The Borgo is an 800-year-old farming village with manor house and four village homes reverentially restored by its American owner. Thirty minutes south of Siena, its jaw-dropping hilltop views are of a patchwork of farms and vineyards. One could be perfectly satisfied never moving from this visual feast. For most, though, Tuscany's legendary villages and wineries are too appealing to miss. The Borgo can be rented in its entirety for families or groups of 18-44. Or, guests can request exclusive use of one of this luxury vacation property’s five houses.
Finocchieto has 22 guest suites in all. The manor house has nine suites; eight of these are conveniently in pairs of two, permitting parents to be in a private section with their children in the adjoining suite. Then, there are four private houses; one has five ensuite bedrooms and especially large kitchen, living room and dining areas; another has four ensuite bedrooms and equally spacious gathering rooms and terraces; two other small, private houses have two bedrooms each, as well as their own kitchens and dining areas.
All of these luxury accommodations have the finest bed linens (Mascagni) and bathroom linens (Ugolini), and beds are the incomparable Temper-pedic. Bathrooms are large and well-equipped; double sinks, towel-warming racks, steam showers, Jacuzzi baths. There are in-room fridges stocked with complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. All bedrooms are spacious, high-ceilinged, air-conditioned and, perhaps most importantly, enjoy remarkable views of the countryside through charming shuttered windows.
The Borgo has resort-level recreational amenities, which is unique in European countryside inns and villas. There is a graceful oval swimming pool enjoying breathtaking views, a well-equipped exercise room sharing the same views, a spa with large Jacuzzi and cooling-off pool, steam and dry heat rooms, a tennis court that converts to a half-basketball court, a lovely walking path around the property, and mountain bikes for rides to the several nearby villages. And what would a stay in Italy be without a bocce court?
There are over 200 wineries within 15 miles, one of which was Wine Spectator's 2006 Wine of the Year. Siena is just 30 minutes away, with its medieval cathedrals, the Piazza del Campo (one of the largest, most significant piazzas in Europe), and its many art galleries. And Florence can be “done” by train - a comfortable two-hour ride for those wanting that city's cultural and shopping attractions. Popular excursions with an hour's drive of the Borgo are San Gimignano, Volterra, Perugia and Cortina. For those who must get to the ocean, there is a privately owned beach at La Valetta, one hour away.
Breakfasts with some of the finest pastries this writer has ever had are provided in the rate. Dinners, which tend to be wonderfully protracted affairs in the ancient outside courtyards, are prepared by the owner's chef, a 20-year student of Paul Bocuse. Specialties of the house include parmesan souffle, fresh pappardelle and wild boar ragu, wild mushroom soup under a pastry crust, and strawberry-almond crostata with Chantilly cream.
Borgo Finocchieto is perfect for small destination weddings, providing the total privacy and stunning surroundings that make for a truly memorable event. And, what better way to honor the importance of the event than to have one’s close friends and family share a luxurious, intimate venue for a few days before the wedding day itself.