Tenuta Bellavista Insuese Hotel Review – Bring Your Village!

 

To call 700 hectare (1700+ acre) Tenuta Bellavista Insuese a hotel, or even a resort, doesn’t come close to conveying what it is. 

 

 

An American mindset would be better to think National Park in order to tune in an appropriate frame of reference. 

 

It would be more accurate to think of Tenuta Bellavista as the equivalent of a national park, from a US perspective. It even has its own wetlands with birding houses to watch the birds in their habitat

 

With 7 lakes,

 

 

7000 olive trees, fields of ancient wheat grains that they have revived and mill to make into organic breads sold in Tuscany, and miles of charming rustic roads reaching to the edges of the estate, it is far more than your typical resort on American land. 

 

 

More, Tenuta Bellavista Insuese also has a hunting and fishing lodge, preserved wetlands inhabited by gorgeous water fowl that you can watch in one of two birding houses by the water, athletic fields, woods after tree-filled woods and nature trails and conservation efforts to preserve rare species, and a park beer house.  

 

 

Oh, and then there are multi-floor apartments with fully equipped kitchens, dining  and living room areas---in case you want to skip the restaurant.  

 

 

Our villa suite even had a pull-out Jacuzzi under our bed with colorful mood lights, delighting and amazing us even after a long touring day.

 

 

Modligliani is said to have painted only one landscape in his career. 

 

 

It was here.

 

 

Originally the home of a Countess who used the estate as a place to get fresh air, it has been owned by the Vitarelli family for decades.  Senior Vitarelli made his fortune in a glass import/export business and you can see his treasures from worldwide travel in the dining hall underneath the offices in one of the property’s buildings. 

 

 

 

When he retired he gave this property to his two daughters, and one of them, Sabina Vitarelli, along with her husband Davide Valeri, pour their hearts into every detail of Tenuta Bellavista Insuese—from the corporate events that begin with ice breaking bread making,

 

 

to nutrition lectures on the benefits of the ancient wheat varieties they are cultivating, to consulting with experts in horticulture and biology to protect the biodiversity of the property, and more. 

 

 

 

When you hear that the bride and groom of the wedding the day before were led to a satin and lace bed on an island in one of the seven lakes, you can easily picture that Sabina chose the fabric and Davide helped make it drape just so for maximum romantic effect.

 

 

Don’t get a picture of control freaks—they clearly are not.  Instead picture a disarmingly friendly and down to earth couple who love the land and everything they do to build it.

 

 

 

Tip:  Try to meet Sabina and Davide during your stay.  We weren’t the only ones who warmed to them.  Reading body language it was clear that the people who work in the beer house and in the restaurant and hotel feel the same way too.

 

 

Taking a tour of the estate with Sabina and Davide – and to do it in less than a day you need a car-- we felt their excitement not only at the beauty of the land but also with their many plans for what they want to do with it.  First there are houses that can be renovated and put back in use as more hotel space. Then there are the plans to build a mill for the bread operation.  A book about the estate’s plants is in the works too.

 

 

Sabina commented that they might have made a lot more money working in the corporate glass business before, but now they are close to nature and she feels much better.  

 

 

There is only one thing that disappoints Sabina, and that is what she refers to as the unfortunate “frame”.    She is referring to the industrial development and big roads that border parts of the estate.  Indeed, upon arrival when our GPS failed us but said we were but minutes away it was quite puzzling, as we were steps from an oil refinery and it looked nothing like the storybook beauty you see on the Tenuta Bellavista Insuese website.  What a surprise to find all this natural beauty so close!   This is not unlike seeing the steel mills of Northwest Indiana on the edges of your vista as you enjoy time in the Indiana Dunes National Park.

 

 

That industrial frame actually speaks to yet another plus of the estate—its location. 

 

 

By car, you are ten minutes to Livorno and the sea, you are ten minutes from the international airport in Pisa (note: on a clear day you can see Pisa’s Leaning Tower from one of the estate’s hills), a half an hour away from Lucca, and 45 minutes away from Florence.  As they say—Location, location, location!  Tenuta Bellavista Insuese has it.

 

Having taken multi-generation extended family vacations in a large rented beach house and also having heard with envy of groups of families and friends who have rented European castles to vacation in, it stuck that Tenuta Bellavista Insuese  would provide even more for such large groups.   Then again, it’s also easy to imagine a birder on a solo vacation spending all day in one of the birder huts thinking that life couldn’t get any better.

 

Tenuta Bellavista Insuese 

Via della Chiesa, 93 57017

Guasticce Collesalvetti (LI)

 

(+39) 0586 983002

 

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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