We first discovered Tenuta di Spannocchia in October, 2008, about 10 years ago. My husband planned a surprise trip there for my 40th birthday. At the time the girls were 4 & 6yrs old and had not yet been abroad. This trip will forever be special to us because it marked the beginning of our travel escapades as a family.
What a great first trip it was! We spent 4 beautiful fall days enjoying the magic of this Tuscan organic farm located about 20 minutes southwest of Siena. Leaves were changing, there was a chill in the air and we had a constant fire glowing in the fireplace of our Tuscan villa (one of 7 villas on the property and called Casa Dami). Our days on the farm were spent exploring the 1,100 acres of property, including a daily visit to the pens of the Cinta Senese pigs, a search for the elusive donkeys, and tour through the secret garden. That fall must have been a very active one, because we saw so many newborn and baby pigs! We also had the option of taking any number of food related classes or tours offered on site at the farm.
Our second visit to Spannocchia happened 4 years later in 2012 when we realized our longtime dream of a summer in Italy (see A Love Letter to Italy❤️ for more about this amazing country). The girls were 9 & 10 yrs old and we decided to once again rent Casa Dami, but this time for one month. Our entire trip in Italy was 6 weeks long, and with the 4 weeks at Spannocchia we were situated nicely to explore much of Tuscany. Our days on the farm were slow, simple and relaxing. The girls would while away the morning among the acres of woods playing hide and seek and Hunger Games, either with friends they made while there or friends who had come to visit. Afternoons would be spent at the pool with many of the young American interns who worked there and had finished their hard days work.
Evenings began with a cocktail hour at 6pm and a family style dinner at 7pm in the farmhouse. Wednesday pizza night, cooked in the brick oven just outside the farmhouse, was a family favorite. We also, of course, had the option of cooking dinner at home in our Tuscan kitchen.
On travel days we started early and drove to nearby Tuscan towns, spent the day exploring the town, and returned to the farm at night. We spent lots of time in Siena, only 20 minutes drive, and even got to see the famous Palio horse race. Other favorite nearby towns we visited included Colle Val d’Elsa (35min), San Gimignano (1 hour), Torri (20min), Chiusdino (20 min) , the Abbey of San Galgano (25 min), Monterrigioni (40 min), Buonconvento (55 min) and exploring the Alta Merse river (20 min). Slightly further afield, and what might be easier to go and spend one overnight are, among others, Florence (90 minutes), Pisa (2 hrs), Lucca (2 hrs 20 min), Pienza (1 hr 20 min), and Montepulciano (1hr 15 min).
Whether we were on the farm, or on the road, that month in Tuscany created the most amazing memories for us and has become the standard by which we compare all trips.
There have been so many new adventures since that trip in 2012, and at the end of each one, we always ask, “was it as good as Italy?” It was for this reason, this past summer, we returned to Italy to hit some of our most cherished spots and Spannocchia, was of course, at the top of that list!
The girls are now 14 and 16 and it has been 6 years since our last visit. We wanted to return to see if it was as good as we remembered, and we were not disappointed!
We were so delighted that the staff, not only remembered us from 6 years earlier, but they hung some of the girls artwork that they had left in Casa Dami! While they are now teenagers, and the idea of playing hide n seek or Hunger Games all day was not as appealing, we were still all equally excited to see the pigs in their habitat, search for the donkey, explore the vast vegetable gardens and go on a nice long hike down to Ponte della Pia bridge.
While the people were mostly different, the family meals around the giant family table in the evening felt like a homecoming and a walk down memory lane. We highly recommend a stay at Tenuta di Spannocchia on your next adventure in Tuscany!
**Spannocchia makes its living primarily through farming and and agriturismo. Agriturismi are independent farms in Tuscany used partially for accommodation purposes but primarily for the purpose of farming. Spannocchia specializes in promoting sustainable living by producing olive oil and wine as well as a huge vegetable garden that provides produce for seasonal dishes made in the kitchen. In addition, they raise native breeds of livestock according to strict organic principles, like the Cinta Senese pig, which allows them to produce up to 15 types of Salumi.
We were not paid for this post. It was generated out of our love for a special place on this planet.