“A handsome Tuscan farmhouse in the heart of hilltown country, offering very exclusive B&B”
There are 6 bedrooms, 3 on the first floor of the main farmhouse and 3 in an adjacent ex-stable block. All are decorated in simple but tasteful rustic style - terracotta floor tiles, dark wooden beams, coloured fabrics and drapes reflecting the name of the room. Wide, comfortable beds have monogrammed linen sheets and a choice of foam or feather pillows; bathrooms have jacuzzi tubs or hydromassage shower units. The elevation (500m) and thick walls keep them cool, and there's air-con as well, if you need it.
The 3 farmhouse rooms are reached by a marble staircase leading up from the reception areas. The two larger rooms classify as suites, and cost a little more.
Pride of place goes to Pienza, a cream-coloured suite with sloping beams, curtained four-poster and double aspect windows over the garden, making it come alive in the afternoon sun. In a separate alcove is a rather plasticky, programmable jacuzzi tub which speaks to you in an automated voice as it goes about its business. The bathroom has twin basins, abundant toiletries and a stained glass window casting red patterns on the wall.
Across the landing is the other suite, Il Bosco, painted in pale lilac, with green drapes suggesting the woods of its name. It boasts a separate shower and morning sunlight, but otherwise it is similar to Pienza. The only drawback with the suites is some noise when there are people in the reception area below - but it’s empty for most of the day. The small third room, Montefollonico, is tucked in the back, with just one window and a curtained-off jacuzzi tub.
The 3 stable rooms are quieter, and have French windows opening onto pretty private lawns with wicker chairs and sunset views towards Pienza. Bathrooms have circular shower booths with steam jets. Cerro is a corner room with cream walls and intricate ferra battuta bedsteads. On the other corner is Girasole, painted a bold orange with translucent drapes adding to the effect, while pale green Uliveto snuggles in between.
A slap-up buffet breakfast is laid out in the old limonaia, where citrus trees used to be stored in winter, and whose glassed-in arches make a bright and panoramic sunroom. In warm weather it’s served under the shady pergola outside. Giulio himself prepares the colourful spread of fresh fruit, still-warm cakes and fruit pies, delicate slivers of Parma ham and melon, local pecorino cheeses, cereals, yoghurts, a trio of organic sugar-free jams, croissants, cantuccini biscuits, freshly-squeezed juices and various teas - not to mention smooth cappucinos from the retro machine in the corner. Best of all, the buffet is available until 11.30am, which means you can probably last until dinnertime!
However, if you do get peckish, the staff can usually rustle up a light lunch of sandwiches or parma ham and melon, cheese & fruit etc; or a platter of hams, cheeses, tomatoes, bruschetta and own-label wine if you are arriving late in the evening.
For dinner, there are restaurants for all tastes and budgets in nearby Montepulciano (3km) and Pienza (11km). Top tips in Montepulciano include La Grotta, for outstanding tasting menus and very attentive service; and Le Logge del Vignola, where you can be sure of good wines, as the owner is a sommelier. In Pienza try I Rossellino - very select, with just 5 tables and prices to match; or the cheaper Trattoria Latte di Luna.