OVERVIEW Duna Grande
Duna Grande is a unique venue in Italy. In Tuscany you will rarely find a nearly isolated house with direct access to the beach, surrounded by romantic farmland, varied wildlife and unique mediterranean flora. All of this in the sought-after region of the Maremma on the southern Tuscan coast.
The house has been restored at a top level of style and comfort. A generous living and dining room (14 meters long) giving onto a terrace (which stretches along) the lengh of the building, looking onto the sea. On your way down towards the beach you'll find the pool (80 cm deep), what used to be a large basin for cattle and sheep has been turned into a pool (80 cm deep). As this stretch of land is a conservation area, strict laws regulate any building activity. Only the restoration of existing features is allowed.
The house is surrounded by an irrigated mediterranean garden which blends into the surrounding „dunescape“, planted with the local shrubs such as myrtle and juniper. In early summer you will come upon the very special and highly protected sand lilies grow here. Picking prohibited. There is a shaded lot for car-parking behind the house (a bamboo roof on wooden pillars, 35 steps from the house, makes for private parking of your car in the shade.)
A fence closes off the entire estate (from the beach). A garden gate gives you access to the endless beach (135 m. from the house). The beach is public, as all beaches in Italy, but as the public access is far away, only the occasional bather will wander up to your location. A beach club with friendly bar and daily papers is 100 meters down the beach. One of Italy's most fashionable beach clubs called "L'Ultima Spiaggia" is 15km further up the coast. This has a pleasant restautant which serves excellent salads and other summer dishes, as well as fresh cool drinks and the inevitable Capuccino.
A smaller house (with 2 bedrooms), also to rent from us, is at circa 50 meters distance. The two houses are separated by a densely planted hill which allows sufficient privacy for both houses.
Amenities and services
- Pool (child safe): 12 x 5m
- Internet access
- Air conditioning
- Hifi stereo
- Satellite TV
- Maid service
- Bed & bath linens
- Baby equipment
- Final cleaning
- First shopping
- Arrival dinner
- Maid service
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Pet welcome
Floorplan of the villa
Spacious master suite with bathroom, walk-in-wardrobe and private terrace overlooking the sea.
Large living and dining room
2 king with en-suite bathroom
2 twins sharing one bathroom
Terrace along the living, dining and kitchen area.
Pool 5 x 12 mt. (80 cm deep)
The estate of Fontanili lies in an area called Maremma, a lesser known and therefore all the more captivating part of Tuscany extending south towards Latium. It is a region which conjures up memories of foregone times, a world of large estates, generations of old families, harvests, summers and the sea.
One is almost tempted to believe that this untamed landscape owes its mystique to the lingering presence of the Etruscans, an ancient civilisation remembered for their peace-loving and hedonistic way of life who lived and farmed here centuries before Christ.
Over the past fifteen years the area has become a favourite spot for a certain Italian intellectual elite seeking the charm of the Tuscan way of life enriched by the joys of an unspoilt seaside.
A wide strip of fertile land separates the sea from the mountains. It is here that the house Fontanili stands, surrounded by trees and a charming garden. The estate extends over 260 hectares of olive groves and sunflower-fields. On the map you will find it roughly half-way between Rome and Grosseto, surrounded by the cultural landmarks of Tarquinia, Tuscania, Orbetello and Viterbo, which all are more or less half an hour‘s drive away.
The estate is managed by the owner Verio Piroddi, descendant of the princely family Ludovisi Boncompagni, who was awarded the property in 1870 by the Pope in order to avoid confiscation by the newly unified Italian Monarchy.
The estate used to cover the vast area of 4.600 hectares until the agrarian reform in 1953 redimensioned the property, redistributing the expropriated land to the former peasants of the property. The estate employs three farmers who live in the vicinity.
The ascent of the Boncompagni Ludovisi family goes back to Ugo Boncompagni, a brilliant lawyer from Bologna who represented the Vatican at the Council of Trent and was elected Pope in 1572, taking the name of Gregory XIII. He is remembered as thoroughly imbued with the cosciousness of the great responsability of his position, combatting all ecclesiastical abuses and appointing one day a week for a public audience during which everyone had access to him. The gregorian calender which we use today goes back to Gregory XIII.
- From a holidayer‘s point of view the private beach of Fontanili is a real asset, only four kilometers from the house. A back road leads to a private gate to which the guests are given a key. The beach is of fine sand with a multitude of coloured shells. Behind the beach, the dunes are covered with a labyrinth of wild aromatic bushes such as myrtle and cistus-roses which blossom at different times of the year. Two cafés down the beach have coffé, ice-cream and also serves light meals.
- Lake Burano: the estate of Fontainili borders on the Lake Burano, a lagoon run by the WWF. The bird-watching here is excellent, above all in spring and autumn.
- The Parco dell’Uccellina, officially the Parco Nazionale Maremmano, is a rewarding place for nature lovers. Marked footpaths will lead you through incredibly beautiful pine woods to hidden creeks, past romantic ruins of fortified watch towers to the abbey of San Rabano, built by monks who arrived from Rhodes in the X century.
- Vulci is another natural park of the WWF. The castle called “Castello dell’Abbadia” has become the National Archeological Museum of Vulci with a beautiful collection of ceramics, sculptures and bronzes. We recommend a walk over the Roman bridge of l’Abbadia. From here, on foot or by car, you may reach the remains of the Etruscan and Roman town of Vulci called “La Civita”. The area has become an archeological park and offers a choice of many walks.
- Sant’Antimo is one of the most beautiful Benedictine abbeys, built in the XIIth century on a site between Siena and Grosseto. Today is the home of a small community of Monks, whose daily services are accompanied by Gregorian chant.
- Tarquinia is known in the whole world for its Etruscan tombs and frescoes. For many centuries it was one of the most important towns of the Etruria. At the entrance of Tarquinia, a beautiful building called Palazzo Vitelleschi, dating from 1436 – 1439, is now the Archeological Museum where have been collected the objects found in the necropolis of Tarquinia. The center of the town offers you towers and churches from the middle-age. The necropolis of Tarquinia is out of town (just one kilometer), and is easy to find.
- Tuscania is the most suggestive center of the Tuscia. Quite powerful during the Etruscan period, the town became an important fortification in the middle-ages. The two churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro are some of the most beautiful specimens of Romanic art. A walk in the center of the town is recommended.
- Monte Argentario: only half an hour from Fontanile lies the Monte Argentario, a peninsula connected with the mainland by three dams. The Monte Argentario is known for its fine coastline, rich mediterranean vegetation and the two jet set harbours Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano.
- The Tarot-Garden of Niki de Saint-Phalle: on one of the hills not far from Fontanili the famous french artist hs built her „Jardin des Tarots“, twenty two giant sculptures inspired by the figures of the magic tarot cards. Children love it!
- Villa Lante, Bagnaia- Viterbo: one of the best examples of Italian gardens near Rome, it contains two small villas and some amazing fountains against the backdrop of the wooded hills, once used as a hunting ground. Outside the Italian garden is a large park open to the public.
- Civita di Bagnoregio: perched on top of a hill, Civita dominates the wide valley made up of “calanchi” weathered clay hills. It is an enchanted place, where time seems to have stopped. Due to a geologically fragile clay base, it is an unstable hill and the inhabitants preferred to leave migrating to safer places. But is now a safe place to visit.
- Orvieto, overlooking the Tiber valley, was founded by the Etruscans as Volsinii Veteres in the VIIIth century b.C. around a well known sacred temple and reached it’s apex from the VI to the IV century b.C. . The Romans later destroyed it and the Goths rebuilt it while the Byzantines gave it towers, palaces and churches. From the church of Sant’Andrea’s pulpit pope Innocenzo III proclaimed the IVth crusade. The town’s main square lies at the foot of the Cathedral built in the Italian – Gothic style with shops and café’s to give visitors rest and let them enjoy the beauty of the town.
- Caprarola: is dominated by Palazzo Farnese, the palace-fortress built by the Farnese Family . One of Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings, it contains many masterpieces by some of the most important and famous painters and architects of the period. The Scala Regia is an elaborate stone spiral staircase that let Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul III) reach the bedrooms on horseback. Nearby is Lago di Vico, a Nature Reserve in the Cimini hills.
- Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano are three towns standing close to each other. Sovana is often considered the most interesting spot of southern Tuscany, boasting a magnificent Etruscan necropolis and 2 remarkable Romanic churches. Pitigliano is a medieval town with a dramatic location, interestingly enough with a Ghetto, a Jewish quarter. It is also known for the white wine produced here, Bianco di Pitigliano. The Medieval old town of Sorano was first established as an Etruscan centre in the middle of the “land of tuff” (a cooled lava stone) spreading at the foot of the 14th century Orsini Castle.
GUEST REVIEWS, Duna Grande, Fontanili
- Pescia Romana, the village 4 km
- Montalto di Castro, the train station 13 km
- Tarquinia 30 minutes
- Tuscania 40 minutes
- Porto Ercole 40 minutes
- Grosseto 1 hour
- Viterbo 1 hour
- Rome 1h35
- Siena 2h05
- Pisa 2h40