Have you ever dreamed of staying at a real Castle in the Chianti region? Around you, only woods, farmlands and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Montalto Castle is the perfect Tuscany farmhouse accommodation to live a one of a kind experience in Italy.
The history of Montalto Castle
Montalto is not just a Castle but a tiny medieval hamlet with over 1000 years of history. It once had in fact an important role in the conflict between Siena and Florence and was therefore the seat of several battles. The Castle survived during the centuries and, after the second world war, more than 80 persons still lived there, between owners and workers. But then the farmers started abandoning the place to look for fortune elsewhere.
One of the fist holiday farms in Italy
Luckily, Giovanni Coda Nunziante, cousin of the previous owners, was very forward-looking and decided to renovate the complex and create one of the first agriturismi in Italy. The Castle combines history, natural beauty and warm hospitality.
The beautiful borgo spans an area of about 650 acres: two-thirds are woods and the rest is cultivated with organic farming. The guests can in fact purchase the products of the farm: an excellent extra virgin olive oil, honey, eggs and vegetables. Plus Chianti wine (which is actually produced by relatives of the owners in a close vineyard).
The owner Diana (who’s originally from San Francisco) lives in the main wing of the Castle and often invites her guests to join her for tea time in the charming Armory room. It is a pleasure to hear her talking about the history of Montalto.
Tuscan Farmhouse Accommodations
The 10 former farmhouses are now independent cottages for guests. While the old barn became a hall for events and receptions. And the small church, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, houses several weddings every year. Within the estate there’s wifi connection, laundry service, bikes, swimming pool, tennis court, ping-pong, bocce court, private green areas and common rooms where to relax. You’ll have the chance to explore the estate grounds, enjoying spectacular views over the surroundings, and possibly meeting foxes, porcupines and roe deers.
Day trips from the Castle
Montalto Castle is the perfect place for those who want to experience Tuscany’s countryside, away from the city fuss, being able to see stars in the sky at night, but still close to the main attractions of the region.
It is in fact an ideal basis for day-trips to visit important cities of the region like of Siena (30 minutes away), Arezzo (45’) or Florence (little over 1 hour). Other possible destinations are the enchanting medieval villages of San Gimignano (the Manhattan of Middle Ages), Cortona (are you familiar with the movie Under the Tuscan sun?) or Pienza, the ideal city according to the theories of Italian Renaissance. If you’re looking for more evocative and less touristy places you’ll enjoy a visit to the roofless San Galgano Abbey, Bagno Vignoni and its huge hot water pool or the tiny, rounded, walled village of Monteriggioni. Finally, it takes less than an hour to reach by car the vineyards of renowned wines like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino or Nobile di Montepulciano.
Upon request, the Castle staff can organize guided tours of Siena or other villages of the area, including tastings of local products and tailor-made itineraries. If you want to spend an invigorating day at the spa, the staff will arrange a transfer service, so that you don’t have to think about anything except relaxing and enjoying the relax.
Wedding at the Castle
Montalto Castle is the perfect setting for weddings, especially for private and intimate ceremonies. Every year, couples from all over the world choose this magical location to get married and celebrate with their families and friends. It is possible to choose the between the lovely chapel or the Castle garden.
Imagine to say yes in the green lawn at the side of the charming Medieval Castle, under a roses arch. Then have dinner in the courtyard, with long, white tables set among the ancient stone farmsteads, while the sunset light colors the sky and light garlands all around make the atmosphere even more magical. Isn’t it romantic?
Montalto staff can suggest an expert local wedding planner, able to taking care of all the documents and the details and ensuring that everything is perfect. You can also make arrangements for catering, floral decorations, make-up artists and hairdressers, photographers and video makers, live music or DJ set.
The Castle can accommodate up to 45 adults (plus children), so that your wedding can be a real family celebration. It is also possible to organize a welcome reception for the guests, along with a tour of Siena or other beautiful villages of the area to entertain them during their stay.
Food and Cooking Classes
You can enjoy scrumptious food tasting of local products and Chianti wines at the Castle. But the staff can also book for you a table at one of the finest restaurant of the surroundings.
One of the most beloved activities by the guests are surely the Cooking Classes, focused on Tuscan cuisine and held by well-known chefs. But the best part, other than learning to prepare delicious local dishes, is to enjoy dinner together with the other participants at the end of the course, sampling all the food just prepared.
Among the other activities, Italian language lessons, painting workshops, bike tours, horseback excursion and dressage lessons. But also choral singing seminars and, occasionally, intimate and highly suggestive chamber music concerts. Please, keep in mind to make arrangements in advance for these activities, because the staff organizes them on request only for the Castle guests.
In conclusion, if you want to experience a charming and unique Tuscany farmhouse accommodation, in touch with nature but close to the most interesting travel destinations of the region, Montalto Castle is the perfect place. In my opinion, choosing a genuine agriturismo is the key to experience the true Italian lifestyle. And I must admit I was really impressed by the beauty of the setting and the delightful atmosphere of the borgo, as well as the exclusivity of the services.
Strada Comunale di Montalto, 16
53019 Castelnuovo Berardenga (Siena)