One of the nicest presents that our friends could ever give us was an invitation to spend a nice 4-day holiday in Tuscany! Not just any posh-luxury setting full of stressed-out tourists searching for the “Under the Tuscan Sun” experience in some wrong setting but Gello is a rare find in this intense tourism area of Tuscany! In truly quiet peaceful surroundings overlooking the beautiful valley towards Cecina below and definitely off the beaten path! Just the way we like it as those that follow our blog know!
It has been a while since our friends Giovanni Drugman and Giulia Tarantola kept mentioning this wonderful small ancient village which had been renovated into 4 lovely cottage-like settings with a strong emphasis on respecting the history and cultural setting of such a small ancient Medieval village. So when we were able to find a small window of a typical Italian Holiday (yeah …I know you only get 15 days of Holidays a year…). we embarked on a not-so-typical traffic jam from Milan down to Tuscany. Gello is roughly a 3 hours and 45 minute ride from our house and definitely worth it since the scenery is beautiful. If you are traveling from abroad you best bet is to land in Pisa which is about 30 minutes away.
We roughly arrived around midnight about 30 minutes ahead of our fantastic host so while we settled down to glasses of Prosecco we were trying to figure out the magical location we had landed which was hard to decipher in the dark! The sad news was that Giulia was not able to make it at the last minute but we had the wonderful copy of dear friends from New York along with Giovanni, and his son Tito with his girlfriend.
The next morning the marvel that is Case di Gello uncovered itself to our delight! The story behind this location was that back in the early 60s, Giovanni’s father with a close friend had visited this location and finding out that it was a semi-abandoned town for sale decided to do a sort of crowdfunding between friends and purchased the whole town! Bear in mind that there was no electricity nor running water so the challenges were huge! But with the passing of the years, carries so many memories for the heirs that have reconverted the structures into rental units at relatively modest prices.
If you all can remember about 6 years ago we visited a similar situation in the Casentino area when we covered the fine folks at 90° Pop-up Hotel. Here is that article
An internal tour of the rentals!
On the property, there are 4 rentals (on this map they are: La Casa della Scuola (the village’s actual school back in the day!), Casa Sarperi, Casa dell’Arco, Laboratorio (links and prices below). We had the privilege of staying at the Casa Padronale which boasts a chimney with the engraved year “1737” which dates the structure! An additional pleasure was a brand new pool which was opened just in time for the summer. This is no ordinary pool! All set in beautiful stone and with a low chlorine approach which made it a pleasure to swim, chill and do laps.
The following day we did a day trip to the town of Volterra which we quite liked (new article on the way) but a bit overcrowded for our taste to tell the truth! So Saturday and Sunday were spent reviving the family history behind this beautiful village and taking in the truly “Under the Tuscan Sun” setting.
How to get there!
You can make reservations here!
Case di Gello Official website: https://www.casedigello.com/
Here is a video of Gello back in 1953!