If films like Under the Tuscan Sun hasn't inspired you to visit the picturesque region of Tuscany in Italy, then perhaps an article about one of the most luxurious hotels in the region might: Castello Del Nero. Rolling countryside, rich history, this hotel has it all and much more. This castle has more than 900 years of architectural heritage and was once owned by well-known Florentine nobility: Del Nero and Torrigiani families.
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The venue has been lovingly restored and now you can live like the Italian gentry of years gone by. What is particularly remarkable is that no rooms are alike amongst the 50 rooms and suites spread out in the spacious complex. I have suggested to the hotel for them to run guided tours of the rooms themselves, which would fascinate anyone who has an interest in architecture, interior design, history or simply appreciating the magnificence of the resort.
You will discover anything from antique fireplaces to rare 18th-century frescos. In fact, one of the suite's bathroom has been voted the most beautiful bathroom in the world.
You might be sleeping on a four post bed with the finest Egyptian linen on your bed with history in every corner of your room such as a painted crest of the Torrigiani family. Some suites such as the Royal Galway Suite have a spacious, private terrace which is perfect for stargazing into the Tuscan skyline.
The resort might be set in the countryside but there is no shortage of activities for hotel guests and is not far from major cities in the area like Pisa, Florence, and Sienna. We visited Castello Del Nero during the autumn season and that was the ideal time to go truffle hunting. We were led around the autumnal woodland nearby by a professional truffle hunter and his two loyal, incredibly talented truffle dog companions who have been trained for many years in the priceless art of detecting truffle that is usually well-hidden in the ground.
The early morning jaunt was not in vain as we managed to discover some prized white truffles. To top off our experience, the truffles we discovered were taken to a local restaurant, Ristoro L'Antica Scuderia, where we could sample them along with bruschetta or mouthwatering pasta.
Food is naturally a strong part of the Castello Del Nero experience: their traditional Italian restaurant, La Torre is a holder of a Michelin star thanks to the stern, but soft-on-the-inside executive chef, Giovanni Luca Di Pirro. You can arrange a cookery class with the genius behind the operation himself and learn how to make authentic ravioli filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, home-made pasta and genuine tiramisu, which uses ladyfingers and is less cake-based.
However, if you don't fancy getting hands-on, there is much to savour from their fine-dining experience in the evenings. They have tasting menus which are based around the themes of the sea, the territory and vegetables evolution or you might be able to request a dedicated tasting menu. What can be guaranteed is Chef Di Pirro will pick the best seasonal ingredients on offer as he strolls around his own kitchen garden each morning determining what are the best products available. As he famously said, “if you want quality, you must follow nature”.
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If you want to burn off the calories, their estate is roughly 740 acres of luscious forests, vines and olive groves which are perfect for hiking or a relaxing stroll. Their 25-metre swimming pool would readily entice you to jump in with commanding views of the estate vines and olive groves.
Finally, you should treat yourself with a spa pampering experience at their ESPA spa, which is the largest of its kind in Italy. The outdoor vitality pool works a treat at soothing any aching muscles whilst ESPA has tailor-made signature treatments using seasonal produce from the estate such as virgin olive oil and lavender.
If you want the perfect adventure under the Tuscan sun in 2019, make sure you check out Castello Del Nero.
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For more information on Castello Del Nero, see here.
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