BelmondhotelsItalyTuscany Belmond has announced the acquisition of Castello di Casole, an historic castle hotel in the heart of rural Tuscany, and located within easy access of Florence and Siena. The intimate, 39 room hotel sits within 1500 acres of farmland, vineyards and olive groves; one of the largest private estates in Italy. Belmond expects to invest €7.3 million ($9 million) in a phased refurbishment of the hotel over four years, including the addition of two new villas, bringing the resort’s total key count to 41. Belmond Castello di Casole joins sister hotel, Belmond Villa San Michele, that sits atop the hills of Fiesole overlooking Florence; making for the ideal Town & Country escape. “I am delighted to announce the addition of the stunning and historic Castello di Casole to the Belmond portfolio,” said Roeland Vos, president and chief executive officer. “The Belmond brand continues to gain momentum and this acquisition marks the latest step in our journey towards realizing our strategic growth plan. We believe this stunning castle, steeped in Etruscan history, builds on our past experience of acquiring distinctive, timeless properties and restoring them to their iconic status through strategic investment. Belmond Castello di Casole dates back to the 10th century; owned by Italian aristocratic family, the Bargagli, who for generations farmed the landscape and latterly by acclaimed cinematographer Luchino Visconti whose films The Leopard and Death in Venice embody the ‘Golden Age of Cinema’. Visconti’s parties at the castle were legendary, attended by Hollywood glitterati.