Castello di Vicarello has had 900 years to cultivate its air of mystery, so it’s no wonder that it can seem like a building stolen from a dream or a fairy tale on your first approach. Despite the ethereal air, however, aspects of this rustic-luxe boutique hotel couldn’t be more down-to-earth: authentic home-cooked, Tuscan cuisine straight from a traditional farmhouse kitchen, a working vineyard and olive grove, and one of the warmest welcomes in central Italy.
Castello di Vicarello’s spa uses ingredients sourced from the hotel’s gardens, including sage, rosemary and lavender; there’s a sauna and steam room too. Yoga sessions are held throughout the day (for a suggested contribution of €30 a person).
Don’t leave Tuscany without vineyard-hopping: Poggio Antico in Montalcino runs tasting sessions in English and also boasts a great formal restaurant – book a sampling session in the morning and follow it with a lingering lunch (+39 057 784 8044).