It all began in the late 1700s...
The first owners of Montestigliano were an aristocratic family from Siena, the De Vecchi family. They built an initial central nucleus of farmhouses, but in 1873 they sold the property to the Aldobrandini family, a well-known aristocratic family from Rome.
The Aldobrandini family expanded the existing hamlet, but in the early 1900s they too sold the property to a new owner. To this day, the Aldobrandini family still owns Villa Celsa, a property located nearby in Sovicille.
The new owners were the Vanni family, another aristocratic family, this time from Florence. They continued to expand the hamlet and built the main family villa, but in 1953, they too moved on.
They sold the estate to Luigi Donati from Massa Trabaria. Luigi Donati had been searching up and down the country for the perfect property. When he found Montestigliano, he fell completely in love with it.
He said it was the place he had long dreamt of finding. Having spent most of his life growing and selling tobacco, he sold his tobacco business and settled into life on the Montestigliano farm, where he spent the rest of his life.
In 1975, the property was passed onto Giancarlo Donati, Luigi’s eldest son, who still lives on the estate to this day. With the help of his children, he continued to run the farming business. He worked closely with his eldest son Massimo, adapting to the socio-economic changes of the time. They decided to drop the activities that required extensive labour, such as the production of livestock, and move the entire focus of the business to the production of grains (durum wheat, soft wheat, sunflowers and corn). These were much less labour intensive and a variety of machinery was introduced.
In 1985, the family decided to try renovating two empty farmhouse buildings as guest houses for international visitors. The villas were a great success and Giancarlo embarked on a new business venture, Tuscan farm holidays, with the help of his wife, Maria Adriana Rossi and his daughters Luisa and Virginia. To this day, the villas are a wonderful part of life on the farm and the business is still run by three of the siblings, Massimo, Luisa and Damiano. There are now 12 individual villas available to rent.