Santa Maria a Poneta, with its rural Hamlet, was originally a Country Church built for the local population of Poneta, a small community established inbetween Florence and Siena, more specifically on a branch of the road that lead to Volterra, and close to the valley once crossed by the Via Francigena (the Frankish Road), the main road connecting Rome with France.
This path being used by pilgrims as well as by merchants, raises the assumption that during the Middle Age the church used to offer hospitality to those travelling in this hilly area of Tuscany.
Scholars date the construction of the primitive building between the late 900’s and the following century, but the first certain mentions of the “de Pinita” church date back to the 12th century, when on 15th August 1260 the rector Goto Graziani promised in the name of the population 12 bushels of wheat to the Florentine army departing for Montalcino, to support the battle between Florence and Siena for the seniority over this Countryside, full of Vineyards and Olive Trees.
Property of the Township of Linari up to 1352, in the 15th century the Hamlet of Santa Maria a Poneta went under the patronage of the florentine Nobili family. The maps of the Captains of the Guelph's clearly show that Antonio de Nobili was the owner of both the surrounding land and of the small neighbouring hamlet called “Poneta”; it is probably thanks to him that the new parsonage was built and that the coat of arms of the Nobili family was added to the facade of the church.
On 22nd November 1746, the pastoral visit documented that “... the Church is in good condition, with the walls rebuilt in part and two new stucco altars.” Restorations were made in Baroque style, although the overall look remained loyal to the Tuscan tradition of simplicity and rigour.
These renovation works were motivated by the fact that the nearby Poppiano Estate became one of the preferred areas for wild boar hunting by the new Grand Dukes of Tuscany and, above all, by Leopold of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine from 1765 to 1790; according to chronicles, “together with his court, they stopped at the Poneta inn, where they could change horses and, above all, taste a good glass of red wine, a tradition that is still alive today thanks to the locally produced Chianti Wine.
In the following years, a persistent lack of parishioners made the whole complex undergo progressive degradation. In 1878, the cistern for water collection was built close to the barn.
A meritorious intervention made in 1929 eliminated all the 18th-century plastering, bringing to light the Romanesque walls in sandstone filaretto. This was the last intervention until 1986, when this church was finally annexed to the church of Sant’Andrea in Vico d'Elsa. Due to the historical importance and relevance of the building, the whole complex is subject to Law no. 1089 of 1939 which safeguards architectural goods and Historical buildings in Italy. The new owners, who acquired the property from the Florentine Curia in 1993, have restored the entire complex, bringing the old hamlet back to life and creating one of the most exclusive Coutry Houses in the area, a historical site in Tuscany accessible only to guests staying in the Country Holiday Apartments.