Fontelunga Villas

Foiano della Chiana, Tuscany, Italy Book from

Two ultra stylish serviced villas (sleeping 2-4) in Tuscany’s wildly beautiful Scannagallo Valley
A dirt track winds through olive groves, around fields of corn and sunflowers, to a pair of hideaway villas in ravishing countryside. They were ruined barns, mere rubble, when the Anglo-Italian owners of Villa Fontelunga took them on. One of them, Philip Robinson, is an architect and he has redesigned them in a stunning modern-rustic style – a case of traditional Tuscan farmhouse with drama, geometry and at least one foot in the 21st century. They added pretty gardens, a sleek pool with sun terraces and a mix of classic and contemporary furniture. The result is luxury self-catering with hotel standards, and first-class service.

There are two villas - one ideal for honeymooners, the other perfect for a family with (not too rowdy) children, both set around a lavender-fringed pool. Open-plan split-level interiors show off white-washed beams, exposed brickwork, sunlight pouring onto pale ceramic floors through generous bands of glass. Each air-conditioned bedroom has an en suite bathroom; nearly every window frames a green view of the valley. Kitchens are well-equipped, but with chefs and shoppers available to order, you can do as much or as little as you please.

Highs

  • We loved the clean, contemporary feel and the light interiors - a refreshing change from so many traditional, dark Tuscan villas
  • A great location – out of the way but close to village life and perfectly placed for touring Tuscany and Umbria
  • The staff at Villa Fontelunga (the mother ship) is on hand to deal with problems, help with excursions, book restaurants or arrange extra services (laundry, ironing, shopping, cooking)
  • Maid service every morning (most Italian villas are once a week)

Lows

  • The two villas share a pool - not ideal for the honeymoon couples that tend to be attracted to the intimate one-bedroom Villa Galletto - but each has its own terrace and private garden
  • This standard of accommodation doesn’t come cheap – take a deep breath before booking

Best time to go

Tuscany is a joy for much of the year, though it can be very hot in the summer, as well as busy and expensive. May is a lovely time to come, as is September, when sunny weather is still (almost) guaranteed, but you avoid the soaring temperatures.

Our top tips

When enquiring, ask who has booked the other house - you won't want your honeymoon disturbed by rowdy kids (or vice versa). Or book both together for a perfect extended-family break.

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Villas
  • 2 villas for 2-4
  • Self-catering (chef available)
  • All ages welcome.
  • Closed: 10 Jan 2016 - 19 Feb 2016...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
  • Tennis Court
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

There are 2 villas: Gallo (sleeps 4 in 2 double/twin bedrooms) and Galletto (sleeps 2 in one double bedroom). They both back onto a gorgeous lavender garden and swimming pool, which is shared between all guests; but soaring brick walls and a clever internal layout mean that each house seems to face away from the other, with views towards rolling hills and fields. Each has its own entrance and car-parking space, and its own sunny lawned garden (we thought Galletto's was the prettier and more private of the two).

All bedrooms are air-conditioned and furnished with a mix of cool classics and traditional Italian – upholstered headboards in pale colours, diaphonous white muslin, Arne Jacobsen Ant chairs. And we love the pebble mosaics in the luxurious ensuite bathrooms.

There are fireplaces in the living rooms, for cosying up on cool spring nights. You get TV/DVD, internet access and a daily maid service. Kitchens are clean and white, with terracotta worktops and space for indoor dining if you need it.

Gallo is perfect for families, having two double bedrooms (both can be made up as twins), each with air-conditioning, personal stereo systems and ensuite bathroom. It's split over two levels, the lower part enjoying sliding full-height French windows for airy poolside living. Galletto is a scaled down version, with just one double bedroom, an ensuite bathroom with a sunken bath, a kitchen and lounge-diner. The latter has a glazed aspect which opens onto the pool terrace, but the rest of the accommodation faces a private garden and is cleverly hidden behind a wall, so honeymooners and loved-up couples can feel suitably ensconced.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

Each villa is provided with a welcome hamper – basic provisions but enough to make a meal (pasta, pasta sauce, wine, tea, coffee, bread, cheese etc). For keen self-caterers there are simple shops in Pozzo (3 minutes by car), and supermarkets and a Monday fruit/veg market in Foiano (5 minutes by car). Each villa has the option of dining poolside or on its outdoor dining deck; the kitchens are smart and bright, and equipped with dishwasher, washing machine, coffee machine etc. But you don’t have to lift a finger: the “concierge villa” concept provides the option of hiring a resident cook just for one night, or for the entire holiday; or, twice a week, you can amble down to the sister hotel for dinner.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Oven
  • Shopping service
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Welcome hamper
Eating: Gallo
Activity: Gallo

Activities

  • This is a blissful spot to do very little: a morning exploring one of the nearby hilltowns, a pasta lunch and perhaps a winery tour, then a lazy afternoon around the pool and lawned gardens...
  • Our favourite hilltowns include nearby Cortona (25km), an art-rich medieval town spilling down a hillside above the Val di Chiana; and the gorgeous duo of Montepulciano and Pienza (25-30km), the former home to Vino Nobile, the latter an immaculate homage to the locally-born 15th-century Pope, Pius II Piccolomini
  • More energetic types can borrow the mountain bikes or tennis court at the sister hotel, or ask about horse-riding at the Farneta stables
  • Lake Trasimeno is just 30km away, with Renaissance churches and medieval castles, boat-trips to Maggiore and Polvese islands, and sailing centres at Passignano and Castiglione
  • A little further are Siena (50km), Italy’s best-preserved medieval city, with its black-and-white marble duomo and buzzing Piazza del Campo; Perugia (60km), a bustling city with stylish shops and jazz concerts (and home of those irresistible little Bacci chocolates); and Florence (100km along the A1), with its huge duomo, world-famous Uffizi and statue-laden piazzas
  • Staff can also direct you to cut-price designer outlets near Montevarchi, book an 18-hole golf course near Siena, or book a masseur or yoga instructor in the unlikely event that you need help relaxing!

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Tennis
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are welcome, and the larger villa is perfect for a family of 4. Babysitting can be arranged and you can squeeze a fold-up bed in either house (to make 3 / 5 people respectively). And with tennis and swimming pools at the main hotel, plus a choice of catered or self-catered dining, it's an indulgent family option.

Most children aren't as captivated by Tuscany's charming vineyards and art galleries as their parents, so do a little research before you go. Florence has 3 museums especially for children 8+ (all with a playroom for those 3-7): Palazzo Vecchio, Museo di Storia della Scianza and Museo Stibbert. Climbing bell towers in towns like Siena is a good way to entertain and tire them out at the same time.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Gallo is perfect for a family of 4 - though you should be prepared to share the pool with the occupants of Galletto (unless you book both)

Babysitting:

Non English-speaking babysitters available; arrange in advance. See rates.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • High chair
  • Baby bedding
  • Night light

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

It's self catering, but not as you know it: a kitchen full of the best gadgets plus dishwasher and washing machine and chefs on tap if you want a night off. You can eat at Villa Fontelunga's restaurant too. Pozzo and Foiano are the nearest villages.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Tennis courts
  • Bikes to borrow
  • Games consoles
  • Children's DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Boat trips and beach at Lake Trasimeno (40 minutes)
  • Arezzo has a good play park in the centre (30 minutes)
  • Perugia mini metro (1hr)
  • Ponte a Poppi zoo (1hr 15 minutes)

Families Should Know:

The unfenced pool is the main hazard. You're an hour from the airport here, and about 5km from the nearest medical facilities.

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Service
8/
Value
9/
Overall

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Rates for Fontelunga Villas