Tuscany is frequently at the top of our guests’ trip requests. Given the region’s popularity, the challenge is finding the authentic, unspoiled corners of this region. Using Il Mugnello as your base camp and the villa’s charming Giovanna as your guide, your time will be an easy tempo of stopping, exploring, tasting and enjoying.
It’s really all about discovering “la vita vera Italiana” or the true Italian life. Eating, drinking flavorful wine, tasting a delicious gelato, hiking in the hills allows you to discover something new while making new connections and forging new pathways. These are the opportunities where you truly connect with the magic of the Italian life. It’s in the spontaneous and unplanned where the real experiences are felt.
To help you discover the magic of this area, we have put together this guide…
For the Amateur Photographer
For both professional and amateur photographers, the Province of Siena provides inspiration from lush fields of grass to rocky terrain, the lighting and backdrops make it easy to get creative. The iconic shots of a bike propped against a stone building to the colorful flowers tumbling out of a medieval rampart, all you need is “real” camera or a smartphone and the time to wander and roam. We particularly enjoy heading out during the golden hours (early in the morning or at sunset) when the natural light delicately warms the ancient stones to create an ethereal effect.Loop Around Il Mugnello
For the Active Traveler
Bikes are a wonderful way to get exercise while discovering your outdoor surroundings. If you have a hybrid bike and strong legs, we suggest a trip to Belforte which is an easy 8 kilometers from Il Mugnello. The ride there is a comfortable loop on a beautiful country road that isn’t crowded with cars and buses. The point of the ride is not to rush to your destination but rather to take in the scenery and dismount whenever you are intrigued. Be sure to stop when you see the signs for “Vendita Diretta” as these are displayed by farmers selling the wares directly to the public. Eggs, cheese, wine, oil, honey, jam… who knows what you’ll find to bring home.
If you prefer exploring by foot, we suggest a 10 kilometer countryside walk that starts in the historical center of Colle Val d’Elsa. The loop will afford you views of the skyline of San Gimignano and the opportunity to visit several wineries.
For the Foodie
The Province of Siena is an ideal place to experience the “gusto della terra” or taste of the earth. There are many “aziende agricole” where enterprising farmers are rolling out raviolis in their kitchens, forming wheels of pecorinoin their barns and tending their olive groves. Turning into these farms and meeting the farmers who are replicating a life that transcends time allows you the chance to get close with the tastes of Italy.
Feel like staying closer to home? An award-winning chef can join you at your villa to guide your group through a full Italian meal of antipasto, handcrafted pasta, meat or fish entrée with seasonal vegetables and a dessert. Or you can enjoy a tasting with a local farmer or cheese maker at the villa. Together you will experience the traditional methods they use to transform local ingredients into ionic products valued around the world.
For the Wine Enthusiast
Plan a visit to one of the wine areas of Tuscany: San Gimignano or Montalcino are two favorites. A private tour with driver will give you the distinctive experience of terroir and the chance to appreciate the rich productivity of the area.
Prefer a more intimate affair? A professional sommelier joining you around the table of your private villa can guide your group through the different wine varietal and regale you with distinctive stories.
For the Festival Lover
The Radicondoli Festival is two weeks of theatre, music, dance and poetry that is held in late July. While the program might seem geared towards culture-loving adults, there are also many activities for children as they are generally welcome anywhere in Italy.
While we are always eager to make suggestions, the point of Italian villa travel is to leave room for the unplanned. With a sense of adventure and no fixed plan, it’s easy to have a sublime time off the well-worn path. Andiamo!