This land has a fatal attraction. Impossible not to fall in love with its rolling hills, the fruits of which become the wine and olive oil that the whole world envies us. Impossible to remain untouched by its century-old history. Difficult not to find oneself immersed in a fairytale atmosphere as the fireflies accompany you along the road leading to the gates of San Gimignano, and not to be enchanted by the stolen glimpses of its towers.
Ever since we were very young, Guardastelle has been a dream and a challenge. It is our past, with the traditions and passion that the family has passed down to us. And at the same time it is our future that we build with love and dedication day by day, with great care and commitment in every gesture that lies behind the welcome we give our guests. We feel we are the custodians of the beauty, richness and authenticity of Tuscany. We want to share a unique experience with you by proudly offering you the results of our work.
Our names are Susanna and Fausto, Guardastelle is our home and our history.
The history of Guardastelle
The origins of Guardastelle date back so far in the past that it is difficult to reconstruct its history with any precision. What we do know with any certainty however, is that the central part of the building was erected in the middle of the fifteenth century when the estate of the Guicciardini family spread over hundreds of hectares in the Val d’Elsa Senese.
A clear indication of this is the technique via which the walls were built. In fact, during the renovation works, it was discovered that every wall consisted of two layers of bricks with a cavity in between filled with debris as a form of insulation. The same technique that was also used during those centuries to build the imposing towers that earned San Gimignano the nickname “Manhattan of the Middle Ages,” and in the shade of which pilgrims found shelter as they travelled along the Via Francigena on their way to Rome.
Enlarged over the centuries in order to house the children of the peasants, the last part of the house was built in the 1950s. The estate was a farm for all intents and purposes, surrounded by olive groves and grapevines, and it also had a woodshed, a barn, a pigsty, a winery and an olive-oil press.
In 1984 it was purchased in poor conditions by Sestilio, Susanna’s father: the homestead was almost completely in ruins and only a small section was suitable to live in. However, the unique view of San Gimignano and the sweeping panorama over the vineyards and hills held an irresistible attraction. Sestilio’s intention was to rediscover the spirit of country life with his family, but this was only possible for a short period due to his untimely death.
Out of love for her father, Susanna, still very young, took over the reins of the winegrowing and farming concern to prevent it from being sold, and started managing the vineyards and olive groves, the fruits of which were sold to other producers. Thanks to her growing passion, in 1997 she decided to start making wine from her own grapes in the winery built and fitted out by her father, producing wines and extra-virgin olive oil under the brand Sovestro in Poggio. In 2003 she began renovation works on the house, starting from the foundations, the floor, roofs, and installations, where possible recovering the original materials or using new ones sourced locally, and after four years of work she endowed Guardastelle with its current appearance.