Today Borgo Pignano is an elegant countryside hotel in Tuscany, but like other spots in the surroundings, it was firts settled during Etruscan times. Large stones at the base of the church, villa and some of the outlying walls are vestiges of the people who lived here over 2,500 years ago.
During the past 900 years Borgo Pignano has been the scene of battles, pillaging by warring hordes and the Great Plague. It has served as a hospital, prospered as a collection of tenant farms and survived the grim hardships of World War II.
The first official record of Pignano is a Sale Deed in 1139 just before work began on the hamlet’s Romanesque Parish Church, San Bartolomeo Apostolo. In 1214, The Order of St Anthony created a hospital on the site but it wasn’t completed until 1246 because of feuds between local Volterrans. The hospital subsequently operated for over two hundred years.
In the late 17th Century Borgo Pignano was acquired by the Incontri family, members of Volterran nobility. The Marchese Ludovico, the second Lord Incontri, set about transforming Pignano from a humble farmstead into a grand countryseat. He made many architectural changes and the stately villa took on its current form with two long wings and a central courtyard.
Thereafter Pignano was a working estate, with many tenant farms. It survived World War II largely unscathed, although shell damage is still visible on the church walls. Pignano was liberated by the American Army in July 1944.
After the end of World War II, the local Pignano community, which, prior to 1939, had consisted of around 60 people, slowly dwindled as the pace of Italian industrialization increased. The Borgo passed through different hands until, in 2000, the current owners embarked on a painstaking restoration and rejuvenation of all the buildings, gardens and surrounding acreage. Today, Borgo Pignano is more comfortable and productive than ever, and has become one of the most genteel country estates in Tuscany.