At this point in the year, I start dreaming of more simple times. When things are busy, stressful, and overwhelming, I find myself longing for simple moments where I can embrace the quiet. The serene. And, the still. Nowhere is that more true than Borgo Pignano, which bills itself as a Tuscan haven. And, Tuscan haven it is. It’s one of my favorite resorts in Tuscany, and it’s somewhere I can’t wait to get back to again.
Borgo Pignano was the second stop on a 10-day trip staying at 3 wine resorts in Tuscany and Umbria. All of the resorts we stayed at were overwhelming peaceful, but I think Borgo Pignano had the most beautiful sunsets. This is one of those hotels where you could easily spend as much or as little time as your itinerary allows.
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Where is Borgo Pignano in Tuscany
Borgo Pignano is in the countryside of central Tuscany, southwest of Florence and southeast of Pisa. It is a rural resort with plenty of things to do on site. While I personally find it more relaxing to check into a wine resort and enjoy the property as much as possible, it offers a great location for day trips in Tuscany. The resort is a 20-minute drive from Volterra, a 30-minute drive from San Gimignano, and a little less than an hour drive from Siena. We did leave the resort for dinner a few times and found ourselves in Volterra. Volterra is magical after dark, especially in shoulder season. In off season, it feels very local.
How to Get to Borgo Pignano
If you read the reviews about Borgo Pignano, you should pick up on the fact that this is a rustic resort. It’s far off the autostrade and you’ll have to drive on some dirt roads to get here. Personally, I think the best way to arrive at Borgo Pignano is via car. The location would make it difficult to utilize public transportation. If trying to come by train, you will need to hire a private driver once you arrive in Volterra or San Gimignano. If you are starting your trip to Tuscany here, I would recommend flying into Florence or Pisa. Both airports are a little over one hour away.
If you are coming from the south, Borgo Pignano is a little over 3 hours from Rome. We drove from Borgo dei Conti in Umbria, and it took us a little over 2 hours with a few stops along the way. The small towns of Italy are quite picturesque and there are some incredible restaurants along the way.
Booking Borgo Pignano Resort
One of the best things about Borgo Pignano is that it’s perfect for everyone. You can book a hotel room in one of the main buildings or you can book a villa on property. There are many different villas – some very close to the main buildings and others located among the the Tuscan hills. As a couple traveling alone, we didn’t need an entire villa, but some of the more “remote” villas would be a romantic experience for a honeymoon in Tuscany. (Nothing is terribly far, but some of the villas are more secluded than others!) We saw a few families taking advantage of the villas as well.
I booked our room through my Tablet Plus membership because it came with the following amenities:
- Upgrade to next room category
- 90 euro hotel credit per room (2 night minimum stay required)
- Welcome treat in room on arrival (wine and strawberries!)
- Complimentary 30 minute Organic Scrub at the Borgo Pignano spa
I chose Borgo Pignano as a compromise to an agriturismo. We also experienced the most beautiful sunset in Volterra, and both Tom and I wanted to return to see if that beautiful sky was a regular occurrence. (It was.) I think we expected to take a few day trips, but once we got to Borgo Pignano, we didn’t want to leave.
La Poeta Room – Luxurious and Rustic Charm
After checking in, we were escorted to the La Poeta room, which is located on a corner of one of the main buildings and overlooked the Tuscan countryside. It is difficult to describe the serenity and beauty that we experienced in this room. At times, it felt like a real life experience of the scene in Sleeping Beauty where Aurora throws open the windows to blue skies and birds singing.
La Poeta is one of those straight up romantic rooms. It’s perfect for a honeymoon or anniversary in Tuscany. By US standards, the room may be considered small, but it is cozy with a very comfortable queen-sized bed. (The official room category is villa room with charm.) We had a small desk and an additional chair in our room. Where this room really shines is the split-level bathroom. The exposed beams gave it a rustic feel and a skylight provided an airy feeling of relaxation. I loved the clawfoot bathtub, and Tom loved the huge walk in shower.
As an eco-friendly resort, many of the hotel products are made on site. I loved the lavender bath salts and the soaps. The ceramic containers are beautiful and sustainable. Our arrival gift was a bottle of one of the resort wines and fresh strawberries. Every detail is carefully considered, which makes the resort feel like pure luxury, however all the details stay true to the heart of Tuscany, which makes it feel a bit rustic, too.
Experiencing La Dolce Vita at Borgo Pignano
We spent a lot of time wandering the resort grounds. With an on-site art gallery, an antique Italian car collection, and billiards rooms tucked away in the main building, there is something to be found around every corner. However, Borgo Pignano really shines when it comes to enjoying the beautiful Italian weather and the countryside.
Tom was excited to check out the many guided walks recommended by the resort. Borgo Pignano is an incredible place to spend time outside. They offer bike rentals, horseback riding, as well as soccer, tennis, and basketball courts. Now that we’ve become more used to riding bikes in Tuscany, we absolutely use the bikes to further explore the nature preserves around the resorts.
Built into the hills of Tuscany, Borgo Pignano offers incredible views from almost every vantage point of the resort. (It’s incredibly fascinating how well it blends into the countryside as well!) I love the terrace outside of the main borgo, however the infinity pool has an incredible view as well. It is a lovely place to curl up with a book and enjoy the late afternoon sun. The swimming pool is heated, so even if you visit during cooler months, you can still enjoy a swim.
You can certainly enjoy Italy’s la dolce vita at Borgo Pignano. However, I think there is also a lot of la dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing to be enjoyed here as well.
Wine Tasting at Borgo Pignano
We used our Tablet Plus resort credit to book a wine tasting at Borgo Pignano. I booked the Borgo Pignano Flavors tasting, which included a tasting of the estate’s organic wines. We thought it would be a great way to try some varietals that would be similar to those offered by one of our favorite wineries near San Gimignano. All of the Borgo Pignano wines for this tasting are IGT, which makes it a more creative wine tasting. (If you are looking for the more well-known wines of Tuscany (Chianti or Brunello di Montalcino), you will want to book the Tuscan Gems or Grand Master wine tastings.) Our wines were served with products from the estate’s farm. It was truly a 0km wine tasting.
Raffaele, the food and beverage manager for Borgo Pignano, is a character. He’s deeply passionate about wine, but he’s even more passionate about sharing that knowledge with his guests. We have been lucky with our wine tastings in Italy; the winemakers are not pretentious. Raffaele started this wine tasting with a passionate diatribe about good wine being wine that is good to you, as well as the importance of the moment and the place. I think that’s true. When we open a bottle of wine at home, I am immediately transported back to the place we tasted it. What it felt like. Why we were there. Who taught us about it. I don’t buy wine because it’s highly-rated, and I find it impossible to “just” buy a bottle of wine at the store. I like my wine because of the memories it brings with it.
The Borgo Pignano Spa Experience
The Borgo Pignano spa is located in the former winery. It is peaceful cave-like retreat that feels a world away from the world above ground. In addition to a full menu of body treatments that utilize only natural products produced on-site, the spa houses a sauna and steam shower. We enjoyed taking advantage of the sauna when the spa opened in the morning. It was very quiet and relaxing. The service at the spa was exceptional.
I also took advantage of the lavender body scrub and a massage while we were staying at Borgo Pignano. The body scrub was INCREDIBLE. It is one of the best spa treatments that I’ve ever had a resort in Tuscany. The serenity of the spa coupled with the talented masseuse is the perfect recipe for relaxation.
Apertivo Hour & the Tuscany Sunsets
One of my favorite things about Borgo Pignano is the sunset cocktail bar. There is a full service bar set up on the terrace just in time for sunset. You can grab your favorite cocktail or a glass of wine and enjoy a traditional Italian apertivo. You’ll have a front row seat to the same sunsets that inspired some of the Renaissance’s greatest painters. (This pairs really nicely with the 5:00 wine tasting.)
Once the sun finally dips below the mountains and into the Tyrrhenian Sea, you can head across the garden to Villa Pignano, the on-site Michelin restaurant that offers a fresh and sustainable take on Tuscan cuisine.
Other Things to Do at Borgo Pignano
I actually found out about the Borgo Pignano hotel by reading reviews about the cooking classes and artisan activities. I was sad to miss taking a cooking class here. Our next trip will include that availability. When we took a fresh-pasta class at Castilgion del Bosco, we went into the garden to pick the herbs and vegetables for our recipes. The flavors were incredible and not something that I have been able to easily replicate at home.
Because the Borgo Pignano estate cultivates both a farm and garden, I expect that the experience and flavors would be similar to our previous experience. I expect that the cuisine would be a little different, which would be a fun experience. I love learning new recipes or tweaks to traditional recipes. They also offer a tour of the vegetable garden, as well as a close up look at their bee-keeping practices. Depending on when you visit, it may be possible to enjoy truffle hunting as well.
I am not artistically inclined beyond photography. If you are, Borgo Pignano offers classes in painting classes and soap making. You also can see how some of the estate’s natural products are made. I think it would all be very interesting, as I felt that the resort staff was very passionate about what they do and were eager to share that information. It certainly feels more like a life’s work, rather than a thing that tourists come to experience.
Why Borgo Pignano Should Be On Your Italy Itinerary
I am a believer in pairing Italy’s incredible cities with small towns if your itinerary will allow for it. I think that spending time in some of the incredible hotels in the Tuscany countryside will give you a deeper appreciation for some of the things that make Italy an incredible place to visit. Too often I feel like we approach life with a checklist of things to do and see. Resorts like Borgo Pignano require you to slow down. If you’re doing it right, you’re slowing down for things like delicious meals, enjoying a sunset apertivo, and watching the world go by. Quiet moments are increasingly hard to find, especially in cities. You can find them, but you’re probably also thinking about the next thing.
I will admit that I am one of those people that thought that I needed to constantly be seeing things when I traveled. I worried that if I stopped moving, my mind would overtake my thoughts. And sometimes, that does happen. However, there are also moments of complete contentment when I can sit on a terrace, watch the sunset, and free myself of all the “have to” items on my life. I suppose that’s one of the things I love about the small towns in the Tuscan countryside, and why I gravitate towards these moments in my busy season.
If you’re someone whose had trouble slowing down, I encourage you to add at least one resort in the Tuscany countryside to your Italy itinerary. Spend a night or two trying it out. Learning to be still, to relish the quiet moments, and to be in a place where I’m completely focused on the person in front of me is one of the best things I’ve learned to do in the past few years.