional Aeolian style influenced by Sicily invasions during history.

It is the ideal setting for your holidays, weddings, events and celebrations, with manicured grounds including an indoor living area with computer, libraries and fireplace, extra spacious terraces and solarium and the outstanding restaurant “della casa” that allows you to dine intimately, or cater your gathering.

Each of the 12 is elegantly appointed and features a private terrace overlooking the picturesque landscape and sea. Luxe amenities, boutique hospitality and classic Sicilian touches welcome you, and the infinity pool and geothermal spa tub transport you to pure bliss.

Continue reading “Principe di Salina”

Castello di Postignano

Castello di Postignano is an historic medieval fortified hamlet that had languished abandoned for decades. A passionate and dedicated team has given it a new lease of life, seeing this remarkable restoration project through while paying meticulous attention to detail. The Castello di Postignano is a hamlet founded between the 9th and 10th century A.D. on the slopes of a hill along the road connecting Spoleto, Foligno, Norcia and Assisi. The hamlet was of triangular shape, topped with a watchtower and was built by its dwellers, farmers and craftsmen. Foligno and Spoleto contended for its possession over centuries. Between the 14th and 15th century A.D. the hamlet thrived on a flourishing economy based on agriculture, forestry, textile and metal crafts. Starting from the 18th century its population began dwindling and the beginning of the 19th century a large number of inhabitants emigrated, mainly to the US.

Continue reading “Castello di Postignano”

Il Sereno

Revered Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola achieves a stylish modern look at Il Sereno, moving away from the Faux Renaissance and Neo Classical designs that dominate the area. The New York Post, who predicted that Il Sereno “will bring a dose of highly contemporary style to the shores of Lake Como”, placed the hotel among the World’s Top 19 Hotels to Visit in 2016. Urquiola worked with the exquisite scenery and complements the natural surroundings with a flawlessly simple, yet contemporary design.

Joining Urquiola on the project is esteemed botanist Patrick Blanc, whose two delicately-crafted vertical gardens and awe-inspiring sculptures can only be described as living works of art. This unique creation is made up of three different aspects, Le Mirroir Vert du Lac, Le Canyon and Les Racines Echasseesm, which is particularly noteworthy, as it makes Il Sereno the only place in the world where Blanc has done three distinct pieces in one project. Inspired by the colours and movement of the lake, this stunning artwork ensure that the hotel blends effortlessly with its backdrop. Key to the design has been to instil the same principles that have made Le Sereno St. Barths a success. Sereno Hotels strive to ensure guests feel a strong sense of place, a well-developed design sensitivity and a feeling that the challenge of exclusive, sophisticated and high-end services in a relaxed and simple manner has been achieved. A central brand promise is that no matter how luxurious or well-designed, there is no substitute for space and a view.

Continue reading “Il Sereno”

Monteverdi Tuscany

Monteverdi hotel in Tuscany has mediaeval charm by the village-load: cobbled streets, a tiny church, a sociable enoteca and a peaceful pool set in fragrant herb gardens. The rustic spa is also sweetly scented. Holidaying historians will be pleased to know that there’s even a 12th-century castle. Families staying here can expect elegant, understated rooms, and a minimum of fuss: just a clutch of staff, quiet surroundings, and pale, relaxed rooms.

Continue reading “Monteverdi Tuscany”

Monaci delle Terre Nere

Guido Coffa (the owner) says: “In 2007, by chance, I stumbled upon this place, I fell in love with it and decided to devote my life to its resurrection, which means bringing this place, previously chosen by the monks of Saint Anne’s order for its special energy and extraordinary charm, back to life.

The estate Monaci delle Terre Nere is located at the slopes of Mount Etna, the biggest active volcano in Europe, on the border of the Etna National Park, at 500mt above sea level.

My wish has been to preserve the historic identity of the territory, hence more than being a boutique hotel in Sicily, it is a home which I hope retains its intimacy”

Continue reading “Monaci delle Terre Nere”