Forte San Giorgio

MINOR ITALIAN ISLANDS

Capraia Island (Tuscan Archipelago)

  • 21 Sleeps
  • 11  Bedrooms
  • 10  Bathrooms
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About the Villa

New for 2020A majestic, fascinating, elegant and luxuriously restored 16th century fortress on the Tuscan island of Capraia.

More than a decade of painstaking restoration has brought Forte San Giorgio, a listed National Monument of Architectural and Artistic Merit, back to life after centuries of neglect. The impeccable taste and historical-architectonic sensitivity of its owners is evident at every turn and the result is an awe-inspiring, fabulously luxurious residence, the like of which exists nowhere else in the world.




Floorplan



Click on the above image to view floorplan in full or download here (2.7MB).


Internet Connections Explained

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All The Thinking Traveller's villas have some kind of Internet facility and, where possible, we try to ensure that this is an ADSL broadband Wi-Fi connection.

However, some rural areas and those far from the main towns and cities have not yet been connected to the high-speed broadband network. Therefore, in some of our villas we offer an alternative type of connection (specified in the amenities table of each individual villa page). 

Please note that although we work very hard to provide reliable internet service at our villas, these services are potentially erratic and can fail due to network failures completely out of our control. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for loss of connection due to such network failures.

Here is some information about the most common connection types:

ADSL Broadband

This is by far the fastest and most reliable connection type available and uses traditional copper wires. In the UK, ADSL is most commonly referred to as broadband. It is suitable for most surfing requirements. Generally an ADSL line is only available within two miles of a telephone exchange, so in rural or more remote areas it usually not available.

An ADSL Internet connection in a villa can then be distributed using a Wi-Fi router, allowing a wireless connection with one or more device, or by a cable, which can be plugged into most laptops.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with an ADSL broadband connection.


3G WiFi Internet routers

In some of our villas, 3G Wi-Fi Internet connections are provided by a small router unit that uses the 3G mobile network, similar to that used by many mobile phones. The unit receives the signal and retransmits it wirelessly making it possible for a few devices to connect at the same time. 3G Wi-Fi units work best in the immediate area around them (i.e. they won’t create a Wi-Fi environment throughout the entire villa) and so the best connection will be within close range of the unit, usually in the same room.

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

Please note that 3G Wi-Fi is provided for basic Internet browsing and checking of email only. Guests are requested not to download large files such as movies or make Skype video calls, as most units have a maximum monthly data usage of 10Gb.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL connection. 

 

Mobile Broadband Internet Dongles/Keys

Dongles, or Internet keys, can be slotted into a USB port on your computer and use a data SIM card to connect to a 3G or other data network, normally supplied by mobile phone networks. At the villas where this is provided, clients are usually requested to buy their own data SIM card and top up as they go (details of where and how to purchase one are provided in the House Guide you will receive before departure).

The signal may be affected by weather conditions (i.e. strong winds or storms), and the overall strength depends entirely on the service provider's presence in the area. We cannot accept responsibility for slow or absent signals.

NB If a fast, constant and reliable Internet connection is vital for you (i.e. you expect to be working a lot during your holiday), please specify this to your Villa Specialist. It may be better to rent a villa with a normal ADSL conection. 


WiMAX / Satellite connections

WiMAX and satellite Internet connections have performance levels similar to cabled ADSL hi-speed Internet connections. Wi-Fi access within the property is provided by a special modem-router. WiMAX and Satellite connections are present in our villas when there is no normal cabled broadband infrastructure in the area (still quite common in more remote areas). These kind of connections may be affected by atmospheric conditions, however, so we cannot guarantee that the signal will be as constant as cabled connections. The connection speed of this type connection in our Ionian Island villas is a little slower and comes with a limit of Mbs, so guests are requested not to download large files, stream films or use Skype to make calls.


Connecting to the Internet abroad using your smartphone or tablet (roaming)

As of June 2017, there are no roaming charges for EU citizens (with an EU provider) travelling within the EU. 

If you are travelling from outside the EU and wish to use your smartphone or tablet while on holiday, here are a few tips for cutting down on foreign data-roaming charges:

The first thing to do is to check with your provider to see if there are any special deals available (there's usually something on offer). You should also make sure your phone is unlocked (you can ask your operator to do this) if you wish to buy a foreign SIM card while you're away.

If there are no suitable deals available from your operator (and your phone/tablet has been unlocked), we recommend you buy a local prepaid data SIM card (details of where and how can be found in your House Guide). It might also be useful to bring a cheap handset, put your UK SIM into the cheap handset and the local data SIM into your smartphone, so that any data you access will be charged at the local rate. If you do buy a local SIM, most smart phones can then be used to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing data access for up to five devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Finally, when abroad, switch off 3G, switch off ‘data roaming’ on iPhones or switch the priority to Wi-Fi rather than 3G on Symbian devices, thus avoiding charges when your phone attempts to access emails.

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Amenities

  • Accommodates (max)  21
  • Bedrooms  11
  • Double beds  8
  • Twins  1
  • Flexible doubles/twins  1
  • Single beds  1
  • Bathrooms  10
  • ... of which en suite  7
  • Daily maid service ¹
  • Private chef ²
  • Concierge service 
  • Staff/owner on the grounds 
  • Garden gate beach/sea access ³
  • Infinity pool (LxW in metres)  12x4
  • Pool house and bar 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Heating 
  • Safe 
  • Lift 
  • Wine fridge 
  • Washing machine 
  • Dishwasher 
  • Microwave oven 
  • Bluetooth speakers 
  • Satellite TV 
  • Home cinema 
  • Integrated sound system 
  • ADSL Internet [i] 
  • Barbecue 
  • Private Parking 
  • Table tennis 
  • Yoga mats 
  • Table football 
  • Pool table 
  • Mountain bikes 
  • Helicopter pad 
  • Sea views 
  • Walking distance to restaurant(s) 
  • Walking distance to shop(s) 
  • Walking distance to beach(es)/sea access 
  • The Thinking Traveller local support 24/7 
= yes/present = optional/on request
¹ up to 8 hours per day, 7 days a week
² 6 days a week. Please note that ingredients are not included and should be paid for locally on presentation of receipts
³ down a historic, private, 200m-long path with 130 steps
there are two pools, both of which have hydromassage corners
all bedrooms have a portable Dyson Pure Cool Air fan but due to the thick walls and the fort's lofty, ventilated position, air-conditioning is rarely necessary
all the suites/apartments except the Salina wing have a smart TV with a film and music library
there are two mountain bikes available
Capraia island's helipad is about 150m from Forte San Giorgio

 

Inside: Forte San Giorgio is a multi-dimensional 16th-century fortress whose accommodation is spread over a series of separate wings on multiple levels.

From the car park, one may climb the original stone steps or take the lift up to an open space known as the Piazzetta. This is the epicentre of the fortress from which one might directly access three of the property’s distinct sections: the Sant’Antonio wing, the dining wing, and the central wing. The ground floor of the first is home to the Sala Sant'Antonio, a beautifully furnished, luminous living area, featuring frescoes, polished plaster walls, and Venetian briccole (woodblock) floors, and three bedrooms: a twin with en-suite bathroom with separate tub and shower; and two doubles – one of which is very spacious - with en-suite shower rooms. On the first floor, meanwhile, is an apartment, Maestrale, comprising three generously-proportioned bedrooms (a double with en-suite shower room, a second double with en-suite bathroom with feature tub, and a double-twin with en-suite shower room), a large sitting room-cum-kitchen-dining space, a guest WC, and a private terrace offering stunning views over the town and port.

The dining wing comprises a long, light-filled space featuring a series of arches, lofty ceilings and a table that can happily accommodate over 30 guests. Banks of doors on either side open out onto two panoramic al fresco dining terraces.

The third, central wing accessed from the Piazzetta is on three floors. Much of the ground floor is given over to an inspiring kitchen, designed in collaboration with Michelin-starred Chef Riccardo De Pra. This is not just a place where your chef will prepare your meals, but a communal space where you can cook or be cooked for whilst enjoying a glass of wine in good company. Stairs lead down from near the kitchen to the excavated remains of the old Church of Capraia beneath the Sala Sant'Antonio. This fascinating space is crowded with historical detail, including ancient pillars and vaults, a stone altar, and what is left of the mediaeval wall of the Pisan fortress. It is the ideal space for Forte San Giorgio’s multi-purpose entertainment area, which includes a games room with a pool table, table football and table tennis), a bar and a cinema room. Back on the ground floor, stairs lead up to the first floor and an apartment named Libeccio, comprising two bedrooms (a double with fabulous views over the port, and a twin with truckle bed, suitable for children), and a shared shower room. Libeccio also boasts a large living and dining space with TV, a kitchen corner, and direct access to a large panoramic terrace. On the second floor of this wing, meanwhile, is suite Elba, home to a double bedroom with feature tub, an en-suite shower room, a sitting room with TV, and a private terrace offering unique views of the fort and sea.

A walkway leads around one side of the Sant’Antonio wing to the Salina wing. Its ground floor is given over to a communal lounge area with bar and kitchen serving the Tramontana pool area (the first of two pool areas), while the first floor houses two bedrooms (a double and a single) sharing a panoramic terrace, and two shower rooms. The Salina wing also provides access to the entertainment area below the Sala Sant’Antonio.

Outside: Forte San Giorgio’s numerous al fresco areas flow over several different levels and are connected by an array of walkways, paths, ramparts, little bridges and flights of steps. Getting your bearings is a fascinating experience and you will most likely still be making discoveries as your stay draws to an end. We’ll start our tour at the dining wing, which is flanked by two al fresco dining areas. The first, west-facing, is for breakfast, while the second, east-facing, is for long convivial dinners under the stars. Crossing the Piazzetta, we move round the Sant'Antonio wing to the Terrazza Tramontana at the northernmost part of the fortress. Also known as the Sunset Terrace, the Terrazza Tramontana serves the first of the two swimming pools and comes with a bar (on the ground floor of the Salina wing) and delightful views over the lighthouse and the port. During the day, it’s a light-filled spot in which to relax, while in the evening it’s the perfect place for an aperitivo as the sun melts behind the island’s hills. Pride of place is given to the stainless steel and glass infinity pool, which features a hydromassage area. Continuing our clockwise tour, we come to the Cortile Centrale, the social hub of the fortress, located to one side of (and accessed from) the Sant’Antonio wing. Surrounded by ancient arches and majestic walls, and with a window offering breathtaking views over the sea, the Cortile Centrale is a sheltered and shady open-air summer room, a place in which to gather, chat or relax with a book.

Steps lead up from near the Cortile Centrale to the ramparts, which in turn climb up past viewing turrets to the highest part of the fortress (around 100m above the sea): here we find the second swimming pool, known as the Piscina della Torre. This stainless steel pool is a remarkable piece of design and engineering and includes a shallow beach-effect area suitable for young children, a hydromassage corner, and an infinity edge from where spectacularly commanding views take in vast swathes of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Italian mainland, and the islands of Elba and Monte Cristo.

An important part of the restoration of Forte San Giorgio was the creation of four Mediterranean gardens, each designed to be ecologically sustainable, drought tolerant, and reflective of Capraia’s unique eco-system. Plants were chosen not only for their beauty, but also for their attractiveness to the local honeybee population and, where the kitchen garden is concerned, for their culinary utility. The panoramic lawned areas, meanwhile, are perfect for a meditative stroll, a spot of yoga or some fun and games with the kids.

Last but not least… directly below the castle, a private path winds down the cliffs to the sea below, where rocky bathing areas give way to the pristine, translucent waters that surround Capraia.

Ecological credentials: Forte San Giorgio has a great many eco-friendly attributes, including the following:

- LED lighting throughout (reducing electricity consumption by 80%)
- the property's water supply is filtered and treated (reducing the need to transport mineral water and minimising plastic waste)
- glass bottles are used wherever possible, further reducing plastic waste
- all laundry is done using water (no dry cleaning) and dried in natural conditions
- rain water is collected to irrigate the gardens in the summer
- the property's herb garden provides 0km produce for the kitchens, while many other ingredients (including fish, vegetables, wine, honey, goats cheese, and others) are sourced directly from artisan suppliers and producers on the island

The island of Capraia is an eco-friendly paradise: only 3% is developed and inhabited whilst the other 97% and the surrounding sea is a national park and marine reserve. Capraia's Smart Island Project, which has won several sustainability awards, aims at creating a self-sufficient circular economy. Forte San Giorgio is supportive of this initiative and has hosted two Smart Island Project conferences.

 

Think About

Forte San Giorgio is the top property available for rent in the Tuscan Archipelago.

Due to the property's layout, its architectural characteristics, the number of steps and the presence of some drops, toddlers and young children need constant supervision at Forte San Giorgio. Please ask us for more information about this if it is an important consideration for you.

Forte San Giorgio is on several levels and there are quite a few steps to negotiate, both to access (though there is a dedicated lift for this) and to get around the property.

Forte San Giorgio's sea access is down a private, 200m-long path of 130 steps. Like the vast majority of the island, the sea access is from rocks.

Please note that the twin bedroom in the Libeccio apartment has a single bed and a truckle bed. It is therefore only really suitable for children.

Cars: Capraia is a nature reserve and an eco-friendly island. Vehicles are only allowed to circulate at specified times of the day (when the ferry arrives) and tourists cannot bring cars. This means that the island never gets busy, that there is an almost complete lack of traffic noise, and that the air is wonderfully clean. It also means that Capraia is the perfect place for those who love getting around on foot or by bike.
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