Welcoming & Friendly
I often hear from the many structures that I visit that their goal is to be your home away from home. However, the Cresti family, the owners of Bed & Breakfast Del Giglio shared with me how much they enjoy the ties they create with the guests and that sometimes it feels like they are “the family away from home.” Sharing stories about your activities, your discoveries and spending some quality time together in the small but enchanting garden area behind the house; these are the type of things that families do together.
Roberto, Laura and Beatrice, the owners, have opened their house up. The cozy living room, the two bedrooms with full bathrooms, the service kitchen and the delightful garden are available to guests who are looking for charm, relax and atmosphere.
Or perhaps you are one of those guests who choose to stay here because you have already heard the delicious tales of the “designer” breakfast from Laura, who has acquired quite the following for her home cooked meals and unique presentation?
The family's enthusiasm to share the secrets of their home is a clear sign of their pride and passion. Completely restructured, Roberto confided that they had struggled to find a place to call home. Before they were even married, Laura and he had scoured the palazzos and antique residences within the city walls of San Donato in Poggio until they finally became discouraged. That’s when they got the call to come and look at this place; covered in dust, the furniture hidden behind cloth covers, Beatrice rememebered how “it was dark and … absolutely not inviting.”
It Only Takes a Moment to Decide
But then for just an instance, as they took one last look at the house, a shaft of light poured through the courtyard and illuminated the walls. Simultaneously they turn towards each other and whispered, “It’s ours.” That’s all took. The sparkle of dancing sunlight - but, it didn't take long for me to realize that they are all, in their own way, very artistic - some with their hands, or with their voice or their sensibility to others.
So this poetic moment of light probably spoke as much to their souls as it did to their esthetic sense of beauty.
A Review of Bed & Breakfast Del Giglio
We loved: the familiar feel, the intimate atmosphere and the full kitchen at your disposal
Ideal for: couples or singles travelling together, ideal for exploring the countryside of Tuscany
San Donato in Poggio is a tiny little town that just exudes personality as you stroll the cobbled stone streets and admire the flow of one building into the next. I could immediately appreciate why Laura and Roberto insisted so many years ago that they wanted an older home to rebuild and not something new … and sterile. It would have been so against their nature. Two persons as warm and outgoing as they are, residing in a cold and “cookie cutter” home...I just can’t picture it.
Beatrice their daughter is a bit quieter than her parents, however I feel confident that her silence only covers a thoughtful and reflective personality. When she isn’t travelling and singing professionally as a soprano (Puccini and Vivaldi are some of her favorites) she is helping her parents maintain the high-quality hospitality that their guests have come to expect.
Your Family in Tuscany
Our conversation ran all over from arts, history, to fine dining, to books; we were constantly finding a new point of interest.
“What astonishes me,” Beatrice said when she found a small lull in the conversation, ”is they come here and end up teaching US about Tuscany!”
As surprising as it may seem, because the family is curious and quite the connoisseurs about their country, they are pleasantly amazed at how each new arrival manages to show them a new facet of their home, or open up a new trail of discovery. Her smile is warm and infectious: “We are spoiled!” It’s not only the guest that gains a family in Tuscany - but the Cresti Family, who feel like they have just met their family abroad.
Highlights of my Visit:
Highlight: the cosy, familiar atmosphere in the back garden. I sat soaking up the sun, listening to the family stories, savouring a tasty apple pie.
Surprise: the enthusiasm of the greeting and the strong sensation of being(almost) part of the family
Favorite: the color and textures of the small little courtyard that connects the main house to the garden area
Color and Light Play with the Landscape
Bed & Breakfast Del Giglio in a Glance:
Location: San Donato in Poggio town center
Distance: Florence (40 min) & Siena(50 min)
Transport: a car is suggested, there is limited public transport
Type of board: breakfast
Roberto showed me around the house, eagerly pointing out the advantages but, staying just enough in the background to let me formulate my own impressions (though I could tell he was struggling...he is definitely a hands-on type of person, revelling in being in the middle of the action).
Laura followed us, just as keen as her husband that I noticed the finer details of the villa - most of which are highlighted in the website however if you love a good story - go directly to the source for the story and have them re-tell the story in person when you arrive. I was alert and my eye was roaming the home-like setting, the natural flow of the furnishings, the colorful artwork, the small little touches that truly turn a B&B into a place of comfort and familiarity.
I noticed the warmth and felt a sensation of fresh, crisp and clean.
The fall colors in the courtyard were a startling and pleasing contrast to the lovely stone walls. There was a sweet little alcove with antique wine bottles and a charming atmosphere where guests can sip a glass of wine and enjoy some of the local KM0 culinary delights - cheeses, breads, and salumi.
The combination of brown-grey stone with the warm golden lights (I can imagine candles flickering in the evening) gave the cantina a very Tuscan feel; inviting you to settle back and simply enjoy the moment - of stayingin Tuscany, the beauty of the region, the art, architecture, traditions and let’s not forget the music...ask Beatrice where her next concert is to be held and make room for it on your calendar.
And in the morning, the yellow sunshine that spreads across the garden, invading the green covered terrace and warming the trees and turtles and they bask in its light. This is where I would want to spend my mornings … savouring the flavours of the Tuscan landscape, a delicious meal and the atmosphere at Bed & Breakfast Del Giglio.
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