A farmhouse in Chianti perfect for the entire family
We recently met Ilania and Fabio, the couple that own Agriturismo Vernianello. This is a small, family-run wine and olive oil estate near Castellina in Chianti. On a sunny day in late October, we decided to take a drive into Chianti and realized it would be the perfect time to visit. We called and were told to come on by!
Chianti has stunning colors at this time of year: the vineyards are turning colors, from greens to yellows and reds. The drive along the SS429 road that connects Castellina in Chianti to Poggibonsi is particularly breathtaking at any time of the year, and thus the drive along this road is always truly a pleasure. You get amazing views at every turn of the vineyards that go to producing some of the region's finest wines, including the region's finest denomination, the Chianti Classico.
The reminder of the area's fine wines comes along as we discover that the Vernianello farmhouse is right off a curve where a gigantic bottle cork of wine sits, used to publicize the region's summer wine events a few years ago and now a bit weather-beaten. Yellow signs indicate the way down on an unpaved road amidst the vineyards until you reach a lane that leads to the farmhouse, with olive trees lining the way on one side and a stone wall on the other. Anyone can stop by at any time to buy the estate's Chianti wines and olive oil directly.
A Review of Agriturismo Vernianello
We loved: a spectacular view of vineyards and countryside
Ideal for: families with a children looking for activities which will entertain all ages
The large stone farmhouse sits on the side of the hill enjoying the splendid view over the valley. We park and are greeted warmly by Ilenia and Fabio: it turns out that Fabio's family has owned this stunning piece of Chianti for several generations. We arrive after the wine harvest and vinification is over but before the olive harvest has started, so it's a quiet day to visit the estate. We are thus lucky to have them both greet us as it seems Fabio is normally out and about in the fields on the tractor or taking care of the farm's activities.
A Playground for Big & Small
Signs on the house indicate the way to the playground and other play areas, but we ignore them for the time being as we are being drawn to the terrace in front of the house from which we can enjoy a spectacular view of vineyards and countryside, gorgeous on this warm, fall day! Comfortable lounge chairs make me envision sitting here while sipping a glass of wine and admiring the setting sun whenever the weather permits. Pretty, colorful flowers, wooden wheels and old farm equipment embellish the traditional house made in stone and see other signs of the working farm as we start our visit.
As we start touring the property, we quickly realize that Vernianello is perfect for families. There are 4 apartments which can each host up to 4 people each, perfect for a couple with kids. We soon start seeing what the main attraction is for families and are quite impressed with the many "areas" created especially for kids.
Agriturismo Vernianello at a Glance:
Type: 4 self catering holiday apartment
Location: Poggibonsi, 7 km (13 minutes)
Distance: Florence or Greve in Chianti (60 min) & Siena (40 Min)
Transport: a car is necessary
Type of board: No meals provided
The attractions started slowly and naturally: as Ilenia and Fabio's family grew, they installed a playground with games that would entertain both their own and their guest's children. I can just imagine the fun kids must have here between the swings, the toys, the foosball, air hockey and ping-pong tables, the giant chess game and more! I can also imagine the adults joining in, as there is also a volleyball area, a basketball hoop and a mini-football field for guests to enjoy. Several of the games are near the pool, so perfect for parents who want to sit and relax while the kids play nearby... or for the entire family to play together! I felt this is a place where you can quickly start to feel quite at home and find it hard to leave.
In addition to the four guest apartments, guests will also find the owners living here. This offers guests the chance to come into close contact with the family and other guests, as a large part of the terrace is shared space with tables and chairs. However, each apartment also has its own outdoor area so one can also enjoy relaxing moments in quiet and solitude. We cannot stress enough the advantage of having the owners nearby: you can ask for tips and assistance at any time you need to, particularly as you see them around the property and with their own family.
The Farm is a Working Farm
Depending on the season, you will see different phases of the cultivation and harvest of the vineyards and olive groves. You can do tastings of their products, tour the farm and the winery, and buy the products directly from them. So a stay here will not only mean a relaxing stay in the Chianti countryside but also a chance to see firsthand how a local farm works!
Castellina in Chianti and Poggibonsi are not far away so you can head there for dinner in the evenings... or, if you want to enjoy home cooking prepared by Ilenia, take a look at the daily menu in the morning and reserve dinner to be eaten on the terrace while you enjoy the view!
Of course, the central position in this area of Tuscany makes it a great base from which to visit the entire region, from nearby Castellina and Chianti, San Gimignano and Siena to Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Arezzo and Lucca. You are close to the Florence-Siena "super highway" that makes moving around quick and easy when you're heading further away, but if you feel like a scenic drive in Chianti, just head back to the road you take to reach Vernianello to enjoy one of the most beautiful drives in the area.
If you love going out for walks, from the farmhouse you can just follow the unpaved roads around the estate to explore the area, including a nearby castle, or the trails in the natural reserve Bosco S. Agnese you pass on the way to Castellina (which also offers a picnic area).
We had a very pleasant morning visit at Vernianello and only wished it was summer time to get a chance to sit and relax by the pool, maybe with a good book in hand. We hope to return, and in the meantime, I recommend this farmhouse in Chianti to anyone wishing to stay centrally in Chianti during their holiday, anyone looking to stay on a working farm or anyone with kids as well as to anyone looking for a place to stop at for wine tastings and for buying quality, local wine and olive oil.
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