Deep in the Tuscan countryside, a few kilometers from Arezzo, stands a medieval hamlet, conveying the history of the battles between Guelphs and Ghibellines and recalling the feats of the German Princes of Savoy and the Duke of Abruzzi, Luigi Amedeo
by Francesca Portoghese – photo by M. Badiani, F. Pagliai, V. Raniolo and L. Vukaj
In 1993, the beauty of this place, far from the frenzy of an increasingly fast-paced everyday life, won over Ferruccio Ferragamo who, after falling in love with it as a holiday retreat, decided to take purchase and restore it to bring to light its full majesty. Today, Ferruccio Ferragamo himself, together with his children Salvatore, who is responsible for hospitality and winemaking, and Vittoria, in charge of the Orto del Borro and special projects, manage the entire estate. Authenticity, respect for the environment, culture, and enhancement of local excellence are the pillars of Il Borro’s sustainable philosophy. A vacation here is not merely a matter of finding accommodation in Tuscany, because this dream-like location is the real destination. An oasis of peace, to experience a relaxing and intimate break, in close contact with nature, walking through the surrounding vineyards, in the woods, or the hamlet, far from the busy pace of everyday life.
Respecting the territory is the core of the company’s philosophy and it is made concrete thanks to the use of renewable energy sources, making it a zero-emission estate. Il Borro produces more electricity than it consumes through photovoltaic panels that power the winery, accommodation, restaurants, and offices, and contribute to saving 930 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Staying at Il Borro means losing yourself in the most authentic Tuscany – as Salvatore Ferragamo immediately points out – and finding it in its most characteristic features: food, craftsmanship, and wine culture. Guests are surrounded by unspoilt nature and a breathtaking millenary village. In the heart of the estate, the distinctive and characteristic spaces of the original buildings are transformed into true oases of comfort.
Besides offering a wonderful journey through Tuscan food and wine, what can your guests discover at Il Borro? The wine and food tourist is always looking for an authentic experience, to touch the reality in which he is immersed first-hand. A visit to the historic wine cellars of Il Borro, for example, is not just a simple wine tasting, but a real experience of the art and history of wine. Before reaching the cellars, a video tells guests about the history of the company and anticipates the visit to our art gallery, which can boast names such as Rembrandt, Manet, Goya, Mantegna, Picasso, and Warhol. For wellness lovers, on the other hand, the choice can only fall on wine therapy treatments at our spa. In addition, enchanting horseback rides through the vineyards are ideal for those who love to immerse themselves in nature, while a special cooking class is dedicated to those who want to try their hand at cooking while enjoying a good glass of wine whose taste evokes the intense colors of the vineyards at sunset.
Sustainability, the use of renewable energy sources, and respect for the environment in agricultural and wine production are just some of the issues that distinguish the soul of Il Borro since they made a real turn from conventional to organic farming in 2012. A change of course in full respect of nature and crop cycles. On this subject, Salvatore Ferragamo continues: Being wine growers, men of the land, encourages us to reflect on the value of sustainable agriculture and development. Tangible considerations which, at Il Borro, are translated into extreme dedication, aimed at creating true benefit for the community and future generations. We have decided to be responsible players in the ecosystem, safeguarding the natural resources available to mankind as much as possible.
In addition to biodynamic cultivation, which is closely linked to the principle of sustainability, the estate embraces several other projects: the photovoltaic field, the use of electric means of transport, and the forthcoming construction of a biomass power station, which will help make an ever-smaller impact on the environment.
At Il Borro, visitors can bump into the shoemaker, the goldsmith, the decorator, and the embroiderer, all artisans engaged in the creation of fine crafts.
The life of the hamlet is also animated by the many artisans who depict the beauty of ancient crafts. Why have you made this choice? To experience the authenticity of the estate, a tour of the workshops that animate the ancient medieval village is crucial, giving guests the privilege of seeing local craftsmen at work. The aim is to safeguard the hamlet, restoring it to its former glory, and preserving its authenticity through traditions and cultures. Some of the workshops were already here in 1993, we simply tried to enhance them because we believe that craftsmanship, the use of precious materials, slow time, and passion are the distinctive signs of a reality that fascinates everyone. It is part of our history, our culture, and our being Tuscan and Italian… this is the true made in Italy.
What does Il Borro represent for Tuscany? This place has always been closely linked to the territory. Over time, we have recovered several abandoned sites, which in some cases have been used for hospitality, in others dedicated to our staff. All our food services also have a regional flavor, and the raw materials come almost exclusively from Tuscan suppliers. We work together for an intense promotion of Tuscany, which can be proud of a reality like ours that enhances every one of its aspects.
(Il Borro, the art of living – Barchemagazine.com – September 2022)