Our Favorite Stay of the Month: Il Borro, Tuscany
With an enviable location in the heart of Italy, the refined Il Borro hotel is a luxurious take on the Tuscany farm stay. Jetsetter got an inside look at all the property has to offer.
Magical, medieval villages are a dime a dozen in Italy’s Tuscan countryside. The region is full of them, each with their own stone villas, vineyards, family history, and allure. It takes something else to stand out from the crowd.
It’s no secret, the Medicis loved Il Borro. The estate passed through the royal family’s hands twice in the course of its life, cementing its place in Italian history. Arguably, though, it’s a royal family of a different kind—the Ferragamo family—who’ve given it the most love.
When Ferruccio Ferragamo purchased the 1,700-acre property back in 1993, the surrounding village was basically abandoned, the villas—even the land itself—in various states of disrepair. Instead of raising the buildings and starting over, the family went to work, replanting 100+ acres of vineyards, restoring the bridges and roads and farmland, and rebuilding and preserving the existing architecture and original traditions that once gave this village life.
The clutch of traditional stone buildings were remodeled with enclosed verandas, Flemish tapestries, French doors, and patinated walls. Today, the 39 suites are named after old-world professions—Cacciatore (hunter) and Poeta (poet), for example—and look out over the grounds.
Guest rooms are just the beginning. In fact, the hotel—a Relais & Chateaux property—is now a working estate. Those vineyards now churn out over 200,000 bottles a year including a Sangiovese rosé and the Alessandro dal Borro syrah (their signature), olive groves produce olive oil, and the farm rotates crops including wheat, sunflowers, potatoes, and lavender—all of which feature in the farm-to-table dishes at both Il Borro Tuscan Bistro and Osteria del Borro overseen by executive chef Andrea Campani. Of course, guests are invited to get in on the action themselves alongside the chef using ingredients from local farmers and the farm. Test your cooking chops during lessons on how to make melt-in-your-mouth tagliatelle pasta or pizza baked in a traditional wood-fired oven.
While food is an important pastime no matter where you are in Italy, Il Borro’s allure extends far beyond its cuisine. There are the usual hotel amenities—a charming spa, a 24-hour gym, two open-air pools, a wine cellar—and activities (horseback riding, bike trails, a driving range), but the property’s best selling point is its truly authentic village feel. Artisan-run workshops run by tailors and embroiderers sell handmade jewelry and shoes. An on-site gallery showcases pieces from the Ferragamos’ personal collection, including originals by Picasso and Warhol, and there’s even a church that holds weekly services. It’s like no other modern Tuscan estate you’ve ever checked into.
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