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My name is Claudia. I was born and raised in Siena and I hold a diploma in Classics from the local Liceo Classico. I earned a BA in Art History from the University of Siena with a thesis on the frescoes of the Certosa of Maggiano. After serving as an intern at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, I went to a professional school for Tuscan tourism and became a licensed tour guide specialising in Siena and its provinces. My family owns the property Villa Santa Chiara since early 1900 and I’m very proud to be part of that!
Villa Santa Chiara, a former convent originally built in the 1600’s just outside the gate “Porta Romana”, will welcome you with an excellent organic olive oil that my family has produced since the early 1900’s. The property is conveniently located at a few hundred yards from the city walls of Siena. We own about 500 olive trees, and every year we prune them and take care of them with organic fertilizers only. Then, in the fall, we collect the olives and go to the oil mill. Here, we sit down and wait for the fresh and spicy olive oil to be squeezed out of the harvest: a great moment to enjoy!
Part of our family produces one of the best wines in Italy, if not the world: I’m talking about the Montalcino Brunello wine. Those relatives of mine own the “Le Chiuse” winery, and they have recently been awarded the 2 nd prize by the Wine Enthusiast list of the best wines in the world! Needless to say, I can easily arrange for you a tour of their vineyards and cellar – including, of course, wine tasting. Simonetta Valiani, the owner, is a descendant of Ferruccio Biondi Santi, the man who first produced the current version of Brunello in the late 1800’s – and she knows what she’s doing!