Endless rolling hills, punctuated by proud cypress trees stand tall against the glow of the setting sun. Where ancient hilltop towns emerge from the infinite landscpe and art-laden cities hold a whole host of precious treasures. Tuscany is internationally famed for all this and so much more with ever-increasing numbers of tourists attracted to its bountiful charms.
The year 2014 saw Tuscany attract some 209,000 additional visitors year-on-year, according to the tourism arm of Toscana Promozione with Florence’s Centro di Studi Turistici revealed that increasing numbers of overseas visitors were arriving for holidays too.
Latest figures showed that overseas visitors made up 53% of all Tuscan tourists in 2014, an increase of almost 6% on 2005 statistics. Alberto Perruzzini, Director at Toscana Promozione is predicting even better things for 2015: “We think that in 2015 there will be more arrivals from the US, Canada and China, while those from Brazil and Russia will get more stable. Anyhow, there should be a general increase of 2.5% in arrivals.”
Though a well-trodden tourist path, there still remain certain uncovered realms within the Tuscan region, where it is possible to visit unencumbered by visitors. One such location is Castel del Piano, an ancient hilltop town that holds many traditional charms yet also many hidden treasures, not widely found by those on the well-known Tuscany tourist trail.
A Tuscan treasure
Simone Rossi, Director of 20-acre estate Terre Gialle Residence & Resort, situated on the outskirts of Castel del Piano and home to a range of property options, explains more. “Tuscany is undeniably a magical region but Castel del Piano is something unique. This town, perched on the top of a hill, is a real Tuscan treasure and not just because of the views. Known locally as Città delle Chiese or City of the Churches, Castel del Piano has no fewer than eight, ranging from tiny hidden chapels to large buildings that stop visitors in their tracks.
“With a historic gem to be unearthed around every corner, it is a location that has retained its ancient charm, leaving it just waiting to be discovered. This is true Tuscany, but also different, special in its own unique way. It is a truly magnificent place.”
With Monte Amiata, a 600m volcanic cone close-by and dominating the surrounding landscape, Castel del Piano is also famed within Italy as the host town of one of the country’s most prolific horse events: the Palio delle Contrade. This three-day horse race which sees Castel del Piano’s four quarters compete to win coveted prizes, takes place around the town’s streets and dates back to 1402. Alongside the race itself, the spectacle also hosts festivities that bring the historic practise to life and provides visitors with a real local flavour to an ancient tradition.
Castel del Piano is the perfect location from which to explore the untouched Tuscany. Terre Gialle Residence & Resort, just five minutes from the town, is the ideal base for such a visit and a locale that reflects the historic nature of the region. The Residence, at the heart of the beautiful estate has origins dating back to the 18th century, ensuring that the apartments are unique and full of traditional charm while having been restored to high modern standards.
Featuring wood-beamed or vaulted terra-cotta ceilings, stone walls and handmade furniture, the studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments available on a full ownership basis, reflect the original character of the building, with prices ranging from €93,500 to €176,000. Alongside this, the Resort offers a range of modern one- and two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom villas available on a shared ownership basis, where 1/12th fractions, start from €28,000 (excluding maintenance costs), providing four weeks usage a year.
Terre Gialle Residence & Resort has high quality services, a swimming pool with whirlpool, a well-kept park with nature trails and sports facilities, a tennis court and bowling green.
For more information about Terre Gialle Residence & Resort, visit www.terregialle.com