THE LOCATION

    Location

 

Gaiole in Chianti was voted number 1 by Forbes Magazine in its list of most idyllic places to live in Europe. Located in central Tuscany, Italy, 40km from Florence and 15km from Siena it is a perfect base from which to explore the whole Tuscany region including Lucca, Pisa, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Cortona. It is located along the river Massellone and was historically an important market centre for nearby towns & villages. It now contains a small supermarket, delicatessens, espresso bars, restaurants, banks and a pharmacy.

 

Gaiole in Chianti is surrounded by wine estates open to visitors and wine tastings including the nearby Castello di Brolio. Founded by the Longobards, it has been home to the noble Ricasoli family since the 12th Century and the famous winemaker Baron Bettino Ricasoli created the recipe that is still Chianti Classico wine.

 

Gaiole in Chianti is also located in prime road and mountain cycling territory and is famous for its annual white road cycling race called L’Eroica.

For visitors who enjoy leisurely walks or demanding hikes there are many trails through the woods, across vineyards and through pretty hill top hamlets.

 

Guests of Le Pratola can talk a short walk from the villa into the woods and down to the fishing lake- a perfect post breakfast or lunch excursion. For longer trails we have guide maps available or can arrange for a private trekking guide.

Tuscany is famous for its fine red wines predominantly using the sangiovese grape for classical chianti but now also using innovative wine making techniques to produce some wonderful blended wines such as the award winning Le Pratola wine which takes its name from our villa. Visitors can tour the many prestigious vineyards in the Chianti area or visit Montalcino, home to Brunello.

Guests of Le Pratola can also benefit from a private guided tour organised as a half day or full day session. Guests will be transported by an English speaking wine guide to a number of wineries where in addition to wine they can sample fresh pressed olive oil, vin santo and grappa and combine the day with sight seeing, lunch or dinner.

Cycling

Tuscany is a cyclists paradise. Gaiole in Chianti is home to L’Eroica, a vintage bike race conducted on white roads. The bike race takes place the first weekend of every October, starting & finishing in Gaiole. There are thousands of cyclists that take part & it is a colorful spectacle to watch.

The trail is well publicised & can be followed by other cycling enthusiasts all year round. We can organise bike hire from Officina Ramuzzi, Greve in Chianti, a firm established in 1920 & specialising in racing & hybrid bikes. Bike hire costs from EUR 20 per day.

For more information on L’Eroica please see links below:

L’Eroica official site with details of bike routes to follow all year round

Some international media coverage of the L’Eroica race:

New York Times
Mens Health
The Guardian
Cycling Tips 

Tuscany has 39 thermal spas known for their relaxing and theraputic properties which over the ages have been visited by Napoleon, Byron and Shelley. Visit Terme di Casciana, Terme di Montepulciano, Versilia Spa and Terme di San Filippo amongst others.

 

We can also arrange for a range of spa treatments at the villa including massages and facials or for a personal trainer for pool side pilates or yoga lessons.

 

 

As the home of Armani, Prada, Gucci, Cavalli amongst others, visitors can indulge in some retail therapy at designer stores and designer discount outlets such as The Mall. Alternatively visit the antiques market and stores in Arezzo or buy luxurious leatherware in Florence, art in Cortona or delicious cheese in Pienza.