American lawyer Michael Cioffi turned a deserted hilltop town in Tuscany into a paradise of pasta, art and music.
When American lawyer Michael Cioffi bought his first property in the Tuscan hilltop ghost town Castiglioncello del Trinoro, he planned to use it as a retreat for family and friends. "One thing led to another, and by my third building it dawned on me that I should share this place with the wider world," he says of how he started Monteverdi. Today, it comprises 14 buildings, including a 10-room hotel and rental villas like the Muri Antichi ("ancient walls"), a 12th-century watchtower that Cioffi restored from ruins. At the restaurant, chef Paolo Coluccio serves super-simple dishes like tagliatelle in an all'aglione tomato-and-garlic sauce. Cioffi has also infused the village with the arts, establishing a gallery and artists-in-residence program; musicians like blues guitarist Keb' Mo' perform in a Romanesque church. Doubles from $515; monteverdituscany.com.