History of the property
Holiday resort Gagnoni grew out of the estate of the historically distinguished Gagnoni family, consisting of the manor house or Casa Padronale,at the top of the hill, and the associated farms and barns. The family spent their summers here. The rest of the year they stayed at the Palazzo Gagnoni in Montepulciano, now owned by the state. The farmhouses were occupied throughout the year by farm workers employed by the family. We have given the Casa Padronale the name Villa Gagnoni and the ensemble of farm houses and barns Piccolo borgo Gagnoni.
The villa dates back to 1760 and was built with local stone in the typical Leopoldian style of the region. This architectural style refers to the then ruler of Tuscany, Grand Duke Leopold II, who organized major works to transform the entire Val di Chiana from a swamp to fertile land for agriculture. Everywhere in this valley (especially on the road to Cortona) one can see many such Leopoldian villas crowned with the characteristic ‘dovecote’..
At the time of the purchase of the property in the early 2000s, the buildings were in a very bad state. The farms and adjoining barns were reduced to ruins, overgrown with weeds and scorched by the sun. In 2004 the owners, Ann Pieters and Joost De Vleeschouwer, in collaboration with architect Fabiano di Banella, started a large-scale renovation project to restore the estate and restore its original charm. Over the course of five years, the buildings were meticulously rebuilt and restored, with an emphasis on authenticity. Great respect was shown for the traditional architectural elements and materials. All recovered building materials, such as roof tiles, bricks and natural stone, were integrated into the renovations as much as possible.
For all interior floors, hand-formed cotto floors </i>were used. These are tiled floors of unglazed, fired clay that is artisanally made in the Orvieto region. This authenticity can be felt throughout the estate, and is reflected in the natural stone walls, masonry arches and vaults, external staircases in the local natural stone travertino, chapels, authentic pizza oven with wood, and much more.
For the interior design, a combination of authentic farmer’s furniture (which was mainly bought on the antique market in Arezzo) and contemporary seating comfort was chosen. A modern style was also chosen for the equipment of kitchens and bathrooms.
Holiday resort Gagnoni is the result of the dreams of Ann and Joost, who still run the estate together.