There is a saying about the pleasure of doing nothing and resting afterwards. It is serious work, not to be undertaken lightly, and after decades of searching, we found the perfect setting for it: the exquisite Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany.
I dare you to find it. The address is Montalcino, but that is just a euphemism for “the middle of nowhere, Tuscany”. Can you think of a better place to be?
In 2003, the Ferragamo family (yes, that Ferragamo) purchased the thirteenth century estate and lovingly restored it. Today, the village features a restored borgo (manor house), charming suites and stately villas, as well as two restaurants, a cooking school, and 60+ hectares of vineyards planted with Sangiovese grapes that produce the cherished Brunello wines of the region.
Since our stay was slightly off-season and we had a bit of “off” weather, we took advantage of the opportunity to do a whole lot of nothing. Breakfast overlooking the hills of Tuscany. Then a rest. A morning walk to look at the garden, summer harvest long over but still an aubergine here or a tomato there on the vines. Then, of course, a well-deserved rest, after which it surely must be time for lunch. An afternoon stroll to peer into the fourteenth century chapel, the enchanting Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo, or up to the crumbling remains of the castello. Before you know it, it’s time for a glass of Prima Pietra and then dinner at Osteria La Canonica. And there goes the day, or three. It was heavenly.
Looking back, I half-wonder if we dreamed our weekend of living like royalty in the hills of Tuscany. But if you can find your way there – wrong turns, gravel roads, not much in the way of signage – you, too, can be, ever so briefly, king of the castiglion. When you get there, remember to do absolutely nothing. And rest afterwards.