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It Takes a Villa

8 Enchanting Tuscan Villas
  • Villa Mangiacane

    Villa Mangiacane

  • Il Borro

    Il Borro

  • L’Andana

    L’Andana

  • Castiglion Del Bosco

    Castiglion Del Bosco

  • Castello di Casole

    Castello di Casole

  • Il Salviatino

    Il Salviatino

  • Castello di Vicarello

    Castello di Vicarello

  • Borgo Santo Pietro

    Borgo Santo Pietro

October, 2013

In a sense, every hotel is an opportunity to try on another life, be it a life of swim trunks and sandy toes or dressing to the nines for a trip to the dining room. In the case of these Tuscan villas, it’s the life of an old-time Italian aristocrat, for whom nothing less than rolling hills, cypress groves and Renaissance splendor will do.

1.

Villa Mangiacane
Florence — Given the state of the place today, it’s hard to believe Villa Mangiacane was nearly in ruins when its owner found it. And it’s managed by the group behind Amsterdam’s College Hotel, so the restored 16th-century opulence comes with modern luxury-hotel must-haves like swanky marble bathrooms.
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2.

Il Borro
San Giustino Valdarno — The main villa at Il Borro was built by a Tuscan prince, an auspicious start if you’re after a luxurious experience, and since the Ferragamo family bought it a couple decades ago, it’s only gotten better. One “amenity” you won’t see everywhere else: prime views of the estate’s own medieval village.
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3.

L’Andana
Castiglione della Pescaia — Owned by Alain Ducasse and vintner Vittorio Moretti, L’Andana is an epicure’s fantasy. As long as we’re name-dropping, we may as well add that it used to be the summer residence of the Tuscan Grand Duke Leopold II, and that Ettore Mochetti, Italian editor of Architectural Digest, is responsible for the interiors.
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4.

Castiglion del Bosco
Montalcino — Castiglion del Bosco isn’t merely one villa, but a whole community of them — an outrageously luxurious update on a little medieval village in the Tuscan hills. Not that it feels crowded; with thousands of acres of rolling forest and vine-covered slopes shared by just twenty-three suites, there’s plenty of room to roam.
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5.

Castello di Casole
Siena — It took an army of Italian architects and designers years to restore the buildings of this thousand-year-old aristocratic estate, and their work has clearly paid off. The result is an atmosphere of classic Italian country living, enhanced by the occasional modern marble bath or striking contemporary design flourish.
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6.

Il Salviatino
Florence — This 15th-century villa overlooking Florence proves that modern living and classic style aren’t mutually exclusive. Frescoes from the 19th century, furnishings from the early 20th, and an array of fine contemporary design pieces combine to make a villa that’s more romantic than baroque, more plush than opulent.
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7.

Castello di Vicarello
Cinigiano — Somehow, there are still swaths of Tuscany that aren’t saturated with tourism — like this one, where a pair of fashion types from Milan have turned a 12th-century castle into an impossibly charming, impeccably tasteful five-room boutique hotel.
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8.

Borgo Santo Pietro
Chiusdino — Borgo Santo Pietro is opulent, old-world Italian aristocracy all the way, as close as one could hope to get to living the Renaissance high life. In classic Tuscan style, the chef has a seriously deft hand with produce from the estate’s orchards and gardens, and a range of genteel sporting offerings round out the experience.
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