"Lo Spadino" is the name of a new Tuscan country house which was born from an idea, a thought, a difficult but a strong desired aim of all my life: to build a house entirely with my strength and my hands.

According to several researches I did and in analyzing some manuscripts left to me by my ancestors, the Montagnani Family has lived some centuries on the territory where the province of Florence borders the province of Siena, close to San Gimignano.

The characteristic symbols of this area are part of my family's coat of arms which can be found in the medieval Town Hall (Podestà) Palace in Certaldo. The shield of my coat of arms shows six small mountains, surrounded by a golden ribbon where, at the top, is the name of our family.

Life's circumstances meant I had to delay my studies as I worked professionally as a fireman. However, in my free time I attended a private technical school and also the public school "Sallustio Bandini" in Siena and so gained basic knowledge and skills whereby I finally received my diploma in surveying at a later age.

Collaborating with an important technical studio in Poggibonsi, I acquired the experience and technical knowledges to finally start the project on the so long-desired farmhouse, today known as Podere Lo Spadino.

The building materials with which Podere Lo Spadino is built were taken from an old country house previously demolished and within the Municipality of Barberino Val d'Elsa, close to Ponte di Spada (on the state road n.429). The beginning of the works dates back to 1992 on a piece of land surrounded by olive trees and vineyards producing Chianti and Vernaccia wine. The great passion and determination of my family saw us all working together to finish the construction of the farmhouse using a particular method of wall-building, common to the area of San Gimignano called "a faccia vista", handed down for centuries in our territory. It is a type of wall built, reusing old materials (often small”fragments” of the Tuscan culture) and, placed with a creative eye, it renders the construction both harmonious and pleasant to look at.

The management of Podere Lo Spadino is carried out with great care and passion by the enitre Montagnani family: my son Roberto, my daughter Barbara and my wife Antonella.

Podere Lo Spadino has a surface of 630 sqm. and it is built on three levels (basement floor, ground floor and first floor) plus an attic where we will soon built another room. The peculiar cover of the ceiling built with what is called a "pavilion" structure is composed of 37 white oak beams coming from Jugoslavia and of other century-old beams, where the traditional Tuscan flat roof tiles lie.

Maris Montagnani