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Tuscan Views (from the Estate of Fattoria)


When I turn left on the road that leads to Fattoria del Colle, I roll down my windows and slow the car way down. I sit up tall to catch my first glimpse of Donatella’s vineyards as I crest the hill. I look out to the right to see if the poppies are in bloom.


I pull up to the villa, hop out of the car and stretch out my arms. I take a deep breath and begin to slowly take in the familiar beauty all around me. Returning to Tuscany is like coming home.


Over the many years that I’ve been leading retreats at Fattoria Del Colle in Tuscany, I’ve collected a few favorite viewpoints from sunny days of walking around the estate, so I’m sharing my top five today. These are the vistas that I can’t wait to share with the folks who come on retreat with me.


It’s my sincere hope that being surrounded by the beauty of these hills and valleys is a healing balm for every person that comes on retreat.





The View of the Val D’Orcia


There is a favorite spot southwest in the gardens of Fattoria that is almost like a little secret tucked away. Explore until you find the large ornamental pinecone, and you’ll see a table and chairs where you can take your book or a journal for an hour or two. This spot looks out onto the gentle hills of the whole valley.


This area of Italy is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and artists come from all over the world to try to capture its loveliness on canvas. This valley is home to Sangiovese and Trebbiano-based wines.




The Maze Garden


Each room at Fattoria has its own special charm. They all have different vantage points, but some look out over the interior gardens instead of towards the hills or vineyards. The maze garden is one of the most charming spots on the whole estate.





Every time I look at this little garden, whether walking through it or viewing it from a window above, I notice something new. A burnt Siena red mistress peacefully watches over the trees and tulips. In some seasons the large potted lemon trees are sitting in the corners of the maze to bloom, and in April the entrance to the garden is covered in wisteria.






The View of Trequanda from The Restaurant Patio


Trequanda is the little Tuscan hilltop village that sits less than a mile east of Fattoria del Colle. You can walk to the town on a hiking trail that runs down into the valley between the two hills. Hiking the trail and exploring the village is a great way to spend a free afternoon on a retreat.


If you look out from the dining room around sunset, you can see Trequanda turn almost golden in the reflected light from the setting sun.




The View of the Vineyards from the Herb Garden


Just before you get to the estate, right off of the long entrance driveway, there is a small, enclosed herb garden. Within the garden is a happily situated bench that is the perfect place to sit and look out at the grapevines.


If you breathe deep, you will probably get the scent of rosemary and thyme growing all around you. I love this spot for early morning meditations, but it is also an amazing place to sit and watch the sunset.





The View of Fattoria’s Entrance from the Outdoor Breakfast Tables


It’s honestly difficult to describe what a lovely place Fattoria del Colle is. All the buildings are special in their own way, and you can spend a long time exploring the actual property. There is Donatella’s villa, a cottage in The Maze Garden, apartments next to the spa. Then there is a cooking school onsite, an old chapel, multiple swimming pools and the wine cellars. Oh, and also a restored barn, a restaurant and a spa.


This final view is just outside of the breakfast room, and on a warm morning, you can carry your coffee outside and have it at one of these tables. From these tables you can see the arrival gates of Fattoria. It is kind of a welcoming spot, a place to catch others passing from the gardens over to the barn, or from their rooms to the restaurant.


You can enjoy a bit of quiet at these outdoor tables, but they also equally can invite conversation. It is a place to sit outside and connect with yourself or with others, which is what being on retreat is all about.


So there you have it! My five favorite views on retreat in Tuscany! I hope you’ll come and join me some day soon to see them for yourself!







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