Poggio Etrusco is a privately owned organic farm near Montepulciano, located halfway between Florence and Rome. The owners are Pamela Sheldon Johns (a cookbook author) and Johnny Johns (an artist). On 15 acres, this property is an active oliveto with over 800 olive trees and production of an exceptional organic extra-virgin olive oil.
The Girasole suite has a fully-equipped kitchen and living area with a fireplace. It is tastefully decorated with antiques and artwork, and with lovely views.
Guests are encouraged to pick fresh, seasonal produce from from the kitchen garden and will enjoy homemade jams and preserves from the plum, fig, apricot, peach, and cherry trees at breakfast.
The views are breath-taking from every angle. In the distance you can see the charming hilltown of Cortona and Lago Trasimeno; nearby we see the ancient towers of the historic towns of Montepulciano and Chianciano Terme. Poggio Etrusco is in the countryside, but has close access to everything you will need.
The large swimming pool is a welcome respite in the summer months. Cooking classes are available. Nearby, you can find tennis, bicycle rentals, a language school, and horseback riding. The property is within minutes of Montepulciano Terme and Chianciano Terme; both offer a wide variety of spa treatments.
Within 15 minutes of Poggio Etrusco:
- The wine-inspired hilltop town of Montepulciano
- Charming Renaissance Pienza and Monticchiello and the Val d'Orcia
- Medieval Montefollonico
- The Etruscan town of Chiusi
- The spa town of Chianciano Terme
Within 30 minutes of Poggio Etrusco:
- Montalcino, famed for Brunello wine
- San Giovanni d’Asso, home of white truffles
- Bagno Vignoni, site of an ancient Roman Bath
- Mt. Amiata, the extinct volcano
- Under the Tuscan sun in Cortona
- Sarteano, San Quirico d’Orcia, Cetona, and other colorful towns
Within 45 minutes to an hour from Poggio Etrusco:
- Siena, Chianti, Arezzo
- The Umbrian towns of Perugia, Orvieto, Assisi and Deruta
Day Trips from Poggio Etrusco:
- Rome and the Vatican
Check out the July 2011 issue of Travel + Leisure for a great article about Poggio Etrusco. And a quick search on the CNN website (look for Tuscan Food Tour) will give you a peek at Pamela's food expertise. Reviews of her newest book, Cucina Povera, are at the Facebook page for Cucina Povera, Tuscan Peasant Cooking.
Keywords: countryside, view, terme, apartments, spa, horse, tuscan, cooking class, olive, vineyard, olive oil, wine, cortona, pienza, montepulciano, bagno vignoni, montalcino, siena, chiusi, vino nobile, sangiovese, brunello
Pamela Sheldon Johns is the author of
Cucina Povera, Tuscan Peasant Cooking
and 15 other cookbooks. Johnny Johns is an artist.
The Owner purchased this farmhouse in 2001
Owner Pamela Sheldon Johns has been working in Italy since 1992, researching her cookbooks and leading culinary workshops (Wall Street Journal named her one of Europe's top ten culinary guides). For Pamela, it's about the food, but also the lifestyle and culture of this wonderful country which she loves to share with visitors.
Our guests have described it best, Poggio Etrusco is a warm family environment close to all services, but well-situated in an peaceful country environment. There is a lot to see in this area, but be sure to take time to enjoy morning walks down the country road, or help with the grape or olive harvest.
You know you have entered an authentic paradise from the moment you pull into the drive and see the huge wine barrels, the small unobtrusive sign of Poggio Estruco and travel down the gravel path to be warmly greeted by the host and hostess, Pamela and Johnny and their wonderful dogs, Bella and Luis. The essence of all just takes your breath away, from the vines growing all over the beautiful stone villas, to the well manicured grounds that have lavender and rosemary growing abundantly to an herb and vegetable garden and even chickens! Then your eyes travel to the most incredible vista of Poggio Estruco’s grape vineyards, olive orchards, fig trees and outward to mountains and landscapes that embrace you. During our visit was time for the grape picking which was fun to watch.
My apartment was huge, immaculate and so well appointed. It had all and more of any of the accruements’ you could want if you chose to stay and cook on site. My bed was so comfortable after such a long trip it called my name. Also special was to wake and be greeted by one of Johnny’s large canvas paintings on the wall.
Never having been much of a breakfast snob it all changes when I travel. I found the morning offerings different and delectable. There was always a lovely variety to choose from with a fresh variety of fruit, Pamela’s scrumptious Olive Oil cake and her homemade plum preserves, yogurt, fresh eggs and pastries. Included was my staple of great coffee with my cream.
I was fortunate to attend Pamela’s cooking class. What a unique, educational and tasty experience. This is a lady who has written 17 cookbooks and has mastered the trade. Although everything was delicious I have to say my favorites were the figs wrapped in fig leaves and steamed along with the fried squash flowers and sage leaves!
Most of the guests were part of a wedding party that had the ceremony outside at Poggio Estruco. The weather was beautiful; the décor was classic and elegant. What a beautiful and romantic event. Not a “dry eye” in the house!
There are just too many treasures to find at Poggio Estruco to list but I must say you cannot leave there without trying their wine and to take home their olive oil, Pamela’s cookbooks and some of Johhny’s prints as a souvenir.
My husband and I stayed with another couple just this month. Our 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment with kitchen and common area was dark with minimal lighting. When a light bulb burnt out in our bedroom and there was no lighting above the stove my husband told Johnny and they were never replaced. There was no comfortable seating in the entire lodging. We were in a beautiful part of Tuscany with only the view of other guests walking past our apartment. The grounds have potential but are run down. Our first night there I came in with flea bites on my lower legs. Pamela is a well known author of Italian cookbooks and conducts cooking classes on the property. Every morning we were offered prepackaged yogurt and orange juice with do it yourself soft boiled eggs and store bought pastries. There was no variety. We were not expecting a gourmet breakfast, but surely a cookbook author could come up with something more inspiring!! The only way to access Wi-Fi is to be outside. One morning my husband and I asked Pamela for some sightseeing advice and she had to rush off for an incoming cooking class. While we were loading our van to leave Pamela chided us for leaving the gate open because of the 2dogs possibly getting out. We have stayed in quite a few B/B's during our travels this one was a huge disappointment. .
We had a lovely family reunion at Poggio Etrusco. Four families took over the place for a whole week with a peaceful Christmas. Ages ranging from 8-80. Apartments were cozy especially with a fire going. My kids loved all the animals and farm life. We had some plumbing problems in my parents' apartment but Johnny was right on top of it immediately. Regretfully, no cooking class making pici pasta. Pamela did get us a lovely reservation at Avignonesi winery for lunch, an afternoon we will not forget.
Thouroughly enjoyed our stay for 1 week at Poggio Etrusco.Our apt was perfect for us and we enjoyed breakfast there and also on occation in the breakfast room. Pamela is a very knowledgeable charming hostess and her husband Johnny's artwork adds to the overall atmosphere of the place. This is a lovely spot, a bit off the beaten track-but that's its charm. The night is quiet and there are millions of stars.Bring a flashlight it gets very dark walking from your car. highly recommended for those wanting to explore this part of Tuscany.The pets on the property are very friendly.
Three cheers to Pamela and Johny for providing us great accommodations and wonderful instructions during a world class cocking class. If you are looking for peace and quit, this is the place. The owner's are attentive but understand you are looking for space. The visit is so much more than a simple bed and breakfast. It is an experience in growing olives, grapes, herbs and organize vegetables. I cannot wait for a return trip. These folks have a perspicacious understanding of how to make others feel welcome!
We just returned from a 2 night stay and wish we could have been there longer. Pamela and Johnnie took great care of us from the moment we made reservations to directions to our next location. Pamela helped us develop an itinerary for our stay in Tuscany and it was all wonderful from lunch in our apartment upon arrival, dinner and wine tasting, winery and farm visits, which hill towns to see... Only regret is that we did not have time for a cooking class. Loved the apartment and breakfast was included.Cannot wait until our next visit.