Tuscany, Italy

Photo: N Preseault
Photo: N Preseault

You’ve already been to Italy. Probably a few times. Racing from sight to sight and city to city. The Colosseum, the Pantheon, and St. Peter’s in Rome? Check. The Uffizi, the Duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio in Florence? Check. Venice’s canals? Check, again. Everything has been beautiful, amazing, and crowded. So this time, you’re ready to slow down, explore the countryside, and experience what Italians call la dolche vita.

Photo: N Preseault
Photo: N Preseault

About an hour and a half outside of Florence, deep within the Tuscan countryside, Casa Portagioia is located in the small town of Castiglion Fiorentino. A Cypress-lined driveway leads to five rooms and two apartments, a pool, and the main villa that overlook gardens, vineyards, and mountains. Wild boars can be heard in the distance. The rooms, which are named after local families, are comfortable and rustic. Breakfast is served on a terrace, and over cappuccinos, Terry and Marcello will help you plan your daily excursions. Maybe wine tasting in Montalcino or a hike at La Verna. Or just sit by the pool, where Marcello will make a light lunch of salads and paninis.

Photo: N Preseault
Photo: N Preseault

Twice a week during the busy season, Casa Portagioia offers a table d’hôte. This five-course dinner party should not be missed. The always changing menu could feature crostini, mozzarella, truffles, pasta, and gelato, plus hand-pressed olive oil and Semplecemente Rosso wine from the property. Getting hungry? And on nights they don’t serve dinner, there are many delicious restaurants to explore in nearby Cortona or Arezzo.

After all this eating and drinking, you may need to start running around again.

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