Tucked away in the Maremma region of southern Tuscany, Querciafelice is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the rural idyll of olive groves, characterful villages and verdant slopes. Consisting of three fully-furnished and charmingly appointed villas, Querciafelice is managed by owner Federica Maglione, who lives in one of the villas on the estate. We sat down with Federica to find out her inspirations for this beautiful boutique hideaway.
Querciafelice came from Federica’s own longing for what she calls ‘the way of slow living’ in the beautiful Maremma region, a far-cry from her work as an interior designer in the city. ’I’m based in Milan but, as much as I love living in the city, as soon as I can I run away to the countryside,’ Federica tells us. ‘The idea of Querciafelice is to meet new people away from the bustle of the city, an enchanting space to share ideas, taste good, healthy food (and a glass of wine), or simply enjoy a nice walk along the beach.’
In creating the tranquil haven of Querciafelice, Federica drew on her own experience as an interior designer; she’s studied in Florence and London, and worked with important design firms in Naples. ’I’ve made it my own with a multitude of collected objects from my travels. It’s a look that manages to be both timeless and liveable, grand but infinitely comfortable,’ Federica says. ’Traditional colour schemes form the basis, from pastel pinks and yellows to deep reds and greens.’ Throughout the villas, there are small, surprising details that form a constant reminder of Federica’s personality, and the uniqueness of the property. ‘Art, ornaments, a riot of patterns, lamps, side tables, piles of books – all these give the feeling of a genuinely lived-in room and a homely feel,’ Federica tells us.
It’s the peaceful, laid-back pace of life at Querciafelice that attracts guests year after year, and the estate is the perfect spot to kick back and fully unwind. ’It’s a Chic Retreat for anyone who loves peace, quiet, clean air and nature, and long aperitifs under the pergola,’ Federica tells us. There’s a beautiful swimming pool, complemented by a large furnished gazebo complete with sofas and chaise longue, as well as a table large enough for twelve people, perfect for al fresco meals. ‘There’s no restaurant, however you’ll have access to a fully equipped kitchen and an organic vegetable garden,’ Federica says. ‘You can stock up on aromatic plants and pick olives directly from the tree.’ Should you need some culinary inspiration, Federica organises cookery classes for those who want to learn more about the tastes of Tuscany. The villas are set within seven hectares, so you’ll always find your own personal bit of peace and quiet. Federica’s favourite spot is ‘under the oak tree, the symbol of the property. I love to read there, or just sit back and enjoy the sound of nature during a lovely summer night.’
‘Renowned for its rolling green landscape, embellished with olive groves, vineyards and quaint medieval towns, the beautiful Maremma countryside sprawls gently down to the sea,’ Federica says. ‘It is the ideal destination for those looking for an Italian holiday spot that maintains a strong sense of the true dolce vita; it is quiet, peaceful and steeped in cultural and gastronomic history.’ Federica is always willing to share her knowledge and her best tips to guests over a welcome glass of wine. ‘You should not miss Pitigliano, one of the most beautiful medieval cities. Alternatively, wander the streets of Manciano with its local markets and wine tasting.’
Beautiful, relaxed and surrounded by stunning countryside, Querciafelice is truly a place where you can discover the good life. As Federica herself sums up, ‘Time stops the minute you step into Querciafelice; everyone looking for paradise is welcomed here: families with their children and pets, friends or couples celebrating their unique moments, everyone is safe and happy under the Oak Tree.’