Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1997: Farm Stay in Tuscany - Tenuta di Spannocchia
By fivediggs from Italy, Spring 2012
Trip Description: From 4/12/12-4/27/12, our family of five stayed in a farmhouse on a working organic farm in Tuscany. We spent many days touring nearby cities and villages including Florence, Siena, Volterra, Montereggioni, and hot springs in Rapolano.
Destinations: Countries - Italy; Regions/Cities - Florence, Tuscany
Categories: Family/Friends; Hotels/B&Bs; Vacation Rentals; Day Tours; Foodie Trip; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; Adults and Young Children
Page 1 of 7: Tenuta di Spannocchia
Casetta al Padule
In April of 2012, we returned to Tuscany after a five-year hiatus with our three children, ages 10, 8, and 4. We have traveled to Italy a number of times and wanted to stay in a location that would allow for us to relax and be together as a family but also venture to many interesting villages and towns in Tuscany. We rented a farmhouse at Tenuta di Spannocchia for two weeks.
Spannocchia is a large (1,100 acre) property situated on the Alto Merse nature land reserve near Siena. The fattoria (farm) and villa of the estate have been converted into a bed and breakfast and there are seven farmhouse on the property for rent. Our family stayed Casetta al Padule which has been beautifully restored but still maintains that rustic charm famous in Tuscany. It is a private location with plenty of open space for children to run and around and explore. Our kids spent many afternoons just searching for cinghiale (wild boar) and trying to catch lizards. We had a friendly farm cat that adopted our family and would greet us every morning and afternoon. My children loved her and spoiled her throughout the week. There were many tears when it was time to say goodbye. The location was exactly what we needed as a family. There are no televisions and Internet can only be found in the main building of the estate or Castello. We wanted our children to have a vacation like we had when we were children and Spannocchia more than delivered that experience for us. We could not believe how interested they all were in the history and culture of the property. We attended the historical tour offered by Spannocchia (there are many cultural tours that guests can participate in during their stay) and my 10 year-old was fascinated by the stories of how the estate has evolved over the past 700 years. We even got a chance to climb the old Torre (tower) which has an amazing view of the entire property.
If you plan a trip to Spannocchia, you should be aware that tourism is not the only objective of the estate. The property is a working farm that produces organic olive oil, wine, honey, an array of vegetables, and also breeds cinta senese pigs for prosciutto and salumi. During the summer months, you can purchase a harvest basket prior to arriving and have seasonal fresh vegetables and other goodies including farm fresh eggs delivered to your kitchen. The Villa also serves meals during the week that feature products from the garden. We dined at the Villa twice during our stay and ate risotto with asparagus picked that morning and also had pizza baked in the Castello’s wood-fired brick oven. Pizza night (Nostra Cena) is not to be missed!
To arrive at Spannocchia, we flew to Florence via Lufthansa airlines. The drive from Florence airport to Spannocchia takes about one hour and a half. You take the Raccordo or highway from Florence to Siena and then travel West to Rosia. We did get lost quite a few times but that is the adventure of traveling by car in Tuscany!
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