DOMAINE DE MURTOLI – CORSICA, ITALY
There are no road signs for this 2,500-hectare private estate, set back on a wild peninsula near Sartène; discretion has always been key since the Corsican owner Paul Canerelli started developing the hideaway on a hefty chunk of family property (10 times the size of Monaco) back in 1994.
Once guests have set foot in the grounds (leave stilettos and Gucci loafers behind) they might not venture out again. There’s a positive extravaganza of things to do, including all possible nautical sports, fishing, horse-riding, mountain biking, botanical walks, hunting (for those who fancy whipping up a wild boar stew) and teeing off on a nine-hole golf course.
The maze of red-dirt roads leads to 16 isolated, rustic stone cottages hidden away in verdant mini-valleys, or at the edge of crystalline coves. All of them – from the romantic sheepfold for two to the sprawling villas for up to 13 – have pools, fireplaces and proper kitchens, although it’s difficult to resist the temptation to eat at all three restaurants.
With a vegetable garden, fruit orchards, olive groves, 150 resident cows and 500 goats (the domaine’s fromagerie churns its own brocciu, a soft, creamy ewe’s-milk cheese), Murtoli’s farm-to-table food is the real deal.