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.