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TRAVEL

Exploring the Grounds of Sting’s il Palagio Tuscan Estate

TRAVEL

Exploring the Grounds of Sting’s il Palagio Tuscan Estate

Sprawling vineyards, manicured gardens and lush forests envelop the 16th century villa

by David Graver
on 06 October 2015

Set near the town of Figline Valdarno—an hour outside of Florence in the Tuscan hillsides—il Palagio embodies every wonder of the region: panoramic vistas of the green and golden countryside and a 16th century villa rooted in history. The 350 hectare (almost 900 acre) estate also happens to host a small recording studio and the wine production center for il Palagio wines—and all of it is owned by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler. The family makes uses of the villa with regularity, but has also opened its doors to those looking for the most authentic, luxuriant accommodations Tuscany has to offer.

Even before entering the villa, visitors will be immediately struck by the lands. A drive up a steep hill through the vineyards offers a welcoming first impression. The house itself is surrounded by vibrant gardens—some well-kept and others left to flourish naturally. One multi-tiered garden offers a stroll down into the fruit and farmland, as well as an access point into the hiking trails through the woods. While there’s a reflecting pool at the base of the villa, it seems to exist for looks alone. Another pool (referred to as the natural one) sits within a quarry hole where the stone from the villa was dug out centuries ago. The grounds also contain multiple lakes, one of which allows swimming and comes complete with a treehouse—an easily accessible climb into a spacious wooden structure featuring a stained glass window. It’s completely possible to get lost in many of the reflective nooks on the property, and that’s valuable.

And of course, staying at the villa provides access to the il Palagio wines up close. The grapes are harvested during the month of September and the various reds, whites and rosé are produced and bottled on the grounds. Sting's wines are biodynamic and made in collaboration with acclaimed wine consultant Alan York. Message in a Bottle (a standout Toscano) was his latest release, but for fans of wines from the region, they're all very good. Additionally, the wine cellar within the villa invokes an era long since passed and a nearby farm shop sells everything grown on the grounds, including honey and fruits.

From the majestic kitchen to the multiple guest rooms across all of the houses on the grounds, a guest stay balances something personal and homelike with modern hotel amenities like housekeeping, WiFi and concierge services. Wandering the villa and the property, visitors are gracefully confronted with a vision of Tuscan splendor. As beautiful and impressive as this sensation is, more importantly, there’s a peace to il Palagio that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Book a private stay at il Palagio, with instructions available online.

Images by David Graver

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