A Colonica refers to the main house of a farm which was called a Podere.
Once upon a day, a Colonica would house a large family of farmers (mezzadria) and until more recent times, their farm animals, too.
When we took over the house in 2022, a local family from Florence had already restored parts of the house. But some rooms, like the cow barn, was still in its original state.
About Campo Sasso, past & present
In the olden days
Campo Sasso is the name of our stone Colonica. Campo Sasso in Italian means Field of Stone. In Tuscany it is quite common for farms and villas to carry a place name that is most often kept to respect the history. And usually they are constructed with the local stone found in the immediate surroundings.
We often get asked how old the house is, but it's not easy to determine. It's uncertain at what point of time the first dwellings go back to, but the stone walls of the house carry many traces of modifications that have been made to them over the centuries, but who did what when is hard to know. Campo Sasso has likely been its name since the first people settled here in this valley of Chianti Classico, Val d'Ema.
Campo Sasso was part of an incredibly large property that went from Monti to Fiesole but through the centuries ownership changed. It belonged to a convent on the top of the hill which today is a lovely organic winery named La Novella, our neighbour.
We have learned that Campo Sasso was where the cattle would breed, so I guess the inhabitants or our house were sort of the valleys' cowboys!
Olive oil, wine & cheese
The Chianti Classico area is the natural habitat for both olive trees and vines, and since Pierre is an agronomist there was no way we wouldn't make a bit of both!
And as Pierre was a winemaker by profession in France for over 15 years, setting a vineyard was almost inevitable!
The cheese cellar was a requirement because of our need to store, age, and display the cheeses that we select for our Florence cheese & wine bar, Formaggioteca Terroir, and our clients around Italy.
The renovation of the farmhouse with all its modern comforts makes it a perfect venue for all of these excellent products of the region. The property is in a quiet green valley with a large garden full of olives and fruit trees. It is lined by the creek Ema which starts just above us and runs into the Greve and then the Arno River. From October to May the water is a beautiful background sound which made us fall in love with this place.
Campo Sasso is just a few minutes drive from a quiet little town and yet only half an hour from Florence. It's the perfect spot for food & wine retreats for people who want to experience this aspect of Tuscany.