About 45 minutes southeast of florence, Italy, near the town of Figline Valdarno, there’s a place called Sting’s Café. This establishment is known to only a handful of insiders; to visit, you must first snag an invitation to Sting’s Tuscan home, a 900-acre estate known as Il Palagio, where the yoga-toned musician, his producer/actor/philanthropist wife, Trudie Styler, and their family spend the end of every summer. Their household staff christened the outdoor patio “Sting’s Café” because it’s where he often hangs out during the day, pushing oversize chess pieces around a giant marble board, enjoying a glass of wine or doing nothing at all.
Sting calls it “my living room”—and there is plenty of life to be observed. Il Palagio’s terraced gardens give way to panoramic views of the Tuscan countryside and glimpses of the estate’s considerable agricultural holdings, which include olive groves, vineyards, a five-acre kitchen garden and some 80 families of bees. Though Il Palagio and Sting’s Café are not open to the public, a taste of the sweet life found there will soon be available in America, when the couple brings their line of organic olive oil and honey to U.S. stores (they’re already available at Harrods in London). Trudie donates a percent-age of all profits to the environmental causes she and Sting support, like the Soil Association, which promotes organic food and farming in the U.K., and the Rainforest Foundation, which the couple founded in 1989.
The olive groves are one of Sting’s favorite spots on the estate’s grounds. During the last harvest, he even lent a hand. “I’d never picked an olive before,” he says. “I saw them doing it, and I thought, ‘I’ll join in.’ I got a basket. I started picking. I filled a basket.” He laughs. “Very therapeutic.”