Girl in Florence aka Georgette Jupe

I started this blog as a writing outlet for me to share what it is I adore about the beautiful city of Florence and Italy also sharing travel tips and stories along the way. Now 'Girl in Florence' includes advice for Florence, artisan features, interviews with locals, tips for life in Italy and travel posts from all over Europe. I'd love to think of myself as a fearless badass but If I am keeping it 100% real on this blog a quote that I sort of live by is"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

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Golf resort in Tuscany – Castelfalfi paradise

29.08.2013 12 Comments


This past weekend me and Frenchy went to the town of Castelfalfi located in Tuscany as part of a blogger event touring the 800 year old village. I was actually really excited to go since I read about this place in The Florentine a few years ago. Previously a ghost town, a German Travel company TUI actually bought the town {you can do that?!} and started a really awesome project to revive this beautiful place and bring it back to life.

 A golf resort, a 3 star hotel that deserves an extra star, swimming pools and over 40 apartments have been created to entice buyers to re-populate the town. Also – they strive to be environmentally friendly via the usage of renewable bio-fuels and conditioned rainwater to meet the town’s demand.

Hotel La Tabaccaia

We arrived at the hotel above around 10am to meet up with fellow bloggers Michela, Bonnie, Kristina (Yelp Firenze), Elena Farinelli, Marina, and Simona and have our second coffee of the day (never the last). We met the lovely Cecilia, pr person and coordinator extraordinaire. We went straight to the pool for a few hours of true relax before lunch and wow – were those pools stunning. Open to resort guests and the public {prices range from 16 euros to 20 daily depending on day of the week}. Everything is shiny, bright and new with breathtaking views over the Tuscan countryside lining the pool area.

After sizzling in the sun for a few hours we met up for lunch at on-site restaurant Il Rosemarino where they serve up local Tuscan favorites such as cold-bread salad panzanella, cured meats and cheeses, the best coccoli {fried dough} I have ever eaten – made with chickpea flour, yummy pastas and my favorite – tagliata (steak) with roasted potatoes and the omnipresent namesake – rosemary. Chef Francesco Ferretti met us to chat about the local sapori {flavors} and Castelfalfi itself. We probably spent a good three hours at the lunch table washing everything down with locally produced red wine which, as you can imagine – I was happy about.

rosemarinoNext on the agenda was a tour of the golf course. I haven’t really seen many golf resorts in Italy so this was a real treat. Once upon a time, I used to play (American schools have almost too many extracurricular activities) and their 27 hole course was quite impressive. Immersed in nature and so carefully curated – this is a golfing paradise. I was happy to be in a golf cart again whipping along the hills on a beautiful day.


We headed back to the hotel for wine tasting before starting our pizza-making adventures. I really liked their Chianti DOCG wine and I am a lover of all wines, red – white and rose and I was impressed with this red. We moved into another area of the restaurant where the pizza oven was located and voila – the preparations for a pizza-master-in-the-making were lined up on the table. We got a crash course in how to make pizza dough. Think water, yeast and salt.

We broke into informal teams and some of us learned how to roll out the dough while others spread the sauce and dressed the pies. To be honest, I think I had a little too much fun fanning out my sauce. Thankfully, I was not wearing white that day or it could have looked like a murder scene. We all were challenged by kristina to make the best yelp logo design on our pizzas and I have to say – we did a pretty good job {though of course the professionals kicked all of our butts with their awesome pizza}.


As you can imagine, it was quite a long day – but a wonderful one at that. Awesome people, great food and a stunning location that before I had only briefly read about. Castelfalfi does have a sort of whimsical, disneyland feel to it but make no mistake, they did a great job of restoring the town and making it an attractive place to have a residence. Plus, I really like the idea of reviving pretty Italian ghost towns in a modern, eco-friendly way. It’s sad to see population number declining and any push for the opposite – is quite fine by this girl!

If you don’t like flying or perhaps you’re just looking for somewhere a little closer to home there is a fantastic cotswold golf hotel in Cheltenham called the Tewkesbury Park, it’s a gorgeous hotel with stunning views of the Cotswolds, it’s definitely a must if you want to book a stay and play break in the UK.

Resort Castelfalfi 

Localita’ Castelfalfi
Montaione, Florence
+39 0571 891000


Georgette Jupe is a 'Tuscan Texan' digital social media marketing maven based in Florence, Italy. When she's not at her day job as social media manager and content editor at ITALY Magazine, she's creating social strategies for international clients and providing travel, foodie & life tips via her blog 'Girl in Florence'. Hobbies include plenty of reading, hiking, beagle cuddles, the hunt for the 'perfect' Moscow mule and laughs with the girls.

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  • Avatar
    Howard 29.08.2013 at 11:36

    Okay it really is getting beyond a joke…your life is one long holiday !

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 29.08.2013 at 11:41

      Monday through Friday – it’s work work work while weekends are for relaxing and having fun. Plus I do a lot of red-tape nightmare errands which I probably need to write more about but I guess I am sort of used to it and don’t see it as that big of a deal anymore. But anyway, feel free to see it how you see it ;-).

  • Avatar
    Robyn 29.08.2013 at 12:25

    Work hard, live easy is my motto. I love your blog!

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 29.08.2013 at 12:39

      Brava Robyn! I like that motto and believe 100% in it myself. While the work and frustration never stops, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live life to the fullest. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Michelle 29.08.2013 at 13:22

    Gorgeous! I’m jealous 🙂 Did you hear about the other similarly abandoned village put up on eBay last year? I wrote about it here:

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 29.08.2013 at 15:49

      Thanks for the link Michelle, that is very interesting and I also was very surprised that you could essentially
      ‘buy’ a Tuscan town.

  • Avatar
    bakeritalia 29.08.2013 at 14:53

    You have been to some awesome places this month! What a fab weekend, good on you!

    • Avatar
      ggnitaly84 29.08.2013 at 15:48

      Thank you! It has been a great August even if I’ve worked most of it. There is too much to do in this country 🙂

      • Avatar
        bakeritalia 29.08.2013 at 16:43

        Nothing wrong with working!

        • Avatar
          ggnitaly84 29.08.2013 at 19:00

          hah nope, not at all. Especially if you like what you do 🙂

          • Avatar
            bakeritalia 29.08.2013 at 19:09

            Couldn’t agree more!

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi There!

    Ciao, I'm a curious American "Tuscan Texan" who calls Florence, Italy home for the past 11 years. I am the editor at Italy Magazine and I also work as an established digital social media marketing strategist (5+ years) as well as a freelance writer. My bylines have appeared in Lonely Planet, Luxos Magazine, and International Living. This blog is my way to share what life is like living and working abroad, as well as provide up-to-date true advice on traveling and living in Italy, weekend trips around Europe, and a monthly roundup of interesting events. I'm married to a wonderful Frenchman and we have a Florentine beagle who rules the household. Keep in touch with our adventures with your favorite glass of franciacorta or espresso!


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