Il Fienile

  • Location: Countryside
    Montevarchi for shops and restaurants: 7km (10 mins by car)
    Casia Vetus, the best ice cream in Italy: 7km (8 mins by car)
    Chianti and its wineries: 5- 20km (10-40 mins by car)
    Rose garden Fineschi: 4 km (6 mins by car)
  • Florence Airport (FLR): 70km (1h by car)
    Pisa Airport (PSA): 130km (1h 30 mins by car)
    Car recommended
    Free parking
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An introduction to Il Fienile

How would you describe Il Fienile in a nutshell?

Il Fienile is a one-bedroom Bed & Breakfast in San Giovanni in Tuscany. The two owners and three cats will be the only other people on the property, allowing you to breathe and relax in an idyllic house in nature. Particularly enticing are the floors, as they are made of patterned Graniglia tiles. It’s a cosy retreat with a long outdoor swimming pool and a delicious organic breakfast.

What was your inspiration to rent it out a room as a Bed and Breakfast?

We bought the barn in 2002 and renovated it without much altering the openness of the existing loft-like structure. My background is in architecture and the arts even though I now work in fashion design. My daughter, who was involved in developing the designs for the house, is also an architect.

With our kids all grown, we thought why not share it with like-minded people as we have put a lot of love and effort into it.

How would you describe the style of the house?

Someone mentioned that it is like ‘new Tuscan’, but it’s not quite like that. On the outside, it is a rustic 14th century stone barn, so we decided to have the swimming pool designed to seem like an animal’s drinking fountain, like it’s always been there. Apart from that it is high tech in every other way with the machinery all well hidden away.

Approaching the house, you come out of the woods into a clearing on top of the hill with lovely views over rolling hills with the Pratomagno mountains far away on the horizon..

It is a constant challenge to make the woods morph into the garden without taking it over. We let the garden flow into the house through huge openings in the massive stone walls, merging the outside with the comfort and protection of the traditionally built refuge, cool and airy in the summer, warm and cosy in the colder months.

And the interior is more modern?

The best thing about the house are the floor tiles. They are traditional, hand-made Graniglia tiles, and there are 2500 of them. You can normally find them in houses built until the 1950s. Each square is different and they were originally used as decorative borders. We bought the whole lot not quite knowing what was hidden under the first layer of the pile! The floor pattern was laid outside first, and then the tiles were brought in meticulously one by one to a total bemusement of the local tiler. The floor often features in interior design magazines as it is truly one of a kind.

Fienile’s furniture is a mixture from the 40s, 50s, 60s, and the end of last century as well as some memorabilia we have brought from our trips.

What is so special about the house to you?

I’m not sure how to describe it, but when I arrive here every day after work, it’s like going on holiday. Just so special. Come and share this oasis with me and my three cats.

We’re very close to all the facilities, an eight minute drive from the train station and local shops, and 10 mins from the motorway. But it feels really secluded. There’s no traffic. We have neighbours, so it’s not totally isolated, but it’s private. But then if you need some retail therapy, we’re only 10 mins from the Prada outlet.

Is there anything you just have to do that’s not so obvious in this part of Italy?

There’s a beautiful museum of 19th and 20th century sculpture in Montevarchi. It’s quite a gem. There’s also the studio of famous Swiss ceramicist, Christiane Perrochon nearby. It’s a lovely place to go visit and buy her exquisite collectable pieces.

You can go for walks in the hills which served as the background to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, pop into the biggest rosary garden in Europe (Rosario Fineschi) which was created by a rose-loving surgeon over a 40-year period and now extends over more than eight acres just few minutes away from us.

And for sweet-tooth gelato connoisseurs, there’s an exceptional ice cream parlour (Cassia Vetus) in the next small town across the Arno river. It has been in the number one position in a lot of (sweet) opinion polls in Italy. There’s a story behind all of the flavours. From intense Bronte pistachios to local chestnuts, basil and olive oil, everything is churned into most delicious and palate-challenging flavour combinations.

That’s another wonderful thing about this region, people do care about what they eat, where and how far the produce comes from as well as using the ingredients according to the seasons.

We follow this at Il Fienile by serving a breakfast which is naturally and seasonally grown within 20 km of our home, if not directly from our garden and the veg patch!

Il Fienile
Il Fienile interior
The Guest Room
Guest en-suite bathoom
Guest Bathroom
Inside views
Breakfast indoor area
Breakfast outdoor area
Gardens and pool
Pool area
Garden views

Il Fienile rooms & rates

Il Fienile is a 14th century stone construction and was part of a huge estate which stretched from Florence to Arezzo. Back then the barn was used for storing straw and housing animals. After renovating it extensively 16 years ago, we now rent out just one bedroom as a B&B.

  • Il Fienile for 2 people / 16 m²
    175 / night
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room (ensuite)
    • 1 Other rooms
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)
Included in the rates
Rates include local produce/organic breakfast.
Children & Extra beds
Adults only. There is no space for extra beds but we can provide a baby cot on request for babies up to 2 years old.
Minimum stay
2 nights
Check in time
after 14:00
Check out time
before 11:00

Facilities & services

  • Swimming pool
  • WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Concierge service
  • Garden
  • Washing machine
  • Not suitable for children
  • Central heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Hair dryer

It’s a bed and breakfast with just one room which suits two adults. There isn’t really a place for children, although, we could put a traveling cot in there. The guest room has its own entrance and bathroom, a view of the garden and direct access to it. For breakfast, we serve all local, organic produce including our hen’s eggs. We have a local place where we do all our shopping. It offers local produce from nearby farmers. Nothing comes from further than 20 kilometres away. For dinner, guests can go to the nearby restaurants. There are great places to eat around here, everything from typical Tuscan trattorias, to slow food places run by enthusiast foodies and gourmet 5 star restaurants.

Things to do in Tuscany & San Giovanni Valdarno

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Wine tastings
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing

There is amazing horseback riding on top of the hills. You can also go for really, really long walks in the hills with long views over the rolling Tuscan hills where you can even see Siena on the horizon. Rosary Fineschi is here, which is the world’s largest collection of roses, and there is shopping, museums, golfing, wine tasting, all the usual Tuscan stuff. And it’s a great base for going to Florence.

There are loads of local food and antique markets. We have an antique market every fourth Sunday of the month. I have found amazing pieces there. Just recently we bought ceramics by a Florentine artist whose work is in museums in Vienna, New York and London.

The museum of 19th and 20th century sculpture in Montevarchi which has been beautifully refurbished, showcases local but internationally renowned sculptures. The studio of famous Swiss ceramicist, Christiane Perrochon nearby is a lovely place to visit and buy her exquisite, collectable pieces.

Culture and shopping accomplished, you can go for walks in the hills which served as the backdrop of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. You just can't escape art references here...

And food of course... the the best ice cream in Italy is conveniently located only 7 kilometres from us. Cassai Vetus in Loro Ciuffena repeatedly reaches number one in ice cream opinion polls. There’s a story behind all of the flavours. My favourite has to be liquorice, and I don’t even really like the flavour in general, but the way they make the ice cream with it makes it irresistible.

That’s what’s so wonderful about this region, everything is local and the markets here only offer what’s in season, so you experience the different times of the year much more then anywhere else.

Il Fienile reviews

5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
Il Fienile is simply idyllic. We loved every aspect of our stay there. Wonderful location, surrounded by lovely villages and great vineyards. What we loved about where the villa was situated is you can easily visit Tuscany’s hot spots but you can also escape the rush and come across local towns where you get the real Italian experience (no other tourists). The property and the gardens are stunning, views for miles, unique interior design and a swimming pool to die for. The bedroom and private bathroom have a private entrance and terrace overlooking the gardens, meaning you still get privacy but with a home away from home feel. The hosts, Gabriela and Jean-Jacques, could not have done more for us from exquisite breakfasts to recommendations of where and what to eat. They really wanted us to have the best experience in the area. We were really blown away by their hospitality, and will most definitely return.
Sophie M.
stayed at Il Fienile in June 2018
5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
We enjoyed both of our stays - our stay with Gabriela at Il Fienile and our stay with Patrick at Le Tre Stanze. I think we will probably return to both at some point in the future. Il Fienile was just as pleasant - Gabriela was a great host who gave us the most incredible breakfast. The room was comfortable, the house beautiful. We wish we could've spent more time at the house instead of having to follow all our commitments!
Cristina R.
stayed at Il Fienile in September 2017
5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
Very good! The day started with a lovely breakfast. It is a very calm place, perfect to relax on the pool and read a book. We also got some nice recommendations for dinner. Gabriela was a very nice host!
Ulrike M. (Germany)
stayed at Il Fienile in August 2017
5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
We had a wonderful stay at Il Fienile! I think I'd have to rate it 10 - really can't think of anything we weren't really satisfied with.
Marie-Louise
stayed at Il Fienile in July 2014
5 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
Wonderful stay! We had two wonderful days with Gabriela! She is really hospitable and we”d love to come back sometime! So I say: 10 out of 10!! We are looking forward to our next trip...:)
Sandra B.
stayed at Il Fienile in June 2014

The location of Il Fienile

We are in the middle between Florence, Arezzo, and Siena. There are not so many tourists here and you feel more a part of the community then in many other parts of Tuscany.

This part of Tuscany called Valdarno as we are in the verdant valley of the Arno river. The mountains of Pratomagno fringe the horizon to the east and the hills roll into Chianti toward Siena to the west .

And, of course, I really love Arezzo. The only other place I’d rather be is on the seaside...and sometimes we just drive to our favourite spot just south of Livorno, the rock pools of the Cala Furia shore.

When is the best time to visit Tuscany?

It depends, but last year, from April all the way through the end of November we had wonderful weather. It can snow in the winter, but it’s mild and very beautiful when it snows here.