Of the many images thoughts of Tuscany conjure up, we’re sure castles are one of them. The region is dotted with medieval fortresses, towers and castles-turned aristocratic residences across the provinces, many of which have been transformed into museums, wineries, restaurants and even hotels. If you think spending a night in a historic castle sounds like a fictional fairy tale, think again: Tuscany offers many opportunities for getting a good night’s sleep surrounded by centuries-old architecture, noble family crests and all the history you could possibly want. So if you’re looking for a bit of luxury on your Tuscan holiday, read ahead for some of our suggestions about where to look.
In the heart of the Maremma, surrounded by the ancient Etruscan Vie Cave, sits a centuries-old castle in the medieval town of Sorano. The Orsini Castle was originally the home of the Aldobrandeschi family before it passed into the hands of the Orsini family in the 1300s. The castle was enlarged and modified extensively over the years, and its current appearance shows traces of each phase in its history. Today, you can find a high-end hotel, a museum, and other services, like the EnoRistrò, offering Maremman tapas, and lots of information about things to do in the area, from wellness to hiking to wine tastings.
Just 30 minutes from Siena and some of Tuscany’s best UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the hamlet of La Velona vaunts a castle dating to the 11th century. The thousand-year-old building is located right where the ancient Via Clodia once ran and still bears traces of its medieval history, like the 12th-century watch tower. The hotel has transformed the noble rooms into luxury suites, and when paired with the relaxing on-site spa and restaurants offering the local, internationally famous Montalcino wine, you’ll never want your holiday to end.
Immersed deep in the forest of San Martino, just outside Poggi del Sasso (Cinigiano), is a castle that defines the word luxury. Built in the 1200s by the Sienese, the Vicarello Castle was modified over the years and passed between various owners, including becoming part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in the mid-1500s. Thanks to its location surrounded by nature, guests can experience the very best of Tuscany’s traditions, with experiences offered by the hotel like a wellness center, wine tastings, cooking classes, hiking and biking trails, yoga, learning about grape and oil harvests and even a leather workshop.
For a B&B experience with a touch of Luxury, look no further than Serre di Rapolano, overlooking the stunning Crete Senesi. The castle in this quaint medieval village will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. Given its excellent location between the Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino wine areas, the hotel is the ideal place to stay for wine lovers looking for a holiday immersed in Tuscany’s centuries-old tradition.
Dating to just after the Middle Ages, around the year 1500, this historic castle is unique its location: literally jutting out into the Tyrrhenian Sea, Torre Mozza in the Gulf of Follonica has seen centuries of maritime history. In fact, each of the suites in the hotel are named after historic ships, in honour of their successful missions. The elegant restaurant offers 0km dishes, while excursions, cooking classes and chauffeured wine tastings can be organized for guests. And for those looking for a picture-perfect wedding location, this medieval tower resort offers everything you’d need for your big day, views included.