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November 13, 2012

Hotel Castello di Casole Sparks Tuscan Romance

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Siena, Italy—Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Inimitably authentic, yet deeply luxurious, Hotel Castello di Casole opened July 1 just 20 minutes west of Siena, enveloping guests in the ultimate Tuscan experience. The meticulously restored tenth-century Italian castle reigns over 4,200 acres of bucolic countryside; touting vineyards, olive groves, cypress trees and an award-winning game reserve, it begs to be explored. Once the party home of legendary Italian film director Luchino Visconti, the property is no stranger to playing host, graciously welcoming visitors with 41 thoughtfully appointed suites, the latest in-room technology and a bevy of activities, from horseback riding and truffle hunting to art and yoga classes. Stay in the 3,350-square-foot Bargagli Penthouse , where country antiques soften classic Italian formality for a rustic-chic farmhouse vibe (from about $4,725 a night—or snag one of three remaining time-share memberships for just under $1 million). Views from this two-story, three-bedroom haven are enchanting, and evenings on its terrace magical. You’ll find pizza perfected at Pazzia and godly Italian fare—simple but masterful pasta, fish and meat plates—at Ristorante Tosca. Essere Spa (due to open in early 2013) occupies the erstwhile wine cellar, where regional rosemary and olive oil enhance treatments.

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