by Marco Gemelli, ph. Marc Bolton
Eliminating the TV from the hotel rooms has hardly been a audacious choice especially when the alternative – the sweet rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, glimpses of an elegant hotel spread out on an Etruscan settlement, frescoed rooms of an 18th-century villa, silence calling for mediation, a quality cuisine – is by far superior to a TV screen. This choice at Borgo Pignano, the 5-star hospitality structure close to Volterra and San Gimignano is perfectly in line with the painstaking restoration works carried out during these last 15 years, and not yet finished, aimed at refurbishing and not reconstructing. The estate – owned by the British Sir Michael Moritz since 2000 – spreads out over 300 hectares of woodland, ponds and small lakes, organic and biodynamic vegetable gardens. A blend of nature, comfort and elegance which has given the Borgo its natural harmony once more and evidence of this lies in the “maisonettes”, family suites exquisitely furnished with valuable materials in a rustic Tuscan style. The main building is a majestic 18th-century villa with views overlooking olive groves, vineyards, woods and English gardens: some of the 14 suites and rooms have original frescoes and marble and travertine bathrooms. If you want to enjoy a stay in a medieval building with arches and columns, vaulted ceilings, terracotta floors and frescoes then the adjacent 13th-century building is just right. Moreover, just a few steps away there are zero-impact cottages and country houses: gas consumption is only that used for cooking, the rest of the heating is with wood and solar panels. Enhancing Borgo Pignano are various experiences to be had such as yoga and Pilates courses, painting or cookery courses, horse-riding excursions with picnics, hiking, mountain-biking and wine-tasting. Then, there is the Spa, where the bio cosmetics used have been created by a local herbalist with aromatic and officinal plants. Art is another reason for visiting; an art gallery hosts local artists and budding talents. From a culinary point of view, the two restaurants of Borgo Pignano are Villa Pignano and Al Fresco, part of a gastronomical project led by the chef Vincenzo Martella: thanks to the apiary workshop, the pasta factory, the bakery and the confectionary, excellent grains, pasta, fruit, vegetables and meat are produced on the estate. Martella is a convinced advocate of the use of local, in season bio raw materials. He has a holistic approach including science, art and nutrition: amongst classicism and tradition, a philosophy created from respecting a territory, seasonality and research.
Loc. Pignano, 6
56048 Volterra Pisa, Italy
Phone – Fax: 39 0588 35032