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La Bella Toscana

A Spotlight on the Tablet Ten Best of 2012 Winner
  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

One of Italy’s twenty regions, and likely its most famous, Tuscany is located in the northwestern edge of Italy’s boot – the high laces, if you will. The capital city, Florence, is world-renowned as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance while the countryside is heralded for its Chianti, Montepulciano and Brunello wines.

WHY GO

The scenery, for starters. From rolling hills to the iconic cypress trees and bountiful vineyards, Tuscany is one of our planet’s true pastoral treasures. Plus, it’s one of the best gastronomic destinations in the world.

HOW

Each year the airport in Florence, Tuscany’s capital, gets better and better, while the train is a comfortable and easy option from Rome and Milan. Rental cars are highly recommended for the best touring in Tuscany, particularly the Via Chiagiana (Chianti Route).

TABLET TIP

As with anyplace where the living is easy, it’s best to adopt the local pace and slow down. No need to stuff your itinerary with every top vineyard or magnificent hill town. Instead, take your time at the ones you’ve chosen and savor your days under that famous Tuscan sun.

Tuscany, January, 2013

After weeks of online voting, the 10th-century Tuscan castle estate Castello di Casole won out as the top choice in our Tablet 10: Best of 2012 contest. But Castello di Casole wasn’t the only winner. Jennifer Causby, whose entry was chosen from the thousands of readers who participated in the contest, cast her vote for the NoMad Hotel in New York, where she’ll be spending three nights on the house. Congratulations, Jennifer!

To learn more about the contest’s top hotel, which won the popular vote by an impressive margin, we reached out to Laura Fiore, Castello di Casole’s Director of Sales & Marketing, for a few insider pointers on making the most of a stay at the estate.

What is absolutely not to be missed when staying at Castello di Casole?

Our estate-produced “C” Wine. We have over 88 acres of petit verdot and sangiovese grapes on the estate and produce two red wines – “C” and “Dodici.”

What is the dish to order when dining in the restaurant?

Homemade ravioli stuffed with pappa al pomodoro filling followed by the saffron risotto and veal shank. Our executive chef and his team are passionate about our cuisine and change our menus seasonally using the freshest local ingredients. Homemade pastas, pastries and breads are made daily. Also, don’t miss the pizza cooked in the castle’s original brick oven.

People are mad about Tuscany, which is likely why there are so many beautiful places to stay. What sets Castello di Casole apart from the competition?

Castello di Casole offers guests a true lifestyle Tuscan experience. On the estate, guests can enjoy cooking classes, pottery classes, painting classes and game viewing with our very own game keeper. The estate has a private game reserve where guests can view wild animals such as boar, pheasant and hare.

What’s the most outlandish guest request and what is the most common?

We once had a client that asked for a grand piano to be delivered to his suite as he loved playing piano. More common requests range anywhere from recommendations of what to do in the area and which wineries and restaurants we suggest.

Finally, if you were to be gifted a three-night stay on property, what would you do first?

Indulge in our heated infinity pool and take in the breathtaking views.

Meg Nolan van Reesema

Book this story

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

One of Italy’s twenty regions, and likely its most famous, Tuscany is located in the northwestern edge of Italy’s boot – the high laces, if you will. The capital city, Florence, is world-renowned as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance while the countryside is heralded for its Chianti, Montepulciano and Brunello wines.

WHY GO

The scenery, for starters. From rolling hills to the iconic cypress trees and bountiful vineyards, Tuscany is one of our planet’s true pastoral treasures. Plus, it’s one of the best gastronomic destinations in the world.

HOW

Each year the airport in Florence, Tuscany’s capital, gets better and better, while the train is a comfortable and easy option from Rome and Milan. Rental cars are highly recommended for the best touring in Tuscany, particularly the Via Chiagiana (Chianti Route).

TABLET TIP

As with anyplace where the living is easy, it’s best to adopt the local pace and slow down. No need to stuff your itinerary with every top vineyard or magnificent hill town. Instead, take your time at the ones you’ve chosen and savor your days under that famous Tuscan sun.


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