Close your eyes and imagine yourself on a hillside in Tuscany, surrounded by the beauty of nature, a feeling of serenity, and a gorgeous terra cotta tinted villa. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? This was my reality as I arrived at Montestigliano, an eighteenth-century family-run luxury farm estate which has been renovated with sophistication and elegance while maintaining its authenticity.
Much more than I could have anticipated, this unique place is truly a little slice of heaven. My view of the expansive rolling Chianti hills of green reached as far as Siena, twelve kilometers away. It was almost mesmerizing.
The Donati family operates this working farm in Tuscany, which has been in their family for three generations. Spread across 2500 acres, Montestigliano offers guest accommodations in eleven stone, rustic, restored luxury villas, which house between three and fourteen persons each, and can accommodate a total of 63 guests.
In addition, Villa Pipistrelli, a larger seventeenth-century villa a bit father up the hill houses up to fourteen persons and is especially suited for wedding parties and their guests.
My home for three days and nights was in Casa Luisa, named after Luisa Donati, one of the five owners of the estate.
Cypress trees lined the road and flowerpots of red and white geraniums in terra cotta pots welcomed me as I walked to my new living quarters just on the other side of the central piazza of this hamlet.
Casa Luisa is a beautifully appointed apartment with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, a large living room, dining room, outdoor covered terrace, and fully-equipped kitchen with up-to-date modern conveniences. And a room with a view.
I could stay here forever, I thought.
After I got settled, a delicious Tuscan dinner was served that evening on the loggia where I could appreciate the beautiful wooded view through the open arches.
A stay at Montestigliano can be a private affair if one is looking for solitude, perhaps to write, or paint, or meditate. If you’re looking for more, the Donati family has also arranged numerous excursions and activities as options for anyone expressing a desire to explore the surrounding countryside and experience authentic Tuscan artisans at work.
During a guided walk and tour of the olive tree grove on the property, I met Massimo Donati, brother of Luisa, and one of the five owners. Massimo is the farmer in the family, and was happy to demonstrate the art of harvesting olives with a tool called a comb.
The work is done by hand with the exception of this tool. The Donati family produces their own olive oil, appropriately named Montestigliano, and an olive oil tasting was another experience provided for me.
A tour of the vegetable garden verified the reality of Montestigliano as a working farm. The friendly strolling black and white cat, Monroe, and the donkey, also provided a dose of farm life reality.
I loved the sense of peacefulness I felt as I explored the property and wandered around alone, smelling the fresh flowers in full bloom, and enjoying the photo opportunities around every bend.
Outdoor dinners in the main piazza were a favorite experience for me as other guests staying in the hamlet also participated.
Damiano Donati, Luisa’s other brother and another owner, oversaw the authentic Tuscan experience of fresh and healthy Tuscan cuisine.
Carrot soup, freshly made pecorino cheese, boccino, pappa pomodoro soup, chickpea and baccala, bruschetta, pesto gnochetti, and nutella pizza on pizza night were a few of the memorable foods I experienced. Wine was abundant, of course. And of course, the meals always ended with homemade limoncello.
An outdoor wine tasting with Alessandro preceded dinner one evening as he explained the history of wine making in Tuscany, a real educational experience. I learned that Tuscany now produces its own semi-sparkling wines, known as frizzante,
And early one morning a 2-hour hike through the woods with Caterina, a local naturistic guide, provided plenty of exercise, maybe more than I expected, but it felt good afterward.
One afternoon I made time to swim laps in the pool overlooking the Tuscan countryside. The peacefulness I felt here was priceless. And to have a taste of the city for an hour or so, a short ride to Siena late one afternoon, provided a change of pace.
Luisa Donati and her partner Piero Asso, could not have been more gracious hosts as I immersed myself in the dream of living in a Tuscan villa.
A huge mille grazie, Luisa and Piero.
Click here for more information on booking an authentic Tuscan holiday at Montestigliano.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Montestigliano and the opinions, words and photos are my own.
Have you dreamed of staying in a villa in Tuscany? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment.
For more photos on Italy, please check out my Instagram page.
Authentic Italian Experience in Le Marche - Margie in Italy
[…] of rapeseed as far as your eye can see, and quaint little-known hilltop villages. Sounds like Tuscany, but it’s not. I’m about to enjoy an authentic Italian experience in Le Marche, a […]
Oh gal! We had so much fun! Great to meet you!
Thanks Cacinda. Yes a wonderful time
Yes we certainly did!
The loggia and piazza are to die for! I’m with you, Margie, I could stay there forever! Thank you for sharing this delightful post!
Thanks so much Victoria!! Glad you enjoyed it
Hi Margie, so excited to discover your blog and read about all of your wonderful experiences in Italy. We have a mutual friend,Mariann P. And I saw a post on her FB page about your SICU nurses chat. Mariann & I have been friends for many years.
I know I will enjoy following your blog!
Have a great day,
I really appreciate your kind words and it is truly a small world! I so enjoyed that Facebook chat with my friends from over 35 years ago! We were a tight group and learned a lot from each other. Mariann is a wonderful person and I think of her everytime I make pizzelles because it is her recipe! Glad to make the connection here!!
What an absolutely charming place! So glad you were able to visit and take beautiful photos to share with us!
Thank you Kathy….I’m so happy you enjoyed the photos
Loni My lls
Thanks for the reminder of our stay there. An exquisite place it is and the people who run it are so lovely. I learned to cook some Italian dishes there that I still use today. When we went, figs were ripe and ready for picking. Monty the donkey and Mona the goat were always happy to share that bounty. I would return in a heartbeat.
Thanks for sharing, Loni…I have already made some meals from what I learned in the cooking class too~
Melody of My Menagerie
How beautiful, my Mum and I are staying here this September, very exciting!
How wonderful for you and your Mum!! Thank you for stopping by and sharing
Un po' di pepe
Wow! just looking at the photos is putting me into relaxation mode. i could sit and paint the view for weeks. I hope you got lots of writing done. Ciao, Cristina
Ciao Cristina…You got it about the relaxation. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Kickin' It With Rae
What an amazing spot Margie. So happy for you that you were able to spend time here. Looks absolutely wonderful!!
Thank you Rae…Truly an amazing place!!
Beautiful villa. Nothing like an authentic Tuscan experience – fantastic food, views, and lovely people. Great pics of your stay at Montestigliano.
Thanks so much Cathy!!!
This is beautifully presented! What a wonderful getaway. It would be a complete escape if your cell phone didn’t work!
Yes….Unplugging can really be an escape….A challenge for a travel blogger for sure though
PostcardZ from Victoria
Sign me up?! I want to go! How do I get invited? Are they hiring help? 😇😋😜😀😎 I wouldn’t want to leave either…🤗
*Vi**c**toria De Maio* *T**ravel Advisor, Writer, Blogger, Tour Leader*,* Published Author*
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Thank you Victoria! I know you’d love it too!!!
Reading about your adventure in Motestigliano was wonderful…your thorough descriptions let me experience the vistas, food, and people with you. Thanks for the journey…
Thank you so much. I am glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps you can visit one day in person !!
What an amazing place and a great experience! Absolutely gorgeous photos too, including that delicious food! You are right, one could indeed stay there forever!
Grazie Tony. I knew you’d like the food photos. Of course it never ends in Italy! ❤️
What a fabulous place to stay.
Thanks so much Debra!!! You’ll have to check it out