Well, yes, the Chiantishire in Tuscany is one of my favorite countryside area and, in my opinion, a perfect place for a small event. Chianti offers a unique landscape, with green, gentle hills covered with wide fields of vineyards and olive groves, small stone villages, characteristic parishes, countryside homes in stone and it’s located between the “art cities” of Florence to the north and Siena to the south: a perfect mix of relaxation, history, food and wine!
My favorite hotel in the area is Castel Monastero, 23 km from Siena, in the middle of Chiantishire; 73 rooms and a meeting space for 150 people, it has the elegant rustic harmony of an ancient Tuscany castle. It has also two gourmet restaurants “Contrada” and “La Cantina”. In charge of the menu is Gordon Ramsay, a leading personality in European cuisine, with a personal collection of 10 Michelin stars. Last but not least the SPA, absolutely wonderful!
If for your group you would prefer a solution in the centre of Siena you could consider the Grand Hotel Continental, a 5 stars luxury hotel just steps from Piazza del Campo where the famous Palio races are held. The palazzo that houses the Hotel was built in the 17th century as a grand aristocratic residence. It has, within its august walls, some of the loveliest halls of all of Siena!
There are many special places in the area for your dinners. Villa Vistarenni a 16th century Villa is for sure one of them, between the towns of Radda and Gaiole in Chianti, two production centers in the Chianti Classico area. The hall of the Villa can host 150 people but for your event you could consider even the outside area.
Villa Catignano, a magnificent 17th century building, it’s another perfect place for your gala dinner. The Villa has availability for several halls for example the Tinaia Hall, completely restored with cap vaults and terracotta floors and the Grey Hall. From the halls it is possible to reach a large terrace and the beautiful courtyard of the Villa.
For your team building, considering the area, it’s absolutely a must proposing something related to wine and food like the “Scavanger Hunt in the Castle and Grape Stomping” where, at the end, the competitors stomp, and whichever the most liquid does produce will be declared winner.
Pasta and Tiramisu’ Challenge in a typical Tuscany farmhouse it is just a great occasion to organize a competition, pick up some great cooking tips and taste some wonderful wine together with a delicious final meal.
For you sightseeing, it’s really not possible missing Siena, one of Italy’s best preserved medieval towns, surrounded by walls, filled with fine examples of Gothic architecture and with one of the world’s most unique piazzas, Piazza del Campo. Furthermore there are countless excursions in the area, for example San Gimignano, Pienza, and towns world famous for wine, such as Montalcino and Montepulciano. I would suggest also the Crete Senesi, which literally means Siennese Clays, an area to the south of Siena, amazing!
Next time I’ll go back to the lake!
Greeting from the Italian countryside!