Castel Ruggero - Tuscany - Chianti

Accommodates up to 18 - 9 Bedrooms - 9 Baths - Pool - Wi-Fi - A/C - Staff

You wouldn’t believe how many villa owners approach us each year — each week, even! — asking us to represent their properties. After over three decades in the villa business, we’ve become very selective indeed about what we’ll make the effort to go and see. But when the folks at Castel Ruggero approached us, we just knew that we had to take a look. And even when inspected in the depths of a chilly February, what a marvelous property it turned out to be!

A ravishing castellated palazzo dating from the 16th century and immersed within a splendid park and pleasure gardens, Castel Ruggero makes the ideal spot for family reunions, for groups of couples traveling together, for groups of single friends, or for several families with very well-behaved children.

The setting couldn’t be more spectacular. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, cypresses and deciduous trees of all sorts, Castel Ruggero just breathes atmosphere with a capital A, inside and out. The ceilings and floors alone repay close attention, fabricated from original wood, parquet, terracotta, and granite. Furnishings and fabrics are elegant throughout, with charming period furniture and fascinating works of art. And yet the feeling is not at all one of intimidation, in large part due to the current owners’ selection of warm colors for walls, upholstery, and rugs. Lighting is excellent.

Where, precisely, are we here? Well, we’re just south of Florence — Brunelleschi’s cupola is actually visible in the distance! This is the northeasternmost reach of the Chianti region, just 5 minutes’ drive from the charming, untouristy village of San Polo and a few minutes further from official Chianti Classico headquarters in Greve. Grassina, a thriving suburb of Florence, with all shops and services, is 12-15 minutes in the other direction, on the way to Florence. What we love about places like San Polo and Grassina (as different as they are from each other), as well as other nearby towns and villages like Mercatale, San Casciano, and Impruneta, to name just three, is that their very proximity to Florence has served to shelter them from mass tourism. People just skip them over. The result is often a pleasant and welcome vestige of true authenticity. They haven’t become “trendy”, thank the Lord!

We fell in love with Castel Ruggero, and we think you will, too.

    • Walled and gated park measuring about 10,000 square meters and dotted with cypresses, olive trees, other deciduous plantings, vines, hedges, and flowers
    • Romantic fenced garden restored by the dean of Anglo-Tuscan landscape architects, Cecil Pinsent, designer of such masterpieces as I Tatti and La Foce
    • Vegetable and herb gardens at guests’ disposal
    • Terraces and patios ideal for alfresco dining
    • Delightful infinity pool, 9 x 11m, enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside
    • Changing room with shower and WC adjacent to the pool
    • Covered pergolas equipped with all necessary outdoor furniture
    • All rooms are generously sized — this is a palace, after all, with a total size of about 1500sqm, or about 16,000 square feet
    • Lovely entrance hall
    • Salon with vaulted ceiling and direct access to the park
    • Second living room with coffered ceiling and Renaissance fireplace
    • Third living room with a 19th-century library overlooking the garden
    • Grand baronial ballroom with dining table, granite floor, and magnificent coffered ceiling - breakfast is served here daily - French doors lead out to the terraces and garden
    • Second more intimate dining room set in the palazzo’s “sala d’armi”
    • Spacious Tuscan kitchen with vaulted ceiling
    • Guest bathroom with shower
    • Bedroom with en-suite shower room
    • Bedroom with en-suite bath with shower and tub
    • Bedroom with fireplace and en-suite bath with shower and tub
    • Lounge/sitting room
    • Bedroom with fireplace and en-suite shower room
    • Two bedrooms sharing an adjacent bathroom with shower and tub
    • Bedroom suite with 18th-century decorations and en-suite bathroom with bathtub, double sinks, and separate oversize shower
    • Sitting room overlooking a loggia above the garden
    • Sitting room with fireplace
    • Bedroom with en-suite shower room and wonderful views over the surrounding hills
    • Bedroom with en-suite bath with tub and shower
    • Trekking and biking paths
    • Tennis at the Chianti Country Club - 12km
    • Golf at Ugolino - 5km
    • Riding at Antellino Equestrian Center - 11km
    • Shopping - The Mall - luxury outlet center - 30km
    • Spas - Figline Valdarno - 20km
    • San Polo in Chianti - 3km - this is the nearest village, with superette, grocer, baker, butcher, newsstand, tobacconist, simple restaurants and coffee bars
    • Grassina - 8km - towards Florence - a large suburb with everything
    • Bagno a Ripoli - 12km - also towards Florence - many shops and services
    • Impruneta - 15km - charming untouristy town close to Florence
    • Strada in Chianti - 10km - along the “Chiantigiana” - highway 222 between Florence and Siena, featuring unforgettable panoramas
    • Florence train station - 20km, about 45 minutes’ drive given the not inconsiderable traffic you’ll encounter
    • Florence airport - 40km, skirting the city of Florence
    • Greve in Chianti - 18km
    • Castellina in Chianti - 17km
    • Radda in Chianti - 36km
    • San Gimignano - 60km
    • Siena - 60-80km, depending on how you go
    • Arezzo - 70-90km
    • Lucca - 100km
    • Pisa - 100km
    • Rome - 300km

    What’s not to like about Castel Ruggero? Practically nothing.  It’s magnificent.

    Considerations: If you’re three families with ten children ages 6-12 among you, I have to wonder if this is the right property. Look at the photos! Is Castel Ruggero right for a herd of (over)active children? We think that the best group for this property is an extended family reunion where we’re talking teenagers at the youngest, or a group of several couples or single adults traveling together.  The bedrooms differ in size, of course, but all of them are comfortable and spacious.

    Also, you’ve got to understand that while Florence is no more than 12 miles away, it takes about 45 minutes to get into town, plus the time it’s going to take to find parking. Why? Because the road down into Grassina is serpentine, and then you’ve got to cross over the suburbs into town. This is true, of course, for any villa in Chianti, but particularly so for Ruggero, as Grassina and Bagno a Ripoli themselves are significant places.

    In addition, while you can get into Chianti easily, it takes time on the winding roads.  The Florence-Siena 4-lane highway is about 30 minutes’ drive, as is the entrance to the Florence-Rome autostrada.

    You need to consider a stay at Castel Ruggero with all of this in mind.  If we were staying here for a single week — meaning 6 full days — we’d never plan anything more than an hour’s drive away.  In fact, the property itself is so spectacular we might never leave its confines.  But if we did, here’s how we’d divide our time: Two days in Florence, two days exploring the Chianti countryside and hilltowns, one day in Certaldo and San Gimignano, and one day in Siena.  Our very strong recommendation would be to do Florence separately from the villa, either before or after, thus liberating two additional days, which we’d divide between Arezzo, on the one hand, and Prato and Pistoia, on the other.

    Of course, the best solution is not to limit yourselves to a single week.  You can hardly get settled in 6 days.  Two weeks would give you adequate time to explore both the Chianti region and the City of Florence, including visits to the Medici villas, days relaxing at the villa, and excursions by bike or on foot.

    • Daily housekeeping
    • Daily continental breakfast
    • Concierge service to help you get the most out of your exploration of Florence and the nearby villages and to organize activities like riding, cooking classes, painting classes, art workshops, bike tours, balloon ascents, and so on.
    • Private guided tour lasting 90 minutes, to give you a quick overview of Florence's center
    • Air conditioning in all bedrooms
    • Infinity pool, 9 x 11m
    • Wifi
    • Satellite TV (news channels)
    • DVD/CD
    • Laundry
    • Dishwasher
    • Toaster
    • Microwave
    • European and American coffee makers
    • Treadmill
    • Barbecue
    • Safe
    • Alarm system
    • Automatic lighting outdoors
    • Screens on all windows
    • Private parking for 4-5 cars
    • Cribs/cots and highchairs
    • Bicycles
    • Cooking
    • Cooking lessons
    • Painting lessons
    • Excursions by foot, by bike, or on horseback
    • Personal laundry and ironing
    • Wine tastings
    • Ballooning
    • Yoga sessions
    • Airport transfers
    • Feel free to ask about anything else you don’t see listed

    Occupying 9 bedrooms - up to 18 persons

    • 2 Jun - 25 Aug

    • 28 Apr - 2 Jun
      25 Aug - 27 Oct

    • Other Periods


    Occupying 8 bedrooms - up to 16 persons

    • 2 Jun - 25 Aug

    • 28 Apr - 2 Jun
      25 Aug - 27 Oct

    • Other Periods


    Occupying 7 bedrooms - up to 14 persons

    • 2 Jun - 25 Aug

    • 28 Apr - 2 Jun
      25 Aug - 27 Oct

    • Other Periods


    Occupying 6 bedrooms - up to 12 persons

    • 2 Jun - 25 Aug

    • 28 Apr - 2 Jun
      25 Aug - 27 Oct

    • Other Periods


    Minimum Stay: 1 week
    Arrival: Saturday
    Extras: Tourist tax; electricity consumption exceeding 330kw/week
    Pool open: 28 Apr - 13 Oct weather permitting