It has always been a dream of mine to visit Tuscany. I can’t explain how much this region has tried luring me each time I visited Italy. Finally, I am here & it’s everything I expected & more.

You can imagine my surprise to find out that Villa di Piazzano dates back to 1464 and is now owned by the Wimpole family who are Australian!

How random is that?

Mr Wimpole originated from Melbourne and brought over to the Villa some furniture that originated from the George Hotel in St.Kilda. Mrs Wimpole is Italian and here’s the link – the Villa is run by their daughter Alessandra who studied in Tassie, speaks multiple languages and now lives in Tuscany. Talk about the best of both worlds.

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Mr Franco Caruso (Alessandra’s husband), Mrs Alessandra Wimpole, Lisa Jane Battilomo (Alessandra’s daughter) Mr Damian Wimpole (Alessandra’s Father), Mrs Adriana Wimpole (Alessandra’s mother), on the front JACK our house dog.

The Villa has changed over the years and was a farming estate. Today the hills are the backdrop of the Villa as this is where the bloody Battle of Trasimeno took place. Protected by the Environmental Authorities, the Villa and its lands are of major historical significance and the Wimpole family have done an amazing job in preserving this immaculate statement of time. The care, thought and passion for restoring this property is seen in the detail.

 

CHECK-IN IN & BEYOND

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Check out the view from the room. WOW

I picked up my car from Rome airport at 10am and drove for 2 hours 35 minutes to Cortona. The drive wasn’t easy as we ended up going around the airport twice before exiting the correct road. Thankfully it was Sunday, and early in the morning, so minimal cars were on the road. Did I mention driving on the other side of the road just added to the excitement? Talk about concentrating at every sign. Frankly, I was exhausted by the time we got to the Villa, and it was as if they knew, we arrived and the first friendly welcome was from Jake the dog. At that moment, I knew I was home.

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Taking in the well-manicured gardens and grandeur of the building, I slowly made my way to reception to be greeted by Francesca. She just made it all worthwhile. Friendly, honest, kind and she helped me with my Italian. All my worries went out the door, and all I had to do was hand over my passport and decide which angle to take the photos to make everyone jealous.

 

THE ROOM

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Attention to detail is an understatement. Each room in the Villa, and there are only 31 guest rooms, are each decorated in tasteful Tuscan decor. Some of the rooms are in a separate cottage or in the building adjacent to the villa. Modern with a touch of quality and class. Sophisticated with that homely Italian vibe. LOVE IT.

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The gift basket which is actually a picnic basket came with the essentials. Cheese, wine, plates, cutlery and fruit. I am heading out now to sit in the gardens. Be back soon.

 

FOOD & DRINKS

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If we had a restaurant like this in Australia, it would be crowned the #1 place in the Country. Each dish created a mouth explosion due to the unique combinations of flavours, food varieties and the freshness of produce just made it all exquisite.

The bread alone with a bit of olive oil was absolutely divine. Who knew bread could taste this good. With a selection of wines that the family have collected throughout the years, I could not go past the l’olllo local red that offered the smooth velvet feel with light aromatic scents that complemented every single dish I had. Clearly, no sediments and the acidity levels were like they didn’t exist. I never felt more satisfied with a dinner.

The service, well let’s just say, every restaurant could do with some training from this place. Talk about taking it up a notch. I didn’t know this level of dining actually existed. AMAZING.

 

FACILITIES

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Restaurant & Bar – L’Antica Casina di Caccia’ is exactly where you want to be of a summer evening. The panoramic terrace is within the centre of the Villa, and you really feel the exclusivity of the venue and surroundings. As the sun goes down the sunset sparks colour across the property and in the background the jazz music plays and the evening could not be better. This is the holiday of all holiday locations.

Dinner is from 7pm to 930pm with the bar opening at 8am. Yes, that’s right. 8am to 11pm. The restaurant is closed on Tuesday’s.

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A special feature is The Wine Cellar.

Dating back to the 1400’s, this ancient construction is located underground and is the place to sample the finest. Wine & Cheese tastings occur in the evenings and on specific dates in Summer.

Make sure you book as this experience is highly worth it at EUR35. You actually get to meet other guests who are from all corners of the World. Such a luxury experience and you really do feel like you are in Tuscany.

 

THE VERDICT

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Denis Zeni – owner of Leuta (One of the best wineries in Italy)

Stunning, incredible service, the detail, the food and the surprise of the Wine cellar, you are completely immersed in the culture and what Tuscany is all about at this property. The highlight was meeting the family. True, heartfelt people who have pride in their property and the work that they do here. They go over and above, and they really allow you to be part of their family.

Another highlight is that they bring in local winemakers to present to guests their varieties. Definitely catch up with Denis Zeni, the owner of Leuta. A stunning winery and his wines are to DIE FOR. Perfection is in every drop. You will not be disappointed.

 

THE DETAILS

Loc Piazzano 7
C.P.6, 52044 Cortona, Italy

Location: Seven minutes from Cortona town, 2 hours 35 minutes from Rome FCO airport. Definitely get a GPS or use google maps to get you here.

Room Types: Classic Rooms feature Queen or Twin beds with complimentary water, air con, minibar, bathrobes and slippers, 32inc TV screen, hairdryer and laptop size safe. Other room types to choose include; Double Classic Rooms x 4, Double Superior Rooms x 7, Deluxe Rooms x 10, Garden Junior Suite x 4, Villa Junior Suite x 3, Garden Suite x 3.

Rates: Check with Sun Island Tours as to what the rates are for the time of travel.

 

What’s your favourite town to visit in Tuscany?