My modern Decameron at the Ruffino Agriresort

A long, relaxing stay in the hills of Tuscany

Helen Farrell
June 1, 2020 - 10:37

“Don’t make me leave,” she said. “I wouldn’t dream of it,” he replied, stretching out on the sun lounger at just the right angle to gaze over the greenest of vineyards.

 

“Anyway, I’ve only just started this classic by Boccaccio. Listen to this: ‘In the summer of 1348, ten young Florentines take refuge in the countryside as the Black Death ravages their city.’ Sounds just like us.” Violante stood up and walked to the edge of the enticing infinity pool. “We’ve got it better than they did.” She arched her body and dove into the rippling water, into the depths of Tuscany.   

 

 

 

ph. @irinahp via IG

 

 

 

Day One: viva le fragole

The sky was inky as John and Violante turned their rented Cinquecento into the pebbled parking lot. Crickets chirped a local welcome and wild garlic scented the soupy air. They climbed the age-worn Renaissance steps and were greeted by the staff at the Agriresort, Ruffino’s country hotel. The strawberries and cream color scheme met the couple’s approval in their cozy suite, a serendipitous pairing with the summer dessert served for supper at the estate’s Le Tre Rane restaurant. “Viva le fragole is the name of this evening’s sweet,” explained Costanza. “Long live the strawberries!”

 

 

 

Day Two: la botte

After sleeping soundly ensconced in the fine cotton sheets and Tuscan coverlets, our lovers awoke languorously. Ravenous, they wandered through the centuries-old halls to the spread in the breakfast room: locally produced jams, homemade cakes and cookies, Tuscan cured meats and brunch favorites like scrambled eggs. Conscious of the wine tasting ahead, they lined their stomachs. Now the time had come for a cellar tour: down they descended into the barrique cellar as Beppe explained the evolution of the Ruffino brand from past to present. “Isn’t there a funny anecdote about a barrel in the Decameron?” John ventured. “The funniest of them all!” quipped Beppe. The trio chuckled, not wanting to disturb the valuable vermilion resting in the casks, the botte.

 

 

 

Day Three: la sirena

Returning to their hire car, Florence was calling to our friends. The irresistible siren call to generations, the endless allure of an ageless jewel. “We’ll park by Porta Romana and wander around the Boboli Gardens,” green-fingered Violante had spent hours observing the mesmerizing people-less photography of the Medici park last month. “The majesty of the Vasca dell’Isola, the tropics of the Upper Botanical Garden, the mint-hued Kaffeehaus, the sweeping steps and grand amphitheatre.” John nodded; he knew he’d have to go along with his amore’s bucolic plans for the day. Anyway, he was already thinking about which wine to order for dinner. Maybe the Modus, that opulent blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Delicious with a succulent beef sirloin.

 

 

Violante stood up and walked to the edge of the enticing infinity pool. “We’ve got it better than they did.” She arched her body and dove into the rippling water, into the depths of Tuscany.

 

 

 

Day Four: un paniere di vimini

The dog days of summer. Too hot to think or do anything but sit by the glassy mirror of the pool, reflecting on life. “Let’s order a picnic.” Surprise after surprise emerged from the wicker basket: refreshing farro salad, Tuscan pecorino, tomato-topped bruschetta, and the onion skin-toned Aqua di Venus rosè, chilled and glamorous. The couple raised an engraved glass to their long stay of dolce far niente, the simple pleasure of doing nothing surrounded by the estate’s Italian gardens. 

 

 

 

Day Five: gnudi

A cooking class was the order of the day to break through the blissful ennui, a culinary revival from the previous day’s oblivion. “Today, we’re making gnudi,” declared Stefano, enthusiastically mixing freshly cooked spinach, flour and ricotta cheese. “It means naked, because it’s the pasta filling without the pasta!” Violante and John exchanged glances and giggled. It sounds like something our friend Boccaccio would have written!

 

 

 

Day Six: la pergola

A long walk through the vineyards, starting to bear fruit ahead of another exciting harvest, ends under the rose bower on the just-opened restaurant terrace. “I can’t believe we’re eating again,” John faux-complained. “Stop moaning. For me, the marinated anchovies and the polpo burger,” ordered Violante, grinning. “It’s the perfect choice for desinare,” called Lidia, from a distance. “Desinare, it means ‘to have lunch, in an unhurried way.” Yet another modern romance blooms amidst the loveliest of flowers.

 

 

After sleeping soundly ensconced in the fine cotton sheets and Tuscan coverlets, our lovers awoke languorously. Ravenous, they wandered through the centuries-old halls to the spread in the breakfast room.

 

 

 

Day Seven: cena con amici

“Diluted wine is exactly what the sunset looks like”, sighed Violante. “Are we ready?” The couple were joining friends for dinner, over the Internet. They were taking social distancing a little too far perhaps. Their friends were in Florence and had had the same food delivered to them from the Le Tre Rane Restaurant. “It’s Tuesday night, so it’s all about meat!” “Ciccia night, we’re together but apart,” laughed Francesco. “Our Tuscan peppery beef stew, peposo: it’s delizioso.”

 

 

 

Day Eight: amaro

“It’s an acquired taste, but I love it,” a fellow guest smiled from across the terrace. Ah yes, amaro, made from Italian botanicals like iris, dandelion and nettles. Amaro, like the bittersweet idea of ever having to leave Tuscany. “It helps with the digestion.”

 

 

 

Day Nine: more dolce far niente…

This time with a merenda, an unexpected snack in the afternoon, a slice of unsalted Tuscan bread sprinkled with sugar and dipped in the estate’s red wine. Suddenly, our lovers were filled with energy again.

 

 

 

 

 

Day Ten: let’s stay another ten days at this country hotel, this Agriresort in the heart of nature...

 

 

Italian gardens by the Agriresort country hotel

 

 

 

Soothe your soul in absolute safety this Summer 2020: on 2 June, Ruffino's Locanda Le Tre Rane restaurant and the Agriresort country hotel will reopen, with rooms looking out over a picturesque infinity pool and the vineyards of Chianti.

The Ruffino wine shop is also open for business.

 

 

Poggio Casciano Agriturismo Tenute Ruffino (country hotel)

via Poggio al Mandorlo 1 - 50012 - Bagno a Ripoli - Firenze – Italia

For reservations and details: email [email protected]

 

 

Locanda Le Tre Rane Ruffino (restaurant)

via Poggio al Mandorlo 1 - 50012 - Bagno a Ripoli - Firenze – Italia

For reservations and details: [email protected]

Tel. +39 378 30 50 220

 

 

Support The Florentine

The Florentine: keeping you connected.

Established in 2005, The Florentine remains true to its mission as a community magazine. Whether you live in the States, the UK or here in Italy, our aim is to keep you connected to Florence through news, events, arts + culture, food + wine and much more.


Please make a contribution, small or large, so that we can continue our coverage from Florence.



Personal Info

Donation Total: €20,00

more articles

Comments