Castello nel Chianti
For Wine Lovers - Green Vacations - Family Vacations - Romantic Lodgings - Standalone Villas
Once upon a time, back in the 1200s, there was a vast baronial estate just south of Florence, which included half a dozen castles and dozens of farmhouses. As was the custom at the time, one of the castles was given to an order of monks, whose job was to make sure the Baron's lines of communication with the Good Lord were kept flowing smoothly. Because the castle stood right on the border between the territory of Florence and that of its dreaded enemy Siena, the castle had to be heavily fortified and shared with a barracks of brave and (we imagine!) rowdy soldiers. The resulting stone buildings have a dramatic medieval quality that is very rarely seen in Tuscany. The monks built themselves a small chapel deep within the depths of the fortress, and they created a peaceful garden where they grew a vast variety of herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes. The fortress and the garden are still here today, crowning the hill above several brand-new apartments and four guestrooms that took up quarters in the barracks in 2001-2003. Guests are welcome to pick the herbs for their kitchens, and we promise they don't taste 800 years old!
The property offers several different types of lodgings. Villa Castello is an independent air-conditioned house that was renovated in 2003. It sits about 150 yards from the castle, with stunning views of the property, the endless vineyards and the untouched valley from its private covered patio. Perfect for six people, it is all on one floor and has an entry, a large living/dining room with satellite TV, and an eat-in kitchen with mini fridge, cooktop and microwave oven. The sleeping quarters are off a foyer, which has two large bathrooms with stall showers, plus two bedrooms with queen beds, picture windows, wood-beamed eave ceilings and wardrobes. On the other side of the living room is a third bedroom with twin beds and its own entrance from the patio, plus an en suite bathroom with stall shower.
The villa is just across the yard from the renovated Tuscan farmhouse that hosts the four apartments. They have their own swimming pool, and share unforgettable views from the private patio, as well as a quiet private courtyard furnished with tables and chairs. All the apartments are incredibly spacious, with well-laid out rooms, terracotta floors, tall wood-beamed ceilings, plenty of closet space, and lovely bathrooms with tumbled marble walls and top-quality fixtures. This is one of the few places we've seen where we recommend using the sleep sofas, because the living rooms are all very big and afford good privacy. On the ground floor, One (measures 915 sq. ft., sleeps 6 + 2) has a large living/dining room with double sofa bed, satellite TV and kitchenette (oven, professional cooktop, dishwasher and microwave). A hall leads to a twin bedroom whose bathroom across the hall has a triangular whirlpool tub; at the end of the hall is a queen bedroom with great views and en suite bathroom with stall shower, as well as another queen bedroom with its own entrance and en suite bathroom with stall shower. Two (970 sq. ft., sleeps 6 + 2) has a large living/dining room/kitchenette, which opens onto a totally private furnished garden with vineyard views. On one side of this room is a queen bedroom with its own entrance and en suite bathroom with stall shower; on the other side is a twin bedroom with garden views and a hall bathroom with stall shower; at the end of the hall is a queen bedroom with its own entrance and en suite bathroom with stall shower. Upstairs 15 steps on the first floor, Three and Four are both air conditioned and have stunning views of three castles and the surrounding hills. Three (measures 810 sq. ft., sleeps 4 + 1) has a large living/dining room with open fireplace, single sofa bed, satellite TV and kitchenette (oven and dishwasher). A hall leads to a twin bedroom with giant hall bathroom with shower. At the end of the hall is a bedroom with queen bed and en suite bathroom with stall shower. Four (measures 1165 sq. ft., sleeps 6 + 1) has a large living/dining room with lots of windows, two couches and open fireplace, single sofa bed, satellite TV and kitchenette (oven and dishwasher). Next to the kitchen is a twin bedroom with big en suite bathroom with stall shower. On the other side of the kitchen is a queen bedroom with garden views and en suite bathroom with whirlpool tub, and at the end of the hall is a queen bedroom with en suite bathroom with stall shower. The four apartments can be rented together for a total of 22 guests.
Terrazza and Limonaia are small houses attached to the castle. Terrazza has a large private patio facing the valley and its views of nothing but vineyards, forests and farmhouses. The views continue inside, where the huge living/dining room has a double sleep sofa and a solid wall of picture windows. Also opening off this big room are a full kitchen with double sinks, mini-fridge and cooktop, and a beautiful bathroom with large stall shower. Upstairs is a room-sized loft with queen bed. This apartment is air-conditioned and, like Limonaia, has satellite TV and a wall safe.
Limonaia faces the vineyard and is surrounded by its own private garden furnished with lounge chairs, a table and chairs and a big umbrella. The living room has two large windows, a dining table and a kitchenette, and on the lower level are a pretty double bedroom with vaulted ceiling and a bathroom with excellent shower.
The B&B rooms are in the castle and in the guesthouse. Those in the castle are huge, with soaring wood-beamed and painted casement ceilings, the original terra cotta floors, huge windows and bathrooms that are old-fashioned with modern fixtures. The guesthouse is on the other side of the herb garden from the villas and apartments. It can be rented as one unit or as four separate rooms, each of which has the original floors, high wood-beam or casement ceilings, large windows, ceiling fan and satellite TV. Room One has two twin beds or one double bed and an en suite bathroom with shower. Room Two is the same, with a queen-sized bed. Room Three has two twin beds, a walk-in closet and bathroom with shower. Room Four is a junior suite with its own separate entrance, a bedroom with queen-sized bed, a small living room with kitchenette and dining table, and a private bathroom. All the guests at the castle share what we consider to be the prettiest swimming pool we have seen in the Chianti. Perched high above the valley, it is surrounded by sweeping views and quiet gardens.The castle's location makes it ideal for visiting the Chianti and central Tuscany. Gaiole is just two kilometers away. Countless castles and wineries are at hand, including Badia a Coltibuono, which stands proudly atop the neighboring hill (after all, it was the residence of the Baron we spoke about earlier). Castellina and Radda can be reached in half an hour, Florence and Siena in less than an hour. You will also want to visit the ancient winery right on the property, and three times daily you can tour the castle, whose 18th-century frescoed salons and surprise rooms are among the most spectacular we have ever seen in Tuscany.
For this property:
Included in the price for apartments: taxes, services, heating and air conditioning (where available), one set of bed and bath linen, weekly cleaning
A baby crib is available in the rooms; it costs 12 Euro/day paid in Italy and must be requested at the time of booking
A third bed in Room One or Room Two is available; it costs 37 Euro/day paid in Italy and must be requested at the time of booking
A small dog is welcome and costs 10 Euro/day paid in Italy
A one-time fee of 5 Euro is charged if you wish to use the wireless Internet spot
* - The castle is not heated, so rooms are not available before April or after October 1
In Villa Castello or apartments, a baby crib costs 12 Euro/day; one extra bed costs 18 Euro/day; a small dog costs 10 Euro/day; extra linen changes cost 10 Euro/person, all paid in Italy
On request, guests at any apartment can have fresh bread and pastries delivered to their door each morning for breakfast.
There is no washing machine at the property but you are welcome to use their laundry service for 10 Euro/bag.
It is not possible to have meals prepared for you but a dinner is served twice a week from April to October.
Check-out: by 10am
Refundable security deposit: 100 Euro/apartment
Click here for information about private transfers to the property.
Please note that you need a car to stay here.It is not possible to guarantee Internet access at any property, because the property does not generate the service, it merely provides access from a server. If the server experiences any kind of problem at all, the property regrets it cannot be responsible for any inconvenience caused by subsequent lack of service.