Few destinations can set the stage for a romantic honeymoon as well as Tuscany. This Italian region drips with romance; its ancient olive groves and sensually sloping hills acting as the backdrop for countless love stories throughout the centuries, both on screen and off.
Films like The English Patient, A Room with a View, and Under the Tuscan Sun all have Tuscany to thank for their impassioned panoramas, but despite how good the region looks on camera, there’s nothing quite like seeing Tuscany in person, and with freshly married eyes.
To fall in love with Tuscany is to fall in love in Tuscany, and, just like the way the region’s signature golden sunlight paints the landscape with an eternal glow, starting your marriage off in this romantic destination is a sure way to set the tone for a continuing love story.
Where to Stay
The stone walls of the Castello di Casole hold their own romantic tales, dating back to the 10th century when the property was christened by Italian aristocrats as the Querceto Manor, and today those same walls act as the perfect refuge for newlyweds seeking to begin their adventures in matrimony.
The property has only changed ownership a handful of times over the years, acting as the haute Hollywood hangout for American and European celebrities during the ’60s when it was owned by Italian film director Luchino Visconti. It wasn’t until Timbers Resorts purchased the property in 2005 that the hotel became what it is today. After a careful renovation to restore the property with authentic touches while updating it with modern amenities, the hotel now features 41 luxury suites furnished and styled by Europe’s top designers.
The majority of the suites are housed in the old castle—either in the main building, the old priest’s quarters, or in the refurbished farmhouses and villas that line the pathway leading up to the lobby—but nine spacious Oliveto suites stand apart from the others at just a short stroll below the hotel’s infinity edge pool. Instead of the chic and rustic designs of the hotel’s other suites, the Oliveto suites feature a more modern Italian aesthetic in an apartment style lodging nestled in the middle of the property’s olive orchards.
All of the suites at the Castello di Casole feature luxurious Italian fabrics, a large soaking tub for two, and tons of complimentary amenities including the minibar, WiFi, and premium movies.
Where to Eat
Although there are a handful of charming cafes and trattorias in the neighboring villages, like the Caffe Casolani in Casole d’Elsa or the Antico Travaglio in Monteriggioni, honeymooners never have to leave the property for authentic Tuscan specialties. Along with 24-hour room service and private chefs in the villas, the hotel features three dining experiences on site. The Trattoria Pazzia serves up homemade pasta, classic Tuscan specialties, fresh gelato, steamy espressos, salads made with produce picked from the chef’s own vegetable garden, and hand tossed pizzas in an authentic brick oven. Named after filmmaker Luchino Visconti, the Bar Visconti pays homage to its partying predecessor with an extensive wine list and premium selection of handcrafted cocktails. The bar’s massive outdoor terrace is arguably the best sunset viewing point in all of Tuscany, and is the perfect place for appetizers and pre-dinner cocktails. The hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Ristorante Tosca, offers traditional Tuscan cuisine with a twist. Local favorites and homemade pasta are presented in a surprising gastronomic way, and are served either a la carte or throughout the chef’s signature degustation menu where each dish is paired with a wine selected by the estate’s expert sommelier.
Where to Play
While there’s always the option of staying beneath the lush Italian linens and watching free movies in your private villa, it’d be a shame to miss out on the hotel’s amazing range of activities. Couples can spend the day lounging by the pool, lunching on the terrace, or roaming the countryside by bicycle, on horseback, or in a fiery red Ferrari through the hotel’s Driving The Dream In Tuscany package.
The resort’s romance team will create the perfect honeymoon itinerary for you and your sweetie, full of private excursions, dinner reservations, and more, but there is always something on the event calendar at the Castello di Casole, from morning yoga classes in the vineyards to language classes for couples looking to bring back a lasting souvenir from their honeymoon in Italy.
Culinary-minded couples will love working privately with a local chef to develop a taste for Tuscan cooking. From rolling out fresh pasta to learning the Italian art of hand tossing a pizza, couples leave with a recipe to bring home and can enjoy all the food they made once the class has finished. The vineyards on site aren’t just for looks either, and each grape gets hand selected each year to become a part of the hotel’s private label wines that are available only to villa owners and hotel guests. Wine is part of the culture at the Castello di Casole, and couples can take part in private winery tours, premium wine tastings with a local winemaker, and exclusive winemaker’s dinners.
It wouldn’t be a Tuscan honeymoon without some special treatment, and the treatment rooms at the hotel’s Essere spa are just the place for unwinding after the wedding. The spa is housed inside the castle’s original wine cellar, and barrel-vaulted ceilings and candlelit stonewalls guide the path to the treatment rooms, private pools, and steam rooms. The spa’s signature Romantico Spa Ritual is perfect for honeymooners and takes place in a private couple’s suite where a glass of Prosecco and a steamy bath laced with rose petals begin the ritual before couples move to the table to experience synchronized massages.
For more information, Castello di Casole.
Kristy Alpert is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist on the hunt for the obscure and untold stories around the world. Her passion for savoring the local flavor of a destination has led to her unearthing the ancient bread baking secrets on Muhu Island in Estonia to earning her registered yoga teacher (RYT200) certification in Bali. Kristy has won numerous international awards for her writing, and has bylines in Food & Wine, Esquire, Men’s Health, AFAR, Fodors, American Way, World Bride, Premier Traveler, and more. www.kristyalpert.com