We organize Tuscan cooking lessons on demand at our resort. The lessons are expressly ‘custom made’ according to our clients’ individual tastes and preferences. The vegetables and products used during the lessons are mainly home grown in our vegetable garden and barn or they might come from nearby organic farms. Our Guests will agree on a menu upon their arrival, which will be prepared by the guests themselves together with Alfonsina, then they will be offered an appetizer. After cooking and preparing the menu it will be tasted and accompanied by local Chianti wines and served on our veranda overlooking the wonderful and scenic Valdarno valley. After dining and tasting, each Guest will be awarded with a certificate of attendance.
Florence is a special place for those who love fashion and going shopping: just few kilometres far from Il Faeto, for example, there is The Mall Outlet, one of the most important Italian centre for fashion.
Since we started our business here at Il Faeto, we have noticed that many of our guests, even Italian or not, are very interested in high fashion and luxury products. Especially during low season periods, many Italian visitors, who love going shopping all over the big stores of the Florentine area, come to spend just a weekend here. Actually, Florence is a magical place for those who are interested in fashion in general and who like going shopping.
In Florence and all its surrounding areas, people can perceive and enjoy beauty in the widest sense of the word: both in the city and throughout Tuscany, one of the first things visitors can admire is the artistic beauty of nature and the stunning sceneries. All these treasures perfectly combine with the perfection and the beauty of Italian fashion too. Probably you are already aware many of the most important fashion brands in the world originally started their business in Florence or Tuscany. Just to make some examples, Gucci is now the greatest luxury brand and began its business in Florence during the early post-war period, while Emilio Pucci is considered a real milestone in terms of elegance of high fashion production, which is now seen as an art form. Salvatore Ferragamo could be yet another example as he established his headquarters in Florence during the 20s as well as Enrico Coveri, the Florentine stylist who dead before his time during the 90s. Currently, the most important brands in terms of Florentine high fashion are Loretta Caponi, Patrizia Pepe and Roberto Cavalli; all of them have their head office in the city itself. Moreover, the city centre is full of luxury products stores so that all the visitors can go shopping and choose their favourite brand.
Il Faeto has a strategic position: actually, it is just few kilometres far from the city centre, but it is close to the famous “luxury centre” called The Mall Outlet as well. In fact, our guests can reach this big centre, which was built just few years ago, in just little more than half an hour. It is located at Il Leccio, an hamlet of the small village Reggello, and it now represents one the greatest Italian centre for those who are fond of fashion. Actually, at The Mall you can find some famous brands like Chanel, Burberry’s and Prada as well. It includes some luxury shops where even the most elegant visitors can find something they like.
We never run out of time to go shopping! Just few kilometres far from The Mall and only little more than half an hour far from Il Faeto there is the famous Prada store. More precisely, it is located at Levane, an hamlet of Montevarchi; it is very big and currently it is visited by tourists from all over the world. This big department store was built there as the firm itself has its own headquarters in Valdarno, between Montevarchi and Terranova Bracciolini (another little village in this area).
These are not the only activities in terms of shopping you can do during your stay at Il Faeto. Actually, Tuscany is not famous just for its fashion brands, but it is also well known for its food, wine and handicrafts. Even though people usually think that high quality handicraft is completely far from luxury products, Florence is full of workshops where leather is the only protagonist. The city is actually the birthplace of The Bridge and Cuoieria Fiorentina (which has one important department store near the tollgate Figline-Incisa Valdarno). Even the city centre is full of places where you can find high quality products at reasonable prices: the famous San Lorenzo Market, Calimala and Loggia del Porcellino Markets are just some examples. There are many shops selling wonderful leather products in Santa Croce as well
Have you ever heard about the biggest Italian wellness centre? It is the third biggest one in Europe and it is really close to Florence. It is called Asmana, which means “paradise” in Indian, and maybe there is not a name that could describe this place better: this is a real haven of peace where both our mind and body can unwind and regenerate. Beyond this wonderful centre, our region is also rich in spas, like Bagno Vignoni, Bagni di San Filippo, Chianciano Terme and Montecatini, the wonderful historic place many people choose when they are in need of special treatments.
“Path of the Hobbits”
This is San Donato in Collina, a little hamlet of Bagno a Ripoli (in the province of Florence) which has only 400 inhabitants. San Donato is a fascinating place: it is really quiet and surrounded by particular woods and paths along which you can walk even with your children. San Donato in Collina has a very lush nature, its scenery is stunning and here everything fully respects all the typical Tuscan traditions and culture.
Do you fancy a particular trip? Its name is “the path of the Hobbits”.
ccording to legend, the Hobbits would be born together with human beings in the East part of Middle-Earth. They were smaller than men, Elves and dwarves too; they were mortal and used to live in some holes they created on their own. There were three different Hobbits families called Harfoots, Stoors and Fallohides. All of them had something in common: they were always looking happy and had very long fingers, big feet and curly brown hair. They really did not like venturing or changing habits and they used to eat a lot; they loved parties, gifts and they fully enjoyed every opportunity they had to spend some time together. They were very quiet and peaceful by nature and had a very developed sense of duty, fairness and altruism.(<> – Tolkien ).
Let’s start our exploration of the world of the Hobbits from San Donato in Collina, the little old village along the provincial road n° 1; this was the medieval road that once used to connect Florence with the northern part of Valdarno. During the XIXth and the XXth centuries, until the 60s more or less, San Donato was full of hotel accommodations and, thanks to its fresh air, many people liked spending their holidays in this place. Our trip begins from the very centre of the village: walking along the street that starts from the church, we reach the graveyard and then we take the little street on the left. Once arrived to the crossroads, we turn to the right: just after few metres, on the left side of the street, we find Villa Gamberiana, a renewed old stone cottage. The building includes also a little restored church that dates back to the IXth century; it is dedicated to San Michele (St. Michael) and it is still used as a place of worship. Continuing for two kilometres more along the same street, we arrive to another crossroads where several paths intertwine; one of them leads to Poggio delle Piglie (590 MASL), another one to Fontesanta and, on the right, there is the one for Poggio Firenze. After a short rest by the lakeside, we can visit the refuge in Fontesanta. It is located in the very middle of a chestnut wood and it dates back to 1953, when it was built by the inhabitants of Antella (a small area near Bagno a Ripoli). During underground movements, many fights took place exactly in these forests; actually, this is where, in 1944, the partisans won an attack organized by the German army using armoured vehicles and flame-throwers and also where, a bit later, they joined the English troops in order to free Florence.
Let’s continue our trip towards Poggio Firenze (675 MASL), from where we should be able to enjoy the view of the fantastic scenery between Florence and the area of Chianti. Once a Palaeolithic building, which dated back to Aurignacian period, used to lay here and it was probably the most ancient human settlement in the area. There is also much evidence that this area was full of mammoths hunters and great artisans. Moreover, Poggio Firenze was one of first Etruscan settlements along the commercial road which used to link Arezzo to Fiesole; nowadays, this fascinating place is one of the best to have a short rest.
We have not arrived to the real world of the Hobbits and all the other creatures that live in the wood yet. Continuing along a narrow path of the hill, we finally enter a chestnut wood and we go on with our exploration among the ferns. By now, we have walked for 4,5 kilometres (2.9 miles) more or less along a pretty steep gradient. It has been quite hard, but the view of that stunning landscape is a great reward: the scenery is dotted with wonderful villas and farmhouses. San Donato in Collina is just a little more than three kilometres far from here. We have enough time to keep looking for our Hobbits dwellings inside the hollow chestnut tree trunks or inside the little holes at the foot of the oaks. Suddenly, when we were about to stop searching, a laugh-like song starts playing loudly among the trees:
The daylight is dying!
To fly would be folly,
To stay would be jolly
And listen and hark
Till the end of the dark
to our tune
This was the voice of the Elves, of course.
Near to our holiday farm you can also find several sports centres. Below there is a list of the main ones and the activities you can do there:
- a tennis court, so that you can show all your skills while playing with the racket;
- an horse centre where you can bring your children or have the possibility to go for a ride in the middle of nature;
- an historic golf course called Ugolino with 18 holes; it is completely integrated with the vineyards and the olive trees of the gentle hills of Chianti area and the air is fragrant with the scent of pinasters and broom.
You have also the possibility to do a thrilling driving experience. Actually, you can try to drive a Ferrari at the circuit of Mugello, which is not too far from our business, or a vintage car in the area that surrounds Il Faeto. Otherwise, you can simply hire a Vespa and tour easily among Tuscan hills as Italians are used to doing.
Do you fancy a trip by car out of Florence? Here at Il Faeto we can arrange a shuttle for you as well as recommend many different wineries and very good local restaurants where you can try both some typical Tuscan dishes and wines. We are sure they will be happy to give you a warm welcome and to let you taste their excellent products. We are just a few kilometres far from some of the most important wineries in Chianti Classico area, such as Cantina Antinori and Solaia, Castello di Brolio and Castello di Lamole.
Moreover, every little village near Il Faeto has its own market where local farmers mostly sell fruit and vegetables. Try to speak with one of them and you will see they are always ready to let you taste some salami, bread or a glass of good red wine.
Street food is now one of the things you should absolutely try in Florence. In this regard, how not to mention Sant’Ambrogio and San Lorenzo Markets? Both of them offer a large variety of food that you can taste there or even take away. San Lorenzo, which is famous also for being an indoor market, some years ago started to organize its stalls in two different floors, where those who love eating can easily find high quality products.