Things to Do at Spannocchia and beyond

Wine Lovers

  • Take one of Spannocchia’s own wine tours and classes.
  • Try vin santo with cantuccini cookies — a Tuscan specialty
  • Sample the world famous local wines in the nearby hilltowns: Vino Nobile in Montepulciano, Brunello in Montalcino, Chianti Classico, and Vernaccia in San Gimignano
  • Drive through the Chianti region and visit the enoteche (local tasting rooms). We recommend the Enoteca of the Chianti Classico in Greve in Chianti.
  • Visit the winery of Colombaia and learn about biodynamic wine and agriculture

Pizza Night!Foodies

  • Pizza Night!
  • Have a harvest box of Spannocchia veggies, farro, and olive oil waiting at your house when you arrive — order through the guest information form sent to you before your arrival.
  • Take a Cinta Senese tour with Spannocchia’s Education Director, Jessica Haden.
  • Take a Olive Oil tour with Spannocchia’s Education Director, Jessica Haden.
  • Learn all the secrets of pasta eating and making by taking a Pasta in Italy Class with Spannocchia’s Education Director, Jessica Haden.
  • Take a cooking class with our local Tuscan cooking teacher, Loredana Betti.
  • Visit the Fabbrica del Panforte for artisanal production of the typical panforte and riciarelli cookies
  • Try Tagliatelle con cinghiale (flat hand-made pasta with wild boar meat), one of our traditional Tuscan favorites.
  • Sample the traditional (and delicious!) Pecorino sheeps milk cheese from our local Farmers
  • Eat seasonal delicacies: fried artichokes and Pappa al pomodoro (tomato and bread soup) in the spring, melon or figs and prosciutto in the summer, funghi porcini (porcini mushrooms) and roasted chestnuts in fall, or Ribollita (bread and bean soup) and salsicce e fagioli (sausage and cannellini beans) in the winter.
  • Visit the Follie di Arnolfo in Colle Val d’Elsa for artisanal production of choccolate sweets
  • Eat the best sliced pizza at the Consorzio Agrario in Siena (just by the main commercial road), or purchase your own local goodies
  • Try the award-winning Gelato at Gelateria Dondoli in San Gimignano, you won’t be disappointed!
  • Try Pici (A typical hand rolled pasta, like a fat Spaghetti),with Aglione sauce ( a garlic flavored red sauce), or Cacio e Pepe with cheese and black pepper, or with Briciole bread crumbs. Try them all and pick your favourite, we were not able to decide.
  • Visit Dario Cecchini the famous Dante-quoting butcher for a tasty bite to eat in Panzano in Chianti
  • Have a Bistecca alla Fiorentina, a T-bone steak traditionally sourced from either the Maremmana or Chianina breeds of cattle.

San GalganoHistory Buffs

  • Tour Spannocchia’s Castello with Randall Stratton to learn about the history of the property, the Spannocchi family and the mezzadria sharecropping system
  • Visit San Galgano, a roofless gothic abbey and the nearby chapel with the Tuscan version of the “Sword in the Stone”
  • In July 2nd and August 16th, attend the running of the Palio di Siena horse race in the Piazza di Campo. Try visiting one of the contrada (local neighborhood) museums for a better understanding of the socio-cultural background of the Palio.
  • Visit the nearby village of Torri, known for its remarkable cloister in a former abbey, now a private residence.
  • Explore Spannocchia’s library of books about Etruscology, architecture, gardens, art, nature, and travel.
  • Hike to the hermitage of Santa Lucia or the medieval fortress at Castiglion che Dio Sol Sa
  • Visit the Etruscan archeological museum in Murlo or in Volterra.
  • See the head of St. Catherine of Siena in San Domenico church
  • About 2 hours and a half away from Spannocchia, visit the two wonderful Medieval towns and Etruscan Necropolis of Sovana and Pitigliano: an excelent destination for archeological hiking
  • take a day trip to the sea side in Golfo dei Baratti and explore the Archeological Park of Populonia and Baratti : an amazing Etruscan archeological site with a wondeful view on the Tirreno sea

Visit our vineyards.Farmers

  • Walk around the property: visit the animals, the vegetable garden, the vineyards, the olive orchards, beehives, and the fields.
  • Explore the local Consorzio Agrario (hardware, seed/feed supply, and tool supplier.)
  • Visit the Mezzadria Museum in Buonconvento to learn about the history of sharecropping and farm life in Tuscany over the centuries.
  • Purchase your very own pennato (Tuscan scythe/machete/do-it-all farm tool)
  • Visit other local farms and producer : cheese, beef, fruit, bakeries, herbs, etc.) We recommend Campriano a great visit for cheese lovers – minimum groups of 6 people
  • Visit a frantoio (olive press) if you stay with us during the olive harvest time (November)
  • Take a Cinta Senese Tour with our Education Director, Jessica Haden.
  • Check out the local markets – Mercatali - in the area.
  • Visit the Bottega di Stigliano – a nearby store and restaurant utilizing exclusively local products

Ponte della PiaGarden/Landscape Dreamers

  • Visit the vegetable garden and the Giardino Segreto (Secret Garden) at Spannocchia.
  • Visit Villa Cetinale — or Castello di Celsa two nearby private gardens and hermitage in Sovicille. They are really close to each other, reservations are required for both, with good scheduling it is possible to see them both in a day!!
  • Explore the Bosco della Ragnaia — a sculpture garden near Buonconvento
  • Drive through the Crete Senese — try to find the most typical “Tuscan farmhouse with cypress tree in the middle of a grain field” view you can find.
  • Time your visit to coincide with the blooming of your favorite flowers: April for ginestra and lilac, May for poppies, June for roses and linden, July for sunflowers, August for prickly pears, September for zinnias.
  • Explore the botanical garden in Siena
  • Visit the Boboli Garden in Florence

Siena CampoFamily Vacations

  • Count the number of cats at Spannocchia and give each a different name
  • Explore the secret garden — try to find the wild boar and chickens made of twigs and the hidden benches.
  • If it’s hot — go for a swim in the pool!
  • Eat pizza.
  • Try to find the tallest tower in every town you visit (and at Spannocchia), and then see if you can climb it.
  • Visit the animals. We have donkeys, cows, chickens and, of course, pigs.
  • Take a cooking class at Spannocchia.
  • Walk through Siena and try to visit each contrada (local neighborhood) at least once in your walk.
  • Learn about the Palio di Siena and the contrada histories, mascots, and colors.
  • Hike to Castiglion che Dio Sol Sa (The Castle that Only God Knows) and try to find the waterfall below the building.
  • Find a TinTin or a Topolino (Mickey Mouse) comic book and see if you can learn some Italian.
  • Count the Smart Cars or Vespas you see on the road during car trips.
  • Visit the Fisiocritici Museum, a science museum founded in 1691. Very different from the today’s idea of a science museum, it is a wunderkammer of all the beauty and curiosity that nature has to offer.

Art Aficionados

  • Il Duomo in Siena (Piccolomini library illustrated manuscripts, and tile floor mosaics)
  • Museo Santa Maria della Scala (frescoes in the pilgrim’s hall, rotating exhibits)
  • Visit the Dreamwood garden, with its wonderful sculptures made with stones
  • Museo Civico at the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena (Lorenzetti’s Good and Bad Government frescoes)
  • Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Giardino dei Tarocchi (Tarot Garden) — a unique mosaic sculpture garden near Grosseto. Ideal to stop by on a day trip to the sea side
  • Tour the modern sculpture garden of the Gori Collection set in a fifty acre park on the estate of Fattoria di Celle in Prato.

The ceramics studioArtisan Crafts

  • Visit Majolica pottery stores in Siena.
  • Explore Terracotta vendors on the road from Siena to Grosseto.
  • Visit crystal makers in Colle Val D’Elsa.
  • Find local linens and lace at the Friday market in Colle Val D’Elsa
  • Go to Volterra for alabaster treasures

Peoplewatching

  • Piazza del Campo, Siena
  • Anytime during Passeggiata (evening walk between 7:30 – 10:00pm in any town in Tuscany)
  • Wednesday Market, Siena
  • Circolo Arci bar, Rosia
  • Spannocchia Terrace before dinner
  • During the Palio parade