Sunday, April 29, 2018

Fattoria Voltrona in San Gimignano, Italy

Fattoria Voltrona
I discovered Fattoria Voltrona while planning my wedding, which was to take place in Siena. A friend recommended nearby San Gimignano, and a rural farm experience appealed to the small group of friends and family who would accompany us.

Our group was spread out among several of the buildings, so we enjoyed walking each other to and from the dinner house each evening, enjoying the view of San Gimignano in the distance.

Even though our honeymoon suite included a set of bunk beds, the farm offered a perfect romantic setting, complete with a full moon rising past our shuttered bedroom window.

We've since recommended Fattoria Voltrona to many of our friends, and everyone agrees it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Welcome to Fattoria Voltrona

Fattoria Voltrona Italy
Double Rainbow at Fattoria Voltrona
Fattoria Voltrona is located at the center of a geographic triangle formed by Florence (Firenze), Siena, and Volterra. Located 5 kilometers from the medieval town of San Gimignano, the farm is accessible by a squiggly country road, formerly a cattle track.

We were lost for two hours trying to find it the first time. Happily, being lost in Tuscany is never a bad thing—there is beauty everywhere.

It was exciting to finally arrive at the main farmhouse, which we recognized from photographs we had seen on the Fattoria Voltrona website. Our party was greeted warmly by Malcolm, whose family owns and operates the farm. They also have the pleasure of calling it home.

A storm was brewing, so Malcolm led us to the farmhouse balcony and left us with a bottle of Fattoria Voltrona wine. Suddenly it began to pour rain, so we settled in on the covered porch and viewed a spectacular show, culminating in a vibrant pair of rainbows. It was quite a welcome.

Malcolm Leanza
Voltrona is the work of a lifetime, that of my father and most of mine so far. Today, the farm is no longer family-run, the amount of work does not make it possible.

Fattoria Voltrona Accommodations
Fattoria Voltrona is a working farm characterized by a rural simplicity. The rooms are airy and comfortable, with ample space for families and groups of friends. You won’t find television or air-conditioning in the rooms, and both would seem out of place in this beautiful Tuscany setting.

The farmhouses at Fattoria Voltrona are surrounded by gardens, vineyards, and olive groves. Guests are encouraged to relax and curl up with a good book. A spacious terrace at Fattoria Voltrona offers a fabulous panoramic view of the valley below, and is the ideal place to share a bottle of wine with companions.

There is a pond for fishing, and a pool for swimming. Every evening, a Tuscan-style dinner is served in the barn or on the terrace, under the stars. Since visitors at Fattoria Voltrona come and go, a different mix of guests assembles each night to share food, wine, and travel stories.

Fattoria Voltrona Dinner House

Excursions on Horseback
Since our stay, Fattoria Voltrona has added a small herd of Icelandic horses to lead excursions through the Tuscan countryside. Small, guided tours explore the farm’s vineyards, olive groves, and woodlands. A cypress tree-lined avenue leads riders to a hilltop with exceptional views of San Gimignano and the surrounding farmland.

Icelandic horses are highly suited to beginners and children, as well as experienced riders. The Fattoria Voltrona staff are happy to arrange excursions of varying difficulty and length to meet the needs of their guests.

Fattoria Voltrona - San Donato, San Gimignano, Italy

Florence & Tuscany
Fodor's Full-Color Travel Guide

San Gimignano Towers
San Gimignano, Italy
Founded by the Etruscans in the 3rd Century BC

San Gimignano Italy Hotel
San Gimignano Hotel & Restaurant
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany. The city's skyline is truly a sight to behold. More than a dozen large tower houses rise above well-preserved buildings of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Indeed, San Gimignano is known worldwide as the Town of Fine Towers.

The area was founded as a small village in the third century BC by the Etruscans. Historical records begin in the tenth century, when the village adopted the name of Saint Geminianus, a fourth century Deacon and Bishop of Modena (also known as Saint Geminian or Saint Gimignano). The Bishop was credited with interceding and saving the people of Modena by conjuring up dense fog. This miracle protected the city from an invasion by the Huns.

In the Middle Ages and Renaissance era, San Gimignano was a stopping point for Catholic pilgrims on their way to Rome and the Vatican. The city resides on a medieval path known as Via Francigena, which translates to the road that comes from France. Fertile hills in the surrounding area provided agricultural products for consumption and trade, which also improved the city's development.

​San Gimignano flourished until 1348, when the plague that affected all of Europe compelled its citizens to submit to nearby Florence. The city languished for hundreds of years, until it gained stature as a tourist attraction and artistic resort in the nineteenth century.

San Gimignano's Towers
In other cities, such as Bologna and Florence, most or all of the towers have been brought down due to wars, catastrophes, and urban renewal. San Gimignano has managed to save fourteen towers of varying height, which serve as the city's international symbol.

San Gimignano, Italy
Maurizio Rellini Art Print

San Gimignano Italy

Fattoria Voltrona
San Gimignano towers photograph by baumbachwittenberg
San Gimignano hotel and restaurant photograph by Mariamichelle
San Gimignano aerial view photograph by shogun