A pause in Tuscany Villa Casagrande
Cox & Kings client Elizabeth Weller recently returned from Villa Casagrande in the Tuscan countryside.
At the end of August, the thought of winter was not pleasant. I was keen to revisit Tuscany, a short 2-hour flight from London, where it was still warm. The very reliable and understanding Cox & Kings recommended Villa Casagrande in Figline Valdarno, known as the Farm of Italy.
The villa was built at the end of the 15th century and is a 2-minute walk from the main Square in Figline Valdarno, a charming historical town with an array of interesting shops and restaurants. The town is strategically located between the cities of Florence, Arezzo and Siena. Highly recommend is L’Amichi Mia Restaurant, but the Villa offers a superb array of delicious Tuscan dishes within a splendid dining room or outside on the courtyard.
Villa Casagrande offers a historical tour of the hotel followed by a wine tasting. Luca, the guide, explained the history of the property, where Pope Leone X stayed in the 16th century. The historical section of the villa still features the original ceilings, the private chapel of the Serristori family who built the villa, the grand reception and dining rooms, and delightful artifacts from centuries ago.
Villa Casagrande produces wine from its own vineyards and olive from their olive groves. Guests can purchase large and small amounts of the very fine virgin olive oil.
When staying at the property, one thing not to miss is the cooking demonstration by Paolo and Danielle in the old kitchen of the property, built in 1492. Guests can also request special cookery demonstrations. During my visit, Paolo produced homemade pansanella, gnocchi, pizza, delicious tomato sauce and lemon biscotti biscuits. After the demonstration, you can relax in the charming dining room and enjoy the dishes.
The villa’s infinity swimming pool enjoys splendid views of the Chianti countryside and the pool’s restaurant offers a small, delicious Italian menu.
Cox and Kings features Villa Casagrande on a 6-night Tuscany programme, Classic Tuscany.