A lovingly restored hamlet and a genuine love of Tuscan traditions are waiting with open arms at Relais Villa Olmo Food & Wine Resort, only a 20-minute drive from Florence.
A pebble drive dotted with terracotta urns planted to lemon trees leads to quintessential stone-clad villas. Winner of the 2019 Condé Nast Johansens Award for Excellence as Best Serviced Accommodation, this restful place to stay and eat in Impruneta entices guests to surrender to the slow pace of the countryside.
Breathe in the herbal aromas as you wander by the kitchen garden to the two exclusive villas with their own boulder-edged private pools, five elegantly appointed apartments and nine deluxe rooms, all of which embrace a cozy Tuscan aesthetic.
The original brick structure and wooden-beamed ceilings shine through, calmly juxtaposed with contemporary touches such as crystal light fixtures, individual wine fridges and Ferragamo bath products. The Chianti setting has inspired the colour scheme: wheat yellow, wine red and lavender purple trims against a refined dove grey backdrop.
The kitchen garden informs the seasonal menu served at the Diadema Wine Bar & Restaurant, set in a light-filled weathered steel pavilion. Chef Alessio Leporatti serves modern takes on traditional recipes with his fine-dining evening menu, which features delicate homemade stewed beef pasta pyramids on a Mugello potato sauce; a twist on local speciality peposo, veal cheek slowly simmered in wine and pepper with white beans; and truffled chicken roll. Restaurant manager and sommelier Serena Restuccia explains the dishes, pairing them with Diadema’s quaffable wines, starting with the refreshing Damare Chardonnay-led white before progressing to the high-end signature Diadema, a powerful Sangiovese, Syrah and Petit Verdot blend. Remember to leave room for dessert: the passionfruit and limoncello parfait is more joyful than the usual run-of-the-mill tiramisu. Favourites like steak tartare and locally sourced cold cuts comprise the all-day menu, available poolside, in the restaurant and at the outdoor tables topped with miniature olive trees in earthenware pots.
Next up is a tour of the educational Diadema wine cellar with a sommelier-led tasting. “We’re making finer, less opulent wines these days, in which the freshness of the fruit comes through more,” explains wine manager Francesco Bellini, as we visit the small cantina beneath the main villa. The latest project is “Imprunetis”, a purebred Sangiovese aged in amphora before being retailed in a terracotta-esque bottle. Stay in the centuries-old cellar for a fun Wine Lab experience, when you have the chance to develop your own blend, and even eat underground at the decadent Wine Enthusiast’s Dinner for four delicious courses and pairings.
Now that you’ve sated your appetite, the silvery green olive trees welcome you to the estate’s main pool for some well-earned relaxation. It’s open to non-guests throughout the summer—you just have to book in advance; we recommend the pool+lunch package as a special treat.) On-site cooking classes, visits to Diadema’s olive press (from October to December), Vespa and Fiat 500 tours, biking and horse riding complete the real Tuscan experience that begins and ends at this lovingly reinvigorated hamlet.
Every Sunday throughout the summer, Relais Villa Olmo hosts a BBQ Sunday lunch and dinner, serving Chianti meats, including bistecca fiorentina, and seasonal vegetables. Prices start at 30 euro.
On June 21, celebrate the summer solstice with an aperitivo by the pool and stargazing with an expert astronomer.
Book your table by calling +39 055 2311311 or emailing [email protected]
Via Imprunetana per Tavarnuzze 19, 50023 Impruneta