The Surroundings

Poggiolungo is located in the countryside not far from the village of Iesa, 30km south of Siena, in Tuscany. This location is ideal to explore Southern and Western Tuscany with some of the most popular sights in the area.

The "villages" of Iesa

Iesa is the name given to a group of hamlets scattered throughout the woods of the Val di Merse, in one of the most unspoiled areas in Tuscany. The five hamlets are Cerbaia, Contra, Lama, Solaia and Querciglioni. Lama is the main centre, with a lovely central tree-lined square. The village has a small corner store selling groceries and other products, a good restaurant called L'Aia di Gino, a church and a post office.

The village is small and picturesque: they perfect place to enjoy idle days in Tuscany! It is a good base to explore the area. The neighbouring villages of Monticiano, Chiusdino and Pari are all well worth a visit. The castle of Tocchi is a fortified hamlet where time seems to have stopped. The medieval structure has remained just like it used to be. The castle houses a renowned restaurant.

Val di Merse

Iesa is located in Val di Merse. Val di Merse is one of the regions of the province of Siena in Tuscany. It is located at the crossroads between the Upper Maremma, the Chianti area and the Crete Senesi. It is famous for its unspoiled nature.

Two rivers delimit the area called Val di Merse: the rivers Farma and Merse. Most of this area is covered in oak tree forests in the middle of which it is still possible to spot ancient medieval hamlets and castles.

Poggiolungo is located in a very convenient position for visiting the Petriolo Hot Springs (Terme di Petriolo) and spa centre. The healing powers of these sulfurous waters were known to the Romans and remained very popular in the middle ages. Access to the hot pools is free and a day at the thermal baths really makes for a nice experience. The hot pools are just by the river Farma, where it is possible to swim in the cold river water.

There are many small centres in the area which are well worth a visit, such as Monticiano (which also has good restaurants, a lovely pub, a public swimming pool and a very well stocked wine bar-enoteca), Chiusdino, Murlo, and Sovicille. Murlo has been perfectly restored to bring the old beauty of its medieval architecture back to life.

The holiday country villa is a perfect base to explore many diverse areas of Tuscany, thanks to its convenient location not far from one of the major roads in Southern Tuscany, the E78/SS223 which connects Florence and Siena to the coasts of the Maremma.

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Marcel Colin Gordon