Written by Natasha McNamara for Glamour Magazine
If you want a week to unwind with some real Italian food, luxurious surroundings and amazing wine then this is one sure fire way of doing it at Podere Brogi
Podere Brogi, Villa, Tuscany, Italy
“If you want a week to unwind with some real Italian food, luxurious surroundings and amazing wine then this is one sure fire way of doing it.”
If Tuscany is working it’s way up your holiday bucket list, hiring out a villa with friends or family is one of the best way to enjoy Italy. You can truly appreciate the food, the wine, the weather and the surroundings at your leisure without being at the mercy of hotel lifestyle.
Floating within the Chianti countryside, and sandwiched between Florence and Siena is Podere Brogi, a beautiful villa nestled in between the small Tuscan villages of Caposelvi and Montervachi where we stayed for a week in.
The villa itself is stunningly rustic and oozes Italian class and charm. From the homely but contemporary décor to the impressive Italian marble kitchen (you’ll never see a better view from a kitchen window FYI) – you feel well and truly like you are very much in Italy. The property can easily hold 14 people – plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms, living space, dining room and an insanely covetable kitchen. There’s also a games room and wine tasting room (yep) plus of course a heavenly infinity pool.
At the back of the three building property, the sweeping horizon is peppered with authentic landmarks – castles, towers, chapels and of course row upon row of Sangiovase and Merlot vines (the key ingredient of Chianti wines.) These young vines are owned by the host, Walter and his family, and are the key ingredient in their fantastically drinkable Podere Brogi Chianti. As well as this, the trees that stretch for at least a kilometre make some of the best olive oil we’ve ever tasted. The surrounding grounds of the villas offer guests the opportunity to pick lush herbs – rosemary, basil and tarragon growing wild around the pool. The buildings are clad in terracotta, which glows beautifully as the sun sets over the hills. It’s a sight to behold.
Everything is covered in the villa – wine and prosecco (ranging from a reasonable £10 up to £70 for the 2012 Brunello) which is always stocked for guests to consume via an honesty system. Be warned this can get interesting late at night. Rooms are all ensuite, spacious and comfortable, all with water colour views in every direction.
Our hosts were on hand throughout the stay, cooking us a welcome meal (as is tradition) on our arrival – probably the most delicious Calpresei Salad and lasagna we’ve ever tasted (sorry Mum). Walter will always be available should you need any help during your stay. Particularly useful if you don’t speak Italian or need a light bulb.
Despite the temptation to stay put in such relaxing and positively idyllic surroundings, this GLAMOUR writer did go on some adventures. Siena is a 45-minute drive, you can take the motorway or the ‘scenic’ route through the hills (aka driving literally up a hill) if you want a real treat. Sienna is famous for its Paloma horse race where saddle-less jockeys race wild horses around the ancient town’s famous square. As well as this Siena has some serious towers. Towers were erected in Sienna as a demonstration of wealth, no other reason, effectively this is Italian willy waving architecture at its best. If your rival built a tower you built a bigger one and so on.
The adventures in quad bikes…
Our best trip (and the best way to see the countryside) was by quad bike to the local winery. That’s right, all the things your parents advised you not to do, you simply must. If you’ve never been on a quad bike they are loud, very loud, but they can get you over some of the tightest and roughest terrain we’ve seen – we crossed rivers, jumped over boulders, meandered through olive groves and got caught in the mother of all thunder storms. WHOOP.
And wine tasting…
The Petrolo winery is a small producer of some very fine wines indeed (David Cameron’s a fan). After an interesting tour of the production area by the manager, we enjoyed some delicious local cheese and ham before tasting three of their prize-winning reds ranging from 30 euros to a whopping 100 wholesale.
The outdoor cooking
There are a number of supermarkets nearby and we ate very well – including grilling on the outside fire. Lose yourself in supermarkets that sell cheese, meat and fish that is so NOT like Sainsbury’s – it’s all so fresh and there is an incredible amount of choice. Just don’t go in your shorts and tee shirt. From what we could see the Italians like to dress up for the supermarket. We had the option of cooking on the BBQ or the real-life pizza over literally built into the wall.
This is a truly special place and only an hour away from key destinations including Pisa and Florence. If you want to unwind with some real first class Italian food, luxurious surroundings and amazing wine then this is one sure fire way of doing it.