Luxury Tuscany, Italy: A Journey for the Soul.

By Posted in - Blog & Destinations & Italy & Italy on May 30th, 2014 Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

By Cacinda Maloney

Luxury Tuscany, Italy:  A Journey for the Soul

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Stranded on a path overgrown with weeds, thickets and briar, I search in the almost darkness to get my bearings in order to find the main road.  Weary with thoughts, I found the gravel road in the haunting fog and a chill swept over me.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

I heard the voice of Jesus say to me (1:40):

“Rest!”  “Lay Down and Rest My Child” “Let the light from the light house shine on you.”

I continued down the rocky road until I came upon the main square of Montestigliano in Tuscany, near Siena.  All was quiet and no one was around.  I looked up to see the image of the moon against the black ink sky, then I made my way to the chapel, just to take a peak inside to see what or who was calling me.

At dawn, I had snuck out of my room in Villa Pipistrelli, a restored farmhouse on the Montestigliano estate, to get my first glimpse and a few shots of this glorious place.  I wanted to be ready for the good light of the morning for photographs.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Villa Pipistrelli, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

It was Easter Sunday and it had been years since I had even stepped foot into a church.  With my camera in hand, I took some quick photographs.  I loved the color of blue in this photograph of the chapel.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Chapel, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Relieved to feel the presence of God in these rolling hills and this tiny chapel, it was soothing for my soul.  It seemed as if the walls of this chapel held the hopes, dreams and sorrows of families past and I knew I could not be the only one who had been weary from my life’s journey.  I thought of the generations of others who had passed through here before me.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

I was looking for gold in the darkness and somehow found it here as the stillness came over me.  Held in the palm of my hand was five small petals from a flower I had clenched earlier and I scattered them in the air, releasing the anxiety of being lost and valium online now found.   This flower needed to rest its head.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

“When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,
Now I’m found and forgiven.” -Maya Angelo

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

My room at Villa Pipistrelli, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano is a place for the soul, a place of rest, a place of comfort.  It is not just a trip you take, but a journey that takes you.  A journey to see how others live, how life functions, not in your own country; but in a completely different way of life. Here, there is life like none of us know, but yet each of us yearn for, a life that we gravitate towards, yet somehow, I never seem to achieve.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano is a 2500 acre farm, which has been repurposed as an agriturismo, which is not a common concept or word in English.

Agriturismo – a combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian – is a style of vacationing in farm houses codified into Italian law in 1985.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

A Tuscan Farm, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Now owned by the Donati family, it was once a tenant farm, where the buildings here were constructed in the 17th century.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

The villas of the farm are situated around a town square, along with a chapel, old barn used for olive oil tastings, a machine shop and a massive dining facility.  Each restored villa is named after the Donati children with names like Casa Virginia, Casa Marta, Casa Adriana, … Massimo, Ropoli, Luisa, and Damiano.

Tuscan, Italy

Tuscany, Italy

Each has its own sitting area, overlooking fields of cypress and olive trees or swimming pools and is the perfect location to read a book, have private reflection, cocktails with family and friends or an intimate conversation with your love.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigiano, Tuscany, Italy

The crème de la crème is their Villa Pipistrelli, which is up the road from the small town and the most luxurious of all the restored villas.  It has its own swimming pool, which is filled in the summer time and is perfect for families.

Villa Pipistrelli, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Villa Pipistrelli, Montestigiano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

“Tuscany has long been romanticized and I can say nothing but the same.” 
– Cacinda Maloney
 Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestiliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestiliano, Tuscany, Italy

Truly what makes this place special, though, is not only its surroundings, but its people.  The Donati family work hard to make your stay perfect and it shows.  The genuineness of the family is remarkable and they will put you at ease within minutes of your arrival.

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Donati Family, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Donati Family, Montestigliano, Tuscany, Italy

Luisa Donati is the perfect hostess and gives tours at Montestigliano, as well as tours in her family’s estate in LeMarche region  (Palazzo Donati) in which she calls the “Authentic Italian Experience” and I could not agree more.

For other places to stay with family in Tuscany, check out Travel Babbo’s article on Tuscany for a Month.

Luxury Tuscany, Italy: A Journey for the Soul

Luxury Tuscany, Italy: A Journey for the Soul

Disclosure:  I was invited by the Donati family and their PR agency to come stay at Villa Pipistrelli and Montestigliano in Tuscany, Italy, near Siena.  As always, my heartwarming experiences here were truly my own.

 

 

(18) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Walter Sanders -

    May 30, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Wonderful, evocative, stunningly photographed reporting. Thanks for sharing your perspectives . Pipistrelli is a magnificent destination and the warmth of the Donati family adds to the glow. I agree with you, it’s a spectacular place for a family or group of friends to celebrate beauty, serenity and the quiet allure of rural Tuscany.

    • admin -

      May 30, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I loved it too! So peaceful and serene.

  • Kay Dougherty -

    May 30, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This looks fabulous! My sister and I had dinner at an agritourismo several years ago very close to this location and vowed that if (when) we go back to Tuscany we will stay at one. I think you found the one for us! The fact that is has a swimming pool in addition to everything else makes it great for us! Thanks for the info!

    • admin -

      May 30, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      You are right, it IS the perfect location and the people are amazing!

  • Christa Thompson -

    May 30, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Cacinda, what an amazing journey! I could feel the Italy in all of these photos. I would love to hear more about each one! What inspired you to snap that! How did your heart connect? What a beautiful photo journal. Thank you for sharing this!

    • admin -

      May 30, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      I think I could talk all day about each photograph and how they make me feel and what angle I need to capture each one, and what lighting is necessary. There is nothing i love more than a day of photography at a mesmerizing place! This is the place for a heart connection!

  • Lindsay -

    May 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Wow! OK, firstly- your photographs are truly amazing Cindy! I mean- WOW! SO beautiful! You captured the light and colors so perfectly! I LOVE Tuscany and the Siena area. I’ve never heard of Villa Pipistrelli and Montestigliano – but I can tell you that I am dying to go visit now!! Great post!!

    • admin -

      May 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks gal! It would be perfect for you and your large family! It is gorgeous!

  • Phoebe (Short Road to Happy) -

    May 31, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I absolutely love Tuscany each time I go and you have certainly done it justice with your gorgeous photos! Can’t wait to go back – you have inspired some wanderlust 🙂

    • admin -

      May 31, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Tuscany is the place for wonderlust, that is for sure! And Montestigliano is the perfect place to find it. I loved it here. Thanks for the photo compliment, I am improving!

  • Jean | Holy Smithereens -

    June 3, 2014 at 6:38 am

    The photos are just amazing! I’ve not been to Tuscany nor Italy yet, but when I do, I want my experience to be just like this! It’s almost magical.

    • admin -

      June 3, 2014 at 9:53 am

      I agree, it was magical. Since you have not been to Italy, you must visit all the great cities, but when you are ready to do the countryside, this is THE place to be!

  • jenny@atasteoftravel -

    June 3, 2014 at 8:10 am

    What a fabulous post Cacinda. You have captured Tuscany perfectly through your beautiful words and stunning photos. Montestigliano looks like a dream place to stay..

    • admin -

      June 3, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Jenny, you would love this place!! It was fabulous!

  • Samd D@ Travelling King -

    August 4, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    These photos are amazing!!! I’m heading to Rome with my dad for Xmas and i thought i might do a quick day trip to Tuscany.. well the thought was there but after reading this and seeing all of these amazing images, i would LOVE to see these in real life!

    • Cacinda Maloney -

      August 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Tuscany provides a journey for your soul!! Enjoy!

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