Something about Podere Patrignone

About our Villa in Chianti, Podere Patrignone, and its history

Podere Patrignone, the basics

Podere Patrignone is a beautiful historic 14th Century (possibly even older) farm estate or ‘podere’ which has been lovingly and tastefully restored. Patrignone is set on top of its own hill reached by a long, winding private road through 57 hectares of forest, olives and vines, with uninterrupted 360-degree views over the Tuscan landscape and valley below.

It is the perfect setting for peaceful walks, sunbathing, cycling and exploring. It has a lovely pool with one of the best vistas in Tuscany, and a peaceful Koi pond surrounded by cypress trees that keep it shaded and cool. It also has the large Terracotta Terrace where you sit out, enjoy a glass of Vernaccia or a meal, and watch the amazing sunset over the towers of San Gimignano and the snow-capped Apennines on the horizon.

Podere Patrignone – a family concern for 35 years

Today Patrignone is run by me (Simon) with the help of our live-in staff, Ana and Nicu. I travel to Patrignone from the UK several times a year, and we still visit once a year for a family vacation. We lived at Patrignone for 14 years but moved back to the UK in 2021, continuing to handle all correspondence with our guests remotely. And if you have any questions during your stay, we have a handy WhatsApp account where you can ask us any questions you like, and usually get your answer within minutes. Or less!

A bit of history

Parts of Patrignone are really, really old. We think some of the beams are 14th Century or possibly even older. The house would have been added to room by room as the tenant farmers (‘contadini’) working the land needed the space for children, their children, elderly parents and so on.

We don’t know a huge amount about what happened here pre-2nd World War, but we do know a little of what happened during the war and after.

A recent history of our restored Villa in Tuscany

The house and land were bought by my mother Carla back in 1985. She was originally born near Bologna and moved to the UK when she was 14, but moved back to Italy when the kids had fled the nest, and began this enormous project.

When she found the house it was in a terrible state. Many of the roofs had collapsed and been looted for precious terracotta tiles, and much of the structure was seriously weakened. The house had been derelict for many years, and locals had been ‘recycling’ stone, tiles, beams etc. for their own homes and buildings. Better than letting good materials go to waste…it’s a shame modern construction doesn’t do the same.

Only one small part of the house was habitable: Caminetto. Apart from some minor cosmetic alterations (though not to the famous chimney), it looks much like it did back then. Except that it had only one tiny bathroom, no running (or flushing) water, and a very leaky roof. But it was a start, and when we kids used to come and visit, we would be sleeping 4 to a room, and there was usually someone on the beaten-up old couch too. As there was no running water, we used to take it in turns to drive 10 minutes towards Castellina where there was a natural spring where we could fill our containers.

Bit by bit the place took shape, one roof at a time, one room at a time. But it wasn’t until the early 90s that any part of Patrignone was suitable for guests.

It has been a long hard journey for Carla and Patrignone, but without all that hard work we wouldn’t have this Tuscan paradise that we have today.

Now Carla has handed over the reins to us and is taking a ‘non-exec’ role in the venture. We hope we can achieve half as much as she has done. We’ll give it our best shot.

When the kids were tiny and my mum was still around.
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