It’s a pleasantly warm morning in early July in the ancient and well-kept village of San Donato in Poggio. Gessica Novelli, a professional with manicured looks and manners is waiting for us with her generous smile early this morning in the offices of Nuova Casa Toscana Immobiliare. After a short friendly chat she takes us through the streets of San Donato to show some of the property of her portfolio. 


Born in Florence and passionate about cooking, Gessica opened a private restaurant club in the centre of Florence – in the Borgo Pinti area – in 1985. A rather stimulating international environment, surrounded by large hotels with which she soon made contact and various commercial agreements. 

“There was a girl I often saw, a receptionist at a prestigious hotel nearby, who in turn knew a real estate agent from Greve in Chianti that I soon met and with whom I began to collaborate, she tells me. It was not uncommon, in fact, that the international clientele of the restaurant expressed the desire to acquire a home in Italy.

A few years later, in 1992, she had already obtained her real estate agent license when her second daughter, Veronica, was born, who followed the eldest daughter Melissa. A busy self-taught mother she worked from home until 2006 to be able to be with her girls.

In love with Tuscany, especially the Florentine Hills and Chianti, she decided to open an office in the small centre of San Donato in Poggio where she helps various Europeans and Americans – and for sure locals too – to find the house of their dreams.

What are people looking for nowadays? “While the international clientele, she tells us, is often oriented towards what we can call the classic local style in villas, cottages or farmhouses in the open countryside, she mentioned the aspiration of many Florentines to look for a property with a small outdoor space in the environs of a small medieval village or in its historic centre. A good solution is also that of newly built semi-detached houses, equipped with large gardens. I have some beautiful ones nearby, in a rather handy position if you like, about halfway between Siena and Florence.”

But have clients’ expectations changed much? “For sure! Today, women in particular are much less at home and therefore the living room – or as it is fashionable to say, the ‘living area’ – has gained an importance and a centrality that it previously didn’t have, at the expense of usually smaller bedrooms, usually at least two. In addition, condominiums are generally not highly regarded.”

The modern dream of both young and mature families? “Without a doubt the independent cottage, with a small garden,” she concludes.


Info: Nuova Casa Toscana Immobiliare, Via del Giglio 5, San Donato in Poggio, Barberino Tavarnelle (Fi) / Tel. 055 8072049 / Mob. 393 9544250/ /