The region of Tuscany is synonymous with romance; thanks to its breathtaking landscapes, delectable local wines, renaissance art and postcard-perfect sunsets. While the backpackers and sightseers gather around the capital, Florence, in-the-know lovebirds flock to the untouched Maremma region of Tuscany’s rolling hills and Tyrrhenian Seaside. We checked into a secluded fairytale castle and experienced the honeymoon of our future.
Take a coastal drive
Maremma is serviced by Pisa International Airport (PSA) and Florence Airport (FLR). We came in from Pisa, renting an ultra cute, very Italian, Fiat 500 for a scenic two-hour drive down south to Castello di Vicarello. Let’s just say this road trip could not boast a more spectacular backdrop as we zoomed down the coast adjacent to the glistening Tyrrhenian Sea. Along the way, we of course stopped at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This iconic architectural structure was originally designed vertically but began leaning during construction – thus giving it unique fame. Rome is also about three hours south, should you decide to enter from Fiumicino Airport (FCO) instead.
Check into a castle
Acquired in the 1970s by Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi-Berti, the couple and their family lovingly restored this grand castle building into a Tuscan retreat with contemporary influences and interiors from their travels across the globe. There are infusions of Middle-Eastern and Indonesian touches, accompanying quintessentially Tuscan architecture and aesthetic, with unique pieces of art adorning the walls of the corridors and rooms. There are eight stunning suites on the property, with an attentive and discreet staff to ensure a very special service. When you’re on honeymoon, or like us, experiencing one before being married because – why not? Castello di Vicarello basically checks off every lover’s need. It’s romance from floor to ceiling, illuminated by both electric and candle light. Even if you’re travelling alone, castle pooch ‘Uva’ is usually more than happy to keep you company.
Share incredible Italian cuisine
There aren’t many places in the world that have soil more fertile than in Tuscany. Wander for minutes and you’ll encounter golden wheat fields, flourishing olive groves and truffle clad forests. It’s a gourmet destination after all. We suggest hiring a bike (regular or electric) and taking to the valleys and high hills, or maybe truffle hunting with an expert and his dogs. Castello di Vicarello for example, grows all its vegetables on site, and uses organic and locally raised meats and cheeses (as well as amazing homemade jam). Opt for dinner with your loved one by candlelight under the stars, and if you’re not engaged then this just may be your proposal spot.
Explore vineyards, springs and hills
What is romance without wine? Tuscany is one of the best and most famous of wine regions on the globe, with standouts including Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. The rich soils surrounding our castle produce four spectacular organic wines produced by Carlo Baccheschi-Berti and his son Brando – so be sure to book a wine tasting session or at least sample the goods at dinner. Alternatively, you can discover the countryside on horseback with your beloved, or drive over to the hills of Mill Park to the thermal springs where there are amazing sulfur waters to warm up or cool down in depending on season. Be prepared to climb up and down the rocks, but don’t worry, the effort is worth it.
If hiking, biking or riding aren’t your thing, and you’re more of a ‘relax and unwind’ type of couple, then there are plenty of local options available that will keep you off your digital devices. Yogi’s can enjoy sessions up in the hills, or even from the comfort of their infinity pools back at the castle. It’s also wonder considering checking into a Spa Suite, which comes with your own private steam room, sauna, outdoor shower set amongst a rosemary garden and hot tub – it’s your own private wellness sanctuary. If only every holiday were a honeymoon.
Castello di Vicarello is open year round.