At Castello del Nero hotel in Tuscany, you’ll walk around wide-eyed: this 12th-century castle has mediaeval frescoes, marble-and-mosaic bathrooms and a very tempting spa. Dine on wild boar ragù or lobster ravioli in the elegant restaurant, then walk it all off in the hotel’s rolling 740 acres of vinyards, olive groves, vineyards, lakes, preened Italian gardens and wild Tuscan woods. Better still, rent one of the red Vespas and vintage Fiat 500s to explore the Chianti countryside in classic Tuscan style.
A bottle of wine in your room. Guests in a suite for three nights-plus get a three-course lunch
In the know
Also need to know:
Cookery classes (for up to six) can be arranged in advance. In summer, the hotel also offer twice-weekly yoga sessions in the grounds.
Watercolours and a canvas for capturing Tuscan scenes; a bottle opener for boozy picnics.
Picture yourself sipping Chianti under the vaulted ceilings of a mediaeval castle and dress accordingly: silks, velvet and cashmere; leather; a hint of gold.
7 Strada Spicciano, Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Tuscany, 50028
Tavarnelle Val di Pesa
6.9 mi / 11.2 km from city centre
- Onsite laundry
- Exercise gym
- On-Site parking
- Internet services
- Tennis court
- Room service
Michelin-starred La Torre is in the former stables, but no trace of the original residents remains in the elegantly muted dining room, decorated with terracotta-tiled floors, arched ceilings and polished slate tables. As you’d expect, the menu is a love letter to Tuscany; executive chef Giovanni Luca Di Pirro uses the finest ingredients sourced from local farmers or directly from the estate's organic garden. The dishes are seasonally inspired, with crispy greens and fragrant herbs in spring and rich truffles and wild boar in autumn. In summer, diners can eat al fresco on the terrace, overlooking the rolling hills and spectacular sunsets of Chianti. La Taverna is the less formal family-friendly restaurant in the castle’s original 12th-century kitchen, serving simple but flavourful Italian fare, pizzas topped with local ingredients, as well as inventive cocktails. In the summer, head to the Pavilion for all-day Mediterranean dining served alfresco amidst vineyards and olive groves.
Out on the Garden Terrace in summer; cosy by the fire, come winter.
Pile your plate with cold cuts, pastries or fruit between 7.30am and 10.30am; enjoy a lazy lunch at La Taverna from 12pm; sit down for dinner between 7.30pm and 10pm. Service in the bar slows around 12.30am.
Disrobed and disinclined to be in public? Order snacks and light bites around the clock from the in-room 24-hour service menu.
In the former castle kitchens, the bar is an atmospheric space, all exposed red brick, flagstone floors and arched ceilings: sip a local wine with a plate of cured meat and cheeses and you’ll feel like landed Tuscan gentry. The 12th-century wine cellars are a romantic setting for fine wine and olive oil tastings for up to eight guests. Choose from Champagne, reserve cognacs, grappas and whiskies, or have the hotel's expert mixologists whip up one of their enticing signature cocktails.