We are truly in the heart of Tuscany about 45 min driving from all major city, point of interest and the cost!
Podere San Giorgio is close to Pisa Airport (35 mins drive) and to the Montopoli exit
of the main road FI-PI-LI.
With a 35 - 45 minutes drive you can reach Florence, Pisa, Volterra and San Gimignano, in 45 - 50 minutes you can get to the cost.
We are just 1.3 km far from Palaia, our rustic pearl, an ancient medieval village on the Tuscan hills, with a historic roman Pieve. You can reach it by car or walking on a typical tuscan country road.
There you can find shops, restaurants, bars and a pharmacy.
At the cross of the ridge road that connects Palaia, Montefoscoli e Tojano, on the top of a tufaceous hill, there are the grounds of the church of San Giorgio a Scandiccio.
The estate includes the romanic church, the main villa and the old barn, surrounded by forty hectares, almost 99 acres, of olive trees, oleander and fruit trees in the heart of the Valdera.
Immersed in the quiet of the valley, the Podere boats a stunning view on the surrounding hills and a fascinating history.
The church is known from 1296, as a branch of the one in Tojano. The romanic style is recognisable in the exposed wall textures and in the rear single-lancet window aligned with the western entrance, whereas other characteristics of that period, like pilasters and lozenges, are absent, probably due to its rural nature.
For its strategic location, the estate of San Giorgio has been involved in the historical rivalry between Pisa and Florence. The ownership has been disputed for the entire 1400, to end up officially into the assets of Monastero di Santa Brigida of Pian di Ripoli, known as “al Paradiso” , literally “at the Paradise”.
The Podere was a precious possession, formed by 12 plots of farmed land, with olive groves, orchards and vineyards, that provided to the Monastery a conspicuous return.
Around the middle of 1700s, the Monastery is attached to the Bonifazio hospital, first, and later to the Regio di Santa Maria Nuova of Florence one. We don’t know for sure the fate of San Giorgio until the 1822, when the ownership is in the hands of Lorenzo Sanetti of Palaia, important landowner of Valdera.
From 1990, Podere San Giorgio is once again operative as a farm, producing apricots, plums and peaches.
Thanks to the restoration of the villa and the barn, Podere finds a new dimension as country guesthouse and Agriturismo. In 1995 it opens to the public, offering the chance of spending quality time in the quiet and nature of Valdera.
DISCOVERING THE SURROUNDINGS
More or less renowned, all listed in the Municipality Podere San Giorgio enjoys a privileged position halfway between Pisa and Florence, in the heart of Pisan hills.
From here both cities are easily and quickly reachable.
Westbound there’s Pisa, with its glorious past as a Maritime Power, even though the sea is now a bit further, and home of the famous Leaning Tower. Visiting Campo dei Miracoli is essential, but one cannot forget the other beautiful architectures, like the church of San Francesco and the church of San Frediano, dating back to the Middle Ages, Casino dei Nobili, Palazzo Pretorio with the clock tower and the Lungarni, the streets running along the river Arno. The Municipality created different itineraries to ease the visitors in discovering Pisa and its history. You can find all the relevant information on the website.
In the opposite direction, moving towards the backcountry, you’ll get to the spectacular valley where Florence lays,
surrounded by green hills and cut in half by the river Arno.
Strolling around the city is like taking a journey throughout Italy’s history, from the “roman quadrilateral”, to the Renaissance splendour, to the Italian Unification and its days as the capital of the new kingdom.
Long is the list of the historic and architectonic points of interest, from the Duomo to the Uffizi gallery, from Palazzo Vecchio to the Gardens of Boboli, the whole city is UNESCO heritage.
Apart from the most famous locations, this corner of Tuscany is a fascinating territory, home to a number of hidden gems to discover.
Following the route of the Wine of the Pisan Hills, you can start from San Miniato, a village on top of three hills overlooking the Arno, that maintains intact his medieval urban plant still today. After a walk in the historic centre, through churches, convents and palaces, you can enjoy a food and beverage high quality offering from the area, rich in vineyards, olive groves and white truffles.
Heading south you can then choose to go toward the coastline or follow the country roads leading to the lovely city of Siena.
Towards the sea, you can admire the unique landscape of the Pisan Maremma, with the coastal dunes, the pine groves and the maquis. This is the northern part of the Maremma, extending from Rosignano Marittimo to Piombino. Along the coastline the enchanting villages follow one another, among them the bigger one of Cecina, rising on the outlet of the homonymous river and in the middle of the homonymous valley. Inhabited since the Roman Era, this territory is now a lively centre for domestic and international tourism, thanks to the privileged position on the sea and a city centre full of history.
Moving from the littoral, at the end of an impressive cypress boulevard, you’ll get to the village of Bolgheri, famous worldwide for the excellent wine production, among which the most prominent are the Sassicaia di Tenuta San Guido and the wine of Ornellaia and Masseto, all guaranteed by the brand Bolgheri DOC. You’re welcome by the antique castle in red bricks of the Counts of Della Gherardesca, from which you can access the old village, surrounded by majestic walls.
On the opposite direction, you can be charmed by the scenery of Tuscan backcountry, with its famed postcard-like landscapes.
This part of the territory is the testimony of the vicissitudes that characterized the history of Tuscany, well visible in the buildings, the churches and the squares of the towns and villages.
Like Volterra, one of the main city-state of the Etruscan era and then medieval site of a powerful diocese, that hosts the acropolis, the Duomo and the Battistero, built between XII and XIII century, and elegant renaissance buildings, like Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, now the location of the town museum. A precious heap of history, art and architecture, so unique that UNESCO named it heritage site in 1990. Every tower, church, building with its long story testifies the fervent political, social and cultural life of the town.
Not far away, San Gimignano, called the city of the towers, represents one of the best examples of medieval fortified villages.
Going back north, only 10 km from Pisa, there’s Lucca, a fascinating medieval city. The fortified walls are one of the most famous features of the city’s identity. Built between mid-1500 and mid-1600 as a defensive fortified system, they are covered with red bricks and are composed of a series of curtains and ramparts. Nowadays still totally intact, they develop continuously for an impressive length of over 4 kilometres and can be travelled on foot or by bicycle. Piazza Anfiteatro with its oval shape is one of the most interesting squares of the Tuscan cities.
Just as those other cities, Lucca treasures a number of other gems, mo website, along with other useful information.