B&B Fagiolari is a bed & breakfast in an 800 year-old, beautifully restored country house, located in Panzano in Chianti, a small town perched on a hilltop halfway between Florence and Siena. Travel down a simple—and a little bumpy—country lane, through forest, olive groves and vineyards, and you’ll find Fagiolari and a warm welcome from its owner, Giulietta.
As the old stone house comes into view, framed by towering cypress and expansive vistas, its beautiful, unpretentious warmth radiates fairy tale romance. In the fall, a curl of smoke may be rising from the chimney, mingling with air that smells fresh and crisp. The colors of autumn are just beginning to make their show, and the days, while yet warm, slide softly into cool, clear nights. Opening the heavy wood door to enter into the common living room, a wonderful feeling of comfortable contentment envelops you, as if entering your own home or that of a close friend or family. That's just what owner, hostess and chef Giulietta intends.
As travel maven Karen Brown writes: "We look all over for bed and breakfasts that radiate a natural charm like that of Fagiolari, just outside Panzano. Cordial hostess Giulietta has seemingly unintentionally created a haven for travelers just by letting her home be a home. The unique stone farmhouse on three levels is brimming with character and has been restored with total respect for its innate simplicity using stone, terracotta brick, and chestnut-wood beams."
The bedrooms are spacious and well appointed with antiques, books, artwork and comfortable furnishings. The common areas are cozy and offer opportunities for lounging by the open fire, preparing a dinner of fresh ingredients purchased at the local market, or finding a few spare minutes to make use of the Wifi (if you can't bear to go unplugged). Breakfasts are a hearty buffet with fresh bread and produce, yogurt, baked goods, juice and coffee. And lunches - well, students in our 2010 class raved that lunches were their favorite time of day, thanks to Giulietta's amazing culinary skills.
An optional cooking class is highly recommended. We've taken the class and can say it's loads of fun. Giulietta is well known in Chianti for her cooking and hospitality, and is delighted to share her many recipes and techniques for preparing a variety of Tuscan meals. Guests from all over Chianti come to Fagiolari to enjoy an unforgettable experience. Classes last between 2 and 2-1/2 hours, and each student gets an apron and a recipe book. After preparing the meal, the class gathers round the table to enjoy it (With plenty of Giulietta’s own Chianti, from grapes grown and crushed right at Fagiolari).
Fagiolari is located deep in the heart of Tuscany, and Panzano is near many other small villages and towns such as Volpaia, Lamole, Greve, Radda and Castellina. Day trips to Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano and Florence can easily be made from Fagiolari. As part of the class experience, we'll be sharing our favorite little hideaways, stories and people with you, for a richer and more intimate connection to Tuscany.