The villa of Corte di Valle
was built at the end of the 19th century in the style of the famous Florentine architect Giuseppe Poggi (1811 - 1901). From 1864, shortly after the unification of Italy and while Florence was still the capital of Italy, Poggi oversaw the urban renewal of Florence. This involved the demolition of the city walls and their replacement by broad avenues, and the creation of several scenic squares such as Piazza Beccaria and Piazza della Libertà. He later designed the viale dei Colli, a panoramic walk ending at Piazzale Michelangelo. His villa designs are easily recognisable all over Tuscany, and Corte di Valle is a fine example of his style.
The villa was commissioned by a Florentine diplomat just before his retirement from his last posting in Buenos Aires. He was looking for a location that would allow him to continue to enjoy the society he had participated in throughout his life. He chose a farm about 18 km south of Florence on the famous via Chiantigiana
, the scenic road that runs from Florence to Sienna through the Chianti Classico wine zone. It overlooks the valley of the river Greve and has a fine view of Castello Vicchiomaggio
to the west. Here he built his villa and enjoyed it until the end of his life. During the 1920s, the villa of Corte di Valle was inhabited by Sir Ronald Graham, British Ambassador to Italy from 1921 to 1933. After a period of decline, Corte di Valle winery was bought and restored by the present owner when he retired from banking. The villa now provides commodious Bed and Breakfast rooms, while the surrounding farm houses and hunting lodge house the winery, the restaurant and two vacation apartments. The addition of a beautiful swimming pool makes Corte di Valle one of the most attractive and convenient holiday bases in Chianti.