We arrived in Tuscany in 2004 with our 3 month old daughter and big ideas. We had clear ideas of the home we wanted to create using the ruin that Malvin had purchased back in the year 2000, and By 2006 the restoration work was done and we moved in.
During 2006-7 we turned our attention to the gardens. We replanted the olive terraces with 150 baby Olive trees, planted a good number of Cypresses, and installed 50 Toulouse geese (to ‘cut’ the grass) We licensed the property as an Agriturismo (farm stay) in the same year but did not really expect to do anything with the license which, in truth was actually an attempt to get permission to put in a swimming pool (hard to do at the time). Full time hotelling began much later; until 2011 Malvin had another project on the go; a property investment at nearby Trequanda and Amanda was painting and exhibiting her work worldwide, as well as taking care of our little daughter, Scarlet Kiki Peonia, at the time.
In 2010 we took the bold step of borrowing a sizeable sum to finally install a swimming pool, and in 2011, following the intervention of an ‘Italian Torpedo’ (specious lawsuit) relating to Malvin’s investment at Trequanda (Peonia SRL) Siena House came to being. Initially intended solely a means to survive the legal onslaught we were facing, the ‘band-aid’ was surprisingly successful. Guests began to come from all over the world to enjoy spending time at the house, there was a lot of appreciation for what we had created such that by 2012 we were #1 B&B in Tuscany and #4 B&B in all of Italy (on Tripadvisor).
Having been subject to fraud and having had our trust in the locals seriously undermined we were isolated up here on our little hill. We certainly learned the meaning of holding a ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ as we faced the incredibly unfair legal situation we had become blocked in around Malvin’s Trequanda project, which ultimately consumed the million euros he put in to purchase the property. We spent many Summers laying in bed ‘with our eyes open’ but never did we let our distress spoil the romantic image of Tuscany enjoyed by our guests. Few ever learned ‘the real story’ about Siena House over the years.
There is a lot more to say on this subject but this is not the time! We will conclude with the simple realisation that Tuscany has indeed been a leveller and the adventure of our lives!
Lovely old Tuscany on the outside, discreetly techy and contemporary within, Siena House is the dream home restoration of a Wall Street trader and an Artist. Set within organically farmed land, fully enclosed by a wall and fence with a good access road, the property has magnificent views through huge picture windows – and is luminous, spacious and luxurious inside. In a non touristy spot close to Sinalunga and central for Tuscany’s most wanted wines, hill towns and landscapes the house an ideal base to explore from – whatever the weather. The (salt water) pool is large (95m2) and set well away from the house in a scenic, private garden. Our true suites and ensuite bedrooms are modernised for a luxurious experience that goes beyond aesthetics. Bathrooms are particularly special. Our super location offers 5 excellent places to eat out within 2 minutes’ drive (more at 10 minutes) and easy access to Rome & Florence.