Castello di Cafaggio
|A country farm in a 13th century Castle, right outside Florence|
Rising among the Chianti hills, surrounded by olives, vines and ancient woodland, is the thirteenth century Castello di Cafaggio. It is just 12km from Florence yet in a world of its own. Here Giacomo Puccini, a close friend of its aristocratic owners, used to hunt in the extensive woodlands. The Agriturismo is in a farmhouse next to the Castle. Its four apartments, the double bedroom and the detached cottage retain all the appeal of an old country house. As a guest, your day may start with breakfast in the elegant Liberty-style dining room in the Castle. Later, in the Castle's kitchen garden, amongst lemon and almond trees and sweet smelling herbs, you can enjoy the large swimming pool which looks out over a breathtaking view.
Every corner of the Castle and the surrounding landscape is rich with history and memories. We have the same hopes and dreams as previous generations who lived and worked to nurture this ancient setting. It is our pleasure to pass on these same emotions to our guests, sharing the experience of rural Tuscan living, as it was in the past and as it is today, and savouring the fruits of this precious landscape.
Sometimes there are activities organised in the Castle, such as oil tasting in the old olive press, cookery and decoration courses, as well as receptions and concerts.
At the end of the day you may admire one of the stunning sunsets that are often to be seen from the agriturismo's courtyard. Here a barbecue is available so guests can cook outside and get to taste the Estate's own products, amongst which is the award winning Cafaggio extra virgin olive.
Following the avenue of lime trees that run from the Castle to the woods, and just beyond the family Chapel, you will find the courtyard of the solid, stone built farmhouse. From here your gaze will travel out across the olive groves to the distant outlines of old hill towns, and at sunset the stone walls behind you will glow red and the perfume of lavender, rosemary and lemon trees will envelop you.
The farm house has been restored and transformed into and an Agriturismo (or farm guesthouse) with careful attention to traditional building techniques and the original structure. The 4 apartments, the double bedroom and the detached cottage are furnished with old family furniture (some hand-decorated by the owner). From the terracotta flooring to the wooden beams and the antique cypress wood doors, these rooms maintain all the appeal of an old fashioned country house. Each has its own television, and independently controlled heating and ventilation system.
The Estate farm, which is in the process of achieving full organic status, lies at 300 metres above sea level. It consists in 100 hectares of ancient woodland, 25 hectares of olive groves with 5000 Frantoio, Moraiolo and Leccino olive trees, and 1 hectare of vineyard with the typical Chianti grape varieties of San Giovese, Trebbiano and Malvasia. A specialist vineyard of 2 hectares has also recently been planted with San Giovese, Cabernet and Merlot grape varieties.
Through exacting professional standards in the harvesting of the olives and the production of the oil Enrico and Valentina Benci, with the assistance of major experts in the field, have achieved a significant improvements in the quality of Cafaggio oil. The result is that in recent years Cafaggio has won various important national prizes. In 2002 it was just one of only 5 Tuscan oils to win '3 Olives' from Slow Food, and it also won First Prize in the "fruttato intenso" Category at Festambiente. In 2003 the Chamber of Commerce in Florence selected it as among the 3 best Tuscan oils for the Ercole Olivario final. Our oil is our key product but we dedicate similar passion to the production of our Chianti wine, vinegar, vinsanto, and honey.