Enchanting Italy Boutique HotelWords by Victoria Abbott Riccardi
If you’ve dreamed of a destination wedding or honeymoon in Tuscany, look no further than Il Borro, an enchanting Relais & Châteaux ensconced in a medieval village overlooking the Pratomagno and Apennine Mountains and hills of Chianti. With sumptuously-appointed rooms, multiple restaurants, a pool, spa, winery, art gallery and amphitheater, the property offers a setting as gracious and stylish as its owners, the Ferragamo family, famous for their Italian-made fashion line.
One of the more unique aspects of Il Borro is that it offers an immersive experience in 12th-century Tuscan living, yet with luxury on tap. The storybook village, which is part of Il Borro, has 38 rustic, elegant suites in and around the cobbled lanes, dotted with working artisans making jewelry, textiles, shoes and more to sell in their shops. The hamlet even boasts two residents and a small church, where many couples choose to marry.
The resort has several Italian villas with multiple bedrooms, gathering salons, and interior gardens to accommodate couples with a larger entourage. Private and spacious, these suites have won favor with former guests, including Penelope Cruise, Anthony Hopkins and Richard Gere.
Another unique aspect of Il Borro is its link to the land and negative carbon footprint. Salvatore Ferragamo (grandson of the founder) oversees the property’s organic vineyards, which supply the grapes for Il Borro’s luscious red and white wines. His sister Vittoria manages the organic gardens, which supply the property’s two restaurants, Osteria del Borro, serving casual pasta and salads, and Il Borro Tuscan Bistro, serving regional specialties like Tuscan braised beef over polenta. The estate also produces its own organic olive oil, honey and eggs, along with organic whole grains, like spelt and buckwheat, ground into flour for pasta and baked goods you won’t want to miss.
Given the resort’s spectacular surroundings, you’ll want to stroll around the premises and perhaps lounge by the pool of the Osteria’s terrace. You can also hit the gym or sign up for yoga, tennis, golf and horseback riding at the resort’s riding school. You also can arrange for special experiences, such as truffle hunting with a local truffle hunter and visiting the estate’s art gallery, specializing in wine-related art from masters like Picasso.
Couples searching for a more casual setting than Il Borro should consider its sister property Viesca. The Ferragamo family bought the estate in 1950 as a summer retreat. In addition to a small chapel, Viesca has a lovely loggia, two beautiful banquet halls, a panoramic terrace, gardens and manicured lawns. Guests can stay in the 16th-century manor house with seventeen suites or in one of the many luxury villas and cottages. (The property can sleep 114 guests in total.)
For meals, Viesca’s culinary team prepares the same luscious Italian fare as Il Borro, including for destination weddings. The property’s restaurant overlooks a beautiful pool and tennis courts. The chef also offers Tuscan cooking classes, which culminate with a three-course meal.
As with Il Borro, activities at Viesca abound, including guided horseback and bicycle rides. You also can enjoy nearby city tours, including Florence, home to the must-visit boutique hotel The Palace, where you can stay before capping off your dream celebration in Tuscany.
Images courtesy of ( in order of appearance): Il Borro (1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th); Foto Linda Vukaj (3rd); Francesca Pagliai (4th & 6th)
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