Cycling and biking in Chianti

October 14, 2017  |  Activities, Chianti Holidays, Tuscany  |  Comments Off
Cyclist at Villa le Barone Chianti

Cyclist at Villa le Barone Chianti

Tuscany, and in particular Chianti, is one of the heartlands of Italian cycling and, indeed, cycling (bicycling) is one of the best way to discover the Tuscan countryside at a relaxed pace !

Villa le Barone offers an excellent base for wonderful cycling loops, it can loan or rent bicycles for guests and will provide them with a number of detailed itineraries.

Cycling (as well as bicycling or biking) is a national sport in Tuscany, the home of Gino Bartali, the famous champion road cyclist after World War II, and everyday many cyclists are enjoying the pleasure of cycling in Chianti. They enjoy the challenging uphill climbs, the pleasant downhill runs, the superb countryside and the pleasure of having a drink in a small Italian bar! The square in Panzano in Chianti is certainly a meeting point for many of them to gather after a good uphill ride! Certainly, other cycling legends such as Christofer Froome have helped popularize the sport. In addition, the bicycles are not anymore what they were: they are much lighter, they have good brakes, the saddles are more comfortable…Cycling and biking clubs and associations have flourished in Europe as well as in the US, and we can see more and more cyclists from all parts of the world on the Chianti roads.

Biking with kids at Villa le Barone Chianti

Biking with kids at Villa le Barone Chianti

Villa le Barone is an excellent base for great Chianti circuits and we often have the pleasure of hosting cyclists. We provide possible itineraries that guests can use. We can also loan (for free) two bicycles, but we can also organize renting better ones from a specialized shop in Greve in Chianti that will deliver them in the hotel. They can even rent electric bikes! And, after their cycling performances, guests love to have a swim in our heated and salted infinity pool, enjoying a drink while admiring the magnificent Chianti hills and waiting for the superb traditional Tuscan dinner.

Medicinal herbs in Tuscany

September 8, 2017  |  Chianti Holidays, Culture and Art, Tuscany  |  Comments Off
Lavander at Villa le Barone Chianti

Lavander at Villa le Barone Chianti

Visitors will discover many medicinal plants at the exhibition that will take place in September in the antique pharmacy of Santa Fina in San Gimignano, a World Cultural Heritage medieval city close to Villa le Barone. However, all year around, our guests can also discover many such herbs and plants in our gardens!

Santa Fina’s hospital in San Gimignano,  a medieval city part of the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO at 40 kms from Villa le Barone, had its own pharmacy since the 15th century, which bought or produced medicines for both indoor use and outdoor sale. One of San Gimignano’s Museums today features the original layout of the pharmacy, the “kitchen”, the place where the medicines were prepared, and the “shop”, where they were sold. The medicines, which are still contained in ceramic and glass jars, were manufactured on the basis of precise recipes assembled in old manuscripts. However, all medicines needed raw materials, especially herbs, whose essences or distillates were the basis for their preparation: the supplies could be purchased elsewhere or cultivated around the hospital.

Rooted sage in the gardens of Villa le Barone

Rooted sage in the gardens of Villa le Barone

The visit to the pharmacy of Santa Fina and of its garden provides a great sensory experience, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of aromas and scents. In addition, each Saturday between the 23rd September and 14th October, Dra Lucia Chelli, herbalism specialist, and founder of the “Officina de’Tornabuoni” (where Villa le Barone buys many of the amenities for its guests), will give conferences on herbs properties.

It is all year around that guests will be able to discover in Hotel Villa le Barone’s gardens many of the medicinal plants presented in San Gimignano’s Santa Fina Museum: lavender, peppermint, verbena, many types of sage, many types of thyme, lemon balm, basil, and many others herbs and plants!

Tuscan Beer

June 10, 2017  |  Food & Wine, Tuscany  |  Comments Off
Tuscan beer Vapori di Birra

Tuscan beer Vapori di Birra

Tuscan wine or Tuscan beer? You will find both in Tuscany and they are both excellent! Tuscany is in fact the third craft beer producer in Italy, with about 80 producers but there is only one Tuscan beer produced with geothermal energy!

One of the oldest beverage produced by man , beer was brought in Italy by the Etruscans 2000 years ago , It was one of the most common drinks during the Middle Ages.in Europe, in particular in the northern and eastern part where grape cultivation was difficult or impossible. Today, the production of beer has been industrialized, but a number of innovative entrepreneurs have continued the tradition of producing craft beer, and Tuscan beers are particularly appreciated.

The bar , next to the infinity pool at Villale Barone

The bar , next to the infinity pool at Villale Barone

Beer production requires a lot of energy (the grain is milled, mashed, cooked, etc), but there is a Tuscan beer produced with geothermal energy, a sustainable source of energy, it is the brewery “Vapori di Birra” , based in Sasso Pisano , close to our farm “Vecchienna”. Water, malt, hops, yeast and sugar are the only ingredients used to produce this Tuscan beer, cooked and brought to fermentation with the heat of the earth. The result is an exclusive high quality beer, unfiltered and unpasteurized, refermented in the bottle. To preserve the organoleptic quality it is not more submitted to any filtration and pasteurization. It is marketed in 3 varieties Magma, Geyser and Sulfurea.

One can find this craft Tuscan beer at Villa le Barone in our honesty bar or in the bar close to our infinity pool!

Gardens in Tuscany

June 2, 2017  |  Hotel, Tuscany  |  Comments Off
Lagerstromiae on a terraced landscape in Chianti

Lagerstromiae on a terraced landscape in Chianti

“If you have a garden and a library, you have all what you need” wrote Cicero. This is what you will find in our Chianti countryside hotel!

Lovely gardens with magnificent views:

  • From the “heart garden”, a small garden Italian style with hearts bordered with box hedges, you can contemplate the sunsets!
  • From the garden under the pool bordered by a hedge of laurel, arbutus, hawthorn, and many other species to discover, you have stupendous views on the Chianti hills and its hamlet. You can read amongst the olive trees and the roses!
  • A little bit below on the right you find the fruit trees garden, with its apricot trees, jujube, medlar, cherry and plum trees…
  • On the left , the terraced landscape with the lagerstroemia is bordered by fig trees …
  • Under the garden house, you can read and rest in the comfortable deck-chairs that are at your disposal. You can also watch sunrises…
  • And above the “garden house”, the vegetable and flower garden which is providing the flowers for the bouquets that guests find everywhere in the Villa…

And a library and books everywhere: in the lounges, in the rooms…

And we can organize visits of famous historic gardens for our guests!

Enjoy relaxing, enjoy reading, enjoy beauty in our Villa!

Chianti: a land of Experience

May 27, 2017  |  Chianti Holidays, Tuscany  |  Comments Off
Beauty of Chianti Tuscany

Beauty of Chianti, Tuscany

Experiencing Chianti means becoming a local citizen and immersing oneself in the sensations and emotions that this region will bring you. Visitors there are not simply tourists, they become members of a community, and they share their customs and values.

Experiencing Chianti means stopping there to understand this land of untarnished beauty in which man and nature have always collaborated. It is not possible to come for one day, just arriving in a hotel for one night and departing the following morning. Experiencing Chianti means contemplating sunrises as well as sunsets, it means exploring the region with its Romanesque churches, its small hamlets and its untouched environment. It means experiencing a life style that respect nature and the landscapes depicted in artworks that date back to a thousand years. It means discovering authentic places which have been belonging to the same family for ages, engaging discussion with local people: they love to speak about their land!

Sunrise in Chianti Tuscany

Sunrise in Chianti, Tuscany

Chianti is an infinite source of flavors, rooted in an agricultural tradition, sill alive,that respects the environment. You will admire the olive trees that are producing the extra virgin olive oil that you will taste, the vineyards that are producing one of the most famous wine in the world, the Chianti Classico. and that you will also enjoy!

Experience Chianti, and you will never forget it !