Villa Il Poggiale Dimora Storica
What We Love
- Set in the glorious Tuscan countryside, yet only 20 minutes from the world class sights of Florence
- Lazy days by the secluded outdoor pool (open May through October)
- The staff is delightful and goes the extra mile to be helpful
- It feels like staying at the country pad of rather grand friends
What To Know
- The property dates from the 15th century
- An intimate retreat with just 24 guestrooms
- Rates include access to the wellness center, which is equipped with saunas and massage rooms
- A city tax of approximately $3 per person, per night, will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Dating from the 15th century, this classic Tuscan Renaissance villa is surrounded by olive and cypress trees in the Chianti Gallo Nero wine region, nine miles south of Florence. Owned by the Vitta brothers (whose parents lived here until the late 1980s), the villa has the feel of a private home, with family antiques, prints and paintings filling the public rooms and guestrooms. But this is no museum, and rather than feeling austere, the place is made very cozy by warm pastel paintwork, bright rugs, soft lighting and pretty Indian bedspreads. The graceful arched loggia and the west-facing terraces are perfect spots for sunset aperitivi.
Bed and Bath
Accessed via a warren of staircases and corridors, many of the 24 attractive bedrooms have four-poster beds hung with fine Tuscan linens. Even the smallest Classic Rooms are a decent size (up to 269 square feet), and some of the Junior Suites come with sofabeds. All are beautifully furnished with antique chests, bedside tables and desks, while framed prints brighten the pastel walls. The white tile bathrooms are charming; most have tubs as well and showers, and one has frescoes over a clawfoot bathtub. And there are olive oil–based bath products from a local company.
The restaurant serves delicious Tuscan specialties using home-grown organic produce and the house olive oil. It features a vaulted ceiling and striking red walls, and it spills out onto a wide terrace (weather permitting) with magical views. Breakfast includes homemade cakes, scrambled eggs, prosciutto and local cheeses, and there’s a light lunch menu too, if you want to stay put and laze by the pool. There’s no bar as such, but there’s an honesty bar system in the main drawing room. The small spa offers saunas and massages.
In the Area
Il Poggiale lies at the heart of the Chianti wine-producing DOC, which offers plenty of opportunities for wine tasting. The property is only a 20-minute drive from Florence, but San Gimignano and Siena are also within easy reach. The smaller towns of Certaldo, Volterra and Monteriggioni are also worth a visit. Nearby restaurants include the Michelin-starred Osteria di Passignano, which offers a creative take on the local cuisine, Rinuccio 1180, at the stunning new Antinori winery, and the relaxed Cinque Divino. There’s wonderful walking just outside or, if you want a more unusual perspective on the area, the Tuscany Ballooning hot air balloon company is based in nearby San Casciano.
How to Get There
I've loved my stay in Villa Il Poggiale. Spacious rooms, good service, and a calm atmosphere made my stay perfect.
Breakfast were good, as well as meal of lunch at their restaurant. The hotel is good for family or romantic stays.
Our first trip to Florence/Tuscany. We stayed at the Villa for 4 nights and chose it because it is out of down but within a 20 minute drive of Florence (we had rented a car). Since they needed our rooms in the Villa, for a large group, our group of 4 were put into the cottage just a bit off the main grounds. (We knew about this before arriving.) The two bedroom/two bath cottage included a sitting area and kitchen/dining area. We were pleased with our welcome, we arrived almost 3 hours late (delays in Munich during our connection), as they still had someone meet us and help us get settled in. We had requested a cold plate be left in the cottage as we knew we'd be hungry upon arrival, and they left a beautiful one along with bread and vinegars/oils. It was perfect! The grounds provide a beautiful view of the valley that lays beyond and, when clear, a perfect spot to view sunset. The hosts were helpful in planning a wine tasting/lunch as well as giving us maps and suggestions on what else to do in the area. The breakfast, included with our room, was good and served buffet style. A selection of meats, cheeses, bread, scrambled eggs, cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc. Typical for the area. We did use the Wellness Center once and although clean, the sauna & hot tub needed to be hotter. The dinner we had, one evening, was adequate but overpriced for what was presented. As they were hosting a large group on their front patio that evening, we got a bit forgotten at times. I was not asked how I'd like my roast beef done...and unfortunately, it came to me medium. I had hoped to send it back, but our waiter disappeared for quite awhile - assuming he left to help serve the large group on the patio. Overall, I would recommend you consider this as your home in the Florence area. Beautiful views & grounds, clean & comfortable rooms and always someone there to lend you a hand to navigate Tuscany. Consider other options for dinner though.
This hotel aspires to be up-market, but doesn’t make it.
It is a wonderful old building in a gorgeous setting with panoramic views from the atmospheric cloisters. But the rather rude manager uses the fact of it being a renaissance building as ‘cover’ for an apparent lack of investment since the 1970s. For example, the labyrinthine corridors and lack of a lift are blamed on the building rather than a lack of vision and funds.
We had booked a Country Superior Twin for three nights and, on arrival, we were shown to a dark, dingy room which even the staff thought was unacceptable as they had prepared an alternative in a so-called junior suite which had a double bed and a sofa bed – that was their notion of twin beds!
The website’s descriptions and photographs are, in my view, deliberately misleading. For example, ‘marble bathrooms’ are actually pretty average rooms with plastic baths. In fact, much of the surroundings are pretty tired – shabby chic it is not.
Such was our dissatisfaction that we informed the manager that we would go somewhere else to find lodgings, but she convinced us to stay the first night and re-assess in the morning.
We had booked dinner on the first evening and that was a mistake, given the plethora of magnificent eating places in Tuscany. The website photograph of a lovely dining room with tables set with fine linen and silver cutlery is a world apart from a noisy refectory lined with long tables for Viking Cruises passengers (does that say anything about the market they seek?). The pictures on the website are, in fact, of a completely different room which is deliberately misleading. For the first course, there was a long queue for a mediocre self-service buffet where items kept running out. It was like being in a flock of seagulls at an onboard cruise buffet.
Our room was next door to the restaurant and kitchen and the noise from the kitchen until 11pm was unbearable.
For breakfast, the website vision is of groaning sideboards overflowing with delicious looking food in a lovely room while the reality is a couple of trestle tables with a mediocre buffet devoid of freshly prepared fruit.
But all these issues could have been overcome if the staff, especially the manager, had behaved like true hoteliers and offered ways of meeting our expectations rather than simply offering a move the following day to another room.
The next morning, however, when we informed her that we had decided to go elsewhere, she reneged on our understanding of the previous evening and insisted on charging for the remaining two nights. That was eventually reduced to one night and you may judge our level of discontent by the fact that we preferred to put our money where our mouth is and pay the €195 penalty rather than stay another night. Frankly, it was the attitude of the staff and manager towards the situation that clinched our decision. The manager also left it to staff to do the dirty deed and then didn’t back them up when we queried with her.
Reading some of the reviews, it is clear that the enjoyment of a stay here very much depends on room allocation. Get a good one and the experience will be great, dining apart. A poor one and the experience will be dismal. But, again in reading the reviews, one thing’s for sure. It is unlikely that the management will learn from our experience as, historically, they have simply defended against poor reviews rather than embracing them and committing to improvement. Let’s see how they respond to this one.
BTW, we ended up enjoying San Gimignano at La Cisterna. An even older building but with modern facilities and welcoming staff.
We had a great time in this beautiful Villa. Very nice and friendly Service and great dinner and breakfast. The Villa ist in the middle of the beautiful Chianti landscape. Perfect for winetasting and excursions Close to Florence.
We loved Villa il Poggiale. We stayed for the first 2 nights of our honeymoon in one of their suites. We got married Saturday, left the US on Sunday, and arrived in Florence in Monday, so the 25 minute drive from the airport was perfect. We checked right in and relaxed! This location was perfect for us, especially adjusting from jet lag... between the lovely breakfast, easy dinner on site, and the "honesty bar", we didn't have to track much down during the first 48 hours. The rooms (living room + bedroom + bathroom with shower and tub) were very large. The staff was extremely friendly and helped us arrange a private winery visit (Altiero... we loved it... family run winery). It was a convenient location to visit Montefioralle and Greve in Chianti. Being able to relax around the villa, with such a beautiful view, was an amazing start to our trip. Highly recommend!