Il Borro Entrance - San Giustino Valdarno, Arezzo, Tuscany (Italy)
The wonder | wander | women base in Tuscany was Il Borro, a beautiful resort that is part of the Ferragamo estate. (Yes, that Ferragamo.) The family had restored the original houses of a medieval village, turning them into resort villas with modern amenities.
|View of the villas from up the road.|
|A wider view with the Tuscan countryside.|
|Too cold for a dip but a grand perch while having our morning cappuccino.|
We were nicely set up in the villas - fully furnished kitchens complete with washing machines, pots and pans, and beautiful dishes - including centralized heat, air conditioning, cable TV and wifi.
|Our villa, on the left. The trellis was covered in honeysuckle.|
|Using that quintessential Italian creation, the moka pot!|
Best of all, if we didn't feel like going up to the cafe, we had Italian roast coffee for brewing every morning!
|Part of the view from the writing alcove.|
It was very damp and misty at first; unusual for the time of year, reported the locals. The sun came out a few times, but the first few days were grey and unseasonally chilly.
|Narrow, medieval-style roads down - and then up - to the restaurants.|
Tricky to negotiate on wet days!
|Dinner (when not home-cooked in the villas!)|
was at the main restaurant of Osteria del Borro.
|The road leading to the spa and Vin Café|
But soon enough the sun came back, and we were treated to the kind of bright Tuscan scenery we had always seen in movies. It made everything look gorgeous!
Not just a resort, Il Borro was a complete community - with artisan shops, a children's museum with automated dioramas, their own stables, vineyards, home grown organic gardens, and even a village chapel with a replica of the Shroud of Turin.
|Artisan Street, where local craftspeople sold textiles,|
jewelry, ceramics and other specialties of the area.
|Restored villas and Medieval streets.|
|A terracotta owl outside one of the shops.|
|Inside the resident chapel.|
|A replica of the Shroud of Turin.|
We spent our last night feasting in my uncle's villa, celebrating his birthday. A huge moon rose over the Tuscan landscape, providing the perfect end to our countryside holiday.