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Sometimes, the word ‘hotel’ feels mighty inadequate. When describing Castello di Vicarello for instance: a mediaeval castle that’s magical, rustic, romantic, luxurious, warmly welcoming, irresistible and utterly unforgettable. How can such a thing be summed up in one two-syllable word? With that in mind, we’ve written an entire blog post in its honour, spurred on by the fact that Mario Testino, Vogue and the devastatingly beautiful Lara Stone just dropped by…

Style Castello in the clouds
Setting Hidden hilltop olive groves

Why this week? Be inspired by the fruits of Testino’s toothsome photo shoot – Lara Stone fans, prepare yourselves for bare breasts:

Our favourite bits? Authentic home-cooked, Tuscan cuisine straight from a traditional farmhouse kitchen, a working vineyard and olive grove, and the warmest welcome in northern Italy. Human rubber bands will appreciate the yoga sessions held throughout the day (for a suggested contribution of €30 a person).

Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘The first thing I see when I enter our room is a fire that licks and crackles in an enormous stone hearth. The furnishings – wooden tables, huge day bed, wing chair in front of the blaze – are obviously inspired by owner Aurora Baccheschi Berti’s years in Bali, and our giant-scale oak bed continues the Brobdingnagian theme. I am six foot and Mr Smith is six foot two, and we can both comfortably make starfish shapes in it. At the same time.

Both windows in the suite’s living area frame views like perfectly composed landscape paintings, and the light they’re letting in is getting pinker by the second. When I re-enter the main room after taking a bath, the only illumination comes from the fire and flickering candles that Mr Smith has thoughtfully lit. He knows how to set a scene, that man.’

Read the full anonymous review of Castello di Vicarello, Tuscany

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