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    03.06.2009

Castello di Casole

An Impressive Tuscan Countryside Retreat Residency

Anytime I hear of a new development in Tuscany that’s not located within 15 minutes of a major city like Florence or Pisa, I’m always wary. Having studied abroad in Siena my junior year of college, where I traveled throughout the country fairly extensively, I’m conscious now of the fact that even the most isolated and boring town can look great in a photograph if there’s a quaint stone farmhouse in the shot. So when I first saw the images of Castello di Casole—complete with the requisite stone farmhouses and rolling green hills that Americans dream about—I naturally had my reservations. However, all doubts were put to rest last week when I visited the 4,200-acre development of just 30 homes and a 41-room boutique hotel, which will be managed by Timbers Resorts.

Although it is still under construction (my visit was just a sneak peek), it was clear that the project will not disappoint when it officially opens early next year. A tour of the first few completed homes—all 16th-century renovated stone farmhouses—revealed to what great lengths the developers went in order to maintain an authentic Tuscan countryside retreat, updated for the 21st century with Bisazza-tiled swimming pools and flat-screen televisions.

I’m happy to report that the postcard-perfect landscape is actually more beautiful in person than it is in the photographs, and the project’s proximity to vineyards and local restaurants means that residents and guests won’t get cabin fever. (866.963.5005, www.castellodicasole.com)
—Samantha Brooks
Robb Report Senior Editor, Home and Design

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