I was lucky enough to spend 4 weeks at Poggiolaia in late Aug – Sept 2013. It was such a great surprise to find that it is lovelier than the photos suggest. Yes, it’s best to have a car – just be prepared to leave it parked much of the time, as you’ll be tempted to stay put and enjoy the “hill of olives.” The property is flawless and offers well-designed and well-appointed quarters, panoramic views, lush gardens, thriving olive groves and vineyards, inviting pool, and friendly, accommodating hosts (Paola, the owner and Silvia, on-site manager). It is ideally situated to allow for short day trips (car or train) to many suggested cities and sites in the region. We traveled to most, but at the end of each journey always returned to the idyllic Capanna (separate, 4 bedroom house with massive windows/massive views) and as we lounged in the sunset and filled our lungs with lavender scented air, someone would proclaim, “this is still the best place to be in all of Italy!”
While the region has great food, we found that our favorites restaurants were very near to Poggiolaia. Some of our best meals were prepared/eaten at the Capanna – thanks Paola, for the homemade tomato sauce and schiacciata con l’uva, for stocking the Il Pozzo olive oil and Tenuta della Luia wines, and for the well tended gardens that provided us with fresh tomatoes, basil, oregano, rosemary, sage…
If you’re willing to take a few short walks you’ll discover many other nearby treasures you might miss from the windows of the car— like the ~600 year old domed chapel in Luia, also owned by Paola’s family (peek through the screen door to view the fresco-lined interior), or walk past the church in Bacio late in the day when the walls are painted with shadows or in the morning when the crooked cross seems to glow (on the way you’ll pass the roosters who serve as your Tuscan alarm clock). It’s a bit of a longer trek to the Pieve San Lazzaro (an art-filled, thousand+ year old church tucked in the valley below the family’s other property, Il Pozzo), but well worth the effort. You can drive there too, but if you walk you will be following in the path of the medieval pilgrims, as the church is located on the Via Francigena. Or do both – drive to Il Pozzo and meet up with Paola’s nephew, Gianni, for a sunset wine tasting (super! Super-Tuscans) and a trip through the family museum housing an eclectic array of wine-making and agricultural items (check out the funky Chianti bottles from the 1960s) and then stroll on down to San Lazzaro from there.
I highly recommend La Poggiolaia and am personally eager to return and soak up the serenity and witness its magic and beauty in the spring, autumn, early summer, and who knows, maybe even winter.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.