Where to go for a weekend in Tuscany

Have you ever heard the sound that bees make when they painstakingly fill the cells in their hive? It’s a strange tune, it almost resembles the waves of the sea. No, nothing to do with the buzz that scares us when we lie in the sun in the summer, catching someone buzzing around us. Observing the bees’ work, scrutinizing them with the same attention that they scrutinize us with, set on daily chores, is a precious experience. And in an old Tuscan village, transformed into a luxury resort, among vineyards, hills and fiery red sunsets, it is possible to get proof of this.

We are in Castelfalfi, Tuscany, a border country (and for this reason previously disputed) between Florence and Pisa. An old village revived today thanks to the intervention of an enlightened Indonesian entrepreneur who in 2021 bought 1100 acres of property to transform it into a true oasis of well-being, in perfect symbiosis with nature. A magical place, Castelfalfi, whose history stretches back to the Etruscans and Lombards, then marked by a series of owners, looting and fires during the power struggles between Florence and Siena. When the Medici Tornquinci family arrives, here is a period of peace, so in the twentieth century, the city is finally abandoned: the consequences of World War II.

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Not even a century later did the village flourish and between the two main organs of5-star luxury hotel Tuscany Resort Castelfalfithe 11 villas and 8 restaurants, you can see the private houses of the past and present inhabitants: to walk in the center (where, among other things, this year is set up the wonderful traveling exhibition “Stalden” curated by Alberto Bartalini), on the road leading to the castle, you breathe an air of real life: it seems to have fallen surprised in a little old world. When you arrive in Castelfalfi and look out from the terrace of the Ecrù Bar, the views are limitless: we are in the heart of Tuscany, a few handfuls of kilometers away are the towers of San Gimignano and the precious jewel which is Volterra.

However, staying in Castelfalfi is not just luxury rooms (and villas) or gourmet restaurants (which in any case deserve a special mention one by one), here the heart of the stay is the experience. So if you are not a passionate golfer, leave that huge behind 27-hole course at Castelfalfi Golf Club and instead dedicate yourself to total immersion in nature. Among the (over 50) activities that the hotel offers some of the most original are selected. If yoga and a trip to the spa tempt you, treat yourself strictly only after trying the bushcraft course with Adam Nazer (learning survival techniques in the digital age is even more fascinating) combined with a trip to the new Adventure Park. It continues with an oil and wine tasting led by Diego Mugnaini, passionate and expert ready to guide the guest to the knowledge of the excellence ofTenuta di Castelfalfi Agricultural Company. The experience that deserves the most remains, perhaps because the most unusual, beekeeping: it starts with a visit to the apiaries, fully clothed and in total safety, the trip continues in the laboratory to end with a guided honey tasting. (to try if it has never happened to you).

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The common thread that unites experiences and places that are all different from each other (widespread, but somehow obviously part of a whole), is the symbiotic relationship to nature. From the large French windows in the villas near the golf course, literally foot in nature, up to the menus of the restaurants led by promising chefs, who use ingredients grown directly on the estate, the contact with nature is 24/7. The vineyards, like the olive groves, are strictly organically grown, and production ranges from wine and oil to beer, grappa, bitters and even gin. An old village, a sprawling hotel, but also a meeting place for everyone (the restaurants and many of the activities are actually also open to those who do not stay here) to rediscover the beauty by disconnecting from the real world and taking a refreshing break. Write the address in your diary now, thank you.

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