Villa Campestri

Via di Campestri, 19/22, 50039 Vicchio di Mugello FI, Italy

How tempting is it to run off to a rustic Tuscan villa? To just drive the rolling, vineyard- and olive grove–lined hills of Tuscany until you find the perfect one to painstakingly, lovingly restore, à la Under the Tuscan Sun, where you can produce your own olive oil and wine, grow your own vegetables, go for long bike rides in search of Etruscan ruins, and befriend the locals in the nearest village despite speaking nary a word of Italian? That’s pretty much what a stay at the Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort is like, except they’ve done the heavy lifting for you. The Pasquali family spent two years transforming the 17th-century villa, once the domain of the noble Florentine Roti Michelozzi family, into a rustic retreat and working olive oil farm. Now, guests can waltz in and lounge by the pool, take long walks through the orchards, sample the house olive oils, dine alfresco on fresh local cuisine, and learn to cook Tuscan specialties with the chef. The surrounding countryside is yours for the taking, with horseback riding, biking, and hiking excursions on nature trails up to Monte Giovi.

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Agritourism Hotels: Villa Campestri in Florence

The olive reigns at Villa Campestri, a Renaissance villa built around a 13th-century fort. Activities include grove tours, oil tastings, seasonal cooking classes, and olive oil massages. The restaurant L’Olivaia serves farm-fresh Tuscan food with Campestri olive oil front and center.

Understanding Olive Oil in the Hills of Tuscany

Finding myself in Tuscany for the first time, I was unaware that wine is not the only thing bottled in the storied hills of one of Italy’s most famous regions. It turns out that water and oil are two more forms of liquid gold which Tuscans count as a source of pride. I learned about the latter during my visit to Villa Campestri where you can stay, eat, drink and learn about olive oil. You can also enjoy it as an ingredient in your spa treatments. Gemma Pasquali, daughter of owner Paolo, is an official Olive Oil Taster and she taught me the real way to taste olive oil as well as to differentiate between fresh oil and that which has already past its prime. On the villa’s property, olives are harvested and turned into oil in a process that ensures the oil will be used before expiring. They’re seeking to educate consumers and chefs around the world but they’re also practicing what they preach. Villa Campestri is a stunning villa with a long history but it’s also a beautiful place to stay where you can do so much more than just enjoy the views and sleep well. Instead, you will leave with knowledge that will forever change the way you shop and cook in your kitchen at home.

Perfect respite in the Tuscan countryside

Needing a place to stay on our way through Italy for just a couple of nights, we thought this resort a bit outside of the bustling big city would be the perfect place to relax. We had so little time there, we were unable to take advantage of the activities they offered, but it wasn’t even necessary. Reading a book, sitting by the pool or just exploring the grounds was simply spectacular because of the stunning scenery in every direction. Not to mention the kitchen - for breakfast, lunch and dinner - churned out some pretty delicious stuff.

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