History of Villa Poggiano
Built in the 18th century as a summer house, the villa belonged to the noble Gagnoni family of Siena. Old maps show that the house was called Villa Gagnoni and its property consisted of 200 hectares of land, producing both wine and olive oil.
Documents recording the transfer of ownership from the Gagnoni family have yet to be located, but it is known that a German general by the name of Henkel purchased the villa at the beginning of the 20th century and lived there until the end of World War II.
The local townspeople nicknamed the house the “Villa del Tedesco,” the German’s villa, and to many, it is still remembered by that name. Passionate about the villa and the serene landscape surrounding it, General Henkel did much to preserve and enhance its beauty. He was responsible for building the pool and the fountain, adding the statuary and travertine tables in the garden, and thus creating a strong neoclassical style.
As a high-ranking official in the German Army, General Henkel entertained many important people, both military and civilian, during this period. Evidence was later discovered in the attic where a stash of old German newspapers, photographs and autographs had been hidden.
Forced to return to his defeated homeland at the end of the war, General Henkel left his beloved villa for good. Unfortunately, the house and grounds fell victim to the feverish anti-nazi sentiment of the local people, who inflicted a lot of damage to the “German’s Villa”, destroying and removing much of its ornamental statuary and vases. In the following years, the house passed from one owner to the next, but was used only as a summer residence. Little was done to preserve the house.
When the Savini Family purchased the house, it was nearly abandoned and in almost total decline – the house was completely empty inside, the garden and the park were overgrown, the pool destroyed, overgrown with weeds and shrubs, a refuge for frogs and snakes.
The Savini family members suffer from an affliction, affectionately known as “la malattia del mattone”, the brick illness. Those who have this disorder have an insatiable desire to breathe new life into old things. The restoration of the house took two years, and another six months for the pool.
In 2003 they open the villa at guest as inn. During the winters, when the villa is closed for guest, they continued the renovation of the others buildings, before used as store-house and a large building used for wine production. Step by step they renovated and converted in bedrooms, suites and what you can see today. The renovation ended at the beginning of 2008.