Travel & Living

A Restored Architectural Masterpiece in the Heart of Tuscany

Acquaint yourself with the idyllic Tuscan hamlet where Wes Anderson wrote The Grand Budapest Hotel.
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There are certain places you visit in this world that have the ability to ignite all of your senses—that wake you up and energize you. The Tuscan countryside is one of those places. It would be hard to imagine staying anywhere in this rural paradise that wouldn’t completely enrapture you, but there is one hidden retreat in the small village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro overlooking Val d’Orcia, whose preserved authenticity differentiates itself from its more touristy neighbors.

American Michael Cioffi, the founder of what is now known as Monteverdi Tuscany,  fell in love with Italy years before his first visit to the medieval village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro. He describes his return like “like coming back to rediscover your lover, albeit a little tarnished. I had found this place of quietude—an ideal place for thinking, for conversation, for the arts and the humanities.” His rediscovery fueled an idea that he immediately executed with great passion: He decided to restore this tiny Tuscan hamlet using the beauty of its surroundings and deep cultural richness to tell the story.

With the help of designer Ilaria Miani, notable for restoring some of Italy’s abandoned architectural jewels, they built Monteverdi using traces of each buildings original fabric. In an effort to maintain the authenticity of what makes the place so special, Miani avoided using folkloristic restoration approaches and touristic Italian clichés by employing historic construction techniques to revive and conserve the village in all its glory.

Today, the property consists of 18 rooms, each retaining their original layouts, a world-class spa, an infinity pool, Monteverdi's new Culinary Academy, an art gallery, and more. Monteverdi also offers an Artists and Scholars in Residence program in an effort to breathe more life into the village. While Monteverdi is an idyllic retreat for relaxation and restoration, Cioffi encourages guests to participate in the programs offered on the property (and off) to enhance the experience and ignite the senses: From cooking classes to horseback riding, to touring the Tuscan countryside aboard Slow Hills' vintage cars.

“It [is] like stepping back in time,” says Cioffi of the small village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro now home to Monteverdi. And it is. The minute you step foot into your room and open the rustic shutters to the sweeping views, you feel an immediate sense of calm paired with undeniable electricity and excitement. And before you leave, make sure to get the Full Monteverdi treatment at the spa ending with an outdoor soak in the travertine tub overlooking the Val d’Orcia—it’ll remind you why you travel in the first place.

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