Autumn is a magical time of the year as our bodies relax after the summer heat and Tuscany reveals all the goodness of the harvest. Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel, Tuscany an hour’s drive from Florence and nestled in the Siena countryside, is organizing the pick of the crop with wine experts, truffle themed activities, spa treatments, nature-inspired workshops, and much more.
From October 5 to 8, book yourselves into Curiosity Circle, an inspiring three-day retreat led by British wine expert and passionate storyteller Tom Harrow. Focusing on personal and intellectual growth, this journey of taste and discovery will open doors to reveal time-honoured traditions and genuine products. The event includes exclusive dinners, masterclasses and visits to acclaimed Chianti Classico wineries Castello di Ama and Il Caggio as well as tasting the wines in the company of their makers.
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Truffles + pumpkins
Go foraging for the finest gifts of nature this fall by joining a truffle hunt at Castello di Casole. Guided by an expert tartufaio and his trusty Lagotto Romagnolo hound, be prepared to sniff out some perfumed tubers before savouring your loot at an irresistible lunch or dinner cooked by Executive Chef Daniele Sera at the hotel’s Tosca Restaurant.
On September 30 and October 7, indulge in an exquisite lunch on the Tosca terrace during Il Sabato del Villaggio. As in Giacomo Leopardi’s sublime verses, Castello di Casole, formerly Querceto village, celebrates Saturday togetherness with a three-course menu starring seasonal produce. September 30 focuses on the mighty truffle (80 euro per person), while October 7 highlights the pumpkin (60 euro per person), served with a glass of the hotel’s own Sì di Sì wine. If you are unavailable on either of these dates, treat yourself to a reservation at Ristorante Tosca, which is open every day for lunch and dinner, with drinks and Tuscan tapas at the hotel bar, which is open from 6pm to midnight.
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As the early nights draw in and our bodies seek solace, book a soothing treatment at the serene Essere Spa. Housed in what was once the wine cellar, the DiVino ritual in the beautiful couple’s room harnesses the goodness of the nearby vineyards as they yield the vintage’s fruits. The hour-plus pure relaxation begins with a divine body scrub, leaving your skin soft and silky, ensued by a bath with red wine and grape tasting before enjoying a whirlpool of red wine extract to boost circulation and ending with a synchronized massage using pure grapeseed and essential oils to relax the body. Given the location of Castello di Casole amid former Etruscan settlements, it seems appropriate to embrace past knowledge with the signature Etruscan facial. According to ancient traditions, this revitalizing face treatment uses refined massage techniques and the purest rose-based oils to achieve exceptional results. Start with a grapeseed and Volterra salt scrub, cleanse with rose and shea butter and conclude with myrrh and rose oil massage.
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Walks + workshops
Learn a new skill this autumn by taking part in one of Castello di Casole’s considered workshops. Ward off seasonal sniffles by understanding how to make the most of medicinal herbs and natural remedies. Based on centuries-old knowledge of the herbs growing in Tuscany and used by Etruscans, the course gives expert advice on preparing herbal teas and healing oils, beginning with a walk around the castle’s vegetable gardens led by a herbalist. Another fascinating activity is an eco-printing workshop that starts by picking botanicals prior to decorating a silk or wool scarf or pocket square with plants, flowers and berries, which are positioned on the natural fabric and rolled onto a wooden pole before being boiled to embed the pigment onto the cloth.
Take an autumn hike along one of the many nature trails on the extensive Castello di Casole grounds or join the Breathe the Forest walk to discover the sounds of nature, culminating in a guided meditation. Bike tours enable a deep dive into local folklore and culture, while the Tuscan Wonderland safari tour introduces visitors to the region’s prolific flora and fauna.