Farmhouse, Osteria di Donatella and Wineries
Località Il Colle
53020 Trequanda (Siena)
43° 10' 52'' N - 11° 39' 17'' E
Take the Val di Chiana exit on the A1 highway. Continue then towards the village of Sinalunga (10km) then for the village of Trequanda (10km). When ypu are close to Trequanda, take the road that goes up towards Trequanda on the left side - not the one that is straight in front of you where the historical centre of Trequanda is found. You will reach the top where you will find the Police station (Carabinieri) on your right, turn right, after 100 metres you will find a small crossroads where you will turn left for COLLE - a brown sign. Continue keeping the left side. The Fattoria del Colle is 2 km out of Trequanda. Continue on the road that takes you out of the village until you see the indications "Fattoria del Colle". Turn left leaving the provincial road and take the "dirt road" that will guide you to the estate (1km).
Fattoria del Colle is:
2,5 Km from Trequanda where there are shops, a Church, a Bank, the doctor, the chemist, the post-office and the police
100 Km south of Florence
25 Km from Pienza, the city of Pope Pius II (1405-1464)
25 Km from Montepulciano, the pearl of the 16th Century
35 Km from Bagno Vignoni, where is possible to swim in the open air all year around
35 Km from Montalcino, the land of Brunello wine
52 Km from Lake Trasimeno
48 Km from Siena
18 Km from the A1 exit Valdichiana, the nearest station is in Sinalunga, 15 Km away.
How to Reach Casato Prime Donne
Località Podere Casato 17
53024 Montalcino (Siena)
43° 05' 17'' N - 11° 27' 50'' E
How to Reach Casato Prime Donne:
When driving up towards Montalcino from Siena, about 2 km after Buonconvento and long before the village of Montalcino, take a turning on the right following the blu sign for "s.c Abbadia Ardenga", and then those indicating the Casato Prime Donne winery. Follow this dirt track for about 3 km.
When arriving from Montalcino, take the Sp45 towards Buonconvento, then 6 km out of Montalcino take a left turning following the indications for s.c. (blue sign) Abbadia Ardenga, and Casato (brown sign), then those for Casato Prime Donne along a 3km dirt track
In Tuscany, South of Siena, between Crete Senesi and Val d'Orcia, you can visit:
This is the nearest village to the estate (2 Km), it was once inhabited by the Etruscans and, from the 3rd century, by the Romans. In the XIII century the castle of Trequanda, with its cylindrical tower became a feud of the Cacciaconti di Scialenga, a powerful Ghibelline family who refused to submit to the jurisdiction of Siena (traditionally Guelph) on its land. In 1289 the Sienese destroyed Trequanda which remained in the Siena orbit until the 16th century when it was one of the first castles attacked by the Medici and Charles V's army. The major works of art are however in the parish church dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Andrew; on the main altar there is a triptych by Giovanni di Paolo (1399-1482) and on the right wall of the nave one can see the Ascension painted by Sodoma (1447-1549).
small medieval village still perfectly preserved. Just out of the village, on the road which leads to Montisi, stands the Pieve di Santo Stefano a Cennano, (originally an Etruscan temple, then a Roman temple), built in sandstone half way through the 12th century. Petroio: region of terracotta production. The factories inside the village and on its outskirts sell oil jars, flower vases and other decorated objects. The terracotta museum is a must: oil jars, crockery, varnished basins, barbers ewers, tubs, eaves, hand-warmers, and stoves. A laboratory is being prepared which will enable visitors to work with clay and create terracotta objects, with a little help from the old artisans, (every day from 4 to 7 pm, weekends also from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. - shut on Mondays).
MONTE OLIVETO MAGGIORE ABBEY
The abbey is 12 Km from the estate and it is possible to visit it every day from 9,30 a.m. to 12 midday and from 3.30 to 6 p.m. The monastery grew slowly from a main gothic nucleus built in 1313 by Beato Bernardo Tolomei. It includes churches, chapels, cloisters, the most interesting artistic attraction is the series of frescoes depicting the life of San Benedetto da Norcia in the large cloister by Luca Signorelli (1497-1498) and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi called Sodoma (1505-1508). A walk amongst the cypresses which surround the Abbey is a human and spiritual experience which should not be forgone.
SAN QUIRICO AND BAGNO VIGNONI
San Quirico d'Orcia is 35 Km away. It is a well preserved medieval village. One must visit the Collegiata shaped like a Greek cross, built in travertine and decorated with rich 13th century portals. The Horti Leonini are a splendid example of Italian style gardens, dating back to 1580 and created by Diomede Leoni. Along the city walls are contemporary sculptures. Palazzo Chigi has been renovated recently, it was built during the second half of the 17th century at the request of Cardinal Flavio Chigi. At Bagno Vignoni it is possible to visit the only well preserved medieval hot springs. Stone buildings frame the rectangular warm water pool that was used by Santa Caterina da Siena and Lorenzo il Magnifico. At the Hotel Posta Marcucci one can bathe in the outdoor natural warm water pool, and on Thursday mornings in the spa of Bagno Vignoni, there is the possibility of having hydro massage with warm thermal water and mud therapy. In the valley beneath Bagno Vignoni a new park has just been launched the "Parco dei Mulini", where one can visit some old water mills for the production of flour. The location is renowned for its enchanting landscape. It is possible to visit the park freely, for a detailed tour contact the Municipal Tourist Office ( 0577-897211 ), someone will guide you through the renovated structures.
Pienza owes its name and its character to Pope Pius II who, half way through the 15th century made it his summer court. Particularly interesting is the main square with its trapezium shape, designed by Bernardo Rossellino, so as to emphasise perspective and monumental effect. Tourists know of this square mainly because of the many advertisements and films which have been shot here. The dome built in 1459-1462 according to Rossellino's project, has a white travertine façade decorated with arches and pillars. The Gothic interior is inspired by the Hallenkirchen admired by the Pope during his visits to Northern Europe. One can visit the Palazzo Piccolomini, the Palazzo di Canonici, with its sacred art museum and the archaeology museum. The Sant'Anna in Camprena convent is on the way to Pienza (tours from 3 to 6 p.m.), it was founded in 1324. Inside there is a hall with frescoes by Sodoma of 1503.The powerful structure of the monastery, on top of a hill, offers protection, as if it overlooks the world. In the garden there is a large pool made famous by the scenes of the film "The English patient".
THE CRETE SENESI ROUTE
Travelling along this road one reaches Siena which is 45 km from the estate. Take the road for Asciano, after this village proceed along the Strada Provinciale 438 towards Taverne d'Arbia. The "Crete senesi" are hills after hills of bare clay divided by deep cracks where flowering bushes spring up. A very moon-like landscape, adored by photographers and hated by farmers; the Crete senesi change their aspect according to the wheat seasons: they are green in December, yellow in summer and in autumn the ploughing makes them grey.
This was an important agricultural centre on the softer side of the Crete senesi, and it thrived way back in ancient times thanks to its particular and favourable geographical position: the confluence between the rivers Arbia and Ombrone, and its position on the Via Francigena route. The emperor Arrigo VII died here in 1313 after having conquered it: it is from this period that the saying "Buon convento, cattivi frati" springs (good convent, bad friars). The village still maintains the monumental portal facing North, on the town hall façade there are 25 coat of arms from the ancient podestà. The most interesting tourist attraction is the sacred art museum which exhibits objects from the local churches, among which the paintings by Matteo di Giovanni. There are many castles in the neighbouring area: the Bibbiano Guiglieschi fort which is more than a thousand years old , the Bibbiano tower and the great architectonic complex Castelnuovo Tancredi. Just out of San Giovanni d'Asso, at 6 km from Fattoria del Colle one can visit Ragnaia. This is a wood where a couple of American artists have created a route which helps to meditate on nature and on man's destiny (open from 10 am to 12 midday and from 2 to 4 pm).
SAN GIOVANNI D'ASSO
Heart of the white truffle territory of the Crete Senesi and where the Truffle museum is situated, here visitors learn about the noises, aromas, and secrets of this precious tuber. San Giovanni d'Asso is dominated by the castle built between the 12th and 15th century and decorated inside with geometrical frescoes of intense colours. Not distant from here the small Romanic church of S. Pietro Villore. Just out of San Giovanni d'Asso, at 6 km from Fattoria del Colle one can visit Ragnaia. This is a wood where a couple of American artists have created a route which helps to meditate on nature and on man's destiny 8open from 10 am to 12 midday and from 2 to 4 pm.
We advise a tour of the historic centre of Montalcino, made of stone houses along narrow and windy roads. One must visit the Palazzo Pubblico, the old town hall dating back to 1292, with its coat of arms belonging to the old podestà, and the Caffè Fiaschetteria 1888, one of the oldest cafés in Italy. The biscuits called "ossi di morto" (dead mans bones) are typical of this region, made with egg whites and almonds, as are the ceramics with green and brown decorations on a white background, reproducing the local medieval vases. Montalcino is also an important centre for the production of honey, particularly good is the woodland type whichhas a bitter taste. The "fortress (9-13/14,30-18), is a large pentagonal bastion built in 1361 on the highest point of Montalcino. It is entirely open to the public, and from the turrets and the communication trench along the walls one can admire the panorama of the "Crete Senesi", of the Val d'Orcia, and of the Maremma area. Inside the fortress there is a wine shop where one can taste more than 100 types of Brunello. Snacks of cheese and cold meats from the area are served.
Montepulciano is known as the "pearl of the 16th century": this is because of its abundance of Renaissance buildings designed by famous architects: Michelozzo, Antonio da Sangallo, Baldassare Peruzzi, Vignola. One can admire these as one walks through the main square. Just out of the village stands the "Tempio di San Biagio" by Antonio Sangallo (1518-1545) a solemn and harmonious building in travertine. The building is shaped like a Greek cross and culminates with a tall dome, the facades are made up of pillars, frames and balustrades. On the inside, which is very bare, once can appreciate the acoustics (try and clap your hands when in the centre of the building).