This AD 1112 Tuscan castle, situated in an olive tree grove and endless gardens between the mountains and the sea, could not possibly be more revered among travel editors. I first read about it in Vogue, where Vicki Woods describes the fairytale spread as “a thing of vast antiquity and beautiful proportions that floats above the ancient hills.” Once it snagged my attention, it seemed to crop up everywhere (from Travel + Leisure to Remodelista; there are 18 pages of press clippings on the website). And for good reason. The castle was brought back from ruin by the owners, Aurora and Carlos Baccheschi, who found cows in inside the castle when they bought it a couple decades ago. Since then, they’ve slowly rehabbed Vicarello, decorating it with a charming mix of midcentury and Indonesian antiques, then landscaping the sprawling, cypress tree-lined grounds into some kind of epicurean fantasy–medieval courtyard, cobblestones, organic vegetable gardens, two freshwater pools (one that’s made of travertine and looks out over the lush Tuscan landscape, the other nestled in the olive trees), more than 1,000 rose bushes and a nearby forest where you can hike and forage for mushrooms.
Prices start at $500 a night, meals included. All seven rooms are different. The kitchen is all about traditional Tuscan fare, and much of the ingredients are grown on site, using traditional growing methods and organic guidelines. They offer cooking classes, and there’s also a spa. Book it at Welcome Beyond.