Hotel review

Hotel Review: Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort and Spa, Tuscany in Italy

Oorders from Sara Darling

If you want to find a slice of Italian paradise that has the clearest night skies and the brightest stars, you can’t go wrong with the Renaissance il Ciocco Resort and Spa in northern Tuscany.

The hotel is a short drive from both Pisa and Florence airports, with the journey taking less than two hours. Whether you rent a car or take a taxi from the airport, you will be greeted by spellbinding scenery en route to the hotel, which is located just outside the town of Barga.

Your first sight of the hotel will be its grand terracotta exterior and tiered terrace crowned by the most expedient outdoor pool, where the azure blue of the pool punctuated by the green of its mountain backdrop will take your breath away. In fact, everywhere the eye can see is like a fairy tale, with rolling hills, distant vineyards and olive groves making up the view whichever direction you look; and the hotel is the crown jewel for those looking for an oasis to enjoy it all.


The hotel is perched above the pristine Serchio Valley

The Renaissance brand is known for offering five-star luxury and this property does not disappoint. Nestled on over 1,500 acres of landscaped grounds, the hotel is perched above the pristine Serchio Valley, with uninterrupted views from many rooms. So much so that Robbie Williams chose this hotel as his base when he headlined a local concert.

Inside the hotel, expect sumptuous comfort and discreet service, which is evident upon entering the grand reception. The open-plan check-in office leads to several side rooms with original antique furniture and the bar and restaurants, which lead to a wonderful parasol-covered terrace, and a local concierge with first-hand knowledge of the area is always on hand. happy to guide you with schedules and activities of the nearby village.

Due to its tranquil location and low-key activities — sauna, massage, strolling the avenue of elegant shops, or sipping a cocktail by the outdoor pool — the hotel primarily attracts couples or friends who just want to disconnect and enjoy some peace. Although family suites are available, there’s not much for youngsters to do.


il ciocco room
Rooms are elegantly finished with a mix of traditional Tuscan styling and contemporary touches

The resort has 180 rooms spread over two buildings and seven floors. All are elegantly finished with a mix of traditional Tuscan styling and contemporary touches. Each room has carpeted floors, crisp white bedding and an array of pillows, classic photographs of Italy in black frames, mid-century modern mirrors and armchairs, and a attractive marble bathroom.

The rooms at the front of the property have a higher price, but for this you benefit from a spacious balcony and a breathtaking view of the magnificent Serchio Valley, the Apuan Alps and the swimming pool, where you can relax. lose yourself in the panoramic and scintillating landscape. the lights of the surrounding villages in the evening. Alternatively, rooms at the back of the hotel have a more modest outlook on the extension of the hotel’s spa, but that doesn’t detract from the contemporary design and airiness of the room.


food il ciocco
The hotel has three dining options including La Veranda

The hotel offers three dining options: Le Salette which serves typical Tuscan dishes and, whatever you order, you will be delivered with bread and olive oil, essential on a daily basis in the region. It’s worth booking at least one dinner on the terrace because watching the sunset here is magical.

Meat eaters will love the selection of heartier beef dishes, and there’s plenty for pescatarians, but I personally enjoyed the Papa al Pomodoro, a hearty Tuscan tomato soup served with bread, and the sage leaves. Crispy fries and the courgette flowers My highlight but it was the delicious spinach and ricotta ravioli from Maremma, and you can’t go wrong with any of the handmade desserts.

You will have breakfast at La Veranda, which offers al fresco dining overlooking the valley, and you can choose from a hearty selection of buffet-style meats, cheeses and pastries and hot dishes, including Tuscan sausages, woven bacon and scrambled eggs. While the Nour Lounge, which focuses on evening drinks, sometimes comes with a live pianist order.


spa il ciocco
The hotel’s spa offers an indulgent space ideal for unwinding and relaxing

Classified as a spa hotel, as you might expect, the spa deserves recognition. More of a wellness center with heavenly treatments, the Ciocco Spa is an ideal indulgent space to unwind and offers a full range of treatments upon prior reservation such as scrubs and body wraps, couples massages and body treatments. face, or you can simply enjoy the pleasant indoor swimming pool.

As the outdoor pool doesn’t open until 10:30 am, I had the heated indoor pool for my laps before breakfast, and the panoramic scenery makes it even more idyllic. Or you might prefer a workout after pasta at the gym.


il ciocco neighborhood
Visitors can explore the area with its stunning views and medieval villages

If you need to venture away from the resort, the local town of Barga is a ten minute drive away and well worth a visit. This perfectly preserved medieval town offers fantastic views in all directions and is indeed the most Scottish place you will visit in Italy. Formed by narrow, cobbled streets and houses in pale orange and pink hues, it retains an era of sleepy charm even during its busiest time.

Barga’s most famous export is Scottish singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, whose great-grandparents moved from Barga to Paisley and opened a fish and chip shop, which his parents still run today. today. In fact, Barga hosts its own two-week fish and chips fiesta every July/August!

The city also has the best view of L’Uomo Morto (sleeping giant). The spectacular mountain has a natural arch that forms the slightly open mouth of the sleeping giant and hosts a doppio tramonto (double sunset), twice a year. For three consecutive days, the sun appears to set twice – first behind the mountains, then once more, as it is briefly trapped in the arch.

tuscany vineyard
A trip to Tuscany wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a local winery.

Further afield in the Agriturismo ‘Pian di Fiume’ is a paradise for hikers, rafters and explorers. Book a guide and set out on a three-hour hike through five medieval hamlets passing San Pellegrino in Alpe, Garfagnana, and first-class views of the Apennine ridge and the Apuan Alps. hikers will then be rewarded with a home-cooked meal at the base camp restaurant. Be sure to pack walking shoes as it can get steep and muddy.

Alternatively, you are in a wine region, so you absolutely must visit a vineyard. The family-run Codere Concori biodynamic vineyard is just a four-minute drive from the hotel and offers tastings and snacks, where you can learn all about wine pairings while tasting a range of wines. You might also be interested in beauty products made from grape products.

In a word

If you are looking for a property that will take your breath away as you drive through the impressive winding driveway, you have come to the right place. The location feels remote and timeless, and is an ideal setting to truly unwind.

Getting There

Vueling is the second operator on routes between Spain and London Gatwick, where operations began in 2013. The airline offers 27 direct routes from the UK covering 18 destinations and three countries, including France and Italy in addition to Spain. The London Gatwick – Florence route currently has 14 weekly frequencies with return journeys from £52.99. See for details.


Address: Via Giovanni Pascoli, 55051 Castelvecchio Pascoli LU, Italy
Call: +39 0583 7691

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