BEST FOR: DISCONNECTING FROM THE FRENETIC PACE OF MODERN LIFE
NOT FOR: THOSE IN NEED OF COUNTLESS ACTIVITIES OFFERED BY GLOBAL CHAINS
Up winding, narrow dirt roads in Italy’s Val D’Orcia, sits a tiny medieval village called Castiglioncello del Trinoro. Sleepy doesn’t begin to describe it. Blink and you might miss it. And yet, in several hundred meters, there are two terrific venues for meals, with ingredients fresh from the local countryside, a spa, art gallery and guest rooms and villas both wonderfully understated and luxurious. This is the albergo diffuso resort called Monteverdi, the vision of Michael Cioffi, an American lawyer and professor with a passion for Italy, who purchasing a practically derelict villa here in 2003. He turned the entire painstaking design, not to alter the original look of the buildings, to Rome-based Ilaria Miani, who championed local craftsmen wherever possible. By 2011, Cioffi had purchased three villas here, which Miani renovated and designed, and began to acquire adjacent buildings, which now constitute the 13 guest rooms. Everything blends seamlessly in, so that without the property’s map, you might end up popping into a private home. There is no central “living area” here, no cavernous reception where no one sits. Instead, take your key (no electronic swiping here) and zip up the path to the library that also serves as an evening bar, across the street from Oreade, farm-to-table fine dining with authentic Tuscan fare. Don’t miss the pici, the regional pasta.
The spa debuted in 2015, and offers a menu equally local to Oreade’s, with treatments using the Santa Maria Novella product line from Florence, and even options to be indulged in local olive or grape seed oils or Etruscan mud. Book the Full Monteverdi, two hours of bliss starting with a salt scrub of local lavender, rosemary, lemon balm and sweet orange followed by a soak in the outdoor tub overlooking the Val D’Orcia, topped off with a massage. It’s the perfect way to disconnect from the stresses of your ordinary life and transition into serenity. Head back to your room for a nap, nestled into fresh linen sheets, whose palette references the countryside, and then enjoy your shower, each of which Cioffi insisted have a view. Pop into the Enoteca and savor one of the 32 wines by the glass, and perhaps combined with a walk up the hill to the check out the active archaeological dig, you’ll have learned how to unwind and slow down. There’s WiFi, but do yourself a favour and tell anyone back home there isn’t.
CONTACT: Tel: + 39 0578 268 146 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
PRICE: From approx £468
NEAREST AIRPORT: Florence
TRANSFER TIME: Two hours