The history of Il Poggio alle Ville, together with the natural beauty of the place, offers a complete experience of Tuscan life for all to enjoy when choosing to spend a holiday in the rustic houses of our little hamlet. The traditional restoration of the houses and furnishings immediately conjures up “the old-fashioned way” of life. The old walls have, however, a great deal more to tell…
Known according to old maps as “Podere La Casina” (La Casina farm), this little cluster of rustic houses in the locality of Le Ville, came into our Edlmann family’s ownership at the end of the 1800s. When Elena Edlmann, (married name Martini-Bernardi), was widowed following the premature loss of her only son, she left to Paolo Edlmann, her step-brother and Raffaele’s great-grandfather, very extensive farms in Mugello, including La Badia di Moscheta, today the Museum of the Historical Apennine Landscape.
The Martini-Bernardi had been important landowners in Mugello since 1500, as historical sources attest. Very religious, the Martini-Bernardi family have always done charitable works (Elena’s husband, Giuseppe Martini Bernardi, was one of the founders of the historical hospital of Luco di Mugello), donations to the churches and even built little chapels like the one you can see today at Il Poggio alle Ville, which dates to the beginning of 1700, and is dedicated to San Vincenzo Ferreri, protector of peasants and bricklayers.
Paolo, highly educated, with a passion for literature and a great talent for drawing, took the reins of a vast farm and did his best to confer a sense of ‘business’ to his new heritage. Knighted and then recognised for his services to his country with the title of ‘Commendatore’, Paolo was even briefly involved in local politics as mayor of Barberino di Mugello, despite not being very happy with the mechanisms of politics. Paolo’s oldest son, Franco Edlmann, Raffaele’s paternal grandfather, lawyer by profession, successfully continued the management of the farm. However the bombings of the Allied forces at the end of the Second World War brought an abrupt end to Franco’s life in the villa of Il Poggio a Ronta. The post-war period and Franco’s brothers’ lack of experience and knowledge of managing a family business led to a gradual, even inevitable, crumbling of the great property in the following decades.
Another Paolo Edlmann, father of Raffaele, passionate about nature and hunting, managed to hold on to the lands and woods surrounding il podere della Casina. At the end of the ‘90s, it was to be his wife Maria-Laura, Raffaele’s mother, whose vision would bring the little hamlet into the new world of tourism hospitality with its historic farm.
The beginning of the 21st Century sees Raffaele leading the Agriturismo business; it is he that chose the name ‘Il Poggio alle Ville’, a combination of the name of the locality itself, Le Ville, and that of the area of Ronta where his grandfather Franco lost his life, Il Poggio. Together with Raffaele, the hospitality of his wife Ioana and their three children Valentina, Adriana and Donatella, helps create the atmosphere of a ‘home away from home’.