Unwind from the stress of life at Tuscany’s stunning Borgo Pignano

02.04.18

Oozing Tuscan charm from every soul-soaring vista – a stay at Borgo Pignano is a feast for the senses, as Laura Henderson discovers

The trammelled terrain surrounding Borgo Pignano pays testament to the deep-rooted philosophy that ‘everything comes from the land’. It’s a heritage ethos that has been effortlessly incorporated into all aspects of being in this enchanting Tuscan retreat. Located just a short drive from the storied villages of Volterra and San Gimignano, and within easy reach of Florence, Siena, and the vineyards of Chianti, the property sits at the heart of an eye-poppingly  picturesque 750-acre historic and organic estate.

Lorded over by a majestic 18th-century villa and hamlet that was first settled by the Etruscans, this meticulously restored and privately-owned residence, with its diverse options for lodging, offers both discreet hospitality, gracious elegance, and some of the most ravishing countryside views in Tuscany, stretching to the Mediterranean.

If staying put with racy novel in hand soaking up the rays is what you have in mind, the property’s infinity pool carved from an ancient limestone quarry is a popular spot with newly arrived ‘frazzled’ guests; the plump, come-hither cluster of sun loungers dotted around the terrace, too tempting to pass-by. Those with a wanderlust spirit, will find a full flight of activities for all ages with the spotlight firmly on Mother Nature; strolling among the orchards and gardens, truffle hunting, horseback riding, trail biking, even wine tasting - all there to be enjoyed at one’s own pace.

A new and luxurious spa and wellness centre located in the property’s converted medieval well-house, is where trained herbalist Alessandra can be found – her forte - using local flowers, herbs, plant extracts, oils, and honeys to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation. Here, hundreds of candles flicker in an entrance hall of sepulchral calm. Everything is calibrated to soothe from the patchouli haze massage pods to the home-made tisane and herbal tinctures discreetly served post-treatment.

Pignano has a small number of period rooms in the main house, as well as the quaintly private La Canonica, a 13th-century former rectory with three bedrooms. Accommodation, whichever you choose, is the perfect combination of vintage swag and winsome vistas – with a sprinkling of period chintz for good measure, stucco ceilings and Gothic-style windows, four-poster beds, working fireplaces, and fresco-adorned bathrooms.

Testament to the seasoned mix of globe-trotting guests the property draws – the estate also has an attractive collection of maisonettes and cottages; perfect for those who want even more space or for those seeking lots of room to house visitors for an event on the premises. For resplendence, try Farmhouse la Fonte located by one of the estate’s natural lakes, which comfortably sleeps 24 and is surrounded by Mediterranean aromatic gardens, orchards, and fields.

From lazy breakfasts to gourmet dinners – the food selection is inspired. The main restaurant is a refined space, decorated with Cassina armchairs and carved mahogany dining-tables, with work from local artists adorning the walls. Local, seasonal and sustainable is the Holy Trinity and Tuscans share enormous pride in the quality of their produce – Pignano resident chef, Vincenzo Martella is no exception. His approach is certainly experimental but also steadfastly faithful to the bounty of ingredients gathered from the estate. The restaurant also boasts an impressive wine list focused on organic and biodynamic blockbuster Tuscan bottles.

On-site, home-grown produce is equally well curated – shrubby herbs and root vegetables tended in the manor garden, organic honey from the resident bee whisperer, and speckled eggs collected from the precision pecking brood of Valdarno hens which patrol the boundary meadowland. Pignano is pastoral perfection at its finest – a gem of a place to unplug from the world.

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