Here are some comments from previous guests. These are kept in their original language. Now and then someone wants to say something special and, with their permission, their notes are shared in this online guestbook.
Il Poggiolo (Poem by Barry Hiscox, September 2008)
Alone, upon her private hill,
Il Poggiolo standsa at will,
Her Tuscan family, free and easy;
Olive, Cypress, Sangiovese.
She seldom seems to be perturbed,
Whene’er her silence is disturbed,
By tell-tale wheel on gravel crunch
Of lodgers coming home for lunch.
The Grieco family has shown,
To all who come here, far from home,
That this is the only place to be,
If you want to visit Tuscany.
Sabine (de Paris, 2008)
Très chers Sara et Allen, de retour a la vie citadine, je dois vous remercier pour ce (toujours trop court) séjour a Poggiolo. Je me suis sentie régénérée après ces belles ballades entre oliviers et vignes: quel plaisir de passer d’un vallon a l’autre et de découvrir un étang …. une maison colonica ….quelques bosquets ….. décidément cette campagne toscane est un enchantement … j’adore cette lumière si particulière du petit matin, douce et dorée .. je m’attends toujours à voir surgir des anges dans les nuages bluettes!!!!!!!! et la vue sur les montagnes du Casentino…. j’espère une prochaine fois aller visiter l’abbaye de Vallombrosa si proche en voiture …..mais Poggiolo porte à une certaine et douce paresse …. A très bientôt j’espère, très amicalement.
Leonore und Peter aus der Schweiz (2007):
Zwei wunderschöne Wochen haben wir in dieser geschichtsträchtigen Gegend verbracht. Bei Sara und Allen wurden unsere Träume wahr. Das schöne alte Haus, mit viel Liebe eingerichtet, gab uns so richtig das Gefühl von romantischen Ferien und Entspannung. Spaziergänge durch die Weinberge der Umgebung und auch mal ein Bad im nahen kleinen See erfrischten uns an heissen Sommertagen. Wenn man dann vielleicht mal am Abend von den Gastgebern mit einem Glas Wein und Geschichten aus der Umgebung verwöhnt wird, schläft man unter dem klaren sternenbesäten Himmel wie im Paradies. Sara und Allen, wir danken Euch von Herzen für diese unvergesslichen Ferien.
Professors Diane and Ron Reichertz, McGill University, Montreal Canada (2006):
As we leave Tuscany we want to share some of our memories and impressions with others who might visit Il Poggiolo. Imagine a commodious half of very large casa colonica that welcomes you with flowers, the makings of a meal and a spacious kitchen as fully equipped as any North American home. But there is a big difference that constantly reminds you that you are in the hills of Tuscany. This lightsome house is filled with the richness of antiques against a background of arched windows and doors upstairs and down, all of which have views of treed hills, vineyards, olive groves and winding tiny roads. If you are on a writing mission your computer and other necessities are equally at home. If you are touring, you are within easy distance of endless sites of interest. Imagine that this house is up a country road and that it is surrounded by cypress trees and other beautiful vegetation through which you can see other colonicas spotted here and there across the hills. All this privacy and the vistas collaborate to create a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the nearby tourist magnets such as Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Lucca and Pisa.
The two very knowledgeable owners of Il Poggiolo will point you in the direction of nearby villages – Montevarchi, San Giovanni, Bucine, Torre – all of which offer little-known beauty and most of which offer Italian staples and luxuries. If you are willing to travel a bit further there are half-day adventures to beautiful areas like the Vallombrosa, which is a forest, topped by a beautiful monastery. Loro Ciuffenna is a small medieval town built on a ravine with cascading water rushing through it. In the central piazza you can sit with a coffee and eat some of the best gelato in the world while listening to the many sounds of the river.
Another four minutes up the mountain and you are in an 11th century village called Gropina which is built around a 1000 year-old Romanesque Church. Here there are both aesthetic and everyday delights. After a short walk past the church you see a small cemetery from which can be seen the entire sweep of the Val D’Arno, full of medieval villages, vineyards and trees. Across from the church there is the tiny office of the Gropina wine cooperative, where you can buy excellent whites and reds (and extra virgin olive oil) at wholesale prices. Throughout the Val D’Arno there are fattorie, which sell their excellent wines from owner’s vineyards. All of these towns have hidden surprises such as houses where major artists were born (e.g. Massaccio in San Giovanni) and small churches with paintings that the government has returned to their sites. A brief talk with the owners (both professional historians) will acquaint you with special itineraries, such as the route that connects seven Romanesque churches.
After all this feasting on painting and architecture you then return to the wonderful house and its mixture of night sounds such as the hooting of owls, the singing of nightingales. Each morning the wonderful light of Tuscany is announced by a distant rooster’s praise of dawn. And all this doesn’t even constitute half of the area’s treats. Don’t just imagine Il Poggiolo. Experience it, as our family has over a period of 15 years. It has become a special place for all of us and remains in our minds as we go on about our University chores. We hope that you find it as special as we have.