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February 24, 2024

COMO Castello del Nero Welcomes a Chic New Villa

Stylish and inarguably Italian, Villa San Luigi comes from Milanese designer Paola Navone.

By Nicole Trilivas

This March, the fairytale Tuscan castle hotel, COMO Castello Del Nero, will debut a new five-suite private country villa, nesting among the vineyards and olive groves of the 740-acre Chianti estate.

Just a short drive from the 50-room fresco-adorned Castello (and visible from its sun-splashed terracotta terrace), Villa San Luigi’s distinct look comes from architect and interior designer Paola Navone, who also dressed the main hotel, which opened as part of the COMO brand in 2019, as well as the brand’s newest Italian property, the recently opened COMO Alpina Dolomites.

In her trademark postmodern ultra-minimalist style, Navone’s Villa San Luigi is striking and almost Puglian with cave-like barrel-vaulted ceilings meeting an expected Tuscan design vernacular by way of farmhouse windows and tile roofing.

[See also: The Most Beautiful Wineries and Vineyards to Visit in Italy]

Villa bedroom
The centuries-old villa has been refurbished with modern interiors / ©COMO Castello Del Nero

“We chose to use typical Tuscan materials like Carrara marble, [Pietra] Serena stone, and lime-based painting,’ says Navone, “[and then added] a touch of contemporaneity with the choice of furniture, upholstery, and color selection.”

Before the renovation, Navone says the centuries-old villa was in decent condition; however, the biggest challenge was to “create comfortable spaces with a light and modern atmosphere, [while] allowing the guests to feel the historical essence of the country house.”

To achieve this, Navone used soft, unintrusive tones on the walls and maintained a simple and natural design strategy to “not overshadow the charm of the countryside that comes in through the windows.” As with the main property, which features theatrical oversized hanging lanterns, the villa is outfitted with pops of whimsy through balloon-like lighting fixtures and white-lacquered chandeliers. 

[See also: The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Rome]

Villa COMO Castello Del Nero
Paola Navone used soft, unintrusive tones on the walls and maintained a simple and natural design strategy / ©COMO Castello Del Nero
Living and dining room
The objective was to create comfortable spaces with a light and modern atmosphere / ©COMO Castello Del Nero

As Tuscany is famed for its honeyed sunlight, natural light plays a key role in the space, and the villa also has a private 52-foot infinity pool and outdoor pergola and dining area with pizza oven and barbeque pit for long al fresco dinners—dolce vita style. (For ultimate privacy, the check-in process also happens separately, within the villa itself via a dedicated villa ambassador.)

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It would be no difficult feat to stay in the secluded Villa San Luigi for the duration of a getaway; however, guests are welcome to use all the amenities of the main hotel, including the COMO Shambhala Retreat, the brand’s famous wellness offering with thermal suites, outdoor pools, and Tuscany-inspired body treatments using olive oil grown on the estate.

Plus, there are the hotel restaurants to try: the summery Pavilion, beside the herb garden; La Taverna, the Castello’s original 12th-century kitchen with oversized wood-burning fireplace; and the Michelin-starred La Torre, starring seasonal fare sourced locally or grown onsite.

Tuscany landscape
The villa sits on the hotel’s 740-acre Chianti estate / ©COMO Castello Del Nero

Villa San Luigi available from March 31 from €16,937 ($18,370) for three nights. Daily rates available from April 9, 2024.

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