Set in an idyllic Italian countryside Il Fontanaro is a perfect escape under the Tuscan sun.
On a border between Umbria and Tuscany there lies a small village of Paciano. However, the real charm of this village doesn’t lie in a charming medieval town with cobbled stone streets, but in Il Fontanaro – Organic farm, villas and culinary school.
The main Fontanaro farm estate was established already in 1893 and now offers luxury villas for rent in five different locations, scattered around Paciano, Umbria. The perfect location which is just on the border between Tuscany and Umbria allows you to reach Rome in 2 hours, Siena in 1 hour, or some spectacular medieval hilltop towns such as Montepulciano or Orvieto in less than an hour. The area of rolling hills offers plenty of different activities and here you can find everything from olive oil tasting, cooking school, wine tasting excursions, or exploring nearby medieval towns and villages, the options are endless. But here, it is mainly all about the Country Slow Living, as they call it. Having a glass of wine (or a whole bottle) while watching the sun set, treating yourself to some delicious food, lounging by the pool, – simply enjoying the Italian Dolce Vita in a scenic location.
12 villas are nestled among rolling hills of Tuscany, surrounded by vineyards, olive tree groves and are offering stunning views all around Italian countryside. The villas are renovated into modern homes with a vintage inspired interior design, but with all the amenities one might need. There is a kitchen, separate living area, bedroom and bathroom. The kitchen is fully equipped with things such as salt, coffee, tea, etc. and for me one of the best things was that once we arrived other homemade goodies were waiting for us – fresh fruit and vegetables from their garden, their olive oil and wine, and homemade jam, not to mention our fridge which was fully stocked with organic goodies. For me this was definitely a highlight. You don’t need to worry about bringing everything with you, as most of the things are already waiting for you there. You will also find organic shower gels and shampoos, plenty of books where you can find everything from romantic novels to travel guides to inspire your next travel destination.
Outdoor area of the villa is surrounded with lots of green space and features a grill and seating area to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening and of course, an infinity pool! Each villa has its own salty infinity pool which are large enough for a whole family to enjoy their time there. Villas range in size and you can choose between 1-bedroom villa up to 5-bedroom villa which can accommodate up to 12 people.
Why not learn something new and join the cooking class? Here you can learn how to make homemade pasta, pizza, lasagna, tortellini, ragu, or something sweet like tiramisu. All the food used for cooking is either home grown in their own garden or is organic from local farmers. Il Fontanaro places a huge emphasis on eating healthy, quality and locally produced food and their immense care for the environment and healthy living shows in their lifestyle, as the whole property is eco-friendly and self sufficient, as it is powered on solar panels. You can read more about our cooking class experience in a post here.
Olive oil mill
One thing that you simply must do is an olive oil tasting. We tried their prize-winning Olio della Pace (Olive oil of peace) and learned the health benefits of it, as well as how to distinguish a quality olive oil from non-quality one. Their 100% organic olive oil received many awards and was rated as one of the best among Italian olive oils. Every year at the end of October they harvest the olives which are pressed within few hours. They also have other cool projects like adopt your own olive tree. To learn more about the best Italian olive oil click here.
For all the wine lovers out there Il Fontanaro also features a wine cellar with an extensive collection of wine from all around the world.
Il Fontanaro is a go-to place if you need some time to unwind and relax. The location, the food and wine, and, of course, the views are simply spectacular.
Another aspect that made our stay so great was not only the place (although staying in a villa sure helps), but it’s about the people. Especially the people who make you feel so welcomed and treat you like a family. Staying at Fontanaro is definitely a unique experience which I highly recommend to anyone. I can go even as far to say it is a must! I am sure just after one visit you’ll be wanting to come back. We are already planning to spend our next vacations here. 😊
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