With its farm-to-table restaurant, boasting one of the most photographed panoramic tables in the Val d’Orcia, and the fab cooking classes with truffle hunting, Podere Il Casale embodies the rural dream of traditional farms.
A very renowned reality in Pienza, Podere Il Casale is born from the love story between Sandra & Ulisse and these wonderful lands where the Swiss couple decided to move in the early nineties with the dream of creating a farm “from other times”. The property, which includes hectares of olive trees and vineyards, pastures and an old farmhouse, is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the Val d’Orcia and offers a unique view of both the Tuscan hills and Monte Amiata, one of the symbols of these areas.
Today Ulisse coordinates all the farm and breeding activities, while Sandra takes care of the cooking classes dedicated to traditional cuisine, from pasta to leavened foods, supported in particular by her son Michael who manages the panoramic restaurant, one of the most photographed in the Val d’Orcia.
We have always been organic, we cultivate the land every day and take care of our animals as the farmers did in the past, following the authentic rhythms of nature.(Sandra, founder)
Sandra and Ulisse’s dream has always been to start an organic and environmentally friendly production for their family and future guests. Over the years, the agricultural activity has grown to include the production of oil, honey, pasta and flour, sausages and excellent dairy products obtained with the raw milk of their animals.
Everything here is simple and authentic, as testify the ancient stone walls of the Podere, dating back more than three hundred years ago. The decorative elements belong to the local agricultural history and tradition: glass demijohns, milk pails, work tools, and old signs. Rustic tables and wooden seats are placed under the pergolas, becoming really cosy at sunset, wrapped in strings of white bulb lights. The focus is all on the raw material, the protagonist of colorful and tasty dishes that delight the eyes.
The menu is authentically farm-to-table: from the vegetables from the garden to succulent platters of cold cuts and cheeses. Do not miss the opportunity to taste their pasta dishes, such as the famous pici (typical pasta) del Podere or the bread made with ancient grain flours, just delicious served together with the house oil always present on the table.
Also the wines are organic and the selected labels represent the many excellences of the area, from Chianti to Nobile, passing through reds, whites and rosés produced with native grapes.
Upon request, it is possible to organize guided tours of the farm and panoramic picnics. At the entrance, there is also a small shop where you can buy the products of the farm, while, for the neighboring areas, Podere Il Casale also organizes home deliveries.
The famous Monte Amiata, one of the best-known symbols of the Val d’Orcia, is actually a Pleistocene volcano, now extinct, which was active for a short time and where the springs of the Fiora, Vivo, Albegna and Paglia rivers are located. According to some sources, the toponym “Amiata” derives from the Latin words ad meata, meaning “by the springs”. Other historical hypotheses indicate a derivation from mons Tuniatus-Montuniata, with reference to Tinia, the greatest Etruscan divinity.
Appetizers and platters: 10 — 18 euro
First courses: 14 — 16 euro
Main courses: 12 – 25 euro
Desserts: 5 — 9 euro