Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of local wine
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR209.09), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of local wine
Six, including four suites.
10.30am; check-in from 4pm to 8pm.
Double rooms from $240.93 (€209), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €1.00 per person per night on check-out.
Gardens and free WiFi. In rooms: organic Lorenzo Villoresi bath products.
Stake out Rosso Tramonto for inspiring views from its three windows. Alternatively, if you crave space, spread yourselves across Verde Intenso’s three rooms, each on a separate level, with an original stone staircase.
Wellington boots for Follonico farm life; Giambattista Basile’s Italian fairy tales, known as the Pentamerone; a shirt or dress in one of the hotel’s intense Crayola colours, such as aquamarine, rose or violet.
Dogs and cats are welcome here. Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Tuscany.
This boutique stay is for guests 14-and-older only.
With these views, you’ll be enjoying breakfast outside in summer; at a table by the patio windows in the breakfast room, come winter.
Be inspired by the suites’ shots of vivid colour and the beautiful frocks (hand-picked by owner Suzanne) that hang on the rails in rooms. Channel your inner prince and princess with a silk shirt or dreamy dress.
There’s no restaurant – all the more reason to explore the area’s bounty of dining options – but cooking classes can be arranged for a minimum six people (€75 for four courses and wine) and cold meals of meat, cheese and garden-grown veg are available between April and October. Breakfast is pretty special though; all the treats – cheese, meat, yoghurt, jam, fruit, and so on – are sourced within 15km of Follonico, and a selection of freshly baked breads are delivered daily from a bakery in Pienza.
There’s an honesty bar in the breakfst room, with beer and soft drinks, including a few local wines: Brunello di Montalcino, Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti
None, so raid the delis in Montefollonico and Montepulciano for supplies. (Panforte, cantucci and orange-infused riciarelli biscuits, or local cheeses and cured meats will whet your appetite.)
Perugia is the closest airport, a 65-minute drive from the hotel. Ryanair offers flights from Stansted; you can also fly in from Milan or Barcelona (Girona). Alternatively, fly into Florence, about an hour and a half away.
Torrita di Siena is 10 minutes away by car, connecting to Siena and Chiusa.
The hotel is 5km from Montepulciano and Montefollonico. There is plenty of free parking for guests.
Impress the folks back home by taking a cookery class (ask the owners to organise). Suzanne and Fabio are also more than happy to help arrange an impromptu picnic in the grounds, and will provide cutlery and crockery. The Val D’Orcia region contains the hill town of Montalcino (renowned for its Brunello wine) and Pienza, a World Heritage Cultural Landscape and impressively preserved Renaissance town. Montepulciano has won global acclaim for its wonderful red wines; Montefollonico is worth exploring for its mediaeval architecture. Siena is only 30–45 minutes away, and is famous for its art galleries, museums, restaurants, historic architecture, and palio (horse race) held on 2 July and 16 August.
La Chiusa, at 88 via della Madonnina, Montefollonico, is another picturesque Tuscan farmhouse, serving local specialities in its rustic restaurant. Try traditional dishes such as duck with wild fennel, potato pie, and marinated goose. (If you walk here from Follonico, you might have room for pannacotta. Might.) Sample home-made pasta at Osteria del Conte at 19 via di San Donato, Montepulciano. Pici – a sort of fat spaghetti – is the area’s most renowned variety; team your pici con ragu or tagliata con rosmarino with a glass of Rosso di Montepulciano. Ristorante 13 Gobbi at 5 via Lando has perfected pici in duck sauce. Food is the focus; decor and service are casual and frill-free. Osteria La Botte Piena at 12 piazza Dionisa Cinughi, Montefollonico, is popular for its pecorino-laden cuisine. Even the bruschette are impressive: toppings include truffled lardo, livers, pecorino with spicy pear jam, and pecorino with anchovies. You’ll be vying with the locals to eat here, so be sure to book.
It’s good to suffer hardships: they make rewards feel more deserved. If someone had uttered those words to me, as I sat in the hospital waiting room in Florence, I would have told them to rot in hell, in all the languages at my command. So, in one language.
Mrs Smith and I were on a run of bad luck. While running for a train, that morning, in oh-so-glamorous central Hackney, Mrs Smith had leapt down the stairs, knee-first. The cracking noise as she landed had made the station master turn pale. Only adrenalin carried Mrs Smith, limping, on to our flight, and by the time we’d landed, her leg had expanded to resemble a joint of prosciutto. She couldn’t walk. Of our two-day holiday, we spent most of the first day in L’Ospedale di Firenze, getting X-rays. In other news, I’d lost my wallet and my driving licence, but that didn’t matter that much, since there were no hire cars left anyway.
Like I said, it’s good to suffer hardships. Well, it’s good, as long as your reward is getting to spend time at Follonico: a beautifully restored 200-year-old farmhouse hidden away in a Tuscan valley with panoramic views of astonishing countryside. Hobbling out of our taxi, we were greeted by the warm welcome of Follonico’s lovely owners – Suzanne and Fabio.
They considerately offered us the ground-floor Alba Chiara suite – a delightful double room and bathroom separated by an adjoining gallery or loggia with stone floors and exposed beams. The suite is decorated sparely and elegantly, in keeping with all the rooms in the house. A vintage dress and hat hang beside an antique day-bed, there’s an ancient wooden chest for our belongings, and walls and surfaces are adorned with photos of the stars of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, a film we’d watched for the first time – and loved – just a few days before.
With Mrs Smith’s leg iced and propped up on two plump cushions, we relaxed into a stupendous night’s sleep. The bedlinen is apparently hand-woven by a family one village over, and the mattress and pillows were made not of feathers, nor foam, but of an unknown material that we were too busy peacefully sleeping on to bother accurately identifying. (Later, we’re told the mattress is a ‘spring-independent’ one, though we’re none the wiser.)
Pushing open our French windows in the morning, we saw Follonico in full daylight for the first time. In every direction were vineyards and olive groves dotted with bushy cypresses. The picturesque hilltop villages of Montefollonico and Montepulciano perched alluringly on the horizon.
Follonico, as Suzanne was careful to point out, is a home, not a hotel. There are just six guest rooms, and all visitors eat a simple breakfast together in the family dining room with Suzanne, Fabio and their three adorable children. There was wildlife everywhere. That morning, the family cat had brought in a tiny baby bunny rabbit. Several guests had brought their dogs with them, and the polite breakfast conversation was matched with the strange gurglings of the frogs in the pond just outside. It is also apparently not uncommon to see deer, wild boar and porcupines roaming freely.
After breakfast, as we contemplated our immobility, basking in the deck chairs on the terrace outside our room, we were approached by two thoughtful visitors from NYC who took pity on Mrs Smith and offered to take us on a day of adventure in their hire car.
We drove through hills so green and skies so blue that it brought to mind – for any person who has spent too long in front of their laptop – the Windows XP screen saver. When we stopped in Pienza, a sweet eighth-century town, groups of Italian teenagers took time out from snogging sessions to gawp at Mrs Smith’s ‘ham leg’. In Bagno Vignoni – a tiny spa town – the highlight of our exceptional lunch was a dish of warm figs, covered in thinly sliced lardo (that’s ham fat, in Italian) and drizzled in honey.
Getting lost a few times along the way was, as Suzanne correctly pointed out, a joy in itself. We ended the afternoon in the enchanting company of Katya, an expat Londoner who had settled in Tuscany to make wine: the prestigious Brunello di Montalcino. As she took us around her organic farm, San Polino, her passion and charm were enough to convince us each to buy several bottles of the 2006 vintage.
That evening, on Fabio’s recommendation, we ate at another Montefollonico establishment – Ristorante 13 Gobbi. In the middle of the restaurant was an immense, open-topped wheel of pecorino cheese with a glass dome suspended above it. Should you order the tagliatelle with pecorino (and you’d be foolish not to), the waiter brings out a serving of steaming home-made pasta and tosses it directly in the round of cheese before serving it to you. At the end of the night, the glass cloche is gently lowered. It was so simple yet so ingenious; much the same appeal at Follonico. There is flair and imagination everywhere, but nothing is overdone. It was perfect. Indeed, if you have any hardships that need rewarding – a paper cut, say, or a slightly delayed bus – then I wholeheartedly recommend you spend a curative stay in the care of Suzanne and Fabio.
Reviewed by Joe Dunthorne, writer
Follonico was just such a beautiful and tranquil place, we instantly felt completely stress free and relaxed when we arrived. It is surrounded by such incredible beauty, it was almost hard to believe. We took the room with the private hot tub and it was incredible. Sitting there with a glass of wine made from the farms own grapes, enjoying the bubbles and watching the sun go down – perfection. The highlight for us was the quality of everything, from the breakfast to the shower products to the bed linen. Everything had been carefully thought out to make the whole experience as perfect as possible. We saw some beautiful places during our 11 day honeymoon, but actually we both agreed we would have rather have spent the whole time here! We made great friends with the other guests at Follonico too, and Fabio and Suzanne were so lovely. We are planning how we can return ASAP. Prioritise Pienza, it is the most 'fun' of the villages and still beautiful. La Bandita serves a great lunch. Also drive out to Ristorante Redaelli Walter in Betolle - his is the best food we had in Tuscany, beautiful setting too. Oh and don't forget, Tuscany has amazing local beers as well as incredible wines!
This is not an activity holiday. Ok you can go and see some wineries or do a bike ride or something but you should go here to relax and unwind. I would also say don't expect Tuscany to be cheap, it isn't. But the food and drink that you get for your money are literally some of the best that this world can offer. Expect 'artigianale', don't expect Disneyland or the Four Seasons.
We enjoyed the peace and tranquility of Follonico over three nights. The rustic feel of the farm house was very charming as well as relaxing. We enjoyed exploring Montepulciano and Montefollonico, including a walk back to Follonico down the hill through woods and fields. The breakfasts were great, with different homemade goods each day and extremely generous sizes! Local reccomendations: wine tasting in Montepulciano. La Botta Piena restaurant in Montefollonico. The historic cafe with great views in Montepulciano. The view from the tower of the Palace in Montepulciano (ticket needed to climb it).
To be able to walk to a nearby restaurant or bar.
The hospitality, the scenery and the quiet.
Wild nights, staying up late.
Follonico is not just a special place, it is somewhere you will always remember. Upon arriving, driving down the winding roads...most likely getting lost along the way, you know that you have escaped to one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas in the Tuscan countryside and you can't wait to get lost. Behind each corner will be rolling olive groves and butterflies chasing each other followed by the waddling house geese. The simple life essence of Follonico means you have to learn to just relax, breath and absorb every bit of what is around you because it is not often you experience the simple luxury of farm life. Best bits: room interiors, nature and farm friends, views across Montepulcino, and the food and wine. P.S. Make sure you buy some of the homemade Follonico oil, it is some of the best we have ever had! Local recommendations: 13 Gobbi – make sure you have the pecorino pasta. Podere Il Casale, a 20 minute drive away. This is a campsite farm with a restaurant. The views are insane and food is wonderful. Make sure you go in time to watch the sunset. It's a very special place.
A swimming pool. Destinations within walking distance, make sure you have a car!
This is an intentional, soulful BB that has huge doses of rustic charm and character without trying too hard. From the moment you pull in the gravel driveway and see sheets on the line, sheep grazing on the grass, and Fabio or Suzanne waving to you, you feel warmly welcomed and at ease. We stayed in White Essential 1, a small cottage-like room with a personal patio that gazed across the Tuscan hills...our jaws dropped at the idyllic view. Breakfast was perfection - hot coffee, warm baguette, and freshly made treats like plum cake, bruschetta with tomatoes grown in the garden, and fried eggs from their own chickens, made to order. We lounged both mornings for two hours at the table, chatting with other guests, who were absolutely lovely. The two days we spent at Follonico were serene, and perfect for a stop along our honeymoon. We'll absolutely be back again, and have already recommended it to many friends. Each village that is nearby has its own signature personality! We received phenomenal recommendations from Fabio and Suzanne, and loved every meal. Here's our breakdown of each: Montepulciano - be sure to buy wine here, and peek into the high-end Italian shops (my fiance was drooling over the gorgeous leather shoes) Montecchielo: One of the best meals we had in all 12 days in Italy was at Osteria La Porta, located right at the gate of this town - the owner, Daria, personally took orders and every single bite was locally sourced and both simple and complex in its flavors...don't just order a pasta, go for the full Italian style with primi piatti, secondi piatti, and dessert, and be sure to ask Daria (a certified sommelier) for a wine recommendation! Also in this town is a charming linen shop owned by a former Italian ambassador to Vietnam, as well as a small art gallery where mother-son artists paint gorgeous watercolors of the Tuscan scenery on canvas and sell them at quite reasonable prices. Pienza - If you eat at only one spot in all of your time here, go to La Bandita Townhouse. It is true Italian food in a modern setting and with an absolute expert hand (watch it yourself, it's an open kitchen) - we loved that they were almost giddy over the arrival of the first white truffles of the season, and they ceremoniously brought them over in a basket and let us experience the scent...so of course we ordered the white truffle pasta, and it tasted like gold. Again, opt for the full Italian dinner - antipasti, primi piatti, secondi piatti, and dolce. For a fine-dining feel, the prices were also quite reasonable!
The word rustic is meant as a compliment here, as I think it takes a certain person to fall head over heels with the character of Follonico...there may be the occasional bees buzzing around you on the patio, and remember that you are in the Tuscan countryside, on a family's small farm, so the occasional rustle in the leaves outside your room is expected, and probably one of the chickens or the family dog.
The scenery and small towns. Recommend a restaurant in the nearby town, very close drive - La Botte Piana Piazza Dionisia Cinughi, 12, 53049 Montefollonico SI, Italy
You'll need to drive to restaurants nearby for lunch and dinner