One of the best parts of our 3 week moms trip was the three nights we spent living our best Tuscan villa dream lives in Poggiarello, Tuscany, Italy.
The goal for our time in Tuscany was to relax in a beautiful setting. We knew we would be coming off a busy few days in Prague, Salzburg and Venice, and we wanted to rest up before the last leg of the trip in Cinque Terre and Paris. As we searched for places on Airbnb we wanted to be within driving distance of Florence, and in a beautiful house with an even more beautiful view.
Our perfect Tuscan villa
And that’s exactly what we got at Le bimbette casa vacanze in Poggiarello. (PS: Never booked on Airbnb before? Click here to get $41 off your first stay!) This place was straight out of our dreams. It’s everything we could have ever wanted in a Tuscan villa.
Let’s start inside: This beautiful home had all of the traditional charm with a stone floor, wooden beams and domed archways. But then it was totally modern with multiple air conditioning units and wifi. There was a large eat-in kitchen, living room with attached bathroom (that we turned into my mom’s suite) and three bedrooms upstairs with two double beds and two singles, as well as a full bathroom. All of the amenities, from bathroom fixtures to kitchen appliances, were all perfectly clean and modern. It was the perfect meeting of old and new!
But the outside is where this Tuscan villa really was a dream come true. There was a ginormous terrace that had the most beautiful view over the Tuscan hillside. We knew from the photos the view would be nice but we didn’t expect it to blow us away! We saw grove after grove of olives and grapes, could make out castles in the distance, and even heard wolves howling through the night. The owners also said we could help ourselves to fresh figs, lemons, grapes and herbs.
Logistically, this place was perfect for us. It was only an hour outside of Florence, and it was a beautiful drive from the busy city to the lush countryside. It was the perfect spot for easy day trips to San Gimignano and Siena, both of which were less than 30 minutes away. We didn’t make it to them, but Monteriggioni and the Chianti Road are also easy day trips from this location.
Our Tuscan villa was located up a little hill, high enough to give us a great vantage point but not so high that we couldn’t get up to it in our tiny Fiat rental car. It was off on its own path, so we didn’t have to worry about neighbours or any noise (besides the howling wolves).
Living the Tuscan villa dream life
The best part of our stay in Toscana was just hanging by the villa. It was so nice and relaxing to not have to wake up early and get going right away. Instead, we slept in and spent our mornings leisurely reading and eating breakfast on the terrace. We picked up supplies from the grocery store and feasted on fruit, prosciutto, yogurt, pastries and fresh figs from the garden!
Evenings were also really relaxing. Back on the terrace, we loved watching the sunset and enjoying more home-cooked (or just home-prepared) meals like a delicious truffle pasta my mom made us and a charcuterie board we put together.
When we eventually did manage to drag ourselves away from the villa, we headed out on half-day trips to the nearby towns of Siena and San Gimignano, and went to a nearby winery.
After a 20+ minute drive and 20+ minute adventure to find a parking spot, we walked into the beautiful walled town of San Gimignano. Make no mistake, this is a place lousy with day-trippers and it gets very busy. If you have the time, visit in the off-season and opt to stay overnight to have more of the town to yourself.
Despite the crowds, we really enjoyed discovering the streets of San Gimignano. We started with lunch at a quirky little cafe and then moved onto some shopping. We picked up wine, cheese, wild boar and truffle sauce so we could have a delicious Tuscan dinner back at the villa later on. Next, we walked through cute piazzas and found a beautiful view from one of the wall edges.
But our best stop in San Gimignano was at Dondoli, the best gelateria in the world. This place was packed, the line was long and the ordering system was a mess. There was no time to even see all the flavours, let alone try and ask for a sample! (Pro tip: You can download the menu from the QR code outside the shop and see the list of flavours that way.) They had some really interesting flavours – like the Italian Summer Salad that my mom got!
I panicked when it was my turn but it all turned out great with my picks of Blueberry Ricotta and Chocolate Grand Marnier. It was definitely one of, if not the best, gelato I’ve ever had!
Our next day trip was out to the cute town of Siena. Siena is a little larger than San Gimignano and while it’s more popular, it’s more spread out so doesn’t feel as crowded. I loved the look of Siena with the narrow lanes and flags flying.
We started our trip with lunch in a cool cave restaurant. The ambiance was cool and the food was delicious, but one of the servers was very rude and the portions were small. We moved on to check out the famous Duomo, which was beautiful, and Piazza del Campo, a large square perfect for spending the afternoon with a gelato in hand.
We stopped for gelato and some Siena-made pastries before returning to our perfect Tuscan villa.
Fattoria Poggio Alloro
On our last day in Tuscany, we arranged to do a tour, tasting and lunch at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, a winery just outside of San Gimignano. If you’re visiting the area, I highly recommend spending some time here. You can even stay overnight, or book the place out for an event (it would be a gorgeous spot for a destination wedding!).
Before the tour started, we stood out on the deck and allowed ourselves to be wowed by another amazing Tuscan view with the towers of San Gimignano in the distance. We then walked around the winery and got to see the greenhouse, olive groves, where the wine is produced and stored in barrels, and the cows.
We then returned to the terrace and sat down for our wine tasting. I’m not a huge wine person, but I enjoy the sweeter white wines. Needless to say, I didn’t make it very far in our wine tasting. The pours were very generous and we sampled a few whites, reds and a rose. We were also given wine with our lunch (which we decided to re-cork and take home!).
The tasting flowed easily into a leisurely lunch. We munched on charcuterie boards, pasta, a meat platter, salad, the best balsamic vinegar with bread, and very delicious cookies (so delicious we asked for extra and also wrapped those to take home!).
The whole experience (tour, tasting and lunch) lasted four hours and was the perfect way to say goodbye to our time in Tuscany. We had the best view, delicious food and wine to enjoy, and even made some friends at the table behind us. Plus, the whole thing was very leisurely. It felt very Italian to have a nice long lunch with multiple glasses of wine overlooking the Tuscan hillside!
Take me back to that perfect Tuscan villa! Seriously, I’m already planning for when we could go back. I’d love to spend a whole week there, reading on the terrace, visiting the little towns and watching Ellie run around the garden (because it’s also dog friendly!).
Have I sold you on the Tuscan villa dream life?
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