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a mad desire to go glamping

April 2023- Number 23
a mad desire to go glamping

For glamping enthusiasts, Tuscany has quite a number of fun, adventurous experiences. For just a weekend or longer stays

Words Niccola De Prà

A mini-apartment in a tree, a witch’s house, a bubble room in the woods. Or? A Mongolian yurt, a suspended atom, a two-story tent, an original U.S. school bus. For glamping enthusiasts, Tuscany has quite a number of fun, adventurous experiences. For just a weekend or longer stays.

Glamping – glamorous camping – is a recent, up-and-coming trend in international tourism, a formula that unites the freedom of traditional camping with all the comforts of a hotel stay. With the added value of a sense of wonder at the unexpected. “To offer our guests memorable experiences, we have to personalize,” observes Loek Van de Loo, the father of modern European glamping, head of the Vacanze col Cuore group. “The strength of the accommodations offered by the sector is their potential uniqueness,” he continues. “Each lodging might be totally different from the one next to it, and so be able to meet different needs.”

So let’s try it. The easiest-to-reach destination for us, from Forte, is undoubtedly the Ursa Major Bubble Room Village in Camporgiano, Garfagnana. Our beds are under the starry sky, in transparent bubbles set in small clearings in the woods, protected from all dangers and shielded from inquisitive looks. Vicopisano offers an analogous experience, in the Under The Tuscan Stars bubble (5) – which has earned great reviews on Airbnb.

By contrast, on the hill across from the Charterhouse on the Ema torrent just outside of Florence, we instead find Casa Barthel (1), surrounded by olive trees and protected by the crowns of a pinegrove: complete with everything, it was number one on Italian glampers’ wish lists in the 2020 Airbnb classification. And there’s more. At Orlando in Chianti, in Cavriglia, aficionados of vintage atmospheres find them in a perfectly-restored American long-distance bus and school buses (4), as well as in the exclusive A-Luxury Lodge (2), a two-story tent with room for up to four adults. Alternatively, Due Cuori e una Yurta, in Asciano, offers tents inspired by the typical portable homes of the nomad populations of central Asia (3). Or bring your sleeping bags to the Atomo (6), a little “nest” that literally floats among the pines at Glamping Etruria in Marina di Castagneto Carducci. Other extra-luxury tents: the four in eco-sustainable materials at Glamping Debbiare on the Riparbella hills, with a view all the way to the Costa degli Etruschi; and the structures inspired by African lodges – with ethnic rugs and lamps – at Arezzo’s E-Glamping/Blue Saphir Tent.

Then there’s the Casa delle Streghe, the witch’s house at Agriturismo Pereti in Roccatederighi: as tiny as they come, but not at all scary, despite its name. And last but by no means least, the StarsBOX at the La Maliosa farm in Saturnia: a wooden micro-cabin inspired by the temporary shelters of the shepherds: the roof opens to allow guests to follow the sun’s trajectory into the sea of the far-off Argentario promontory as they sip a fine local red.