Chianti Villas in the heart of Tuscany …

Podere Patrignone is a beautiful historic property on a hill with an amazing view in every direction … forests, vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see. The owners, a British family, rent out the beautifully restored villas and apartments to visitors from around the globe.

Our adventure began when Thuy Vi, our photographer, and I left Berlin early to catch a flight to Milan, where we met Marie of Seriously Travel. She had organized our Tuscan adventure, and we would spend the next three weeks traveling together. We took trains and buses to get to Pisa, where we rented a car. I had hoped for an Italian car, but the BMW we ended up with did just fine during our journey. In fact, I had a lot of fun driving the winding and curvy roads through the beautiful Tuscan countryside!

One of the first things we noticed when driving to our first destination, Podere Patrignone, was the lack of traffic lights. On the two hour ride, we only saw a couple of them, and all other intersections were navigated through roundabouts! We lost track of counting them at 35 …

We arrived at Podere Patrignone just after dark. Our hosts, Verity and Simon, and their dogs welcomed us warmly and promptly invited us to join a lavish bbq dinner under the stars where we got to have the first real meal of the day and meet the other guests.

The next morning I got up early, unpacked my camera, and went to work. I explored our accommodations and the amazingly beautiful surroundings of this property for potential images for the coloring book!! In the end, it was a challenge to choose from the many photos I took!

Marie, Thuy Vi, and I shared a 2-bedroom apartment that included a bathroom and kitchen. Our hosts had thoughtfully provided fresh bread and cheeses, juices, and fresh fruit. Our apartment also had two porches, one covered, one uncovered. We spent many hours here, looking through the photos and video footage we had taken, share our meals, and also just enjoying this special place.

The Story

One morning, we sat down with Verity and let her tell us her family’s story, and the story of Podere Patrignone, which is estimated to date back to the 14th century. Simon and Verity, and their sons, took over the property from his mom in 2007 and rent out the Tuscan villas and apartments to visitors from around the globe.

Verity says there are many reasons why her and her family love it here. They appreciate the culture, the proper seasons, and the quality of the food – everything here is fresh from their own garden, the market and local farms.

 “Family is important here! And it is a great place for kids to grow up. In this culture, kids get to be kids!”

 Podere Patrignone is open most of the year. During the olive harvest in October/November, they reserve the villas for volunteers who come to help with the harvesting.

Ecotourism

One of Simon and Verity’s main goals when they started was to reduce their carbon footprint. They now remove more carbon from the air than they produce, making them carbon positive. They accomplished this by using a solar farm for their electricity needs, feeding the surplus back into the grid, a biomass furnace to meet their heating needs, and thermal solar panels alongside the biomass boiler for their hot water needs. Other practices include recycling 80 – 95 % of their waste, water conservation practices, and growing their own vegetables.

 Podere Patrignone has been awarded TripAdvisor’s top award for Eco-Tourism.

 

Italian Cooking Class

We spent many fun hours in the kitchen one morning for one of their cooking classes. Verity put this menu together and taught us every step:

 ANTIPASTI

Crostini con dolcelatte e pere

Gnocco

 PRIMO

Pasta Senese

 SECONDO

Pollo rpieno con mascarpone e rosmarino

 DOLCI

Fichi al Forno con Mandorle

Cantuccini

I don’t think I’ve enjoyed spending this much time in a kitchen ever! We learned how to make pasta from scratch, which is actually quite simple, though time-consuming. But there is nothing like eating your own and all the way homemade food! It’s an activity that I, and I think, many people, unfortunately, don’t dedicate enough attention and time to due to the demands of modern life! 

Tuscan Birthday Banquet

We returned to Patrignone a few days later for my birthday, and it felt like we were coming home. Verity had prepared a Tuscan banquet for Dawn, the housekeeper, who shares my birthday, and me. We enjoyed a fantastic meal and great company and conversations with the other guests. It was a very memorable birthday dinner! 

Podere Patrignone is also the perfect space for a retreat or business meeting. Not only does it offer the most beautiful setting in Tuscan nature you can imagine, which ensures you can relax and withdraw from the hustle and bustle and distractions of modern life and activities. The natural setting and quiet surroundings are sure to let you focus and stimulate your creativity when working on your life or other ventures.

Poderedere Patrignone is featured in our Culture to Color coloring book: Explore Food & Wine of Tuscany. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

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Upcoming Trips

June 11 – 18, 2021
San Francisco & Bay Area,
California

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July 2021
San Francisco & Bay Area,
California

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August 2021
Southern California

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September 2021
Tuscany, Italy

 “Family is important here! And it is a great place for kids to grow up. In this culture, kids get to be kids!”

Verity Zimbler

Did You Know?

Pinocchio was from Tuscany

The little wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy was invented by Florentine author Carlo Lorenzini, known as the Carlo Collodi.

He grew up in Tuscany and wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio  in 1883.

If you ever find yourself in the town of Collodi, you can visit the Pinocchio Park and find the beloved characters we grew up with.

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