Tuscany is synonymous with the slow life, a historic region made up of lyrical landscapes, rustic wineries, and sculptural hilltop villages. Toscana Resort Castelfalfi is the latest village-hotel to appear on the scene, transforming this rural corner of Tuscany into a go-to for pampering, rest, and relaxation.
A 50-minute drive from both Pisa and Florence, Castelfalfi is nestled within an original borgo (village) steeped in 2,000 years of history. Once a castle belonging to the Medici family, subsequently abandoned after World War II, this former hamlet is experiencing a renaissance worth shouting about.
With a roster of dynamic activities on the agenda including pizza-making, golf, wine tasting and beekeeping, there’s simply no room for countryside fatigue in this neck of the woods.
WHAT TO PACK
A careful blend of Tuscan rusticity and modern living.
All 151 bedrooms have been meticulously refurbished as part of Toscana Resort Castelfalfi’s sprawling renovation, pairing contemporary furnishings with a natural colour palette to replicate the colours of the local land. Beds are palatial and perfectly positioned for enjoying the view – the greenery outstretched in all four corners of the panorama. Bedside tables have in-built plug sockets to keep things compact but functional, a theme that’s maintained in much of the hotel design. The renovated ‘casali’ (farmhouses) are ideally sized for families who are in need of more space and privacy.
THE LITTLE EXTRAS
The spa’s supercharged revamp promises a growing list of glowy treatments to look forward to in the coming months: it’s refreshingly low-key, steering away from overt opulence in favour of refined. Choose from an extensive selection of unknotting massages and facials using ESPA products that aim to detox, sculpt, and release tension.
Yoga and breathwork classes are taught by hyper-specialists and former ballet teachers who are unapologetically meticulous in the way they teach. If a hike is on the agenda, there are a number of scenic walking trails planned out around the surrounding vineyards and lakes, ranging in intensity and length.
Travelling with the family in tow? Castelfalfi’s new Falfy Kids Club provides guided activities centred on Tuscan culture and history, with a particular focus on local culinary traditions.
THE FOOD AND DRINK
Following a major overhaul of the resort’s agricultural infrastructure, the fertile grounds surrounding Toscana Resort Castelfalfi have been carefully maintained using sustainable farming techniques, with dishes made from the estate’s freshly grown produce.
On arrival, tuck into a plate of the spaghetti martelli at the poolside bar, a peaceful corner that overlooks the sprawling patchwork fields. This is where you’ll find colourful plates of bruschetta topped with flavoursome tomatoes, and a chance to sample the estate-grown oil condiments infused with truffle, rosemary, and chilli pepper.
For dinner, book ahead at La Via del Sale to bag the best views of the undulating cypress alleys. This is a menu that promises succulent seafood dishes demonstrative of the resort’s culinary excellence. The red tuna, for example, is served on a bed of Japanese beans – an unexpected concoction that points to Francesco Ferretti’s experimental culinary genius. Or, for something more laidback, Il Rosmarino is located around five to ten minutes from the main building in the borgo – a jovial spot come dinnertime with locals from the village dining late into the night. The pizzas here are prepared lovingly across a 72-hour window, leaving the dough to rest and set properly. For dessert, the homemade tiramisu tastes appropriately caffeinated for a quick pick me up.
Lunch at the Country Clubhouse is a must for enjoying decadent plates of pasta served alongside warm focaccia. Save La Rocca restaurant – a gourmet restaurant serving Michelin-star cuisine in a restored castle – for the final night. Executive chef Francesco Ferretti has curated an exceptional tasting menu made up of the finest organic ingredients grown on the estate, and there’s wine pairing to match.
THE TO DO LIST
There’s an impressive roster of activities (40+ in total) at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi. Try to block out time for one of the farm tours, a thorough learning experience that will leave you feeling refreshingly clued up about the estate’s approach to organic farming and production. Looking to perfect your backswing? The 27-hole golf course offers beginner-friendly and more challenging mountain courses that can be exhilaratingly vertiginous.
Bushery is also on the agenda if you fancy channelling your inner Bear Grylls: it’s a guided workshop on how to make a fire from the natural surroundings and other essential wilderness survival tips, or try your hand at beekeeping. For a culture fix, check out La Scuderia Art Exhibition in the local village followed by an aperitif at La Pettegola, a terrace with a painterly view of the undulating terra – the kind that makes beer in a wine glass feel so right.