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When you’re tired of the dreary days of winter, head to historic Tuscany, where the landscapes burst with beautiful shades of green throughout the year—and where the exciting activities keep coming. As a Club Member, there is nowhere better to experience the majesty of Tuscany than at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Borgo alle Vigne.
The resort offers one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with balconies, living and dining rooms, full kitchens and an authentic atmosphere with touches like Italian furnishings and stone and marble finishes. While visiting, Club Members can also take advantage of the resort’s Owners’ Lounge and its concierge desk, available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
But perhaps the greatest feature of Borgo alle Vigne is its secluded location among the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside. At this resort, your winter vacation is a true retreat from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. And once you’ve had your fill of rest and are ready for a bit more action, the area offers countless experiences to enjoy.
The Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas market at Piazza Santa Croce. (photo by franckreporter/Getty Images).
Although Borgo alle Vigne provides a private vacation experience, it’s still strategically located within reach of major cities such as Florence and Pisa. And with fewer visitors in the winter, it’s an excellent time to explore these areas, as there are smaller crowds, shorter lines, discounted prices and a more laid-back atmosphere than during the spring and summer high seasons.
Every winter, both Florence and Pisa are home to a number of Christmas markets that offer shopping, entertainment and unique gastronomic experiences. One of the biggest is The Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas market at the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence, which features more than 50 stations showcasing festive treats, Christmas decorations and Nativity scenes.
Additionally, once Carnival begins in February, all of Tuscany—including Florence and Pisa—gets in on the celebrations. Marvel at the decorated streets, elaborate costumes and parades with colorful floats and live music that make Carnival so special in the region.
An aerial view of San Gimignano. (photo by Gian Lorenzo Ferretti Photography/Getty Images).
For a look at a piece of medieval Italy, visit San Gimignano, a small, walled-off hill town known for its well-preserved Gothic buildings and historic town center, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. San Gimignano was even the subject of famous artist M.C. Escher’s woodcut artwork of the same name, which showcased the town’s most prominent architectural structures: its 14 large towers that loom over the surrounding landscape.
La Spinetta winery in Tuscany. (photo courtesy of La Spinetta).
A trip to Italy wouldn’t be complete without exploring its picturesque vineyards and toasting with a glass of regional wine. Luckily for Members, Borgo alle Vigne is just a 10-minute stroll from La Spinetta, a family-owned winery that’s been making authentic Italian wines for more than 40 years in Piedmont and Tuscany. Its winery in Tuscany, opened in 2001, produces about 200,000 bottles each year from its 160 acres of Sangiovese, Colorino and Vermentino vineyards.
Take a tour of La Spinetta, which means “top of the hill,” and its vineyards to hear from the winemakers about the ins and outs of their craft, learn of the area’s wine making history and see the cellars where the wine is made and stored. Warm up with a taste of at least four locally made wines while munching on cheese, ham, salami and bread samplings that complement each wine.
La Spinetta receives visitors at its Tuscany location from Monday to Saturday by appointment only. Email the winery indicating the day and time you would like to visit and the size of your party. Or contact Borgo alle Vigne for help scheduling a tour.
You can continue to dazzle your taste buds back at the resort when you take a cooking class and learn how to make delicious Tuscan cuisine yourself, with the help of the resort’s staff. Inquire with the front desk upon your arrival about cooking classes available during your stay.
*Top photo by Pavliha/Getty Images
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