The Farm
Our history

The Farm is located on the edge of a vast plain known as the Valli Grandi Veronesi – the Great Verona Valleys. Intensive farming began in this area toward the end of the seventeenth century, with the introduction of rice farming exploiting the abundant water supply from the nearby Adige River.

In 1732 Count Rizzardo Sambonifacio was granted a concession to use multiple local water sources, channelled as required, for his rice paddies and for construction of a “Roda da Pilla”, meaning a rice-husking mill.
The result was construction of the La Pila house in Spinimbecco which still stands today - the building that would lend its name to the road from the centre of town to the rice fields and the mill.

A large farmyard was built, with a wall enclosing the residential buildings: the home of the Count and the people in charge of administration and supervision of the work on the farm, and next to it the home of the tenant farmers, sharecroppers and permanently hired labourers who worked in the fields. Adjacent to the large threshing floor for wheat and fodder were the working farm buildings: the stables, the sheds and the barn, as well as minor accessory structures such as the caneva for storing food and wine, the chicken coop, the oven, the well, the brolo garden and the vegetable garden.

Life on the estate flowed along as slowly as the great Adige River, which brought not only development but disaster over the years. The year of the great catastrophe was 1882. In the month of September torrential rains and the snow that had melted in the mountains over the course of a particularly hot summer caused the Adige to flood its banks. The flood devastated the city of Verona, carrying away houses and bridges, and the river broke through its right bank south of Legnago : the huge mass of water made the Great Valleys of Verona into one enormous lake.
Quite apart from its disastrous consequences for the local people, the flood led to big changes in agriculture in the area. Rice-growing was gradually abandoned in favour of maize, known locally as frumentone, meaning “big wheat”, or, in dialect, formentòn zalo, “big yellow wheat”.

The estate had several different proprietors after the Sambonifacio family. The Sartori family, the current proprietors, purchased the estate in the 1930s and immediately set about renewing the land and buildings. They renovated the landowner’s villa, planted tobacco, and converted one of the old barns into tobacco drying rooms.
The first orchards were planted in the ’50s. A new phase of renewal and investment began in the early ’90s. La Pila is still loved by everyone who goes there!

Agriturismo Tenuta La Pila - Via Pila, 42 - 37049 Villa Bartolomea, Verona - Italia
Phone +39 0442 659289 // Mobile & WhatsApp +39 389 3464611 // info@tenutalapila.it // Credits: FutureSmart