Culture, Chianti and cocooning

By Kylie MacKenzie

Since the 12th century, Castello Del Nero’s historic 740-acre estate has been home to traditional Tuscan farming with its vineyard, olive groves and beehives. Now, as part of Christina Ong’s COMO Group, its much-awaited Shambhala Wellness Retreat has opened its doors.

Tucked into the idyllic countryside of the Chianti wine region, Castello Del Nero has recently been graciously and unobtrusively re-imaged with light and modern touches by celebrity Milanese designer, Paola Navone. The castle’s historic terracotta flooring, fresco walls and vaulted ceilings thankfully remain untouched, but under Navone’s guidance take on a much fresher, contemporary mood. 

Aside from enjoying the magnificent grounds, a trio of versatile dining venues, and unique wine cellar set into the walls of the castle, Navone has helped the new owners create a contemporary health and fitness retreat on the property for guests to share. Asian-inspired, it’s an elegant cocooning space—a well-being sanctuary that’s 1000 square metres with seven treatment rooms, pilates and yoga studios, thermal suites and a stunning 25 metre heated pool. 

The retreat carries the Shambhala moniker and offers treatments with a local twist, accompanied by nutritious balanced dishes curated to aid concentration, balance blood sugar levels and nourish the soul. Guest favourites: an iconic Shambhala Massage with bespoke blended oils and the full-body signature ritual using soothing estate-made lavender and olives. Non-surgical anti-aging facials are also on the menu in collaboration with Jean-Daniel Mondin, an award-winning doctor of pharmaceuticals. Enjoy cooking classes and wine tours, or hop on a Vespa to tour farms and vineyards. Truffle hunting and vintage car trips to Florence or Siena can also be arranged. 

When it’s all said and done, this is Tuscany at its finest.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Get our newsletter

Get monthly updates with unique HomeFront updates and stay up to date with tips and trends

Bella Cucina Leaves the House

Pavilion Large Ivory Metal Dining Table A natural travertine top contrasts with the modernity of a solid satin ivory iron frame, yet doesn’t feel at all out of place in a modern outdoor space or even an indoor dining room.

Best night’s sleep ever!

Hiding away amongst the sunflowers on a well-hidden piece of farmland that is delightfully hard to find, Paradaro Todos Santos is a recently opened, 35-suite, experience inclusive property that’s a smooth 50-mile highway ride from San Jose del Cabo Airport.

Field Notes

Welcoming thirty wild white rhinos  In the largest single rhino translocation ever undertaken, 30 wild White Rhinos have been introduced to Akagera National Park in Rwanda, sourced from and Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa.  The historic initiative

The power of contrasts

Combining technicolour cool and bold visual flair with simple, clean, architectural lines, this strikingly furnished family home, known locally as House Stephen, stands out as a classic study in the dramatic use of bright, living colours throughout each and every

Liquid Assets Gets Fresh

Functional and flexible Custom-design is taken to a new level with new technology and production flexibility that can meet any space and style. 5 Ways to get the look 1) Open up drapes and windows to let nature in.

Design Vibe

Monochromatic glam: A look that’s bold and eye-catching   By Edilka Anderson Described by some as the good kind of “matchy matchy,” making the choice to go with monochrome basics promises to give you a timeless, almost never go out