Preserving the Past in the Heart of Tuscany - Il Borro
Surrounded by rolling vineyards and olive groves in the heart of Tuscany, Il Borro has been considered one of the most magical places in Italy, a place where visitors experience the heartbeat of Tuscany through a perfect continuum between past, present and future.
Thought to be derived from a Medieval Tuscan dialect now largely forgotten, the word Borro was originally used to describe the fortress that stood guard at the crossroads of Via Clodia and Via Cassia, two important Roman roads. The fortress’s imposing stone walls created a safe haven for road-weary travelers and artisans practicing age-old crafts. Over 1,000 years later, the roads are gone but Il Borro stands as a beacon of Tuscan culture and heritage at the crossroads of some of Italy’s most vibrant cities.
The long history of the Borro is a story of bitter disputes, powerful patrons, and finally, “an enduring act of faith” that placed the property in the care of Ferruccio Ferragamo and his family. After years of enjoying the property for family holidays and outings, Ferragamo took ownership of the historical village pledging the commitment to “restore rather than modernize.”
“In the initial years, we rented the property for hunting pheasants with our dogs,” said Salvatore Ferragamo, CEO of Il Borro. “In the afternoons, we would enjoy lunches and dinners filled with good stories from the day, great wine, and Tuscan food. When the previous owner offered to sell the property we were immediately drawn to the idea of developing the estate into a true Tuscan destination.”
At the heart of the restoration of Il Borro was a desire to bring the estate back to life, preserving its traditions and history while at the same time making those improvements that make the village a magical destination in the heart Tuscany. Within the property, guests have the opportunity to live history.
“We maintain a traditional Tuscan feel on the outside...but in our restoration we used all original materials. Internally, the suites still have a classical Tuscan feel...with a slightly more contemporary style and of course with all the modern conveniences like air conditioning and internet!”
Cobblestone streets connect 38 suites to the village piazza, the historical chapel, and five small artisan boutiques. Each boutique sells goods made on site by craftsmen and women working in the traditional style. Within the village, a shoemaker, jeweler, painter, leather worker, and linen artisan sell handmade luxuries and teach classes to guests. Guests who visit the shoemaker have the opportunity to have shoes specifically made for their feet. Imprints are made of each foot and saved in case the guest wishes to have another pair made in the future. A few weeks later, a custom pair of leather shoes arrives at the guest’s home.
Tuscan people have a tradition for progressive thought and love for nature. Great efforts have been made to cultivate a harmonious environment at Il Borro, and the property has been acknowledged as a leader in efforts towards sustainability.
“Sustainability is important to me for a simple concept,” said Ferragamo. “I feel we borrow the land from our children and we need to respect this principle in order to preserve our planet.”
Il Borro is committed to respecting the land by cultivating organic produce and using renewable energy to power the property. Everything from the grapes used to make Il Borro’s signature Super Tuscan wine to the honey, olive oil, organic tomatoes, fruits and veggies are grown using sustainable techniques.
“I am very proud that we have transformed 1300 hectares into an estate that is completely sustainable both in farming and hospitality,” said Ferragamo. “Thanks to our efforts in organic farming practices we produce quality wine, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vegetables, honey, chicken, eggs, and beef.”
The property has also developed an extensive solar panel network that produces enough energy to run the property and provide power to the neighboring village.
At the heart Il Borro is family, community, environment and culture. For guests visiting, Il Borro is more than an accommodation—guests leave with an authentic Tuscan experience and an opportunity to see Tuscany’s past, present, and future.
For a limited time, clients booking with Leslie Swanson Travel will receive a complimentary Art and Wine Tasting Tour and a EUR100 credit to use at the Spa.