Follonico 4-Suite B&B
What We Love
- The Jetsetter rate includes daily continental breakfast, free water and soft drinks, and a preprogrammed GPS device
- Gorgeous countryside views at every turn
- Tons of original features and quirky furniture
- An intimate retreat in an off-the-grid location in southern Tuscany
What To Know
- No restaurant, but there's an honesty bar and light dinners are available on request
- Breakfast can be taken on your private terrace (on request)
- Pets are welcome
- Free WiFi and parking
- Late check in (4 to 8pm) is permitted if previously agreed
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In southern Tuscany, a 50-minute drive from Siena, the Follonico is an intimate retreat housed in a ninth-century farmhouse, a labor of love for owners Suzanne Simons and Fabio Firli, who spent two years searching for the perfect (derelict) property and a further three years renovating it. The six rooms are individually styled and combine traditional Tuscan decor (beam ceilings, terra-cotta floors) and eccentric furnishings including antique doors, vintage toys and ancient typewriters. Mod cons include free WiFi, iPod docking stations, large rainfall showers and Italian Ortigia toiletries, and the White Essential Rooms feature a private 215-square-foot terrace. The breakfast/brunch spread is an impressive array of local produce grown within 10 miles of the property, and it can be taken on your terrace (when requested in advance). There’s no restaurant or pool, but the owners are passionate about the area and can arrange food and wine tastings with artisanal producers and make reservations at under-the-radar restaurants in the region.
In the Area
The property is less than a 10-minute drive from the hilltop town Montepulciano and a 40-minute drive from Montalcino, both known for producing some of the region’s best wines. The picturesque town of Pienza is within easy reach and worth exploring for its grand church, tiny coffee bars and artisanal and specialty food shops. Sienna is less than an hour away. The stunning 14th-century Palazzo Chigi hosts classical concerts year-round, and theater fans should make a beeline for the unfeasibly elegant Teatro dei Rinnovati. For a hipper haunt, hotfoot it around the corner to Bar Cacio e Pere for live music and a local crowd.
How to Get There
Highway of ratings to this stay. It was gorgeous, relaxing and incredibly charming and delightful. The homemade meals, extra touches and friendliness made it worth every single penny. So much so that I got engaged here!!! We will absolutely be returning!
This small hotel is a hidden gem and one that we were delighted to find. Renovated with love and style, this rural farmhouse provides the perfect location to recharge your batteries. From the most delicious breakfasts, to advice about places to visit, nothing was too much trouble for Fabio and Suzanne who both work incredibly hard to provide their guests with a wonderful experience. The view of the Tuscan countryside from the infinity pool is simply breathtaking. We would definitely return.
When you return home from your Italy trip and are STILL thinking about this place three weeks later, that's when you know it was THAT incredible!!
We are SO lucky to have found out about Follonico when researching Tuscany online. I knew that we wanted to explore the Val D'Orcia (southern Tuscany) area as it is considered even more beautiful and just a bit of a farther drive down from Florence. Plus, we prefer the full body Brunello/Sangiovese wine in this area as opposed to the Chianti region. I stumbled upon Follonico's website and, after scrolling through the photos and then checking out the social media, I knew it was the perfect place. As someone who works in digital marketing, I was extremely impressed by the website -- all the professional photos (taken by Suzanne) and detailed information was very helpful. And the Instagram photos were so personalized and truly tell their authentic story -- but it's even better in person! We also decided to book directly on their website (it was the best offer). I started emailing with Fabio right away because we were interested in booking the cooking class as well as onsite massages. He was extremely responsive and took care of everything.
The drive down from Florence was super easy and scenic. We even stopped at the beautiful little town of San Gimignano for lunch. Google maps was extremely accurate and brought us to the right location. If you're not from Italy/Europe and don't want to use up your data on navigation, the trick is to download the offline version of the map region over WiFi and then you can use it without data. And once you are a few miles out and turn onto a dirt road, definitely drive carefully and don't go too fast because the road is quite bumpy. Also drive slow once you enter the private drive (you'll see the Follonico sign) because the dogs like to greet you right away! We arrived around 4pm so there was still plenty of light and we were just in awe of our surroundings. Follonico is truly a luxury, rustic farmhouse with the most picturesque landscape and unique decor! We were greeted right away and shown to our lovely suite (Verde Intenso) which was on the second floor of the main house. The suite was very spacious especially since we had a lot of luggage (three pieces each). The bed and the sheets were comfortable, the bathroom was well appointed with great water pressure in the shower, and it was convenient having a minifridge with fresh water and juice. The suite was very clean and there was daily housekeeping with plenty of new towels and bathrobes. The windows offered a lot of light and it was nice to have the shutters fully close so we could sleep in with a completely dark room.
The cooking class with Fabio was absolutely the best experience and I highly recommend it to everyone! We made so many delicious courses and drank the amazing Follonico wine -- by the end of the night, my husband had to roll me into bed! We made gnocchi, pasta with red ragu meat sauce, bistecca with potatoes and vegetables, panna cotta with strawberries, and even artichoke carpaccio which we picked straight from the trees in the garden! There are also so many delicious treats that they make at the farm (or grow the ingredients for): wine, olive oil, and honey. We sampled them all and took more home with us to enjoy. There is also a pizza oven onsite which they sometimes operate depending on interest from all of the guests. Hopefully we will be able to experience that next time!
The mornings were just glorious -- truly so peaceful. Imagine waking up to sunshine streaming through your windows, birds singing, and then walking down to a delicious homemade breakfast with fresh juice and coffee. Everything is made straight from the garden, different recipes every day, and Fabio bakes fresh bread daily! My husband also has a severe nut allergy and Fabio was very careful in the kitchen to make specific dishes for him with nut-free ingredients. He loved the special attention! We also enjoyed many wonderful conversations with the multinational guests during meals. Since there are only six rooms/suites, it is an intimate communal dining experience, both indoors and at the outside picnic tables with the stunning views. The saltwater infinity pool was such a treat during the days with the warmer temperatures. It's brand new and the chairs are very comfortable to relax in, with plenty of shade under the pergola. It's perfect for a photoshoot too if that's your thing! Oh and the massages were lovely -- very relaxing and aromatic. Francesca, the masseuse, was professional and set up the table right in our suite's living room area after the breakfast. My husband went first while I relaxed by the pool and then we switched.
Walking around the property is so magical with the flowers blooming everywhere, vines growing along the farmhouse stones, charming details (like the wall of colorful pots and pans!), and gorgeous 360 degree views. And the air is SO fresh!! You can easily marvel at every corner and photograph it, too! The sunset is spectacular, so just grab a bottle of wine and enjoy! We loved interacting with the animals every day -- their dogs Charlie and Brees are so sweet (we definitely missed our little pup at home!) and then there's Lily the horse, a donkey, a cat, sheep, chickens, bunnies, swans, geese, frogs, and probably more! But it doesn't feel like a "big farm" with animals running around, instead it's very serene and the animals are absolutely a bonus. Fabio and Suzanne also gave great recommendations for local restaurants and helped us plan some of our day trip around the area to see local sights and small, medieval towns like Montepulciano. Follonico was the highlight of our trip hands down -- our most favorite location and best accommodations (and we stayed at 4 & 5 star hotels in each Italian city). I hope you have made your decision and are clicking "book" right now -- you won't regret it!
Thank you for the memories and your incredible hospitality, Fabio, Suzanne, your amazing family (children and pets!) and team! We will certainly be back in the future!
Grazie mille!! Dank u wel!!