In early June, some years ago, I traveled south from Florence through the Upper Arno River Valley. At the end of our drive, the bus, which was also carrying seventeen of my extended family members, turned onto a long cypress-lined lane. There, we passed grapevines and horses enroute to Il Borro (The Gorge), a 2,700-acre Relais & Châteaux property owned by the Ferragamo family.
Stepping from the vehicle, I had to catch my breath as I took in the nineteenth-century shell-pink villa rising from the hilltop. From its perch, the historic hamlet of Il Borro opens like a gift, with ribbons of sunlight unfurling over the medieval village and unspoiled woodlands.
Centuries before the Ferragamo family purchased this estate, the surrounding townscape was a sought-after stronghold between the cities of Arezzo and Florence. Given its fortified position, Il Borro became a highly contested area for many of Italy’s most prominent families.
This story appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of MILIEU. To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit Zinio.com to purchase this issue in digital format.
WRITTEN BY SALLIE LEWIS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCO BADIANI, GUGLIELMO DE’ MICHELI, AND FRANCESCA PAGLIAI