Località Ferraia, 53015 Tocchi- Monticiano SI, Italy
Wintering near SienaThe magnificent Villa Ferraia is located about 20 minutes from Siena. To reach it I had to drive for a few kilometres on an unpaved road in the woods. I stopped a few times: once to let a fox to cross the road, then, a minute later, to look at two fallow deer running between the trees. The villa has been lovingly restored by Vittorio Cambria who turned a 13th century borgo on the Tuscan back roads into a luxurious retreat. Vittorio came up with a fantastic idea to offer wintering programmes for the guests who come between November and April. Apart from the sauna and cold-water swimming pool with a view of the forest, guests can spend their time in the astronomical observatory with the astronomer in-residence, explore Tuscan hidden gems on a horseback, take cooking lessons, paint or work in the organic garden and green house. The food at Villa Ferraia is cooked by Stefano, who turns humble local produce into delicious Tuscan dishes that you will never forget. He showed me how to make the best gnocchi I have ever tasted in Italy. Vittorio Cambria says that he wants his guests to embrace the ancient Roman concept of “otium”, which means withdrawing from one’s daily business and immersing yourself in pleasure, quiet time, contemplation and learning new things.