A place is not only a space to live, but a projection of ourselves. There was already a strong desire for nature and harmony within us but when we arrived in the heart of Val d’Orcia, we realized that this idea was suddenly reality.
On a sunny summer afternoon we were traveling along the streets of this fantastic territory enhanced by rolling hills and tidy rows of vines, when we came across something special that struck our eyes as we were on the road to Pienza : an abandoned farmhouse! Actually a typical Tuscan farmhouse set in the peace & quiet of Val D’Orcia.
We stopped and approached it. There was something fascinating about that place, that building, in apparent state of abandonment, showed a strange and rare pride with signs of an important rural past.
The wind blew through the branches and leaves of the nearby secular oaks that seemed to produce a sound, similar to a delicate calling chime. We were both amazed by the surprising appeal that that place gave us and decided to go inside. The ancient stairs, the terracotta floor, the signs of a huge fireplace and finally the large stable : everything had remained untouched for so many years, suspended in time, left waiting for someone like us to find it and immediately feel it’s charm.
We looked at each other and smiled and we just knew that even if we had not come to Tuscany to buy an old abandoned farmhouse, we were going to buy it!
It certainly wasn’t an easy task. We could not imagine the amount of paperwork we had to go through, having to manage everything from planning/architects/budgets etc etc but by now that proud abandoned farm had entered us as we had entered him.
The most incredible thing of all is that Podere Gonzaga had a soul and this, although battered, was far from tame. Maybe it was his story or the nobility of the Origo family that had built it, or maybe all these things put together, but it was clear that Podere Gonzaga or rather Pogo (as we like to call it) was not an ordinary farm. He had personality and style, the same characteristics that have always guided all our choices. Now Pogo has been transformed into a wonderful farmhouse, as welcoming as the natural park of Lucciolabella that surrounds it and it will be him, yes, Pogo and our collaborators to welcome you with all the love that this magical place emanates…
PoGo (Podere Gonzaga)
hat can I say, I’m flattered by such a presentation. Giovanna and Michele love me very much and so do I.
It’s time for me to introduce myself. My name is Podere Gonzaga but Giovanna and Michele playing with my initials call me PoGo. Designed by the architect Pinsenti ,I was built in the 1930s as a farmhouse for the farmers of the Origo Family. I hosted a large family of proud workers of the lands of Val d’Orcia, in the vicinity of Pienza. The reason why I call myself so is partly shrouded in mystery but, according to the indications of the ancient Leopoldino cadastre, the land on which I stand was owned by that Pope Piccolomini who founded Pienza according to the dictates of the ideal city of the Renaissance, and who gave it as a gift to the Gonzaga family of Mantua.
After years of honored rural service the changes we witnessed in the last century meant that the system of sharecropping was abandoned and I also suffered the same fate. I was lying in the heart of this beautiful valley in front of the Orcia river in a place called Lucciolabella, and while the territory in which I find myself has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, no one seemed to care about me anymore.
Until one glorious day Giovanna and Michele passing by chance in front of my ancient gate noticed me and approached my door. It was a unique moment for me. I tried to do everything I could to attract them. I was sure that in front of my stone mangers and ancient terracotta floors they would notice the personality and pride that has always distinguished my life as a farmhouse and, although I was a bit neglected, they would fall in love with me and give me the opportunity to be lived again.
And so it was. A brilliant doctor and an established musician performed the miracle and brought me back to life. Now that the restoration is over and I see myself reflected in the car windows parked in front of me, I still struggle to recognize myself.
Giovanna and Michele talk to me as if I were a human being. Perhaps because despite being a stone and brick house they have noticed that I too have a soul. One day Michele, sitting in the large hall on the ground floor, joking with Giovanna, said: “Now that Pogo has become one of us, why don’t we give him a face and a body? So, now, a young Tuscan artist is creating me. Giovanna and Michele described my strong character, my pride, but they also spoke of my charm and my grace.
Come meet me!