Built in the 12th century, the Castello di Gargonza is medieval castle turned hotel in the Tuscany region of Italy. What started off in the 1300’s as a fortified village, became a self dependant agricultutral community complete with a parish church, an armoury equipped with canons, a school, an oil mill besides four bread ovens which are functioning to this day. This is the same castle at which Dante, the father of Italian literature, spent his years in exile from the Florentine Republic.
The Castello di Gargonza is located about 100 kms from Florence and about 175 kms from Pisa. It is located on a hilltop, on the road between Arezzo and Siena. The reception is in front of the medieval tower inside the village. There is so much to do here, that you will find it hard to believe you are in a rural community, relatively isolated from the cities. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast buffet served at the Olive Press Cellar- homemade cakes, local coldcuts, cheese and delicious Tuscan favourites feature on the menu.
The village has a swimming pool, located outside the main city walls, has a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and is at the disposal of the castle’s guests. On sunny days, lunch is served at the Pergola garden in the swimming pool area. One can also relax in the tranquility of the Olive Press Garden. The La Torre di Gargonza Restaurant (also located outside the walls) is the main restaurant that serves authentic Tuscan cuisine, cooked in the most traditional way. The pasta is home made, the Chianina meat is cooked over embers, the wines (over 60 labels) are from the region, including Chianti Classico, Colli Senesi, Montalcino, Montepulciano and are stored within the wine cellar.
Original terracotta floors and wood-beam ceilings are some of the original furnishings of Gargonza’s apartments and rooms. The accommodation is spread throughout the village. Some have a fireplace and views of the valley. St Tiburzio and St Susanna Church are located within the walls of this medieval property.
The Castello di Gargonza, Tuscany is a delightful getaway that must feature in your itinerary, especially if driving through the Tuscan countryside after having visited Rome and the Vatican.