A medieval village surrounded by rolling green hills, just an hour from Florence, is in the process of being sensitively restored and redeveloped to become an Italian haven. Although named the Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, don’t be put off by the ‘resort’ moniker – this will feel like anything but a package holiday or time-share retreat. However, it won’t be a closed community – locals and visitors alike will be able to follow the winding roads through this spectacular corner of the country.
Left close to empty from the Sixties onwards, due to a falling population, there were just a few residents remaining in the borgo, or central village, in 2007, when Castelfalfi was purchased by TUI, Europe’s largest travel company. Originally consisting merely of a picturesque church, an 800-year-old castle and a few streets, it is being transformed into three small villages, with two hotels and a number of golf villas and farmhouses.
Only 0.3 per cent of the 1,100 hectares is undergoing construction, and all building work will be undertaken sensitively, using traditional techniques, to ensure the transformation merges seamlessly with its Tuscan surroundings.
In the shadow of the castle, the borgo will form the focus of life at the resort, with its shops, restaurants and cookery school, as well as an enormous swimming pool and spa. Apartments here start at €230,000 and range up to €880,000, making them a reasonably priced pied-à-terre for those wishing to explore Tuscany. The first show flat is complete, and others will be available to purchase from early in 2013.
Castelfalfi has a remarkable golf offering, currently consisting of the 18-hole Mountain Course and 9-hole Lake Course. Both are already operational and offer some of the most challenging – and spectacular – rounds in the region. Nine further holes will be added to the latter at a later date. Golf villas, dotted around the beautiful course, will be available from late 2013 and will cost upwards of €1.2m, depending on individual requirements.
The jewel in the property crown of Castelfalfi will be the converted farmhouses, which will be sold in an unrenovated state, each with its own pool and a large plot of land, ready to be transformed into the buyer’s dream home. Purchases start at €1.8m. By 2015, the three smaller villages will be completed, bringing a further 140 apartments, townhouses and villas to the market.
Castelfalfi offers a true taste of Tuscany – a forkful of the local speciality, wild boar ragù, savoured in the garden of your own farmhouse is an unbeatable experience. Add to that the assurance that you are investing in a sustainable, sensitively restored resort that pays due respect to the surrounding area makes taking a slice of Castelfalfi for yourself an even more rewarding prospect.