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Castello di Vicarello - Review

FAR AWAY FROM THE WELL-TRODDEN CHIANTISHIRE TRAIL in Tuscany's Maremma coastal strip stands Castello di Vicarello – a fabulously romantic 12th century castle set among olive groves and vineyards. Aurora and Carlo Baccheschi have transformed this once-abandoned ruin into a brilliantly chic hideaway.

Italian and oriental styles have been skillfully mixed here, with Indonesian furniture and exotic antiques counterpointed by bright splashes of modern art. Castello di Vicarello's four suites and a villa are beautifully finished and each has its own highly individual and atmospheric appeal. Colour-washed walls are offset by rustic stone, gleaming stripped wooden floors, venetian blinds and mellowed flagstones.

Tactile leather, rustic rattan, intricately carved wooden bedheads
, real working fireplaces and big bathrooms make this a castle dedicated to indulgence. Sip a glass or two of chilled vino bianco as you float lazily in the infinity pool carved from travertine rock, where lofty cypress trees stand sentinel. With two pools here and just a handful of rooms, you could have a skinny-dipping zone to yourselves.

Vineyards and orchards

Guests dine al fresco in Castello di Vicarello's cobbled courtyard on summer evenings. What's on the menu? Wait and see. Be assured it's garden-fresh and season's best. Uncork a bottle from the castle's well stocked cellars to accompany terrific home cooking.

The estate's 60 acres contain a vineyard and over a thousand olive trees, not to mention fruit orchards ripening under the Tuscan sun. Roses, rosemary and mulberry trees run riot here and lunch is sometimes served on the lush lawns. See the Maremma coast glinting in the distance from your glorious Tuscan hilltop.

Castello di Vicarello was reviewed for Room for Romance by Claudia Vicenzi