Italian Inspiration: Castel Monastero
Posted: 24 March 2016
Tuscany is famed for its rustic charms and love of food. The charismatic region is home one of Italy’s most romantic cities, Florence, whilst the style and pizzazz of Siena is sure to leave her visitors enamoured. The best way to uncover this visually arresting region is with a multi-city break, which combines each city’s dazzling delights for a full-flavoured luxury holiday to treasure.
Italy’s climate is warm and inviting throughout July and August, so your luxury Tuscan adventure could be set in swathes of sun and infinite helpings of Italian indulgences. Equally, this charming region plays host to many exciting and inspiring events throughout the summer, and there is sure to be something to please all ages and interests.
As Italy’s most famous annual sports event, The Palio is synonymous with fast-paced action and passionate, patriotic fans. Since 1644, the epic bareback horse race has taken place in Siena’s iconic cultural heartland, Piazza del Campo. Originally organised in honour of the Virgin Mary, The Palio is a competitive and culturally significant sporting spectacle that sees ten of the city’s historical districts represented by a horse and jockey, wearing their region’s associated colours, who race through the piazza at speed.
The race’s historical significance is such that husbands and wives are known to separate for the day if they are from rival districts and both have horses competing!
The race occurs twice annually and will this year take place on 2nd July and 16th August. The event itself is a whirlwind of speed and colour, however this is preceded by a grand procession, meaning Piazza del Campo is a hive of activity and excitement throughout the day. With so many sights and stunning scenery to be uncovered in Siena, The Palio is the perfect addition to any luxury Italian travel itinerary.
Later in the month, on the 30th July, one of classical music’s most celebrated artists, Andrea Bocelli, returns home to Tuscany for a one-off performance, unlike any other. The mesmerising wonder of Andrea Bocelli’s beguiling talent is world-renowned, but never before has he put on a performance quite like this. Returning to his beloved home town of Lajatico, nestled in the dazzling Tuscan hills, the captivating setting for this one-of-a-kind symphony spectacular is Teatro del Silenzio. Bocelli is invites his privileged audience to join him on the evening of 30th July 2016 for an awe-inspiring performance at the enchanting open-air amphitheatre for a show which promises to present opera at its most opulent. This year’s theme is ‘Le Cirque’, The Circus, and will surely be one of the most dramatic and dazzling events of its kind.
Imagine a night under the stars enjoying opera in the open air, surrounded by rich Italian decadence, as one of the world’s most talented Tenors delights his lucky audience with arias and orchestral masterpieces. This incredible evening with Andrea Bocelli is the ultimate in cultural luxury. The sumptuous setting of Teatro del Silenzio is so elite, it is only open for one evening a year to showcase the very best performers. Teatro del Silenzio is proud to welcome home its first son for a magical evening of music and this unique event would make a perfect and unforgettable addition to any luxury Tuscan holiday in July.
Our featured hotel, Castel Monastero, is within easy reach of Lajatico and Siena, whilst Tuscany itself is awash with tantalizing treasures to indulge all five senses. The rustic country house’s idyllic location overlooks the captivating Italian countryside, whilst the picturesque village it is set in is an authentic example of traditional Tuscany. A former monastery, the luxurious hotel boasts many exclusive features, including a wellness spa and gourmet restaurant with a mouthwatering menu designed by Michelin starred celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsay. With so much to see and do, Tuscany is a treasure trove of truly tantalising experiences.
In keeping with the hotel’s pedigree for fine dining and fantastic gourmet experiences, Castel Monastero also offer guests exclusive epicurean experiences including Truffle Hunting in the Chianti Countryside and comprehensive Cooking Courses, designed by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.
The Tuscan Retreat Cookery program combines the insight and knowledge of by stellar chef Gordon Ramsay and love, passion and freshness of authentic Italian cuisine under the instruction of Castel Monastero’s Resident Chef Nello Cassese. The program is a journey into the true essence of Tuscan and Italian cuisine, highlighting the finest dishes and freshest ingredients from the region. Guests can progress from beginner’s classes to advanced level with ease and enjoy a decadent dinner and lively discussion with fellow learners.
The cookery program runs throughout the summer and is the ideal accompaniment to a day’s truffle hunting. Not only is this fabulous experience a unique way to explore Tuscany’s stunning countryside, but you will also get to taste your treasures back at Castel Monastero, where a beautiful tasting menu will be prepared with the truffles found on the day’s hunt. Combining stunning scenery and rich, vibrant flavours, this is an ideal way to enjoy the best of Tuscany.
Whether music, sport or food is your passion, it is clear that there is an alluring array of activities to be enjoyed in Tuscany this summer.
To discuss any of these unique experiences, or for further information about Castel Monastero’s many luxury facilities, please call one of our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 771