They always say that Tuscany is a dream destination, and it is. We were a group of about 50-60 people gathering from all over the world for a simple, intimate and 100% tuscan wedding - and it was amazing.
Il Grande Prato is private family estate on which there are a few old homes converted into hotel rooms, wonderful common spaces, greenery, pool, beautiful outdoor common dining tables - a great recipe for a great dinner with friends, and lots of local Chianti of course. There even is a gym and playing courts (I think tennis) but I didn't use them.
The most fantastic part is the owner Giulia and her team. It is as though you were staying at someone's home rather than a hotel and with that comes a level of personalized comfort and guidance on the area that only a local friend can give you. For a week, we felt as though we owned a little piece of paradise in the Tuscan campagna...
It is only 45 minutes away from Florence and to be honest, we had a much nicer time discovering the campagna than Florence itself. I can see why Florence is attractive, and it's got lots to show, but if you're up for the more genuine, local, old, and only-European-midieval-countryside charm experience then this is the place to stay. We'd have breakfast every morning, then Giulia would ask if we wanted lunch or dinner "at home" in which case we'd be able to laze and lounge by the pool, or if we wanted to head out for the day: San Giminiano, Siena, Monte di Olivetto (forgive my spelling if it is wrong). We had rented 9-passenger vans to drive around because it is much more fun, and there is never too much space in a van when you're a fun group going places.
Plus, the FOOD and WINE we had at Giulia's and the neighbouring villages were FAR superior to anything you could find in Florence - you can eat pasta or pizza with 6 glasses of wine - and gelato - every night and never put on a pound - weird but that shows you how local, natural food made by loving hands will be nothing but pleasure. Ask the nonna to make you penne with simple tomato sauce and herbs from the garden; suddenly boring tomato sauce and penne have never tasted so good.
We also had the wedding on site, which meant a put-together of various sizes of local garden tables, old wooden chairs, white tablecloths and little pots of lavender and sage on the tables; all starting at sunset - what more would you want. It's the kind of place where you sit back and wonder how amazing it is that you can still get away from cities and live for a few days in a place that has kept its charm and beauty all along.
I would want to put another group together or bring my big fat family down to Il Grande Prato because you just know how amazing it is.
There were several rooms, no two alike, so ask Giulia for suggestions. Some are on the garden, some...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.