“A fairytale castle with historic rooms and apartments, delicious home cooking and an enchanting location in the wooded hills of Chianti”
The tower and castle double rooms range from cosy Classic Rooms to spacious Suites. All have a decidedly romantic flavour and opulent décor including heavy brocaded fabrics, oriental rugs, wrought iron beds (some four-posters or canopies), and a mix of genuine and repro antique furniture.
Reached by a winding staircase, the top-floor Tower Suite has stunning views from no fewer than 8 windows. If you suffer from vertigo, however, then opt for one of the lower rooms - the staircase gets windier and narrower as you climb the tower.
Bathrooms have been designed with particular flair and imagination to suit the luxurious feel of the place. Most have showers or tiled wet rooms, others have twin basins, and a handful of Superior Rooms have bathtubs instead.
The rustic apartments are around 50m away, in what feels like a private Tuscan hamlet. Ideal for families and more independent travellers, each has a kitchenette and private terrace with dining space. Expect quarry-tiled floors, exposed stone or brick, and old-fashioned comfy furniture. Most secluded is the Cottage, 100m from the castle, with its own garden (and alfresco Jacuzzi tub) surrounded by woodland.
Guests staying in an apartment or cottage have access to all the main facilities (pool, tennis courts, bicycles etc), except the tower’s rooftop terrace, which is reserved for B&B guests.
As an agriturismo, most of the food and drink served is produced on the estate itself. Dinner is served on the bright veranda and might include an antipasto, a primi, a secondo and a dolce. We were served a primo of homemade fettuccine with a sausage and mushroom ragu; if that sounds good, you can learn how to make it with the chef. Secondo was a perfectly cooked beef dish served with mixed vegetables on a bed of rocket and wild leaves. Dolce was the Tuscan classic of vin santo and cantucci biscuits - though the dessert wine was not the usual sweet sticky brew but a crisp, amber nectar.
A generous buffet breakfast is also available - lots of local meats and cheeses, homemade cakes, pastries and biscuits, fresh cappuccino - though we would have preferred fresh rather than packaged ham and cheeses. You can take your loaded tray onto the terrace overlooking the valley below.
In the apartments and cottage, a kitchenettes have a fridge, stove and cooking utensils (though you'll need to bring all your own food and supplies), plus a terrace with tables and chairs for dining outside.
Castello di Tornano welcomes children and the grounds offer plenty of opportunity for imaginative games of medieval knights.
The apartments and the separate Guarnellotto cottage are all great for families, sleeping up to 3 children as well as 2 adults. The prices given are per apartment regardless of occupancy.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Though the castle and tower rooms can hold extra beds and baby cots, we feel the apartments and Cottage are the best fit for families. The Two-Bedroom Apartments sleep 4 to 5 in a double and twin or triple room, but the Cottage is our favourite option, with a double and a twin, plus a private garden and Jacuzzi tub surrounded by woodland.
English-speaking babysitting is available by arrangement - book at least a week in advance
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's a children's menu and half portions are available. Note that dinner is served late. Apartments have kitchenettes and there are takeaways and restaurants nearby
The swimming pool isn't fenced and there are steps and unprotected drops around the castle. Some apartments have mezzanine floors with unprotected stairways