1348 – the plague strikes Florence. The epidemic claims thousands of victims, including Giovanni Boccaccio’s father. The tragic event inspires Boccaccio to write The Decameron, a collection of tales regarded as one of the first masterpieces of European prose. It describes how a small group of people in 14th century Florence retire to a villa in the countryside to defy the Black Death – with an insatiable zest for life. The Decameron tales were recently performed at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi in the heart of Tuscany. In the framework of the regional “Festivaldera“ theatre project, the village road, farmhouses and the square around Castelfalfi Castle became an original theatre setting. The visitors were taken to the Late Middle Ages, captivated for several hours by music and a performance in Italian and English.
From the abandoned village to a cultural venue
More than a decade ago, Castelfalfi, situated in the municipality of Montaione, was an all-but-deserted village, until TUI Group acquired the former country estate. Since then, TUI has restored and developed Castelfalfi into a high-quality tourist resort. Located around an hour from Florence and nestled among rolling hills in the Tuscan landscape, between old cypresses, olive groves and vineyards, TUI customers can choose between the five-star “Il Castelfalfi TUI-Blue Selection“ hotel and the four-star “La Tabaccaia“ hotel, exclusive apartments and holiday homes. The resort also features Tuscany’s largest golf course. TUI’s commitment is also paying off for the municipality of Montaione – it already secures jobs for around 200 persons. A further 200 to 250 people outside the resort also benefit from the cooperation schemes with local laundry services, construction companies and other service providers. For local inhabitants, too, Castelfalfi has long since become a place to meet, eat out, go for a swim or play golf – and now also experience cultural events.
“Castelfalfi is a Medieval Village slowly coming back to a new life. This rebirth does not only consist in the renovation of the buildings and the facilities in the Estate, but also in restoring the traditions and the cultural heritage of this timeless land", says Gerardo Solaro del Borgo, CEO of the Toscana Resort Castelfalfi. "One of our goals is indeed to bring back to life the Borgo of Castelfalfi also through cultural and artistic events, involving the inhabitants of the surroundings together with the actors in this project – as main characters of the new era of Castelfalfi. To date, the local population is responding enthusiastically to our invitations, taking part in the events and exploring the hidden corners of the Borgo. Of course Festivaldera 2018 is just one of the initiatives that are taking place here, as Castelfalfi is becoming a cultural reference point for the whole area.”