Il Poggio is an old farmhouse high on the hills overlooking the green Niccone Valley and the Castle of Pierle. Basic but very comfortable, it provides a unique hideaway among birds, cicadas and crickets, with easy access to local shops and beautiful cities like Cortona, Perugia, Montepulciano and Siena.
The house is in a panoramic and isolated location among hills covered in oak and chestnut trees, and features great views of the unspoiled Niccone Valley.
The top floor has two large bedrooms and a living room with a double sofa-bed, a small kitchen, a bathroom and a toilet.
The main entrance is on the ground floor, under a lovely pergola where you can have a meal while enjoying the views. The rest of the ground floor (still to be renovated) consists of two former stables and a small tower that was used for drying tobacco leaves. There is about one acre of land around the house, which we left a bit 'wild'... ! You can occasionally spot deer, fox and wild boar in the surroundings, and sometimes you will be given a wake up call by wood peckers!
The kitchen is fully equipped, and there is a washing machine in the large stable downstairs. We do not have a swimming pool, but we love taking open air showers using the garden water hose!
As the place is made for resting and relaxing, we decided not to have a TV or broadband internet, but for those who cannot resist a 3G key can be bought near Cortona.
Interaction with Guests
Our lovely neighbors live in the nearest house about 500m down the hill. They will be handing you the keys and be available during your stay for any emergency. We will check in regularly by phone or email to make sure everything is ok!
The house is a 10-15 minute drive from the nearest town (Mercatale di Cortona), where you will find banks, supermarkets, a great bakery and butcher, bars, etc.
There is a small market on Wednesday morning, great for vegetables and cheese. The butcher makes 'porchetta' (traditional pork roast) every Thursday, but you have to get there early to get some... it's delicious!
Many of Tuscany's favourite destinations are within easy reach by car:
Cortona - 30 minutes
Lake Trasimeno - 20 minutes
Perugia - 45 minutes
Montepulciano - 40 minutes
Siena - 1 hour
Montalcino - 1 hour
Assisi - 1 hour and 15 minutes
Gubbio - 1 hour
There are lots of nice walks and MTB trails in the area.
During the summer, look out for village fairs, where you can taste local specialties and enjoy some open-air dancing, and for the the many arts and music festivals happening all over the region.
Given its location, you will need a car to enjoy Il Poggio.
Absolutely amazing place. Pretty remote, but exactly what we needed. The views were amazing, and the house was just the right amount of space for us. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an escape in the country, and isn't afraid of driving up long dirt roads.
Il Poggio, c'est une maison sur la colline tout au bout d'un chemin qui grimpe à 10 minutes du village de Mercatale di Cortona. Nous avons apprécié la terrasse ombragée par deux beaux figuiers, la vue, le calme. Un endroit simple et en harmonie avec la nature environnante. On peut se rendre facilement à Cortona, Città di Castello, Assisi...
We had a wonderful time at Il Poggio and found everything we were looking for: a charming Tuscan countryhouse - nicely furnished and equipped with everything you could possibly need in- and outside the house, a scenic view, peacefulness, quiet and privacy since the only people who came up the mountain that far were some lost hikers once in a while. Paolo is a great host taking very good care of his guests even from far away. He answered all our questions on the same day and made sure that we enjoyed our stay. A welcome gift at our arrival (everything you needed for a first meal) is just one example for that. We felt very lucky having found such a wonderful holiday home and can recommend it without hesitation. The house is also a good starting point for trips to great Tuscan or Umbrian towns such as Perugia, Cortona, Siena. Mercatale, the town below Il Poggio, has everything you need including a great restaurant (Mimmi). But I guess most of the time you will want to stay in this hideout enjoying this great place!
This is a lovely, quiet hideaway in a beautiful part of Tuscany/Umbria, the perfect secluded spot for relaxing and a good base for exploring both regions. There are numerous fantastic hiking routes right outside the house up and down the hillsides. We had no trouble accessing the site (the drive up is a bit rough - exciting! - on gravel roads but our rental car handled without problems), and Paolo's neighbors gave us the keys and were quick to respond when we had a couple of challenges (the hot water heater wasn't switched on initially - quickly addressed). We mostly went out and explored a town and it's surrounding regions (montepulciano, Olvieta, etc) during the day and cooked at night at the house, as restaurants would be a bit too far of a drive. In all, it was our favorite spot we stayed in italy! Peaceful, beautiful, well-equipped - a lovely hideaway!
Located off the charming village of Mercatale, Il Poggio allowed me and my friends to spend the day wandering the scenic roads of Tuscany and then to return home to a quiet, cozy house at night. In the early hours of the day, one can see, from the kitchen window, the fog covering the valley. A few hours later, the fog is gone and all the birds wake up singing. It becomes easy to understand why Saint Francis, born just a few kilometers from this valley, was so passionate about Tuscan nature.
The house was equipped with bed sheets, towels, and a good heating system. The kitchen is so well equipped, that we cooked excellent meals accompanied by great Tuscan wines. Great times for all of us!
We highly recommend the experience.
On a hill looking out to a rolling mountains, small villages nestled into valleys, and 11th century castles perched atop the crests. Golden dusted mornings that pierced through the soft blanket of mist sleeping in the valley.
This was the view every morning from every room in 'Poggio', Paolo's beautiful Tuscan farmhouse. This place was everything promised, and more.
It was perfectly situated for us;
An hours drive from the splendours of medieval villages like Perugia and Assisi; and a short walk down to the quaint town of Mercatale, where the local butcher gave us his famaily's recipes and invited us to the town's weekly event, the porchetta cooking. We also went on a glorious walk though the forest and stumbled upon the ruins of an old castle, held together by a tangle of ivy, where the donkeys were only replaced by cars 40 years ago.
The house was warm, had a fire place and the lovely neighbour had stocked it full of firewood. Sheets, and towels and cooking essentials were provided. And an excellent Bose sound system. Perfect for entertaining friends or for a couple wanting to slow down and appreciate the simple joys of life.
An authentic piece of Italy and a weekend that seemed like a fortnight filled with adventure, leisure, friends and food.
We were looking for a short vacation over the easter holidays. I stumbled upon Paolo's offering and thought to myself "this is the place".
What we were really looking for was a quiet, simplistic domicile in tuscany/umbria. What we found was this awesome mountain house which is located on the end of a steep and curvy gravel road. Claudio, the friendly neighbor provided us with the keys and off we were to our peaceful home.
The nearest village is about 3KM away, the next house about 700m (not visible or noticeable at all). The village Mercatale offers everything you need. A local grocery store, a delicious little bakery, a butcher who offers great local meat as well as shops for daily supply (pharmacy, atm, gas station etc.).
Inside the house we found a fully equipped kitchen (sausage and cheese was provided as a welcome gift), two big bedrooms with very comfortable beds and a large dining/livingroom with a fireplace.
The outside is perfect for spending a relaxed afternoon in the sun and the surrounding woods offer plenty of ways to go on hikes and exploration.
All I can say is:
Go, you won't regret it!
I will certainly come back.