Tuscany is well known as the land of sunflowers, fields of poppies, olive groves and beautiful historical cities, but it may not be the first place that comes to mind when you are planning a golf vacation. Home to more than 35 golf courses, Tuscany is a secret paradise for golfers who enjoy not only an excellent round or two but also the finer things in life – great hospitality, fabulous wines, gastronomic delights, culture and luxurious accommodations.
Macana’s Golf & Wine tour delivers an unforgettable experience that showcases Italy as a primo golf destination! Spring and fall with their cooler, fresher days and smaller crowds are the perfect times for an Italian holiday under the Tuscan sun!
Where You’ll Play
Florence Golf Club Ugolino – Florence’s oldest golf course was founded in 1889 by British emigrés and was recreated in 1933. Home to the Italian Open Championship on numerous occasions, this is one of the most beautiful courses in Italy. In fact, American writer Chris Santella named it among the top 50 courses in the world.
With sweeping views of the Chianti area and sloping fairways lined with ancient and impressive trees, including cypress trees that dot the sky like exclamation points, this course is as classy and classic as Chianti wine – but don’t be fooled by the relatively short 6275 yardage (5741metres). This course is very demanding due to the naturally sloping terrain, tight fairways and small and protected greens. You’ll need more accuracy than distance to master this layout. Exactly how golf in Tuscany should be played!
Poggio dei Medici Golf Club – Set in the heart of the beautiful Mugello Region and only 25 kilometres from Florence, Poggio dei Medici is one of the most gorgeous new Italian golf clubs – a real Tuscan gem! Opened in 1995, this championship course hosted the European Tour’s Italian Women’s Open from 1999 to 2003 and was recently recognized by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine as one of the best golf courses in the world.
The unique feature here is that you can play four different layouts within its 18 holes and then retire to the fantastic 16th century clubhouse to soak in the stunning surroundings while sipping a champion local wine.
Montecatini Golf & Country Club – Montecatini is designed around the gentle hills of the Montalbano landscape with lakes, streams, forests and ditches that are part of the natural contours of the land. Lined with olive trees, this course features many doglegs and the greens that are very fast and undulating, putting the short stick to the test. This challenging course measures around 6000 meters (6405 yards) and is very hilly, with natural obstacles and hazards where you tend to play through the valleys and along the ridges.
When you reach the ninth hole, take a moment to turn around and take in the panoramic view of all the previous eight you have just played. At this point, you will have a hard time deciding whether you should pull out your camera or your club!
Where You’ll Stay
We started off with a two day night stay at the Residenza Il Collea splendid historical property nestled in the hills overlooking the breath-taking Chianti valley. The villa has been superbly restored. Great care has been taken to preserve the original structure including the frescoes. With much attention to on the smallest details, it is the ideal place to relax in the swimming pool and enjoy the amazing panoramic view between rounds of golf and an occasional excursion or two.
Then it’s on to the Borge La Torre, a historical farmhouse villa for three more nights. There you will play Montecatini and participate in a cooking class where you can enjoy the fruits of your labour while sampling the local wine.
Did We Mention the Incredible Wine?
The gentle hills of Chianti and Siena have been immortalized in the works of famous masters. You will have the opportunity to experience not only the magic of the countryside the rolling hills boasting row upon row of geometrically arranged grapevines and olive groves, where the harvest is pressed straight from the tree, but also the magic of small wine estates that have been making wines for generations. The vintners you will meet are proud of their wines and more than happy to tell their story to those ready to listen and taste…and savour the moment.
And…Exquisite Traditional Cuisine!
As part of the package, every evening you will dine in a gourmet restaurant featuring the finest in hand-filled pastas, homemade tagliatelle and pappardelle, artisan cheeses, grilled vegetables and choice cuts of meat from local butchers cooked to perfection accompanied by the best wines of the region. What could be more tempting after a day on the links?
Italians have a flair for transforming a short list of simple ingredients into a magnificent dish that soothes our souls and feeds our passions. The same can be said of Macana’s guided Golf & Wine tour which combines the best things the region has to offer to create a memorable stay-and-play golf vacation.
September is the month we transition from summer to fall and it is the perfect time of year to visit Italy. Relax and unwind in a timeless landscape of villages, castles, wine festivals, fine flavours, warm colours and, of course, golf!
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