Traveling through Tuscany feels like an alternate reality—a brighter, more colorful, breathtaking reality. The views that open before your eyes at every turn will leave you completely speechless and, I honestly think that there isn't a photo (or an Instagram filter)—however beautiful and dreamy—that can truly capture the magic of the sun-washed hills of Tuscany right before sunset. It is the quintessential honeymoon spot, and if there's a place where you can experience the region's cultural and historical richness in a quiet environment that's Castello di Casole - A Timbers Resort.
Driving up the cypress tree-lined road to the hotel, you just know you're in for a very exclusive and private treat. The 10th-century castello and the surrounding estate were originally owned by the Bargaglis, an ancient and noble family from near-by Siena. Back in the old days, the property included 31 farms producing grapes, olives, wheat, and sunflowers. In the 1960s, Italian nobility and movie stars made the estate their playground. Filmmaker Luchino Visconti even lived there and nowadays the hotel's bar bears his name.
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And while you do feel like you're stepping back in time when you walk around the historic estate, that doesn't mean you will have to compromise on modern-day amenities. Quite the opposite.
All rooms and suites feature sumptuous Carrara marble or beautiful mosaic bathroom flooring, wood-beamed ceilings, and beds so comfortable you will want to spend all day and night in them. But the crown jewel of the estate has to be the stunning infinity pool that overlooks the property's vineyards, olive trees, and the neighboring Casole d'Elsa village.
Every activity offered in the hotel, from the pizza and pasta making classes to the olive oil and wine tasting honors the history of the region and this is exactly what makes Castello di Casole so unique.
And speaking of history, the hotel's spa and wellness center (that's now housed in a former wine celar) teamed up with Casole d'Elsa's local museum to create an old-world Italian beauty workshop inspired by the ancient Etruscan knowledge of herbs and flowers. During a 50-minute interactive session, you will learn all about the health and beauty benefits of essential oils as well as craft your own organic products like body scrubs, bath salts and face masks following old Etruscan recipes based on writings and manuscripts found in the region.
There are also several on-site dining options that will satisfy every Italian food craving you might have —from the casual Pazzia that offers gelato and wood-oven pizza to Ristorante Tosca where chef Daniele Sera will create a high dining gourmet experience you'll never forget.
We're not going to lie to you, going back to your "normal" life after a stay at Castello di Casole will test your willpower (mostly not to pack up your things and head back to Tuscany with a one-way ticket). But we can promise you, it will make for a memorable honeymoon that you and your spouse will cherish for the rest of your life.