“Rooms, apartments and a house (each sleeping 2-10) in a fortified medieval village, with endless views, a restaurant and lots of atmosphere”
The rooms and apartments are dotted around various buildings in the borgo and just outside its walls. They all have plenty of rustic charm, with wood-beamed ceilings and terracotta-tiled floors; many also have working fireplaces (great in winter, when there’s often snow). Beds are large and comfortable, and there are simple wooden dressers, tables and wardrobes. Most of the tiled bathrooms have bathtubs with overhead showers; you get hairdryers but no toiletries or robes.
Starting at the most basic level, there are 3 Classic Rooms, all fairly spacious doubles or twins. Comfort Rooms are bigger and have sitting areas or separate living rooms with sofabeds. Of these, Fattore 23 has wonderful views over woodland, Forestia 4 has 2 bathrooms (useful if you have an additional guest), and Cave is located in the old village quarry. Superior Rooms are larger still, with kitchenettes; most have spectacular views, and some have sofabeds. Worthy of special mention are Palle, which has a terrace; Pietrino, accessed via a steep 800-year-old staircase with a bedroom and living room linked by a steep wooden ladder; and Canapino, whose door is opened by a huge medieval key.
The apartments range from the 2-person 'Sotto gli'Archi' choices in the centre of the borgo, to larger Superior Apartments sleeping 2-3 or 4-5. There are also 3- and 4-bedroom Classic Apartments (Nerina and Fonteblanda II) sleeping 6 and 8 respectively, plus a self-contained house, Contessa Francesca, which is near the pool and sleeps up to 10 in 4 bedrooms and a sofabed. Most bedrooms in the apartments and house can be set up as doubles or twins.
Classic, Comfort Rooms and Triple Superior Room (Fattore 22) are offered on a bed-and-breakfast basis only. In other apartments and Superior Rooms, you can choose between self-catering and bed-and-breakfast tariffs - see Rates for full details.
Castello di Gargonza’s restaurant is located just outside the borgo walls and is open to all guests (as well as non-residents) for lunch and dinner. There’s a high-ceilinged, regal-looking dining room in a converted tractor shed, with large windows overlooking the woods, or you can sit outside in the gravelled garden, underneath white sunshades.
Most of the food is locally sourced or grown on site in the kitchen garden. Tuscan meat is famous all over Italy, and chef Susi Brogi makes the most of it by cooking delicious Chianina beef over embers. Other options include wild boar, excellent homemade pasta dishes (some gluten-free), traditional ribollita (Tuscan vegetable soup) and fruit-laden desserts. The wine list is as inviting as you would expect here on the edge of the Chianti region, with over 60 labels, including Chianti Classico and Colli Senesi.
There’s also a snack bar by the pool, open for light lunches and drinks, and another bar in the village centre, with seating in a pretty garden. And if you’ve booked bed and breakfast, you’ll find a morning buffet of homemade cakes, pastries, fruit, yoghurt, juices, cereals and more in the former olive press.
If you’re staying in a Superior Room, an apartment or Contessa Francesca, you can self-cater in your kitchenette, where you’ll find an oven or microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a toaster and crockery and cutlery. A few basics are provided (oil, vinegar, salt and pepper), and the village has a little shop selling pasta, meat, cheese, biscuits, preserves, wine and Castello di Gargonza’s own olive oil. For other supplies, you'll need to drive 6km to Monte San Savino.
There are plenty of restaurants in the surrounding area if you fancy a change, though unless you arrange a local taxi this will mean a bit of a drive home.
This is a great place for kids - the maze of little streets topped by a castle feels like something out of a storybook, and the pool is a good size. There are rooms and apartments to suit all sizes of family, and the choice of self-catering or bed-and-breakfast options means you can tailor your stay to your needs. Cots and high chairs are available for babies.
Many of the Comfort and Superior Rooms have sofabeds and work well for families of 3. The Superior Apartments can sleep 3, 4 or 5 in 1-2 bedrooms plus sofabeds or additional single beds, and the Classic Apartments - Nerina (3 double/twin bedrooms) and Fonteblanda II (4 double/twin bedrooms) - can accommodate 6 and 8 respectively. The self-contained house, Contessa Francesca, sleeps up to 10 in 4 double/twin bedrooms and a sofabed. Most options can also take cots for babies. Most bathrooms have tubs with overhead showers, and some of the larger apartments and Contessa Francesca have several bathrooms.
Available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The Superior Rooms, apartments and Contessa Francesca have kitchenettes for self-catering, and there’s a shop on site selling limited ingredients. If you’ve booked bed and breakfast, you’ll find some child-friendly options (cereal, yoghurt, cakes) in the morning buffet. Note that bed-and-breakfast rates are not available in the Classic Apartments and Contessa Francesca, which are available as weekly self-catering rentals only
The village’s uneven lanes can be difficult to negotiate with a buggy, and the pool is unfenced