You’ve probably seen them before… or at least read about them: ancient Italian villages that sit in some of the most scenic spots in the country. Many of these places are filled with atmosphere and are popular stops on the tourist trail through regions like Tuscany and Umbria. Tourists on guided treks around the region can pay a visit and snap photos of the Medieval surroundings in between visits to wineries, olive farms, and quaint modern towns. But did you know that these delightful villages can actually play a much larger role in your Italian vacation?
There are several villages in Tuscany that have been rebuilt over the years. They are now very unique boutique hotels that retain the same charms that draw so many tourists to similar un-renovated towns. It’s like getting the best of both worlds: comfort, luxury, and gourmet cuisine AND a timeless sense of romance and history. Best of all, these are private estates, so you will only have to share this special experience with a few other guests (and now with groups of camera-toting sightseers).
Borgo Santo Pietro is a fine example of this kind of luxury Tuscan estate. Nestled in the quiet and beautiful Valle Serena, this 13th Century villa features a luxury hotel experience like few such places can offer. Some of the suites open onto their own private garden, while others have private dining areas and fireplaces. High tech features are tastefully placed throughout these suites, though hand-painted murals and use of original materials are the elements that give each and every guest the feeling of being in a place that is truly unique and personalized. Spa services and gourmet food and wine Santo Pietro’s guests everything they’d expect from a five-star hotel or luxury resort. But even the finest hotel on earth cannot match the atmosphere created by the centuries-old villa, gardens and timeless Tuscan views.
Borgo Finocchieto is another place that matches the atmosphere of an ancient Italian village. This is because it is actually an 800-year-old town that still retains its original structures. The buildings in this unique Tuscan hotel have been completely renovated, but most of the original elements remain. 22 suites are scattered around the property, each one providing a unique setting. The buildings are arranged around the village’s historic piazza area. In keeping with this traditional layout, Finocchieto makes it possible for people to live out the fantasy of staying in such a timeless place. No wonder it is a popular place with couples and honeymooners.
Monteverdi is a third Tuscan village that has converted historic buildings into luxury suites. This estate is made up of three villas and a 10-suite boutique hotel, all housed in buildings that were first constructed in the 1100s. A gourmet restaurant, fine wines, and five-star amenities imbue Monteverdi with a strong sense of classiness. The unique features in each room and villa (fireplaces, antique furnishings, original art) bring individualized experiences to guests, no matter where they choose to stay.
Have you been to Tuscany? Or to another destination where you had the chance to spend the night in a historic hotel or villa? Use the comments section to share your experiences with us.