After the photo shoot with the 500 Abarth Esseesse this time we would like to show you a full itinerary. This short but panoramic trip will let you discover small villages with fantastic views surrounded by the famous Tuscan hills.
This time we are driving an elegant and powerful french coupé, the Peugeot RCZ THP 200. This car is not so very popular here in Italy, due to the competition with the Audi TT, but we are sure after reading this article you will love it!
We will discover the car later on this article, now I would like to introduce you the journey we are going to do together. Beginning and end of our trip are from Poppiano, and his homonym castle. We are not so far from Montespertoli and Certaldo, between the SGC Firenze – Pisa – Livorno and the Firenze – Siena.
Once in the town center you can admire the castle of Count Ferdinando Guicciardini, built after the year One Thousand and transformed into a Villa in the eighteenth century, only to be restored again in the nineteenth century in the Gothic Revival style. In the square outside the castle you can also find a beautiful chapel dating back to 1930.
Very impressive this village, especially in the early hours of the morning and in the evening at sunset. Just outside the main square we head towards the avenue located just below the village. From there we take the road towards Lucardo passing from Polvereto.
The Polvereto’s road is stunning, a classic Tuscan landscape, with its picturesque hills, the houses with the typical architecture and the vineyards of Chianti. Our RCZ wants to run for these streets and we go full throttle to leave Via Polvereto behind us and move towards Lucardo.
Lucardo is probably one of the oldest hamlets in the municipality of Montespertoli, reached by a very narrow road and at the end even dirt. The RCZ is not intimidated by the gravel and takes us up to Lucardo Alto, in the square where there are the Martyrs Martino and Giusto Church.
We get out to walk and admire the ruins of the castle, the access door to the village, the main tower and a square in which overlook all the houses.
The view from the top of the hill is amazing as it’s enjoyable the air of peace that reigns in this lonely village. We leave this corner of silence quickly, ready to drive to Barberino Val d’Elsa passing from Marcialla.
The road to Marcialla is gorgeous and so we slow down to enjoy these beautiful landscapes and fantastic turns. We also note with pleasure that this RCZ is not just a car for those who want to run, it can be appreciated even without pulling the engine at high rpm, with a pleasant comfort and excellent Hi-Fi system.
However we like to keep the spoiler up, giving to the car a more aggressive look, already very enhanced by the total black livery.
About the total black livery … This black beast is a nightmare for a photographer! I read on a British site that this dark version is a concentration of reflections and that is difficult to bring out the details, but we did not imagine to sweat so much!
In the end I would say it is worth it …
Thus we arrive in Barberino Val d’Elsa and take this opportunity to have a look at the city center. We walk for a few minutes until the Church of St. Bartholomew, a beautiful monument remodeled in the twentieth century in the Gothic Revival style, impeccably maintained as well as the well-kept square on which it overlooks. A perfect place to take a break at lunchtime, parking the car just below the church.
After this little stop we are ready to leave this place for Semifonte and the St. Michael Chapel.
To get there we pass from Petrognano, another very interesting place. I recommend you to walk up to the Chapel from where you can enjoy a fantastic view.
And here we are, in the front of the St. Michael Chapel in Semifonte. Not very much people may know that the small church, with octagonal plan, has a dome that replicates the one from Florence’s Cathedral, scaled 1: 8!
A very nice area, with awesome views and this little church surrounded by cypress trees. This area really pays off travelers who arrive here. The roads are fun, in the countryside and views that you can find are really beautiful.
Add to this, the opportunity to do this journey on a RCZ with 200 horses and you’ll understand why we were so exited to tell you!
But how’s this RCZ?
As I said, speaking of comfort, it’s a car also suitable for longer trips and it allows to travel in complete relax. The leather and alcantara sports seats can support the body of the driver also during sportier driving.
Looking at the finishes and the design, you have the perception of driving a car tailor-made rather than a mass-produced one. The full leather interior, the big 19” wheels, the spoiler that can be activated either automatically or manually give you the feeling of being behind the wheel of a true sports car.
If you are not satisfied enough, there is the 1.6 liter Turbo Petrol engine. Coupled with the “Sound System” (designed by Peugeot to emphasize engine noise) creates a pleasant soundtrack and if you want to relax even in sixth gear at 50 km / h is quite elastic to have enough couple and enable a reduction in fuel consumption! Mind that also exists an R version with 270 horse power!
At first I regretted a bit that there isn’t rear-wheel drive but after trying it, thanks to a solid chassis and good traction (even better in the R version thanks to the Torsen differential), in the end is not such a big failure, also because when you open the trunk you will be surprised by his capacity! Summing up, we loved this Peugeot RCZ: sporty, comfortable and complete. It’s time then to come back to the Castle of Poppiano where this story started. This time we choose to drive into Via Malafrasca, another scenic route that deserves more shots!
Coming back to Poppiano, the Count Guicciardini allows us to enter into the castle to complete our photo shoot. We are amazed by how much impressive this castle is! Kept in perfect condition, opens onto a lovely courtyard in which we love to pose our RCZ.
We try to emphasize the contrast created between the RCZ, so captivating in its modern and fluid design, and the static nature of the building, set in this serene atmosphere, rich in history.
What a chance to be able to climb up over the main tower of the castle! A beautiful landscape of vineyards and olive groves around us. And we can discover a real treasure hidden here: the ancient “Vinsantaia” of carats and chestnut barrels.
But the castle of Poppiano is not only a noble building, is the true beating heart of the Guicciardini family’s farm. In this area they produce high quality oil and wine, in accordance with a long tradition but with a touch of modernity.
Don’t miss the chance of a guided tasting tour in the Castle! A genuine blast from the past to discover the process of wine making from the vineyard to the bottle, and of olive oil from the tree to the oil-mill. Find here all the information.
For us of Car-shooters, another beautiful day with a fantastic car arrives at the end. Looking for the best routes and “hidden”places! See you soon!
PS If you’re wondering where you’ve seen this car, well, it’s the same car of Focus, the movie with Will Smith and the gorgeous Margot Robbie.
By: Edoardo Mascalchi
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi, Marco Dellisanti
Peugeot RCZ THP 200:
– 4 cilinders, 1598 cm3, Turbo Petrol with Intercooler
– Power: 200 HP
– Torque: 275 Nm
– 6 speeds gear shift
– Front brake disks: 340mm Rear Brake disks: 290mm
– Maximum Speed: 237 Km/h
– 0/100Km/h : 7,5 seconds
Every comment is welcome! Your opinion counts!