Overview of the Le Tolfe
This captivating estate is nestled in one of the most beguiling areas of Tuscany. It is situated only three kilometers from the spectacular city of Siena, a virtual open air museum that perfectly embodies Tuscan history, culture and architecture. A short drive are the famous vineyards of the Chianti Classico region, gently rolling hills of the Valleys of Orcia and Chiana, the charming towns of San Gimignano, Pienza and Cortona, as well as a number of famous monasteries, grand gardens and other unique historic and natural sites.
Gastronomic discoveries are abundant and include the likes of colorful local farmers’ markets, cheese making farms and hundreds of vineyards producing world famous appellations of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
The name “Le Tolfe” is thought to originate from “Tolfo dei Gricci,” the name of the French knight who was responsible for building the tower. It was constructed in the 9th century along the Via Francigena, a pilgrimage route between France and Rome. A hamlet of farming buildings and a manor house gradually developed around the tower. The property was inhabited by a community of sharecroppers until it was purchased by the Milanese Castelli family in 1953. Since then, three generations have lovingly restored the buildings and furnished them with Tuscan antiques and artwork. There is even some armor and other relics harking back to the building’s original raison d’être.
Today the Castelli family lovingly maintains the estate which is comprised of 100 hectares of gardens, vineyards, olive groves, fields and woodland. They are committed to organic agriculture and endeavor to carry on deeply-rooted Tuscan traditions. Their passion shines through in their exquisite, organic Chianti Colli Senese Riserva and Rosato wines, grappa and extra-virgin olive oil. These are exported internationally and available to guests. Tastings and tours of the cellars and underground passages can be arranged with the onsite oenologist. For an immersive experience, come during the vendemmia, the September grape harvest or in November during the olive-picking and the pressing.
HOUSES ON THIS ESTATE AVAILABLE FOR WEEKLY RENTAL
Torre alle Tolfe
Number of beds : 29
La Torre alle Tolfe is a stunning converted medieval watch tower and villa set within an organic wine estate only three kilometres from Siena.
- Siena 3 km – 10 min
- San Gimignano 40 km – 50 min
- Montepulciano 50 km – 1 hr
- Florence 70 km – 115 min
- Pisa 120 km – 2 hr
- Orvieto 125 km – 1 hr 35 min
- Pienza 55 km – 1 hr
- Cortona 70 km – 1 hr
- Perugia 105 km – 1 hr 20 min
- Rome 240 km – 2 hr 45 min
Activities & Places of interest
- Wine tasting and tours of the cellars on the estate.
- Cooking classes for up to 20 people can be conducted in the villa’s fully equipped kitchen. Guests can sample their culinary creations in the formal dining room or in a more relaxed setting, outdoors under the century old evergreen oak trees.
- The estate is very popular with musical or choral groups as it offers several locations for larger groups to practise as well as soloists or master-classes in more intimate settings.
- The villa is ideal for other group gatherings as well: we have had yoga and watercolour groups, as well as large family reunions and weddings.
- The medieval town of Siena is only 3 km away from La Torre alle Tolfe and is a high point visit of Tuscany. Unlike Florence which is mainly a Renaissance city, Siena remained a well preserved Gothic city. The layout spirals from the main fan-shaped square called “Il Campo.” Twice a year the city holds its famous horse race, the”Palio”. The narrow cobbled streets are lined with charming shops and small cafes, while churches and museums are real gems of the fourteenth century.
- The Siena Palio: the city’s most famous event, is a bareback horse race around the Piazza del Campo, in the centre of Siena. It is a bi-annual event held in early-July and mid-August. The Sienese get very involved in the event. There are also celebrations and events linked to it throughout the year and thus you may come across feasts in the streets, drumming and flag-throwing in any of the 17 Contrade (districts) which are a part of the competition. Some of the Palio horses train through the hills and olive groves of the estate.
- Florence: This emblematic Tuscan city is an excellent day trip option from the estate. Sitting on the Arno River, the city is known the world over for its rich history and its importance in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance. It was extremely influential in the evolution of art and architecture and was a centre of medieval European trade and finance. Visitors enjoy walking the streets of the city-center burgeoning with elegant palaces, historic churches and world-class museums.
- San Gimignano is popular town to visit in the province of Siena. It is a walled hill town famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, many of which can be seen from several kilometers outside away. The town also is known for its Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine, which visitors can sample at wineries surrounding the town.
- The Pontignano Charterhouse, home to famous Italian gardens.
- The Chianti Sculpture Park filled with contemporary art.
- Brolio Castle, a splendid castle 20 km north of Siena which has belonged to the Ricasoli family for 800 years.
- Monteliscai, a picturesque medieval hamlet with a castle.
- Trecciolino’s Palio horse-training yard.
- Val d’Orcia, touring the beautiful countryside and visit to cheese makers and other culinary specialities.
- Wine tasting and winery visits of Chianti Classico, Monteriggioni, Crete Senesi, the Via Francigena.
- Hot Springs: there are several natural hot springs in Tuscany which are feed by volcanic water from 30 to 55 degrees Celsius. Calidario and Saturnia have been frequented as far back as Etruscan and Roman times. You can add a relaxing element to your holiday in Tuscany with a day in at a thermal hot spring.
- Hard tennis court in the shade of tall evergreen oak trees.
- “bocce” aka pétanque court located a short distance from the villa through the olive grove. Atmospheric lighting allows games to be played in the evenings.
- Guests can also do yoga in various indoor and outdoor venues as well
- Casual walking and hiking around the 100 hectare property
- Bycicles can be delivered to the villa on request