We left Siena with full bellies and headed for the place we were going to spend the next two nights at - a tiny place called Pancole, just a little past San Gimingnano.
We got in late and fell right asleep. I had my shutters closed and when I woke up in the morning, I had to check if it was still raining. Instead I saw this! I grabbed my camera and ran outside in my pj's because this... THIS was unreal!
Podere le Grotte, the site of Pancole, was incredible. Apparently, a podere is a basic property unit of a rural society, which includes all the facilities necessary to ensure the livelihood of a peasant family. The size of the podere was determined based on the size of the family that was going to inhabit it.
Seemed like the abundance of fields, grapevines and olive trees here would be enough for my family and then some!
We decided to hit the road as soon as the fog cleared and head straight to San Gimignano with plenty of time to explore! The downside to traveling as a photographers who want to pull over for every photo op, is sometimes you might get stuck in the mud trying to get back on the road! At least some very kind and strong gentlemen ran to our rescue and got us back on the road in no time. Wouldn't be an adventure without some things going wrong, right?
Where to stay: Podere la Grotte in Pancole
Where to eat: Before we left the region around Pienza, we had a lovely dinner at Tenuta Santo Pietro
They make their own wine and olive oil and most of the menu items were grown or made on site. We came here for dinner but I'm saving it in my list of places to actually stay at next time!