Tag Archive | "tuscany"

Boutique Hotel Villa Belpoggio – Loro Ciuffenna, Tuscany


Bel Poggio in Italian means beautiful hill, and the name really fits. Relais Villa Belpoggio is immersed in the gorgeous Tuscan hills of the Arezzo district in Tuscany, just a thirty minute car ride from Florence. This area is not as widely popular as the Chianti region, at least among non-Italians, but maybe because of this it is one of the finest and less hectic places to visit during your Italian holidays. Excellent food, stunning views, a friendly atmosphere and cultural sites are what makes this area worth going. Isn’t that enough?

You can get there from Florence, but an ideal place to fully plunge in this idyllic environment is to stay at Relais Villa Belpoggio. The Villa is a beautiful historical XVII century mansion, located on the slopes of Pratomagno Hills, just outside Loro Ciuffenna. It offers 10 double rooms and 2 apartments. All the guestrooms are peaceful, comfortable and of great atmosphere. Each room is unique, with fine furnishings and many antiques that have been built by local craftsmen, heirs to the traditional art of wood and iron carving.

Relais Villa Belpoggio is a perfect location for a very elegant and romantic wedding. The wedding reception can be held in the panoramic garden and by the pool. The religious ceremony can be celebrated in our beautiful XVII century chapel. It would be a privilege for us to take care of your “unique” wedding, offering the following services tailored to your special desires:
-Flowers, photos & music
-Italian wedding cakes
-Traditional Tuscan wedding lunch or dinner
-Assistance with documents to be prepared, either for civil and
religious weddings.
-The excellent geographical location of Villa Belpoggio offers a variety of inspirations for excursions and day trips:
- Art, cultural and religious tours, natural and archaeological parks, gourmet itineraries,
- Fashion shopping, horseback riding and mountain bikes excursions, trekking on the Pratomagno slopes, visit to the Chianti castles, thermal baths for total relax.

Relais Villa Belpoggio is an Epoque Hotel

Via Setteponti Ponente 40/A,
Loro Ciuffenna, ITALY

Ultimate Escapes – Tuscany


Known for its breathtaking landscapes and its artistic legacy as much as it is known for its Chiante wines, Tuscany is arguably the greatest art repository in the world. From extraordinary paintings and sculpture to frescoes and architectural masterpieces, this enchanting destination is also replete with castles, fortresses, watch-towers, and ancient town walls that make medieval Europe come alive in the modern age. As you pass by beautiful tended vineyards, fields of sunflowers and ancient olive groves, you’ll cast off the cares of every day life and embrace the passion for the good earth that defines Tuscan culture. The Tuscan villa offered by Ultimate Escapes offers a swimming pool, panoramic views of the countryside, authentic old-world details combined with contemporary conveniences such as Ipod docking stations, flat panel tv’s, spa inspired bathrooms and high speed internet access. The Tuscan villa is ideally located near the Renaissance treasures of Florence. 
The location of Tuscany is just one of the numerous beautiful locations that are offered by Ultimate Escapes.  Ultimate Escapes, the market leader in the luxury destination club industry, has the fastest growing and most diverse family of destination clubs. The company provides individuals, families and corporations iwth an integrated luxury travel by offering value and diverse choices of destinations.  Each Ultimate Escape destination provides its members with Ultimate Escape planners and local hosts who are on hand around the clock to assist members with every detail of their stays from dinner reservations, chef services, spa appointments, ski passes or even wine vineyard tours. 
To learn more about what Ultimate Escapes offers visit: www.UltimateEscapes.com

Il Borro Winery – Tuscany


By Stephanie Amberg
Photography by Stephanie Amberg
When my travel companions and I included the Il Borro winery as a stop along our trip through Italy, I expected the typical wine experience similar to the ones that I’ve enjoyed in Napa, Oregon and the Loire Valley in France….vineyards, barrels, tanks, bottling machinery, and  wine tasting rooms….the usual.  Albeit situated within the intoxicating landscape of Tuscany. So, imagine the wonderment that captured our very souls as we began to explore our historical surroundings.   I can vividly remember the exclamation of sheer delight as my  eyes caught the first  glimpse of the Medieval Village that dates back to 1090.  We immediately recognized the familiar image, come to life, that we knew all know so well as depicted on the ever so delicate line drawing on the label of Il Borro wine bottles.  The story behind the El Borro estate is a fascinating account of the rich history of Italian families bridging many generations and living rural traditions.  Today, the estate is owned by the Ferragamo family that founded one of Italy’s most respected and world renowned fashion design houses.  While Ferragamo shoes, accessories and clothing adorn the pages of glossy high-fashion magazines, we came to know the family in an entirely different context.


The Il Borro estate and winery, which includes the medieval hamlet, is managed by Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the famed patriarch. While touring the winery and grounds with him, we quickly recognized his passion for his heritage and genuine love for the culture and natural surroundings that are the very essence of Il Borro.   He has dedicated his life to an ambitious and impressive re-organization project for the estate which has included the restoration of existing buildings and the upgrade of the wine production.  As Salvatore looks to the future, he is intent on building an agritourism destination beyond compare.

The expansive Il Borro Estate is located amidst the Tuscan hills on a fertile plain at the foot of the “bastion” of Pratamagno.  Complete with horse stables, a private landing strip, vineyards, olive trees, a restored villa that was destroyed during World War II, farmhouse residences (also available for  rent) and even a golf driving range, the beautiful countryside is home to 40 hectares of vineyards growing Tuscan and French grapes.  One enters the Il Borro estate through a regal entrance of beautiful iron gates that open onto a long, tranquil drive lined with trees and pastures where majestic thoroughbreds graze.    The winery sits proudly in the center of the Estate.  While it houses modern state-of-the-art equipment, the original winery preserves the humble beginnings of wine production.   The renowned expert oenologist, Niccolo d’Afflitto, has assisted the Ferragamo family with the advancement and modernization of the viticulture that has become well renowned around the world since the winery’s renaissance began in 1995. The estate’s flagship wine, is proudly named Il Borro, while the other  wines’ names actually reflect the names of the farmhouses located throughout the grounds.

Our travel party of three stayed in the Medieval Village that is nestled below the hill where a castle once stood, and today is a collection of 17 dwellings. As we climbed the long, curved narrow stone path that once served as the main road to the ancient hamlet, we imagined life as it once was.  Tucked away behind the main  stone path was our “home” which was comprised of two bedrooms, a large bathroom with a shower and bath, an expansive living room complete with a working fireplace and a kitchen equipped with modern appliances including a dishwasher , washer and dryer. 

During our daily walks and exploration of the grounds, we were mesmerized by the wealth and breadth of the history within the breathtaking views that surrounded us. There were flowers to behold from every angle; and the sounds of nature, especially the calls of wild peacocks, filled our souls.  On one rainy evening, we chose to cook “at home.”  A quick trip to the local market provided us with an abundance of local vegetables, fresh porcini, fennel and farm eggs. We managed to create a tantalizing 3-course meal that we enjoyed in the warmth of our historic dwelling.  It was quite the feast. — paired, of course, with fabulous wine. 

Our quarters had many windows, all of which we flung open to capture the fresh clean air of the magnificent rolling Tuscan hills.  Day or night, our “home” was filled with gentle breezes.  Below the beautiful Village, there rests a quiet culinary oasis, the Osteria del Borro.  We actually enjoyed three wonderful meals there – each abundant with fresh produce and local ingredients.  The culinary expertise was absolutely delightful as it showcased all that the bountiful farmlands surrounding us had to offer.  Beyond the main stay of our host’s Il Borro wines, we enjoyed exploring the exceptional wine list selections. 

Needless to say, it was very difficult to leave the world that we found at Il Borro.   In all my travels throughout Europe, I can honestly say that nothing has touched my soul as powerfully as Il Borro has.
How to get there:  
In Tuscany, Italy.  About a 20-minute train ride out of Florence, depart in Montevarci.
Close by:  Sienna where the famed Il Paolo Horse races takes place each year at the end of July