Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel has reopened its historic doors for the 2023 season with a greener look at luxury.
Once a working farm owned by the noble Bargagli family in the 17th century, now the castle’s kitchen gardens, known as the Orti del Castello, provides vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers as executive chef Daniele Sera embraces the roots of the estate in his seasonal and organic cuisine. Holidaymakers are encouraged to wander around the main vegetable garden, which is idyllically positioned along a cypress-lined lane, while a second smaller plot nearer the castle is perfectly placed for workshops to make herbal teas, traditional Etruscan remedies and the starting point to eco-print your very own silk scarf.
Another option is to pop on your apron and take part in the sustainability-focused cooking classes, which educate participants on the importance of including seasonal ingredients in one’s diet as well as adopting the Tuscan approach of incorporating leftovers in order to reduce waste. Wellbeing sessions such as yoga or meditative walks can be organized, including a relaxing Breathe the Forest activity, a guided stroll into the oak woods to nurture one’s wellbeing fostering a peaceful balance between mind, breath and soul, while Tuscan wonderland activity, a sunset “safari” tour of the 4,200-plus acres allows you to get up close to some “local residents”—deer, wild boar and pheasants, discovering fascinating facts about their behaviour.
Summer events at Castello di Casole
Open to non-residents throughout the summer, the castle’s inner courtyard comes alive with food-celebratory evenings every Friday night from June 16 to September 8. The Dinner under the Stars series sees an elegant twist on the traditional Tuscan food festival, known as a sagra, as cooking stations thrive to the beat of live Italian music centred on the finest local produce. Memories from last summer included a smorgasbord of cheeses and charcuterie in the wine vault, pasta dishes steaming and made to order, as well as two beaming chefs grilling away at the innovative Big Green Egg.
Summer nights at Castello di Casole don’t end with desserts galore in the on-site medieval bakery: there’s stargazing in partnership with Astronomitaly, which declared Casole as “one of the most beautiful skies in Italy”. Expert astronomers explain the constellations that are visible the naked eye and through a telescope on June 16 + 30; July 7, 21 + 28; August 11 + 18; September 1 + 8.
Plus, the much-loved after-dinner Cinema Under the Stars nights are back by popular demand on June 23, July 14, August 4 + 25. Movie buffs sip Champagne snuggled under a woven blanket in full Belmond comfort, watching motion picture favourites from past and present. (Last summer, our editor was mesmerized by John Chester’s moving documentary ‘The Biggest Little Farm’ while happily ensconced in a deckchair on a blissful date night at Castello di Casole.)
All dinner + experience nights cost 120 euro, drinks not included.