Poggibonsi is an old Italian town in the north of the Siena province, dating back to the 11th century. The town is centrally located for exploration of the beautiful area of Tuscany, only 41km from Florence and 80km from Pisa, and forms the main centre of the Val d’Elsa Valley. In keeping with the beautiful rural surroundings, there are numerous converted farmhouses dotted across the landscape, offering an excellent accommodation option for families visiting the area to enjoy a self-catering holiday.
Although Poggibonsi is now known as one of the main industrial centres of the Siena region, the town retains a picturesque facade, appealing to visitors who come to view the magnificent examples of Florentine architecture in the old town. The town itself is home to numerous examples of beautiful Italian architecture and frescoes, including three churches, a convent and a fortress, all dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries.
The small nature of the town lends itself to a walking tour, or visitors may choose to hire a bike to explore the old town. The three main churches in the town – Collegiate Church, San Lorenzo Church and Saint Lucchese Church – are a particular draw, and all are within easy reach of each other.
The Palazzo Pretorio, which dates back to the 13th century, was once the seat of local government, but is now home to a small paleontological museum, which is likely to be of interest to the children. The Santuario del Romituzzo and its neighbouring bell tower are also popular with visitors, along with the Fairies’ Fountain and unfinished fortress designed by Giuliano de Sangallo.
Poggibonsi is so close to the cultural delights of Florence and Pisa, it would be a shame to venture all that way and not take a day trip to at least one of the two cities if not both. Pisa is of course the home of the famous leaning tower but also has several notable palaces, botanic gardens and contemporary art exhibits. Florence too is crammed full of museums focusing on science and the arts, offering enough to keep any family entertained for several days.
The climate in Poggibonsi is similar to that across Tuscany and is one of the main attractions of the region. Summers in Poggibonsi are warm and dry, with daytime temperatures averaging around 24C over the summer months and remaining warm into the evenings. Winters are also mild, rarely dipping below 0C, and with relatively little rainfall Poggibonsi makes an ideal escape all year round.
There are several options for flying to your holiday accommodation in Poggibonsi given its central location in Tuscany. Peretola Airport in Florence (FLR) is the nearest, but Grosseto Airport and Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa also offer alternatives and both are within 80km of Poggibonsi. Pisa and Florence Airports are both served by a number of budget airlines, so visitors should be able to find a good deal to reach their chosen Poggibonsi holiday accommodation.
Poggibonsi is a major town in Tuscany, north west Italy, originally settled around the local Abbey and Castle. Known for its beautiful rolling hills, vineyards, and ancient architecture it is a popular self catering holiday destination.
The restaurants in Poggibonsi serve local wine and excellent food which is a gourmet’s paradise. Art lovers and history buffs will delight in the treasures to be found in the area, including the nearby cities of Siena, Florence and Pisa, with its leaning tower.
Explore the streets of Poggibonsi on foot. You will be surprised what you would otherwise miss. Head for the Palazzo Pretorio with its Torre del Podesta, which was the local government centre until 1997. It now has a museum inside this interesting building.
Discover the painting of St Nicholas in the Church of San Lorenzo. There is also a wooden crucifix which is over 600 years old, and a painting of the Madonna delle Grazie. Religious historians may also enjoy a visit to the nearby Castello della Magione, ancient home of the Knights Templars. This tiny church has an interesting apse.
Don’t forget to tour the wineries of the nearby Chianti wine producing area.
Siena is an important city just 25km from your villa in Poggibonsi. It has some fine architectural treasures with the pièce de résistance being the Cathedral, called the Duomo.
The Town Square has many fine buildings and is the location of the Palio Horse race. This cultural pageant is performed on horseback, by skilled riders (contrada) without saddles, and the aim is to win the Palio, an ancient painted cloth. It takes place on July 2nd and August 16th each year. It is accompanied by many celebrations, ancient costumes, church blessings and feasts.
The ancient city of Florence, known for its architecture and art, is just 41km from Poggibonsi. Art lovers will revel in the art museums, and the rich heritage of art in the many churches in the city. The Duomo has a dome which is 600 years old, and is still the largest brick-built dome in the world. Climb to the top for excellent views of the city. The nearby Campanile (bell tower) and baptistery building are both wonderful works of architecture.
The River Arno runs through Florence and has many ancient bridges, the most famous of which is the Ponte Vecchio, lined with shops.
Winters are mild and summers are long, dry and sunny, which is why holiday villa accommodation in Tuscany is so popular. From April to the end of October temperatures range from 19-32C (66-89F) with more rain through the winter months.
Self-catering villas and accommodation in Tuscany are served by regular national and international flights to Siena airport. It is about 36km from Poggibonsi.