The city-state of Siena established communities referred to as Comuni or Comunelli in the countryside outside of its walls (known by the term Contado). Saltemnano was one of these communes from the second half of the thirteenth century until the early 19th century. Il Poggino was established in this commune between 1610 and 1643. We came to this conclusion by the method of “narrowing the field”. The Archives of the Archbishopric of Siena contain only a single Book of Tithes of the church known as Pieve di Sant’Innocenza a Piana (the others have been lost), recording taxation for each individual farm in the years 1567 through 1610.
As this list includes many of the farms in the area but not Il Poggino, it is clear that it had not yet been built at that date. The first document testifying to the existence of Il Poggino dates from the year 1643: a lawsuit against one “Berto, inhabitant of the Poggino farm owned by the Massari family”, guilty of instigating a riot at the Osteria del Ponte (the inn by the bridge, located by the current bridge over the Arbia River).
Now if the farm did not yet exist in 1610, but is documented in 1643, the Massari family must have built it between these two dates. The Massaris originally came from Radicofani (SI), and the surname comes from an ancestor who lived in the second half of the fourteenth century and was a “massaro”, an independent farmer. The men of this family held very prominent positions in all the offices of the Commune and the Republic di Siena, but also later in the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany. We have further testimony dating from the year 1692, when the Grand Duke of Tuscany emanated his famous “universal collection” property tax: the document regarding the Commune of Saltemnano clearly states that Il Poggino still belonged to the Massari family.
The Massari family kept the farm until 1704, when it was sold to Agostino Maria Cerretani, a canon of Siena Cathedral. Thus the farm passed through the hands of two of the most important families of the Republic of Siena, who maintained their prominent status even when the city became a part of the Grand Dukedom of Tuscany.
The farm is identified as lot no. 14 on the local road from Ponte d’Arbia to Vescovado di Murlo. It is described as a rural construction, composed of a stable and pigsty on the ground floor, with a wine cellar below the stable and a home for use by the worker’s household on the upper level. We do not know exactly when Il Poggino returned to the Massari family, but in 1842 it was already in their possession, where it remained until modern times.
It is possible, though we cannot be sure, that it may have been sold to the Massari family in 1841, under a final sentence which in that year required the descendants of the family to “sell all the property of the brothers Cavalier Bandinello and Alessandro Cerretani and the legacy enjoyed by Colonel Lelio Cerretani”. The Cerretani family had racked up a lot of debt, and despite numerous appeals and attempts to save at least the family’s stately home in Siena, the order was given to sell all their remaining assets on 11 February 1841. During the twentieth century, Il Poggino was home to families of sharecroppers who worked the Massari family’s fields; more recently, just after the turn of the millennium, Giulio Massari, a descendent of the family, decided to renovate the property and open it as a farm holiday establishment, before selling it to the current owner, Andrea Buda, in 2020.
Faithfully, Augusto Codogno
A large open-space living area blending contemporary style with tradition, a modern kitchen with a spacious snack area, a sitting room with a round dining table for ten and two lounge areas, one in which to enjoy the traditional travertine fireplace and another for watching TV.
Two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, one with a double bed and the other containing two single beds.
A beautiful corten steel staircase leads to the first floor, containing two 50 square metre double bedrooms with breath-taking views and another double room with a private bathroom.