This place was a highlight of the trip. Located only a few kilometers from Montepulciano, in southern Tuscany [Google map], Casale a Poggiano fulfills the dream of what most people imagine about a vacation in Tuscany. Nestled on a hill and surrounded by tall trees and vineyards, the pleasures of the Tuscan lifestyle are spread before you, from the quaint ancient house to the friends you meet at breakfast.
Run by a wonderful woman named Isolina, Casale a Poggiano offers a great place to just take in the Tuscan atmosphere or as a launching pad to the many sites and towns just over the next set of hills, including Sienna, Pienza, Montalcino, Arezzo, Perugia, and Orvieto. This is the little town of Montefollonico, I think, as viewed from the backyard of Casale a Poggiano.
And this is the view of Montepulciano, which is only a 10-minute drive away.
Speaking of the backyard, the grounds are kept very clean and neat. (Just remember to dodge the monster pine cones that can fall at just the right time and crack you on the head. Seriously, they are dangerious…)
Everything about the place gives you the sense that it has been here for a very long time. Check out the lichen on the tile of the back house.
The back of the main house is covered with vines and windows that swing wide. You will swear that you have stumbled on the set of Under the Tuscan Sun.
There are little odds and end everywhere on the grounds, including this cool little flower planter made from an old plow, sunk into the dirt.
But, I’m sure you didn’t find this review to read about flower boxes… The four rooms available at Casale a Poggiano fit into the country lifestyle of the house. There are lots of classic, old touches, like the wash basin and the large armoire, create the sense that you are far away from modern life when you visit. There is even complementary local brandy and biscotti outside of your room, which you can enjoy with the complementary wi-fi, which tends to break the spell of being in the Tuscan countryside, but at least you can upload some pics from your trip thus far and catch up on some email.
Our visit was well timed, as Casale a Poggiano is usually pretty booked, particularly in July, but with the economic downturn of 2009, we were the only people there for 3 of the 4 nights we stayed. This really helped with the illusion that we were Tuscan nobles enjoying the fine weather in our country house, with our own private (and excellent!) pastry chef Isolina to whip up some unforgettable breakfasts.
The three upstairs bedrooms are located up the staircase in this picture. I hope the dog is still alive when you visit, as it is really old but a real sweetheart.
In short, Casale a Poggiano is a great place to stay, if you have your own wheels and don’t mind the 80â‚¬ per night high-season rate. (There are lower rates for other seasons and, possibly, other rooms. Ask when you call or email to book.)