One of Tuscany's best kept secrets is the beautiful valley sheltering this recently renovated 18th-century farmhouse, a podere retaining all the charm and delight of its past combined with updated comfort.
Podere Santa Pia is an authentic holiday home in Castiglioncello Bandini, a small village in the Maremma, in the south of Tuscany, situated half way between Florence and Rome and close to Montalcino, Arcidosso, and Monte Amiata.
Situated in a charming position on the top of a smooth hillside, Podere Santa Pia offers an extensive view of a breathtaking panorama all the way to the sea. The beautifully situated terrace has views over what seems like half of southern Tuscany. On clear days, you can have a great view of the islands of Monte Argentario, Elba, and even Corsica.
Until 1883, Santa Pia was a small cloister for women.The large stone farmhouse has been lovingly restored, its beautiful stone walls aged by hundreds of years of sun and rain have been barely touched.
The house offers four large bedrooms on the first floor with a total of eleven accommodations (2 rooms with a matrimonial bed, 1 room with 4 single beds, 1 room with 2 single beds) and bathroom with a shower and toilet. On the ground floor, there is a second large bathroom with a bathtub. The living room (55 square meters) features two beautiful arches and leads out onto the terrace. The authentic floors and elegant pointed arches create a warm and quiet atmosphere. The big kitchen provides a huge old stone fireplace and also leads onto the terrace with magnificent holm oaks which provide deep shade.
Further amenities: wi-fi, dishwasher, laundry machine, gas cooker with oven, fridge with freezer compartment, coffee machine, toaster, private parking lot, barbecue, outdoor furniture, open air shower in the garden...
There is also a piano in the living room. Wi.Fi connection inside Santa Pia and on the main terrace.
The bedrooms are light, spacious and full of light. The rooms are dominated by tall ceilings of supporting beam and tile construction.
The apartment, attached to the house, has a spacious kitchen and living room with mezzanine sleeping area for two persons. The terrace offers views on the front garden and the rolling hills around Cinigiano.
Podere Santa Pia is situated in one of the most unspoiled areas of the Maremma Toscana: nestled between Montalcino and Scansano, Podere Santa Pia is surrounded by the "DOC Montecucco" vineyards, olive groves wood and green hills and the silence is broken only by the sounds of nature.
A generous garden sweeps down the hill with fig and olive and downy oak trees offering shade from the heat of the summer sun and offers various areas for relaxing and soaking in the views. The cool shadow of centuries-old oak trees, the thousand colors of the garden changing at each season make this place a natural oasis.
The incredible view encompasses the cultivated hills of ancient castles (Porrona, Colle Massari, Castelnuovo), framed by the wooden ridges of the Amiata Mountain. A vision of the rolling hills of Tuscany, and the irregular horizon line formed by the dense Mediterranean woods, which transport a fresh afternoon sea breeze from the Tirrenian sea, contribute to the farm's idyllic atmosphere. Not too far away, the river Orcia flows into the river Ombrone, which upon surpassing the bottleneck of Sasso, becomes definitively Maremman. There are superb opportunities for trekking and bicycling in a wide variety of landscapes and Podere Santa Pia provides several guides and map.
The stone hamlet of Cinigiano crowns one of the rolling hills of the Maremma area of Tuscany and still maintains an old-fashioned, rural way of life.
Podere Santa Pia is an equally good base for art lovers and for nature lovers, and it also offers a number of opportunities to discover the culinary tradition of this area of Tuscany. The splendid 180° views of the valley stretch as far as the Thyrenean Sea and Monte Christo. Castiglioncello Bandin is part of the municipality of Cinigiano which is located to the east of the Siena - Grosseto route, to the south of Montalcino and a little to the west of Arcidosso.
Montalcino (34 km) has inextricably linked its name to that of its most famous product, Brunello, one of the most illustrious words in the international food-and-wine dictionary. The town is dominated by the Rocca, a splendid example of a pentagonal plan fortress, built after 1361 on the 13th-century wall structure and in an excellent state of preservation.
The medieval nucleus of the town consists of the Piazza del Popolo with its 14th-century Palazzo dei Priori, flanked by a large open gallery with round arches and surmounted by a high side tower.
Within one hour drive by car one can reach the historical centres of Siena, San Gimignano, Pitigliano, Massa Marittima and Florence, the thermal baths in Saturnia, Petriolo, San Filippo and Bagno Vignoni, the Abbazia Sant'Antimo, Pienza, Montepulciano, the isle of Argentario with Porto Santo Stefano and its park, the Etruscan archeological sites at Roselle, Grosseto with its market on Thursdays and the beaches of Marina di Grosseto, Castiglione della Pescaia and Cala Violina.
In July, August and September, concerts are held at the chamber music hall in Poggi del Sasso, and other places near Cinigiano (Castello di Colle Massari and Castello di Porrona) | www.amiatapianofestival.com
Podere Santa Pia is only an hour from the Tuscany/Umbria line, and therefore, in the good position for day trips to Perugia, Assisi, and its charming hilltowns, and Piero della Francesca’s art in Arezzo and Sansepolcro.
The public swimming pool Campo di Sole in Castel del piano, (via dello Stadio), is within easy reach of Casa Santa Pia (18 km).
Distances | Castiglioncello Bandini 2,5 km Massa Marittima 74 km Abbadia San Salvatore 36 km Acquapendente 58 km Arcidosso 14 km Arezzo 115 km Castel del Piano 19 km Chianciano 64,2 km Chiusi 73,4 km Cinigiano 8 km Cortona 99,2 km Crete 84,8 km Firenze 144 km Monte Amiata 35,2 km Montalcino 34,5 km Montepulciano 70,4 km Pienza 56,7 km Pisa 191 km San Gimignano 106 km San Quirico d'Orcia 47,3 km Siena 72,7 km Sinalunga 71,2 km Monte Oliveto Maggiore 55 km Castiglione del lago 97 km Gualdo Tadinio Orvieto 86,8 km Perugia 134 km Spello 161 km Abbey of Sant’Antimo 26 km Gerfalco 80 km
Bagni San Filippo
Photo gallery Val d'Orcia
According to some legends, the beautiful Pia, Nello d'Inghiramo de Pannocchieschi's sorrowful wife, crossed this bridge to go into exile in Maremma, at Castello della Pietra. Dante Alighieri wrote about this legend (Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, Canto V).
"Oh, when you will have come back into the world
And you will have rested from the long walk,
follow the third spirit, after the second,
remember me, I am Pia,
born in Siena and died in Maremma.
How I died, he, who first gave me his ring
And then married me, knows."
Tuscany has attracted the most famous Italian and international film directors such as Franco Zeffirelli, Roberto Benigni, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Campion, Andrey Tarkovsky and Alice Rohrwachter, among many others.
Monticello Amiata and Cinigiano are convenient shopping areas. Here you find everything you need on a daily basis. Post Office, banks, small shops, fresh takeaway pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables, butcher, bakery, etc.
Casa Vacanze Podere Santa Pia is located in the heart of the Montecucco wine region. DOC Montecucco is located in Southern Tuscany in the Maremma region which is particularly adapted to the elaboration of fine wines. DOC Montecucco borders such prestigious designation as Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, S. Antimo and Monteregio di Massa Marittima. Therefore, DOC Montecucco is one of the most promising designations in Italy.
Arcidosso is the nearest larger shopping village (13 km from Casa Santa Pia). Just on the entrance of the village, next to the first roundabout when you come from Castiglioncello Bandini and Monticello Amiata, you have the Coop Supermarket (Via Donatori Del Sangue, 58031 Arcidosso), and Conad Supermarket (CO.RI.M. SRL, via Risorgimento 75).
Weekly market day in Cinigiano and Arcidosso is on Tuesday.
The extreme simplicity of Tuscan cuisine is its strongest strength, as the flavours that emerge during the cooking process are vibrant and pure. A little-known fact about Tuscan cuisine is that the French learned how to cook from their Tuscan counterparts when it was imported by Catherine de' Medici into the court of Henry II. The Tuscan style of cooking is richly flavoured and wholesome. With the 19th century kitchen with open fire and wood burning pizza oven, Podere Santa Pia offers an upbeat atmosphere.
Between Roccalbegna and Triana, there is ‘Casefi cio Il Fiorino’, a wonderful Cheese Factory specialized in producing the famous Pecorino, which you can taste while you’re there.
Some of the most beautiful beaches in Tuscany (Marina di Alberese, Principa a Mare, Cala Violina, Castiglione della Pescaia), are within easy reach of Podere Santa Pia.
The Maremma seashore, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, features some of the most beautiful sand beaches of Tuscany.
They stretch from Principina a Mare and Marina di Grosseto through Castiglione della Pescaia to Punta Ala and the blue sweep of the Gulf of Follonica, and afterwards along the spectacular Etruscan coast, the Costa degli Etruschi up to Piombino.
The natural heritage to be explored in the peaceful surroundings of Podere Santa Pia is limitless.
Hills gently degrading towards the sea, whose main colours are intense green in spring and golden yellow in summer, with the presence of olive-groves and vineyards and woods of oaks and century old large Chestnut Trees, this spectacular landscape has long been a source of inspiration for writers and painters.
Tuscany has an immense cultural and artistic heritage, expressed in the region's numerous churches, palaces, art galleries, museums, villages, and piazzas. Much of these artifacts are found in the main cities, such as Florence and Siena, but also in smaller villages scattered around the region, such as San Gimignano, Pienza, Chiusi, Massa Marittima and many others.
Surroundings of Podere Santa Pia, April. Morning light on two lakes between Leonina and Vescona, Crete Senesi, Asciano