Villa Belpoggio offers guests beautiful accommodations, fresh local foods and stunning views
When you think about Chianti, you immediately recall the green slopes of Catellina, Gaiole, San Casciano. But there is another brilliant side of Chianti worth a visit: the Chianti Aretino, the Chianti lands all around Arezzo.
Cavriglia, Montevarchi, Bucine and Pergine Valdarno constitute the Chianti Aretino: these lands produce some of the best wines and olive oils and feature some of the most stunning landscapes of the Tuscany Region. This is a different Tuscany, less touristy but perhaps more fascinating and full of places yet to be explored.
If you are thinking of trying something different for a spring vacation, this area of Chianti can be quite a successful choice.
From little villages to huge fashion outlets
The old towns of Chianti Aretino are not to be missed: Loro Ciuffenna and Castelfranco di Sopra, for examples, are two real jewels considered among the most beautiful villages in Italy. Loro Ciuffenna is a fascinating, Medieval village with tiny, winding streets and cute corners to take a picture of, while Castelfranco, founded in 1300, is a unique place settled among the “balze” (terraces) landscape so peculiar in this area.
If you are visiting the Chianti Aretino during the summer, escape the suffocating heat having a walk on the mountain villages of Poggio di Loro and Rocca Ricciarda, where you can taste some of the best cheese, wines and salamis of the region.
No need to say Arezzo itself is a gorgeous city: be sure to attend the Antiques Fair organized on the first weekend of every month, where more than 400 exhibitors gather to sell beautiful vintage photos, objects, jewels and furniture.
For those fond of sacred places, there is the mystical Sanctuary of La Verna, where Saint Francis received the stigmata, and the impressive Abbey of Vallombrosa, deep in the woods of Pratomagno.
Instead, if you prefer some mad shopping, you will discover Chianti Aretino is one of the best areas to visit fashion outlets, such as the Headquarters of Prada, The Mall Luxury Outlet and Valdichiana Outlet Village, featuring some of the best Italian and international brands, like Gucci, Burberry, Dior, Hogan/Tod’s, Armani, Fendi and much more.
Where to stay: the gorgeous Villa Belpoggio
To fully enjoy the magical atmosphere of Chianti Aretino, there is no place like Villa Belpoggio, a recently restored 17th century historic villa that has become an exclusive Tuscany boutique hotel nestled on the top of a hill between Arezzo, Siena and Firenze.
Former house to a noble family and to an order of monks, Villa Belpoggio embodies all the best features of Chianti Aretino. Its wide rooms and apartments are all different and characterized by typical, local furniture and frescoes. The front garden with the luxury pool offers a panoramic view overlooking enchanting vineyards and olive groves. For breakfast, the owners take advantage of local and fresh products: try the organic jam made in-house using the lemons and the other fruits of the garden.
For dinner, you will have the chance to taste the local cuisine at the villa restaurant, reserved to the guests, that offers high quality dishes at a convenient price accompanied by prestigious Tuscany wines.
The chef of the villa makes its own fresh pasta, in traditional style by hand, using organic stone-ground flour and natural ingredients like saffron, olives and basil. He also organizes not to be missed cooking classes to learn the secrets of traditional Tuscany recipes.
To learn more about Chianti Aretino and Villa Belpoggio, visit their website: http://www.villabelpoggio.it/en/