Belmond Castello di Casole, Tuscany, Italy

A bucolic sanctuary among the undulating
Tuscan countryside
, hotel Belmond Castello di Casole
charms guests with its vibrant heritage, abundant surrounds and
authentic Italian restaurants.

Approaching Belmond Castello di Casole along a winding path
lined with emerald-green cypress trees feels as if stumbling upon a
sanctuary of Etruscan magic. Set on the ancient pilgrimage route of
Via Francigena (a 1,200-mile route between Canterbury and Rome) and cradled by the rolling
Tuscan hills, this 4,200-acre rural estate is an Edenic patchwork
of vineyards, a game reserve and groves of lemon and olive trees.
Surrounded by cascading jasmine, the 10th-century aristocratic
farmhouse dotted with Tuscan artefacts has been transformed into
indulgent suites and a spa.

Days here are best started with sunrise yoga in the open-air
amphitheatre before cycling through vineyards and discovering
quaint nearby villages such as that of Radicondoli. Back at the
hotel, lose yourself in a novel on the sun-drenched terrace –
taking a mental snapshot of the sweeping views across Casole d’Elsa
– roll up your sleeves in a Tuscan cooking class, soak up vistas
from the serene infinity pool or unwind with spa treatments that
take their cue from the land. As stars fleck the vast sky, make
your way to Tosca restaurant and raise a glass of one of the
hotel’s exclusive wines.


Castello di Casole was once part of a thriving Tuscan village;
its former farmhouse has been delicately transformed into rustic
suites, preserving all the original features – exposed stonework,
travertine flooring – and accented with a warm Tuscan-inspired
palette and customised antiques. Each is unique and charming, with
medieval-esque keys, dried flowers from local artisans, opulent
marble bathtubs and views across acres of land. This is your
modern-day oasis.

What’s for breakfast?

Served on the Limonaia terrace, surrounded by statues, lemon
trees and the sound of the birds, Belmond Castello di Casole offers
a casual and rustic breakfast of cold cuts, fresh fruit, homemade
breads, granola or anything else you could possibly imagine.

How about lunch and dinner?

Restaurant Tosca is a celebration of rustic Tuscan fare, albeit
with a modern, elevated approach. In the glow of Murano chandeliers
and stained-glass murals depicting the surrounding valleys, tuck
into homemade pastas and dishes such as parmesan mousse and
duck-liver “nutella”. Alternatively embark on a gastronomic journey
across Italy in Cip’s by Cipriani, where locally sourced meats and
garden-fresh produce play a starring role – we recommend trying one
of the three tasting menus, and do ask the hotel to prepare a
picnic for you to enjoy in the nearby ancient forest.

If you feel like heading out for lunch, you absolutely have to
cycle to legendary La Pergola, where the Vatti brothers create
gourmet, experimental pizzas with wholemeal grain, and seasonal
toppings, already sliced and ready to share.

Is there a bar?

There’s no lack of options when it comes to bars at Castello.
Enjoy a spritz by the pool bar or head to the frescoed Bar Visconti
– named after film director Luchino Visconti who once threw
glamorous la dolce vita parties here – for an after-dinner


Descending into the Essere Spa – once a wine cellar – you enter
a world of holistic bliss. Locally harvested olive oil, honey and
rosemary are used in the signature facials and massages. Take note:
it will be difficult to leave the ambience of the barrel-vaulted
ceilings and restored stone walls. There’s also a fitness centre
with dedicated personal trainers and yoga classes available to

Things you should know

Tuscany can get extremely hot in the summer, plan your
activities early in the morning or in the late afternoons. Use your
midday hours to have a dip in the pool. Castello di Casole is
secluded in nature, if you’d like to explore the region, we
recommend hiring a car. Visit in
and you can join one of the hotel’s expert-led truffle
hunts before enjoying a celebratory feast in Tosca or Bar Visconti.
Sunrise nature tours are also available and are a unique
opportunity to glimpse deer, porcupines, wild boar and the like at
sunset or sunrise.

Within a short walk you can find…

Staying at Belmond Castello di Casole is all about slowing down
and connecting with nature. Trails thread among the surrounding
hillsides – explore by foot or borrow a hotel bike. There’s little
quite like horse riding among the groves (Belmond can make
arrangements with a nearby equestrian centre). Hire a car to
explore nearby towns such Montalcino, renowned for its wine, San
Gimignano with its 14 towers and Colle di Val d’Elsa, Italy’s
“crystal capital”. Siena and

are but a shuttle ride away (as is sister property
Belmond Villa San Michele).