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Florence Box: Antico Podere Gremigneto

What we see in front of us are the hills of Leonardo da Vinci, the ones in which he was born and the very ones which he tried to depict in his first drawings and always those from which he presumably thought, pondered, analyzed how man could one day be capable of flying. They extend over the entire surrounding landscape, almost seamlessly, but what stands out in our visitors’ eyes are the almost infinite expanses of olive groves, which rise one next to the other up to an altitude of two hundred meters. As soon as we pass the village of Vinci we take a narrow and dirt road that leads us slowly to climb the hill, making our way along an avenue lined with olive trees ready to welcome us. When we finally arrive at the Podere, the panorama we find in front of us is unparalleled: the hills we admired in the car are now in front of us in all their composure, giving us a moment of quiet and fresh air in this particularly sultry Italian summer. Luigi and his wife tell us about when they decided to leave their previous job looking for a farm to be restored right in the middle of the Tuscan countryside. The desire to build a tailor-made environment, where you could live with the green of trees and leaves had become the main reason for converting this ruin into a welcoming and modern farmhouse, whose garden surprises us for the utmost care with which it is maintained.

In this case, the passion for the land has materialized following the choice of life, that is Luigi had always somehow refused what his grandfather had done during his entire life, the farmer’s job, coming to appreciate it only with the over time and with the right maturity. The spell was triggered when the plants he himself placed in the ground became olive trees over time, from which the olives were then harvested and, at the end of the pressing, he obtained an excellent oil. Even better than that of the areas just below, due to the soil full of sandstone, capable of absorbing a greater amount of water. And this is how you fall in love with the place and what that place has been carrying with it for centuries: an endless series of olive trees planted two or three hundred years ago, which Luigi carefully preserves. The pride of having created a house-olive grove, where the owners live regularly, also exudes from the commitment of having built their own oil mill, an essential achievement to be able to boast a product that is born here and that is always here transformed into a finished product. And that Luigi defines “bòno! There is no discussion about this …”.